Re: The Elevator Drop Pitch
From: R Philip Dowds (
Date: Sat, 9 Jan 2016 02:13:29 -0800 (PST)
Choosing what home to buy is a challenging calculation.  First and foremost, 
for most households, is, What does it cost?  But hard on the heels of this 
question are others, like, Does it have enough space?  And often, Is it in an 
acceptable school district?  Near my job?  Near health care services (for 
seniors)?  And, what does it look like; does it look like home?  These are the 
top questions for most homebuyers.

Cohousing — a complex alternative model in which you trade away privacy to get 
sharing, autonomy to get collaboration, and bedrooms to get a commons — does 
not represent questions or answers with which most Amercian homebuyers are 
familiar.  So I’m a little skeptical about coming up with a 30-second elevator 
pitch that will activate a buyer’s hot button, and make a sale.  If we are 
trying to “sell” our communities in an elevator, then the challenge is, What 
can we say, in a very short time, that will engage a stranger’s curiosity and 
get him/her to look more closely?

How about, “I think you might like my cohousing community.  Why don’t you come 
over for dinner Sunday night?”  Admittedly, this is easier to say for 
communities already on the ground.  For formational communities, it’s probably 
something more like, “Why don’t you come meet us at our Sunday night potluck?"

Philip Dowds
Cornerstone Village Cohousing
Cambridge, MA

> On Jan 8, 2016, at 7:12 PM, Ann Zabaldo <zabaldo [at]> wrote:
> Hi Marty!
> First … congrats on the FAST pace at which your community is moving!  I’m 
> sure it must seem like molasses sometimes to you but when I get these 
> glimpses of your progress … I’m thrilled for you!
> And double thanks for posting your “pitch” to this list.  I’ve made some 
> comments below. 
>> On Jan 8, 2016, at 4:54 PM, mmaskall [at] wrote:
>> Here's what I use:
>> "I'm helping to build Fair Oaks EcoHousing.  It will be like an
>> old-fashioned village where neighbors know and care about each other.”
>> Then I watch & wait for questions.  I welcome any feedback.
> What kinds of questions do you get?
> What I like about The Formula is that it makes clear what is happening — you 
> state a challenge or an issue, you say what you’re doing to resolve it and 
> then you say what the benefits are.
> What question or issue are you trying to solve?  Affordability?  Lack of 
> housing,  housing for seniors?  Sustainability?
> How is building EcoHousing answering that question or challenge?
> What are the benefits of building and/or living in EcoHousing?
> For the sake of an example, let’s say the issue in your area is the high cost 
> of electricity.  This is all made up.
> Do you know that in the Sacramento area the cost of electricity is 2x’s the 
> national average?  What we’re doing at Fair Oaks EcoHousing is building 
> highly energy efficient homes that will reduce energy costs by 50% so that 
> homeowners can save money, reduce energy needs and contribute to a greener 
> more sustainable environment.
> If the issue is housing for people with disabilities — again all made up:
> Do you know that in the Sacramento area fewer than 5% of the homes are 
> accessible?  What we’re doing is building a neighborhood that will be 100% 
> accessible, adaptable and visitable by everyone so that people of ALL 
> abilities can live here without the barriers typical for most housing 
> developments.
> You may need multiple pitches from which to choose when speaking to different 
> folks.
> Does this help Marty?  Need more info?
> I’m working on a general, all-purpose cohousing pitch.  I could use some 
> help.   I’ll put it in a separate email.   
> Best --
> Ann Zabaldo
> Takoma Village Cohousing
> Washington, DC
> Principal, Cohousing Collaborative, LLC
> Falls Church, VA
> 703.688.2646

Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.