Are there vacancies in your community? Even one is too many. Empty homes can decrease the curb appeal of your community, lead to compliance issues and have a negative impact on your association’s feeling of community. These are just a few reasons why it’s so important to keep every home occupied. 
 
The obvious solution is to bring new buyers into your community. It’s time for Board members to put on their marketing hats! Follow our suggestions and you will be marketing your community like a pro in no time. 
 

1. Put your best foot forward.

Your association’s entrance is much more than the way that your residents and guests enter and exit the property. It’s provides the first impression to potential buyers and residents, and it’s extremely important as the public face of your community. Think of it as a billboard. Your entry should be nicely landscaped and maintained, well-kept and pleasing to the eye. It should entice people to come in – and at the same time, establish the feeling and mood of your entire community. 
 

2. Come together as a community.

Turn your residents into your best advocates! Getting people together for a celebration or holiday get-together creates positive experiences for residents. Happy residents essentially become your most effective sales agents. If your current residents have good things to say about their community to their friends and family, then those friends and family will be more likely to look to that community when it’s time for them to find a new home. Schedule events of interest based on the interests of your community – consider doing a brief survey to help with that process. Beyond pool parties and barbecues, you can invite guest speakers to give presentations (check with local colleges for possibilities) and partner with local businesses to hold trunk shows or wine and food tastings. No matter what events your community hosts, the important thing is that community members feel engaged and have fun. 
 

3. Show them the money.

The savviest buyers will want to learn more about the financial health of the association before they consider purchasing a home in your community. If they know they’re moving into a community that is managed responsibly, it may be the deciding factor between choosing yours and the one down the street.  Create a mechanism for showing prospective buyers your documents during the sales process. If your association is currently experiencing financial challenges, address them immediately and openly with prospective buyers, including your Board’s plan to reverse the situation. Look to your property management company for assistance and advice on how to do this. 
 

4. Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes.

Take a look at your company as though it’s the first time. Leave your community, then return and try to see it as if you’ve never been there before. If necessary, enlist a friend to help. Are the common areas inviting? Are the streets well-lit and properly maintained? Are the homes in compliance with the rules of the association, with properly trimmed grass and hedges? How does the landscaping look? Is it easy to park and find your way around? Looking at the familiar streets and buildings in your neighborhood through fresh eyes will help you see areas for potential improvement and features to highlight. A professional property management company has the right resources to help you evaluate your community as well.
 

5. Optimize your online presence.

Make the most of your community’s website by creating a special splash page or landing page dedicated to prospective buyers. Use this page to capture contact information and highlight the best of your community. If you live in a highly competitive real estate market, this can be a highly valuable tool in helping buyers learn more about what a great place your community is to live in. 
 
Any marketing strategy involves time and effort, but by following these basic tips, you’re well on your way to attracting your next qualified buyer and getting a great return on your investment. For more help, contact FirstService Residential, Georgia’s leading property management company.
 
Wednesday September 21, 2016