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From feasibility to the sales suite – the importance of understanding the buyer

RACHEL GLASS – PROJECT MARKETING SPECIALIST

It’s no secret that recent years have seen the greenfield and off-the-plan property markets boom, particularly in Victoria. With this success has come an incredible level of supply, and in a market where there is a lot of duplication on offer it has gotten to the point where we keep seeing the same brands rolled out over and over and over again (snore!). As the downturn came and went, and then Covid-19 came….and stuck around (hurry up already!), it has never has it been more vital for developers and projects to differentiate themselves to drive sales.

Gone are the days when the development manager handed the marketing team a final masterplan and told them to do the rest! The Marketing team would whack up a few ads in the local paper, pump out a few online listings and away you went. Marketing now needs to work harder than ever to get a result, so a customer and people-focussed approach is critical.

In this increasingly competitive and challenging market, the most successful projects are those that have a customer-first strategy. We, as a project team, need to put the customer ahead of all decisions in the development – yes that includes before the masterplan is finalised.

It is vital for a project’s success that you put the time and consideration into understanding the customer in the initial stages of project planning. Research is key at this early stage.

The outcomes of customer research can provide insights into the following:

  • Where they are coming from?
  • Are they SINKS, DINKS, Families, Retirees?
  • What are they looking for in their new community?
  • Perhaps a multi-generational approach is necessary?
  • What is their cultural background?
  • How do they consume information?
  • What social channels are they on?
  • How can you reach that demographic from a marketing perspective?

Having a strong understanding of all the above (and then some) will lead to more successful masterplanning and release strategies, as well as informing your marketing and sales plans to attract and meet the customer effectively. Ultimately, showing your buyer that you understand their needs and wants will help them feel comfortable with their final decision and put your project at the top of their list.