Re: Best Places to Advertise for New Members
From: Thomas Lofft (
Date: Mon, 1 Dec 2008 20:33:00 -0800 (PST)
To: Cohousing-L <cohousing-l [at]>Message-ID:<69bd61b60812011002w6cff8959s851e541620f91c91 [at]>Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1From our past 
experiences over the last 15 years, I have found the best promotions that 
attract people to cohousing include:
1. Networking among friends and affinity groups is one of the strongest.  In 
our case, this has attracted healthcare workers, parents, singles, seniors, 
family members, out of staters, locals, a wonderful mix that has meshed into a 
strong community.
2. Internet presence:  keep the web site updated, create an opportunity and 
reason for contacts to enter your database. Keep an up-to-date calendar. Show 
who the people are.  Cohousing offers a lifestyle based upon the sense of 
community and who you are and what your values are. Be straightforward and 
promote YOURSELVES.  Unless you think you really wouldn't want to be part of 
any community that would accept you as a member.
3. Use the front page of the local and metro newspapers for presence. It's 
cheaper to get a front page news article than to buy an inside page real estate 
ad.  Do things for the community. Make sure the Press knows you're going to do 
it and make sure they cover it. 
4. Write your own copy for stories about cohousing under the guise of a popular 
interest article about any aspect of cohousing about which you feel an interest 
in writing: cooking for thirty; facilitation of group dynamics; management by 
consensus;  helping a neighboring family through home hospice care;  selling 
all your cars and only keeping ten Flex-Cars for a community of thirty;  keep 
doing it, again and again; recruit a team of writers who will commit to write 
an article a month; if 12 writers each write once a year, you have an article a 
5. Read the local newspaper for local news items about what everyone else is 
doing.  For every article that has any relationship to something you're doing 
in cohousing, write a short (<250 word) letter to the editor.  For example, the 
local paper wrote a business story about a builder installing geothermal HVAC 
in a new home.  He had done 12 GT systems in the past 20 years.  I wrote a 
short letter about how Liberty Village has installed 18 geothermal systems in 5 
years, in every home in the community and invited readers to attend an open 
house the next weekend.  Three guests arrived carrying copies of the Letters 
Column. 5.  Think of reinforcement.  Every item you do to create a positive 
image of your community is advertising.  Make cohousing part of your 
conversation with everyone.  Create and wear Cohousing Community T-shirts, polo 
shirts, turtlenecks, sweatshirts. Wear an "Ask Me About Cohousing" button.  
Carry community cards with the website and address.  Include one with every 
check payment you mail out.  Business cards are absolutely the cheapest form of 
direct advertising.  
6. The best advertising is the media presence you create, not the ad space you 
7.  Be sure your community has a link in the's MarketPlace.8. Get 
your community on a cohousing tour, even if you have to create one.
9. Form a regional cohousing network and join forces to create mass marketing 
efforts with economy of scale.  Regional networks do for communities what 
communities do for families.  They leverage our efforts and celebrate our 
achievements.  We are not in competition.  We are in the mission of mutual 
10. Get HGTV or some local TV station to cover your project, from the process 
of site selection through design through construction.  They will do it.  They 
did it for Liberty Village. It's a very popular economic interest subject right 
now: "People are planning to invest money in new homes - they call it 
11. Never be afraid to do shameless self promotion. 
Thanks for your interest in cohousing.Tom lofft
Liberty Village, MD
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