5 ways not to market a new build development

The demand for additional housing and the desire to build homes that have style, are technologically forward thinking and have an eco edge, is defining the current era of contemporary architectural design. As such, the new build property sector is constantly changing.

On top of that, there’s a whole generation of property-tech entrepreneurs also transforming the industry with virtual viewings and customer interactive marketing. For big brands, embracing these huge changes is part of a corporate programme supported with funding, training courses and marketing teams. But for small to medium sized, independent businesses, adopting completely new strategies can be daunting, confusing and costly!

Andrew, our creative director is currently working with several building companies helping them market their new build developments. Over the years he's seen development marketing executed perfectly, but equally seen many lack lustre campaigns.

So for any of you about to start working on a new build development, here's his advice based on his many years of property industry marketing.

1. Forget your target market when developing the brand ID - everyone needs housing, so you can be very generic with your brand.

"It’s easy to critique a client’s brief but the fact is that when it comes to new build developments, it can be quite a challenge to know what direction to go in and to provide a clear brief. I think rather than investing in understanding who the target market is, many firms will brief in a ‘catch-all’ brand identity in order to appeal to as many people as possible. But often what happens is that the brand becomes so watered down that it’s generic and doesn’t stand out. I’d encourage new build developers to be ruthless when considering who your target audience is and try to hone in on the sweet spot."

2.  Don’t use CGI. People want to see the real thing.

"Technology now means that the quality of CGI is so good and no longer costs the earth to create. In fact, it’s actually cheaper than photography in most cases and allows for flexibility to amend and update the visuals as the site specification changes, as is often the case."

3. Signage just needs a pretty image. Get it up fast and be done with it.

"Site signage is, with good reason, one of the first pieces of marketing that goes live for a new build development. Because it’s such an ‘obvious’ thing, I feel like the design is often not as considered as it could be. The nice visual is always prominent but for me, the crucial part that’s often missing is the context. Thinking about what situation your potential customers will be in, when they drive/walk/run by your development will mean you can produce something that truly resonates with people. For example are you by a busy road, will there be in traffic? Is the spot near a local tourist spot or a national park? Linking your marketing to contextually relevant points of interest or common grievances that locals experience will mean your much more likely to connect with them on an emotional level."

4. Rely on potential customers to return to the site. They’ll turn up at some point if they like it.

"Not capturing potential customer data when they first visit a new development is a massive fail in my book. Nowadays there are so many clever types of targeted advertising you can do, like Facebook advertising for example, which is super low cost when compared to traditional advertising. The way you’ll have most success is if you can capture some data such as an email address and you then import your data into Facebook and not only target those specific customers with advertising but also people that match their demographic."

5. Sack off the website. Who uses google anyway?

"I’ve noticed in this industry, it can be assumed that estate agents will do the selling for you, so there’s no need to have an online presence for your new development. I personally think this is a missed opportunity. Today across all sectors, buyers do more research before making purchases. And one of the things you’ll find is that online articles will tell buyers to do is look into the developer's track record. This can be solved so easily with a super simple portfolio website. As a designer I of course favour a beautiful bespoke website however I appreciate that budgets don’t always stretch to this. There are templates available using things like Wix or SquareSpace which can help you do this on a budget. As long as your branding and imagery is covered, you’ll be able to build a simple, slick portfolio site to showcase all your development projects. That way potential buyers know they’re in good hands." 

You can view some of our recent work on our portfolio.

Or if you’d like to have a chat, just send us a message.