TORONTO, April 18, 2012 /CNW/ - When Upper Unionville is launched in May, its success won't be judged by how many people packed the Sales Office on Opening Day or lined up overnight to get in.
The four Builders behind the new Markham community - Arista Homes, Fieldgate Homes, Paradise Homes, and Starlane Homes - have implemented a new previewing and purchasing process that promises to be fairer and more equitable for all of the community's new home buyers.
The Builders were facing a situation that most can only dream of - with a waiting list of thousands of people who've been eagerly anticipating the project's launch since it was first announced. But with only 600 homes available in the first phase, all those thousands of interested house-hunters could easily translate into a mob scene if everyone was invited to the same Preview Opening weekend.
So, working with the project's marketing agency, Ryan Design, the Builders have implemented a system that should ensure each of their Sales Offices is calm and ordered rather than crowded and chaotic.
The waiting list was first purged by asking people if they were still interested. Those that confirmed their interest (the vast majority) have been invited to a special "Open House" Preview Week during which all four Builders will have all their plans on display in their sales offices. Registrants can drop in at anytime, review the site plan for the community and the floor plans offered by any or all four Builders. They can ask any questions they might have but absolutely no sales are allowed during this week.
If the prospective buyer likes what they see at the Open House, they go back online when invited to "re-enroll" for the opportunity to make a Purchaser Appointment the week following. In the interests of fairness, registrants' names are then selected by random draw, with those who are chosen for an appointment notified by email. Those who are not chosen will remain on the list for future phases.
An interactive day-timer on the community's website then allows the prospective Purchaser to indicate the Builder they are most interested in, and to choose an appointment time that is convenient for them from the available timeslots. It is only at this point where there is any "urgency" to the process, since the earlier you book your appointment online, the better the selection of homes will be.
An email confirms that your Purchase Appointment has been made, for the time you requested. As the Purchaser Appointment nears, prospective buyers are kept in the loop with a series of additional emails, including a reminder to bring photo ID, bank pre-approval and their cheque book and the suggestions that they can pick out their favourite floor plans on the website so that they are prepared when they arrive at the Sales Office.
Of course, it is up to the buyer whether they sign the deal or not during that Purchaser Appointment. But at least they can do so without hundreds of people milling around the sales office at the same time.
"Some Builders have everybody to the Opening on the same day to cultivate that atmosphere of hysteria - a kind of 'buying frenzy'", says Ron Baruch, President of Paradise Homes. "But that just leads to everyone feeling pressured, with some Purchasers feeling buyer's remorse at having been hurried into a deal. We wanted to treat our customers with a little more respect, and at the same time ensure that all four Builders have 'equal access' to our pool of prospective buyers."
Mauro Baldassarra, President of Starlane Homes, agrees. "We want to make consumers as comfortable as we can through the whole selection process, and completely confident that they've made the right purchasing decision. As Builders, we pride ourselves on our customer service and this is one more way we can make the home-buying experience a pleasant one."
The process also has some other advantages as well. It prevents people from selling their place in line, which can happen with this kind of in-demand project. It also discourages agents and investors from buying, or any kind of multiple Purchases.
Gerry Ryan, President of Ryan Design, sees great benefits to the process too, from a marketing perspective. "By guiding prospects through the process with a well-orchestrated system of emails, we're informing them…educating them…and going a long way to qualifying them before they show up for their appointment. The Builders shouldn't really have to pay much if anything for advertising outside of signage, and their sales team should wind up with an outstanding conversion rate. In the end, we're aiming to make the project launch more successful, more efficient and a good deal 'saner' at the same time."
It is expected that the same sales process will be used when the four Builders introduce another 800 homes in a series of additional phases over the months and years to come.
Innovations in the actual new home sales process don't happen very often. So other Builders will no doubt be watching carefully to see what happens at Upper Unionville, and to decide if this new process is one they want to take advantage of too.
Image with caption: "Four Builders Introduce New Purchasing Process to Level the Playing Field for Their Customers (CNW Group/Upper Unionville)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120418_C6804_PHOTO_EN_12476.jpg
For further information:
Vice President and Managing Director
G. Ryan Design
416-868-6500 ext. 229