A great opportunity, a marketing foundation and challenge.

Because of the essential role that the sales office and display suite plays in the marketing of apartments, it is a theme I wanted to highlight early in Project Agenda, and it is one I will return to frequently and hopefully be able to present varied examples and innovations. Their design and the level of investment are constantly changing. It’s a big part of any marketing budget and deserves ongoing attention.

There should never be any disagreement that these centres are the foundation of the sales path for every development. A poor centre or a misfit with the target market can delay sales or even loose sales. But equally a well-planned and executed facility will help create a real buzz and give any sales team a welcome hands-up.

Consumers now have high expectations and they are keen to connect with a good experience. A visit to a display home, or apartment and sales centre needs to be seen in the same way as the best retail experience. It not just a matter of utility, ticking boxes on the marketing plan, no it’s very much the high point of buyer engagement.

For off-the-plan marketing, for me and from my experience, it is difficult not to tag this asset as vital. However there is also a real challenge and opportunity here. These facilities, while they will vary according to the size of the development, need to be well structured and designed, kept fresh and appealing. But equally in the hands of the marketing team they need to be very well managed and used to maximum advantage in the sales path so that the buyer is as fully engaged as possible. In fact I think the aim should be to help create a stand out experience even within a limited budget good design and clever ideas will have a positive impact.

At the start of a new apartment project there is a blank canvas. The new project being planned will have two main (if complex) stories to tell. One is about the project and the other about the lifestyle.

But for many, the potential buyer, lets assume that the project is a complete mystery and our job is to bridge the gap between today’s reality and future plans. Reaching out to the buyer under these circumstances is the goal of the sales team but it is the realm of the sales and display centre to set the narrative. It’s the heart of the marketing effort.

 Handy Tip: when planning interiors always consider the core aspirations of the target market. Do not base ideas only on personal considerations, and ensure that any consultants employed on job also work to the needs of the target. Your sales centre content should not be designed to fit into this or that particular trend, or over weighted to either lifestyle or product or branded style.

So as a starting point it should be easy to agree that no matter why consumers visit a project’s marketing centre, or what has promoted this first step, the centre will be their focus, their first real connection. Their interest in the project should be as fully engaged as possible and certainly not wasted. After all they may never return, but we will return, soon to this subject.