In an industry as competitive as real estate, it’s not enough to build properties. You also need to build relationships. Considering the 57,244 home developers in the US, you must carefully consider how your organization will stand out from the rest.
The focus on transactions alone no longer suffices. Experienced real estate developers recognize the need for a better way to reach a broader audience. It’s good that many real estate marketing professionals recognize the immense potential of community building as an innovative marketing strategy. As the saying goes, people buy from those they know, like, and trust.
In the context of real estate, that trust is often nurtured through a well-crafted sense of community.
Why invest in community building?
Traditional marketing strategies like advertisements might garner initial interest but rarely create lasting impressions or meaningful relationships. On the other hand, community building promotes a sense of unity and belonging.
These factors significantly influence purchasing decisions. Developers must look beyond simply building one house after another. They should also consider building a sense of community that will put their name on the map.
Best Practices for Community Building as a Real Estate Developer
Real estate developers, through community building, can attract buyers, retain residents, and create a buzz. All these can improve the real estate project’s value. How can you make it happen? Here’s how.
Leverage social media
Now more than ever, community building has become more accessible. Online platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok can help real estate developers foster a sense of community.
You can create a continuous and engaging narrative that potential clients can join by sharing updates about ongoing projects. Using a community-specific hashtag, you can encourage residents to share their experiences on social media. This authentic promotion from within the community is often more compelling than any advertisement.
Use surveys and Q&A sessions to engage the audience and solicit their opinions, making them part of the decision-making process.
Host community events
Nothing brings people together like shared experiences. Hosting community events like neighborhood cleanups, charity runs, or open houses can make prospective buyers feel part of something larger. These events make your real estate development more appealing and provide an excellent opportunity for word-of-mouth marketing.
A community event can be an informal platform where potential buyers can interact with current residents. Instead of a simple walk-through, create an experience that showcases what living in your community would be like.
Organize or sponsor local events, from farmers’ markets to charity fundraisers, to make your brand synonymous with community enrichment. Take it a notch higher by releasing real estate greeting cards.
Foster partnerships with local businesses
Creating a network of local partnerships can also contribute significantly to community building. Partnerships add value to your community. Consider negotiating with a cafe for your open house or a local gym to offer discounted memberships to your residents. These mutually beneficial relationships enhance your reputation and provide your community with something more than just a living space.
Explore influencer marketing. Make sure to collaborate with influencers whose followers align with your target demographic. A simple tour of the neighborhood can reach many potential buyers quickly.
Develop online forums and newsletters
Creating an online forum or a monthly newsletter can offer an avenue for community building for residents. Using these forums, residents can openly communicate their concerns, make suggestions, or plan community activities. A monthly newsletter can keep everyone informed about upcoming events, policy changes, or even new real estate developments. This sense of transparency can go a long way in building trust and a loyal community.
If the budget permits, invest in a community portal. A dedicated online portal where residents can pay bills, log complaints, or even chat on community forums. With a well-trained community manager, this portal can be a powerful tool for engagement.
Encourage testimonials and stories
Storytelling is an excellent tool in any marketing strategy, with a 70 percent increase in memory recall.
Invite residents to share their stories and experiences living in your community. Publish these testimonials on your website and social media platforms to give prospects a first-hand look into what being a part of your community would be like. Authentic, positive stories can strongly influence undecided buyers.
Maintain excellent customer service and after-sale care
The role of community building doesn’t end with the sale. Offering excellent customer service and after-sale care can turn a one-time buyer into a lifetime advocate for your brand. Consider setting up a community management team responsible solely for addressing resident concerns and improving the community based on feedback. These actions affirm your commitment to not just building homes but also communities.
Measure, analyze, and adapt
Like any marketing strategy, the effectiveness of community building should be continuously measured and analyzed. Utilize analytics tools to track engagement on your social media posts, open rates for your newsletters, and attendance at community events. Based on the data, adapt your strategies to suit your community’s needs and preferences better.
Start Developing Your Real Estate Community
Community building is not just a marketing strategy; it’s a long-term investment in your brand image. Real estate developers can create an emotional connection beyond bricks and mortar by building strong, vibrant communities. It may require a shift in perspective and additional resources initially. However, the rewards — customer loyalty, brand recognition, and sales — are well worth the effort.