This article also appears in the Private Communities November 2019 Newsletter.
The overriding priority for any developer planning a new residential or vacation rental community is to guarantee strong and continual home sales in their budding development. Doing so creates a sense of dynamic momentum, with new homeowners and investors becoming developers’ greatest allies in drumming up future interest and potential sales in their now common venture. That being the case, savvy community planners are always considering innovative, cost effective ways to set their particular communities apart from the pack, and improve sales. Quality homes and well-designed community grounds and amenities are an inherent contribution to realizing this goal, but, as anyone with experience in the industry will tell you, developments—and the homes they’re composed of—do not sell themselves.
Why Invest in Lifestyle Programming?
Arguably the best, and often overlooked, method to highlight the attractiveness and desirability of a community to prospective buyers is to invest in lifestyle programming for a given development. With the help of a competent on-site lifestyle team to establish such programming and carry out its day-to-day operation, developers can feel confident that their community’s growth will achieve that previously mentioned sense of dynamic momentum. Word-of-mouth excitement amongst a development’s residents, investors and visitors becomes a potent marketing tool for future sales. Importantly, strong lifestyle programming also incubates a shared sense of community among existing homeowners, thereby promoting long term residency and a positive social atmosphere, plus further fueling the dynamic momentum of home sales.
Programming Tailored to Your Unique Needs
When planning their communities’ lifestyle programs, developers and their contracted on-site management staff are free to specifically tailor their activity curriculum according to the unique characteristics of the development in question, differentiating it from other developments in the process. Maybe your community is in a warm climate, with extensive outdoor and pool facilities. If that is the case, lifestyle planners can establish safe and varied activities focusing on that particular strength. Aside from being a straightforward way to encourage residents’ commitment to their community and market to visiting prospective buyers, doing so also ensures a concrete return on developers’ prior investments in their facilities and amenities, thus fully realizing a given community’s potential.
Additionally, thoughtful lifestyle planners can consider the general demographic character of the residents and prospects they expect will be drawn to a given community. Is your development in a region overwhelmingly populated by individuals who observe certain holidays and have shared cultural traditions? If so, organizing events around those particular dates and social practices can help maximize participation in planned activities and put your community on the map in terms of local attractions—again fueling that much sought-after dynamic sales momentum. All the while, lifestyle planners will operate in concert with the aims, preferences and limitations of a community’s developer. Establishing and enacting a lifestyle agenda in accordance with a pre-arranged budget and plan ensures that developers maintain final say in terms of the parameters of the overall program itself.
Making a Community Feel Like Home
A well-designed, expansive lifestyle agenda is a necessary component to any flourishing residential or vacation rental community. Investing in events, activities and traditions in a given development is of comparable importance to the quality of that community’s homes themselves. This is because a thriving community is more than just a set of investments on a balance sheet for the people that actually live and visit there; it’s a place to call home. Home is where your friends and neighbors are. It’s where you can trust your children will be safe and entertained, and where you know there’s always a fun community-wide event to take part in just around the corner.
When smart developers build and invest in collections of homes, rather than simply houses, they know lifestyle programming is of vital importance to creating an atmosphere of socialization, safety and fun among their communities’ homeowners. After all, residents and investors that are proud of their community are the most effective ambassadors for it, and earning their loyalty and enthusiasm is the best strategy to further grow and develop that community—both in terms of home sales and as a place for people to genuinely call home.