Honest new development sales
In most instances, project marketing groups that are contracted by developers run ethical and honest programs. Sadly last week we saw an example of a group in Vancouver that were fabricating the impression of sales happening with fake buyers in the show suite.
After the initial success of resort sales in Whistler in the early 1990’s there was a proliferation of project marketing sales teams that stemmed from that success and began communicating to developers that they new how to make projects “fly off the shelf”.
The challenge was that what works at Whistler does not work in every location across the country or the globe, but the same aggressive “launch style” sales programs were being put together for many developers in BC.
Sadly the writing was on the wall and at the time, as a consultant I was indicating to developers that my feeling on “launch style programs” (the type of program where developers attempt to sell a project out at a single event) was not positive. They over commit the developer to results that cannot be guaranteed and are expensive, leaving the developer with a big budget and few sales in many instances.
Part of the blame for the evolution falls squarely on the shoulders of the banks as they insist on pre-sale thresholds being reached before financing is issued. It also leads to project marketers often promising what cannot be delivered.
As markets change, so do marketing strategies and in some instances, expectations. If we are living in a market where only 1/10 of the volume of sales are happening, our expectations of the “one day sell out” should honestly be revisited. To place staff in front of media posing as buyers is quite frankly fraudulent if that is in fact what did happen.
Thank goodness I don’t see these tactics happening these days in the Kelowna market place.
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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet presents its columns "as is" and does not warrant the contents.
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