Laying the foundation for your new home community marketing

Picture this: you’re walking outside on a beautiful +20˚C day, and the sounds of drills whirring and hammers pounding can be heard throughout the community. The smell of fresh paint drifts by in the air. That’s right, your show home is currently being built in a brand-new community – and you need to come up with a stellar marketing campaign to attract the right buyers.

Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Check out our top 5 tips for setting yourself up for a successful new home community marketing campaign.

1. Have a good understanding of the community

Before you can start marketing homes in a new community, you need to have a good understanding of the community you’re entering. Nothing would be worse than showing up to the community, ready to sell homes, and then you realize you have no idea who would want to buy a home here or what amenities are in the area! So, pick up your favourite research hat and learn who your brand-new pool of buyers will be.

This is a really great time to lean on the community developer’s expertise to narrow down your research. They can help you understand the key messages they’ve already been delivering, and they can tell you about their target audience if it’s already been established. The developer can also point out the differentiations between their community and the surrounding ones. This will help you highlight the best reasons why a buyer should choose your community instead of a neighbouring one.

It's also important to do research on the city itself, especially if it’s new to you or it’s a city you don’t currently live in. Check out resources like the city’s website or Statistics Canada to make sure you understand the different types of people you'll be seeing most often. And while it might sound counterintuitive, don’t let your sales team do their own market research on the community. Why not, you ask? It’s all about marketing with unified messaging, so it’s better to give them the same research your marketing team will be using.

Put that new community research to good use 

Now that you’ve finished your thorough research, it’s time to identify how to align your product, your potential customers, and the new community into one unified message. This is especially important if the community is currently marketing itself a certain way already. Your sales team will need to align and reinforce that same message to make sure it comes across that they are in tune with the community.

Imagine a ready-to-purchase buyer stopping by your new show home really excited about a certain feature or amenity in the community, only to find out the sales team doesn’t know anything about it. They leave, unsatisfied with the customer experience, and visit a different show home where they have an amazing connection with their team instead. They purchase a new home with that builder instead of you. Unfortunate, right?

That’s why it’s crucial to provide your sales team with the research you’ve already done. Your future buyers will have questions about the community and surrounding amenities, so set your sales team up for success! The more alignment you can have between builder, customer, and sales team, the better!

2. Reignite cold leads with the new community 

Depending on how your sales team has developed their database, building in a new community could be just the thing they need to reignite their cold leads. For example, you could pull from a list of previous leads if you have geographically associated them in the past. If the new community you’re building in is in the northwest part of the city, then you could search for previous leads who want to live in that part of the city but hadn’t found the right property yet. Or if you have leads that are itching for a certain lifestyle or nearby amenities, and this new community fits the bill, reach out and see if they’re still in the market for a new home.

3. Home in on your customer 

While you’re working through your list of cold leads, you’ll need to bring in new leads as well. At this point, you’ll need to home in on who your customer is based on the community, price point, and product type available. Through market data, research, and even customer surveys, you’ll begin to find your target audience. Enter the buyer persona and psychographics.

Creating buyer personas 

Long heralded in the marketing world, the buyer persona has been the standard for identifying your target customer since the 90s. If you don’t already know, buyer personas are fictional characters you create to define your target audience. Each persona gets a detailed description that encapsulates their demographic through hard data like job title, age, gender, income range, family life, ethnicity, etc. A buyer persona will give you a decent snapshot of the various types of people that are interested in your product. However, there are limitations to personas, and depending on who your target audience is, they could all start to look similar, like CEO Sara, President Peter, etc.

What is a psychographic?

Whereas buyer personas will tell you who is interested buying your homes, psychographics will give you the second piece of the puzzle: the why. Psychographics have become more popular among marketers in the last decade and for good reason. Instead of focusing on hard traits, psychographics dig a little deeper into the minds of your consumer by focusing on emotional data like challenges, aspirations, values, personality traits, and lifestyle choices. If the new community you’re building in is selling a certain lifestyle to buyers, psychographics can help you attract like-minded individuals.

Once you combine buyer personas and psychographics, you start to see the big picture of your target audience. You’ll discover their needs and motivations for purchasing a new home while narrowing down the search for who can afford your homes. Now you can effectively target your audience in your marketing efforts!

4. Do research on your competition 

Don’t forget to keep an eye what your competitors are up to as well. How are other builders in the community successfully marketing their homes? What type of products are they selling? Is their price point in the same range as your homes, or more/less expensive? What kind of lifestyle are they promising to potential buyers? Because you’re all selling in the same community, there will be some overlap in the overall buyer demographic due to location, lifestyle offered, and so on.

Then, take a look at the competition in the surrounding communities, and ask yourself the same questions as you did for the other homebuilders in your community. Focus on the kind of lifestyle those communities selling, and how it differs (or is potentially similar) to yours. It will be easier for your not only to market your homes, but the new community you’re building in as well.

Once you’ve surveyed the competition, consider what will make you stand out from the crowd. Do you offer better finishes? Do your homes have more square footage? A more robust new homeowner’s warranty or enticing referral program? Once you’ve identified your main selling point, it’s time to move into the final stages of preparation. 

5. Identify your marketing approach and budget

Now that you’ve done your research on the new community and your competition, found your perfect audience and reignited cold leads, it’s time to start planning! Use each detail you’ve uncovered to inform your budget and create your ideal marketing strategy.

We hope this helps send you down the path to continued success in your homebuilding journey. If you’re interested in learning more about new home community marketing, feel free to reach out! We’re always happy to answer any questions you might have.

Want to learn more about homebuilder marketing in general? Do you like listening to podcasts? Us too, which is why we started our own podcast – Build Up The Homebuilder Podcast! Season 3 is currently airing, so there are nearly 30 episodes packed full of industry insights waiting for you.

Want to chat more? Reach out to Jordan Mair, ZGM's Director of Homebuilding Marketing, at


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