Marketing and Outreach Efforts
From: Susan Hyne (
Date: Sun, 8 Sep 2013 15:20:31 -0700 (PDT)
--Response from CoHo Ecovillage, Corvallis, Oregon (Susan Hyne, Chair of
Neighbors Team)

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?

--CoHo has a Neighbors Team responsible for outreach and welcoming visitors.
We have public tours four times a year during our quarterly work parties.  We
find that touring visitors while CoHoots are busy with a variety of
projects gives a good preview of life in community.  We also teamed up with
Oakleigh Meadow Cohousing in Eugene to offer joint tours in May and August
(visit CoHo in Corvallis in the morning and visit Oakleigh in Eugene in the

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?

--We have a modest budget to cover promotional materials and to pay for a
visitor's first common meal.

Do you keep a prospect list?  If so, how frequently do you contact this

--Yes, our First Responder (person who answers phone/email inquiries)
starts an entry in a Google Docs spreadsheet and it is updated by others
who have had contact with the visitor(s).  Visitors have the option to join
CoHoPublic, a Yahoo group and we post a few messages a month (units for
sale, upcoming tours, new posts on our blog, more photos in our photo
album, etc.).

Do you have a marketing/outreach team?  What is the scope of this team's

--Neighbors Team gives private/public tours, helps folks get connected to
the community, stays in touch with active prospects, oversees Friends of
CoHo program, and helps Membership Team coordinate the Associate Member
program.  Both programs are excellent ways for folks to get connected to
CoHo, both for ongoing community and for purchasing resale units.  See
the Membership section on our website ( for more details.  When we developed the Associate
Member program and revamped the Friends of CoHo program, many communities
provided us with helpful information on their programs and we really
appreciated the headstart.  We're happy to share info with other

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

---We did about 20 "Welcome Weekends" prior to move-in with events (site
tour, meal, meeting, etc.) to help prospects get to know us quickly and
make a decision about pursuing membership.  That model didn't work as well
after move-in.  Right now, visitors are welcome to attend meals and
meetings; we don't typically schedule extra events.

--We ask visitors with a "serious" interest to send us a bio prior to a
visit.  That is shared with the community and really helps folks connect
with them.

--Greeting lots of visitors can be a challenging addition to peoples'
already-full lives.  So Neighbors Team handles most of the face-to-face
contact until it is clear that someone is ready to actively pursue
membership.  Then they'll get a buddy and start our membership steps (for
owners, associate members, and renters).

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.


Best --

Ann Zabaldo

Takoma Village Cohousing

Washington, DC

Principal, Cohousing Collaborative, LLC

Falls Church VA


Susan Hyne

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