Re: Collaborative Marketing
From: Rob Sandelin (floriferousmsn.com)
Date: Sat, 30 Jan 2010 08:47:36 -0800 (PST)
One of the things I have heard more than once is that there can be a soft
pedaling of community and community realities in pursuit of selling houses,
the end result is that people buy a nice house and buy into the community
much less.  The problems of selling houses in communities is that your
market is a much smaller subset of the larger housing market, which limits
potential buyers.  And there are tradeoffs which owners then make in order
to move their property.  When a seller of a community property is already
somewhat disenchanted with community life they may be much more willing to
soft pedal the realities of life in community to make a sale and get out.
Members anxious to fill their project can also soft pedal the realities of
community life, and it does have its difficulties which can be a big barrier
sometimes, especially if you get in and find out nobody told you about them.

One of the things I experienced in someplace I visited but can't exactly
recall where was a group who made the very first contact as a meal.  They
invited new prospects to a community dinner and let them experience the
community aspect first, before even talking about units, sizes, costs, etc.
They were a forming group and they filled their membership and had a solid
waiting list. People were entranced by the community, learned about all the
aspects of it after having the physical  experience of community life and as
it later turned out, the unit stuff was not as important as the
relationships they wanted.

Another side of this was a group who invited new members to their business
meetings, which at that time were difficult and contentious. Many many
people never came back for a second look because all they saw was the hard
stuff and they never saw any of the community relationship side of why we do
this.

Communities that end up putting real estate first and community life second
might end up hurting themselves in the end, and this can be a very hard
dance to do because of economic needs to sell the last couple of units.
There is a middle ground somewhere which can show the joys and great stuff
of community life and also make an honest appraisal of the hard stuff of
community life. Doing that well is a challenge worth the effort as it will
ideally bring in the right people, and community is all about relationships
with people.

Rob Sandelin
Sharingwood, Snohomish, WA


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