Housebuilders carry a significant responsibility to support the local communities they build in. This is balanced with the desire to sell the homes they build. Investing in good community management can bridge the gap between the two – while giving a human touch that demonstrates care and commitment.
But what is community management? And how can community management support house sales?
Well, we’ve got you covered with some essential steps to help you effectively connect with potential homebuyers, build trust, and create a positive reputation.
What is community management?
Community management is the art of creating a safe, inviting, and engaging environment that focuses on relationship-building rather than simply promoting products or services.
When we talk about community management, we’re generally referring to social media platforms, but this can extend to other forums and places where your audience can be found. Good community management involves actively taking part in conversations and establishing a sense of unity and belonging among your brand’s audience.
How do you improve community management?
For housebuilders, social media or other channels created to promote developments are often output machines. Content is overwhelmingly promotional, with some placemaking mixed in (more on placemaking in our last blog here!).
But broadening the scope of community management opens new opportunities for deeper and more long-lasting connections – not just with the established communities where your development is. But in the buyers and prospective buyers who may call your development home.
Here’s some tips for establishing or improving community management:
- Know your audience – Start by understanding the demographics, preferences, and lifestyles of your potential homebuyers and existing homeowners in the area. Make sure your community management approach is tailored to resonate with their unique needs and aspirations. When choosing relevant platforms, select ones where your audience is active.
- Highlight local charm – Showcase the distinctive features of the neighbourhood where you build homes. Share insights about local culture, nearby amenities, schools, and community events. Demonstrating your knowledge of the local area enhances your credibility.
- Engaging, compelling content – Craft engaging content that provides valuable information. Offer insights about the local community, schools, and upcoming events, while also establishing thought leadership on current market trends. Mortgage rates may be a source of stress for people, but you can position yourself as a friend, guiding potential homebuyers and navigating them through these changes. You can be a trustworthy companion in their homebuying journey!
Three inspirations for your community management
So how can community management support house sales? Well from our experience there are several ways, but they’re all united by putting the community first.
Here’s three ways we’ve seen it work:
- Personalised engagement – Interact with local businesses, schools, and residents. What events are taking place in the area? Has a local school received a ‘Good’ Ofsted report? At the time of writing this blog, winter is drawing near so we’re thinking about sharing content that is useful to our audiences – like local winter activities, safety tips, and festive events happening in the area! By tagging those local gems and schools, and commenting on or sharing their posts, we are showcasing a lifestyle and a sense of belonging, ultimately driving house sales.
- Showcasing placemaking – Amplify your placemaking efforts with dedicated hashtags and user-generated content. Encourage residents to share their experiences. Ask them: what’s your favourite winter walk? We run a successful Photo Competition where we invite residents to share their best photos, offering them a chance to win £50! The photos are authentic and paint a true picture of what it is like to live in the area, driving house sales through the allure of unique placemaking.
- Community initiatives – Spot local influencers or residents taking to social media for help and communicate with them. Take, for example, when we helped a resident find a home for their oak tree seedlings (yes, that happened). Those tiny trees found new roots in a local primary school and the story made local news. Real connections like this matter; people remember them and it adds a genuine touch to your image. Creating a genuine, caring presence in the community can be a powerful drive for house sales.
According to our trend listeners (the savvy Gen Z-ers of our team), building authentic relationships will be the key to success in 2024. So, get started on building your community today and nurture the relationships that will deliver positive brand awareness and boost sales.
Discover more of our insights here. And explore our work in the Built Environment here.