marketing to families with kids
From: Dahako (
Date: Sun, 18 Oct 1998 07:47:03 -0500
Hi -

I've heard the discussion about families with children before (how they
perceive more risk and join late in development, if at all) and I'm not
completely sure I agree.  My husband and I have two kids, and when we got
involved with Eno Commons a bit more than 2 years ago, we were the only
household with small kids.  Once we joined into the marketing effort, we were
able to attract additional households with kids until we had to switch our
marketing efforts to try to attract households without kids.  We ended up with
half our households "dependent-childed", for a total of about 20 kids under 9,
and two teenagers.

What I think is true is that households without children are more likely to
have the time, money and energy to start a cohousing project in the first
place.  Then the old marketing adage that "like markets to like" kicks in.
None of our households with small children had much risk aversion (certainly
not compared to some of our all adult households), but many of them had been
interested in us for a year or more before finding the *time* to come look us

BTW, the design elements that particularly attracted the families with kids
were the shared meals (read "more time"), on-site daycare (ditto) and the
general support of the community.  And we will allow any house color choice,
but our builder insisted we come up with a limited palette.  We hired a
consultant (interior decorator turned architect) and got a very Southern
palette that, now that it's up around us, looks pretty Charleston-y.  (IMHO).

Jessie Handforth Kome
Eno Commons Cohousing
Durham, NC
Where we have all lots spoken for and all but three sales closed.  Four
households (all with kids, as it happens) have moved in and many more will be
in before the winter holidays (we hope).  We eat together regularly, sharing
Saturday pancakes, Tuesday Pasta, Thursday eat-outs, and occasional Sunday
soup. Eno Commons and our sibling community in Durham, Solterra, were open for
the National Tour of Solar Homes this weekend. "Enoween" is coming up.
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