Re: Marketing and Outreach Efforts
From: Ann Zabaldo (zabaldoearthlink.net)
Date: Sun, 8 Sep 2013 12:31:30 -0700 (PDT)
Katie -- thank  you so much for taking the time to answer my request.

YES! to all points!  We can do an even better job of keeping the prospect list 
"clean", organizing tours on a REGULAR basis vs. when we can.  I like the idea 
of an email newsletter!  Hadn't consider that -- now we will!

I also am a big promoter of a percentage of the sales price of any home going 
back to the community for its marketing and outreach efforts.  Besides a BIG 
reason someone bought your home is the cohousing piece of the equation.   
Otherwise ... it's just a unit in a condominium for sale.  Many of our former 
residents have made a substantial donation to the community when their home 
sales were complete but this isn't a policy.  Just as many have left w/out so 
much as a minor donation to cover costs.

I look forward to seeing Jessie again.  I'm sure she will land an excellent job 
in her chosen field very soon.  Washington is just a little tough to get 
people's attention.  Maybe I should send her a 2x4 bat ...:-)


Best --

Ann Zabaldo
Takoma Village Cohousing
Washington, DC
Principal, Cohousing Collaborative, LLC
Falls Church VA
703-688-2646

On Sep 8, 2013, at 3:14 PM, Kathryn McCamant wrote:

> 
> Dear Ann, 
> 
> My community, Nevada City Cohousing, was completed at the end of the boom
> so we had do to little marketing to sell out initially. Since then, the
> market has become much more difficult and I do wish we had an ongoing
> marketing and outreach effort in place. From my work with new communities
> that had to market hard to survive the housing bust, I would suggest the
> following as top priorities, to be funded by existing communities in order
> to maintain a strong waitlist for openings -- sales or rentals:
> 
> 1. Keep a database!!!!! Of everyone that comes thru the community for a
> tour and any one that ask to be notified of upcoming openings.  Most new
> communities seem to be using Constant Contact which makes it easy to let
> people sign up on your website, and easy to send out email blast. Funds
> for this should come out of the HOA Operating Budget.
> 
> 2. Send out a email newsletter 1x/qtr with information about all the fun
> things going on in the community and information about  any openings. We
> know that there are lots of people who watch (lurk aroundº cohousing
> before finding the right time and place to make the leap. A fun
> organizational email blast is a great way to keep them thinking about your
> community. 
> 
> 3. Keep you website up to date with new information. TV may be like many
> older communities where we set up our website some years back and no one
> has looked at it for years to see if it is up to date.
> 
> 
> 4. Give regular tours .... I'm pretty sure you are already doing this...
> And keep a database of everyone that has ever been on the tour...
> 
> 5. Support and work with your local regional and national cohousing
> organizations (had to plug this right?), and that is who tends to be the
> ongoing source that people exploring cohousing turn to. These are great
> places to have a presense ....
> 
> I think that if existing communities did these basic steps as part of
> their regular business, they would likely have easy access to their
> buyers. 
> 
> I also strongly support 1% of any sale going back to the community--this
> would help fund these ongoing efforts and give the community a stronger
> incentive to make time to help with the sales process... But, of course,
> that would likely take a longer discussion to get people on board....
> 
> Now, if I could just my community to do these steps......
> 
> In community, 
> 
> Katie 
> 
> PS thanks for having Jessie over for dinner at TV....after a lovely couple
> of weeks back home, she is now back in DC continuing her search for
> meaningful, paying work in foreign affairs.
> 
> -- 
> Kathryn McCamant, President, Architect
> CoHousing Partners, LLC
> 241 Commercial Street
> Nevada City, CA 95959
> T.530.478.1970  C.916.798.4755
> www.cohousingpartners.com
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> On 9/8/13 9:26 AM, "Ann Zabaldo" <zabaldo [at] earthlink.net> wrote:
> 
>> 
>> Hello all --
>> 
>> Here at Takoma Village Cohousing in Washington, DC. we are ramping up our
>> marketing and outreach efforts to increase our pool of prospects so when
>> we have a resale we will not have to start from scratch identifying a
>> buyer.
>> 
>> Does your community have a formal ongoing marketing/outreach program?
>> E.g. regular Open Houses/Orientations, other events?
>> 
>> Do you have a line item budget for marketing/outreach?  If so, would you
>> be willing to share how much your community allocates each year to this
>> task?
>> 
>> Do you keep a prospect list?  If so, how frequently do you contact this
>> list?  
>> 
>> Do you have a marketing/outreach team?  What is the scope of this team's
>> work? 
>> 
>> Do you ever invite prospects to simply join community events rather than
>> create a special event for them?  E.g. invite them to attend a regularly
>> scheduled dinner vs. organizing a dinner or BBQ or something else for
>> prospects.
>> 
>> If you do have special events, how many do you do a year?
>> 
>> I'm truly appreciative of descriptions about your marketing/outreach
>> efforts for your community.
>> 
>> Thanks!
>> 
>> Best --
>> 
>> Ann Zabaldo
>> Takoma Village Cohousing
>> Washington, DC
>> Principal, Cohousing Collaborative, LLC
>> Falls Church VA
>> 703-688-2646
>> 
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> 
> 
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