By Ron Bechky, United SaddleBrooke
Note: This is the first in a series of articles which offers an expanded view of one of the benefits of increased inter-board cooperation which were mentioned in the blog piece, “What’s In it for All of Us?”
It may seem counterintuitive to suggest that marketing of our community is a problem, given the record prices of homes in SaddleBrooke and the speed with which homes-for-sale are gobbled up. True enough, for now. As a 25-year resident of SaddleBrooke I can attest it was not always thus. A quick example: The median price of sold homes in SaddleBrooke in August 2017 was $309,000 vs $475,000 in April 2022. Listings, percent of sale price to listing price, number of homes listed for sale and average days on the market are all at historic lows in SaddleBrooke. These good times may continue to roll. However, some macro-economic brakes are already in play: soaring mortgage interest rates and heightened general inflation. Planning for a downturn is prudent. Marketing is a key component of a good long-range plan.
Joint marketing efforts cooperatively instituted by the two boards could include the following:
Appointment of a single SaddleBrooke “Marketing Director” tasked with presenting the many virtues of SaddleBrooke to prospective homeowners in a unified, compelling fashion. The Marketing Director would be compensated by the two HOAs on a pro rata population basis.
A single promotional website for all of SaddleBrooke, presenting our wonderful community in its best light.
An aggressive program seeking to improve the standing of SaddleBrooke in various internet rankings of retirement/active adult communities
Correction of factual errors about SaddleBrooke on real estate websites.
In addition to the above major initiative, consider the following:
“Know your customer” is a marketing cliché but remains true. Surveying our new homeowners is a basic step. With the help of our Unit Rep welcomers, we could ask a few simple questions:
How did you learn about SaddleBrooke?
Where did you move from?
What features of SaddleBrooke attracted you most?
What other Active Adult Communities did you consider?
As we evaluate the answers, we can target our marketing. It is probably not cost effective to cast our marketing net to the northeast. According to most surveys, Arizona is the number 3 state for retirees’ relocation. Even though we think Arizona is number 1, trying to entice those Florida/Tennessee bound folks is a tall order.
Here is a joint marketing suggestion which requires minimal investment and has been a success at Sun City Vistoso (SVV): community tours. Resident volunteers are recruited to function as tour guides for prospective homebuyers, escorting them to all the amenities, answering any questions about the community. This is like the program Robson Communities, Inc. offers prospective new home buyers. The HOAs could readily offer some freebies: dinner, a round of golf, tickets to the theater, etc. At SVV the HOA has provided a multi-seat golf cart to be driven by the resident volunteers. Yes, the HOAs would have to cooperate, provide the cart, and provide insurance.
Joint marketing offers only benefits for the SaddleBrooke community.
Visit the United SaddleBrooke website at www.unitedsaddlebrooke.org