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How to Market Your Master-Planned Community: 10 Tips to Help You Attract More Buyers

How to Market a Master-Planned Community Feature Image

Developers of master-planned communities often spend significant resources and effort in the design, construction, and amenities of their community. However, the success of any lifestyle community depends not only on its physical attributes but also on its marketing strategies.

Effective marketing helps developers create a buzz around the community, attract potential buyers, and increase demand, leading to higher sales and revenue. If you’re a builder, developer, country club, or any real estate company responsible for selling homes in a community, keep reading to explore tips and best practices to market your master-planned community.

1. Define your target audience

Before you can effectively market your community, you need to have a clear picture of who your target audience is. Who are the people most likely to be interested in living in your community? Are they young families, retirees, or something in between? What are their interests and priorities? Do you offer a specific lifestyle or certain kind of home that would appeal to them? By defining your target audience, you can tailor your marketing efforts to speak directly to their needs and desires.

Master-Planned Community Target Audience

With so many different types of lifestyle communities from age-restricted 55-plus and active adult to retirement and mixed-use to those that focus on specific amenities like golf or equestrian or boating, the first step is identifying and understanding who your ideal buyer is.

2. Create a distinct brand identity

Once you know your target audience, it’s time to make sure your community has a distinct identity. Sure, this includes the basics like creating a memorable name, logo, and visual identity that will set your community apart from the competition. But your brand identity should also reflect the unique features, benefits, amenities, and lifestyle offerings of your master-planned community, and should be consistently applied across all marketing materials, from your website to your sales center to your print collateral.

Speaking at the recent Builder 100 Conference, Antonia J.A. Hock, CEO of Antonia J.A. Hock & Associates, spoke to the importance of a strong brand identity: “Buyers today…want relations, they want stories, they want brand stories, they want magic, and that’s putting a ton of pressure on brands everywhere to deliver at that magnitude.”

Let’s face it, there are a lot of master-planned communities out there, perhaps even dozens in your immediate area. Clearly communicating what makes yours unique will help you stand above the competition.

3. Establish a strong online presence

In today’s digital age, a strong online presence is crucial for any marketing strategy. Developers should invest in a well-designed website that showcases the community’s features and amenities, provides useful information to potential buyers, and is optimized for search engines. The website should also include high-quality images and videos that showcase the community’s natural beauty, architecture, and lifestyle. The website can also include virtual tours, interactive maps, and 360-degree videos to give potential buyers a comprehensive view of the community.

Master-Planned Community Website Example

Marketers of master-planned communities should also leverage social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to reach a wider audience. By creating social media pages for the community, developers can share updates, photos, and videos, respond to queries and engage with potential buyers. Social media platforms are also an excellent way to build a community of interested buyers and keep them informed about the community’s development.

92% of homebuyers use the internet when researching lifestyle communities

PCR 2023 Survey of Homebuyers Researching Lifestyle Communities Report

And the best part is you don’t have to do it alone! Enlisting the services of industry experts like PrivateCommunities.com can go a long way in helping boost your community’s search rankings while driving referral traffic to your website and enhancing your marketing and lead generation efforts.

4. Use traditional marketing tactics

Although digital marketing is essential, traditional marketing tactics like direct mail, print ads, and billboards can still be effective. Especially for age-targeted 55-plus and retirement communities. Many of the homebuyers looking in these communities are seniors and retirees who are more likely to see and be compelled by more “old school” marketing channels.

Community developers should target potential buyers with direct mail campaigns and place ads in local newspapers and magazines. Billboards can be placed in high-traffic areas to generate awareness and interest.

5. Leverage influencer marketing

Influencer marketing is a popular marketing strategy that involves collaborating with influential individuals on social media to promote a product or service. Many communities leverage influencer marketing to create buzz around their developments and neighborhoods and reach a wider audience. Influencers can be bloggers, vloggers, social media personalities, or industry experts who have a large following and can influence their followers’ opinions and behaviors. Be sure to consider your audience and who you’re looking to attract to your community. Are they families? Millennials? Retirees? Golfers? People tend to follow and become inspired by those that represent the lifestyle they want to achieve.

By collaborating with influencers to showcase your community’s features, amenities, and lifestyle, you’ll increase your reach exponentially with engaging content such as blog posts, videos, or social media posts that highlight the community’s unique selling points. You can even invite influencers to visit your community and experience its offerings first-hand, which can lead to more authentic and compelling content.

6. Host events and tours

Hosting events and tours is an excellent way to showcase your community’s features and amenities to potential buyers. Master-planned community developers can organize open houses, model home tours, community gatherings, or charity events to attract potential buyers and create a buzz around the community. Events can also provide an opportunity for potential buyers to meet with developers, ask questions, and get a feel for the community’s lifestyle.

Developers can also offer guided tours of the community, which can help potential buyers understand the community’s layout, amenities, and unique selling points. Tours can be conducted in person or virtually, depending on the buyer’s preferences. Virtual tours can be particularly useful for buyers who are unable to visit the community in person due to distance or other constraints.

60% of prospective buyers have toured a community in the past 2 years

PCR 2023 Survey of Homebuyers Researching Lifestyle Communities Report

As an extension, many communities see great benefits with custom “Stay and Play” or Discovery Packages that allow potential residents to stay onsite for a couple days/nights to really get a feel for the community’s neighborhoods, homes, amenities, and residents.

7. Collaborate with local businesses and organizations

Collaborating with local businesses and organizations can help developers tap into the local community’s network and reach potential buyers. Partnering with local real estate agents, mortgage lenders, and home builders can go a long way in expanding your reach and promoting your community. Many master-planned communities also collaborate with local tourism boards, chambers of commerce, and community organizations to showcase their unique lifestyle and amenities.

Community Special Event Indian River Colony Club

Partnering with local businesses and organizations and being a part of local festivals, art shows, and cultural events can be a great way to market your master-planned community and attract a diverse group of potential buyers by showcasing your vibrant and inclusive culture.

8. Provide excellent customer service

This may sound like a no-brainer, but providing excellent customer service is crucial when marketing a master-planned community. You should have a reliable process in place to respond promptly to inquiries and provide comprehensive information about the community. The more effective your marketing, the more interest and leads you’ll receive, which means proper nurturing and guiding them through your sales funnel.

Chances are you’re not the only community a buyer is inquiring about, so make sure you separate yourself from the others. That starts with providing excellent customer service from the outset which builds trust, credibility, and eventually—sales.

9. Highlight sustainable features

Sustainability is becoming increasingly important to buyers, and it’s not just millennials and Gen Z. The latest survey report from PCR which gathers responses from community homebuyers mainly aged 45-65+ found that almost 80% of respondents said “Energy Efficiency,” “Sustainable Building Materials,” and “Solar Energy” are important features in their next master-planned community home. Another 22% said “Green Features” are a must-have in their community.

Developers should highlight their community’s sustainable features, such as energy-efficient homes, green spaces, and renewable energy sources. Highlighting these features can attract buyers who are looking to both save money and prioritize being environmentally conscious.

10. Emphasize the lifestyle

We’ve perhaps saved the most important (yet often overlooked point) for last. Marketing a master-planned community is not just about selling homes—it’s about selling a lifestyle. In fact, there’s a case to be made that a majority of buyers in master-planned communities start by searching for amenities and lifestyle preferences with the homes and real estate being a secondary factor. Walking trails, clubhouses, fitness centers, swimming pools, golf courses, pickleball, social clubs, beach access, and so on…

PCR Lifestyle Icons Screenshot
PCR Users Can Search Communities by a Variety of Lifestyles

By the very definition, those are the things that put the life in lifestyle community. Developers and master-planned community marketing teams should emphasize the lifestyle that their community offers, such as access to amenities, social events, and a sense of community. By shining a spotlight on the immersive experience residents get when they buy a home in your community, you’ll attract buyers who are looking for more than just a place to live but a community to be a part of.

Let PCR Help Supercharge Your Community Marketing

Marketing your master-planned community requires a strategic approach that considers the unique features and benefits of your community, as well as the needs and desires of your ideal buyers.

For nearly 30 years, PCR has worked with the nation’s top builders, developers, communities, clubs, and realtors to help them generate leads and web traffic. Our audience of informed and proactive homebuyers is searching for a specific lifestyle in a community just like yours. Through advanced SEO, SEM, and regular email marketing, they find you…they request information…and you sit back while we deliver highly-qualified leads.

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