How do I get people to buy pre-construction?

Asked by Mike Aghachi, Wappingers Falls, NY Mon Feb 11, 2008

I have a new Luxury development going up in Wappingers Falls NY. The units will be completed within the next few months, I would like to know how I could get the word out to prospective buyers. I am also providing pre-construction deals for those people that would like to secure the Luxury units now.

The development can be viewed at

Any advise will be greatly appreciated.

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Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Thu Feb 14, 2008
Well....the other advice here is good regarding marketing your development at the stage it's at now. However, you asked about pre-construction.

It's way too late to market pre-construction. Pre-construction means before construction. You say the units will be completed in the next few months. When I see pre-construction deals, there's just the land and plans. And even if that's where you are right now, gearing up a marketing program takes time. Laurie makes a good point: People like to be first. That's the sell of pre-construction, as well as getting in at a lower price than the post-construction buyers.

Also, your web site needs a lot of work. If anything, it's working against you, not for you. Here are just a few of the things I saw: It uses builder/commercial terminology, not consumer-friendly promotional language. For instance: "Pre Construction Deals Starting @ $258 for 2 Bedroom 2 Baths." We won't quibble over whether it's preconstruction or not. But it's either "preconstruction" or "pre-construction." Not two words. Then you use "Deals." A used car salesman offers me a deal. Someone selling me a house for a quarter million dollars doesn't offer deals. The use of "@" is way too casual for your audience. And it's either "2 Bedrooms 2 Baths" or a "2 Bedroom 2 Bath" home. Not singular bedroom and plural baths.

You list "Unit Amenities" and note that washers/dryers come in "every unit" and that there are porches or decks with "Many units." Mike: People don't buy "units." They buy homes.

Those are just a few examples of terminology problems.

Then there's poor text formatting on the site. Small example: The listing for the phone and fax numbers at the bottom left of the home page: "ph. : (201)- 488-4455 fax (201)-488- 8280" "Ph" has a colon after it; "fax" doesn't. Phone numbers aren't written with a dash after the close parens on the area code. You've got a space before the "8280" on the fax number. It just looks sloppy.

On your "Residences" page, you have floor plans, buy they're way too tiny to read. A user should be able to click on them and go to another page with a full-page floor plan, or a PDF download.

Get a different mortgage calculator. The one you're using has a bunch of problems. First, it's not clear when entering an interest rate whether one should enter a "6" or "6%" or ".06." Plus, I'd suggest a default value in there that people can overwrite. Hey, people don't know whether today's interest rate is 5%, or 6%, or 7%. You're making it more difficult for some of them to plug in the "right" number. The results aren't formatted. And, worst of all, don't show people what they'll actually be spending over the life of the mortgage. That will scare them off. And because few people stay in a home for 30 years (or 15, or whatever), it's not really relevant, either. What they want to know are their monthly payments. And speaking of monthly payments, the calculator says "monthly payments," but the real monthly payments, including taxes, insurance, and any homeowner fees, will be higher. It should make that clear.

The units appear to be duplexes, at least from the tiny floor plans. If they are, this ought to be made clear. Otherwise, buyers may think they're buying single-family homes.

There's a bad link on your "Sign Up" page. It reads: "Click Here to get directions." If you click there (oh, and "Here" should be lower case, not capitalized), you're taken to an "Admin Login" page, not to the directions.

The "Sign Up" form has all sorts of problems, too. "Callme" is not one word. You have "How Did You Hear About Us?" in all initial caps (incorrect), but "Will you need financing?" in proper case. Speaking of which, do you even need to ask "Will you need financing?" You're trying to get people to express interest; at this point, their need for financing is irrelevant. And you ask "Income." That's a question that some people are reluctant to answer...especially online, at a non-secure site, communicating to someone they don't know. Leave that off; it's depressing your response.

And you refer in your question, and on your site, to a "luxury" development. Maybe standards are different in Wappingers Falls, but in the DC area, what you're offering doesn't sound like luxury at all. OK...stainless steel appliances. At least that's an upgrade. But carpeting on the second floor; that's cheap, not luxurious. Central air conditioning? As opposed to what: window units? Washer/dryer in every unit? Let me guess: probably a stacked unit. Dishwasher? That doesn't elevate a unit to "luxury."

OK: Some general advice. Sell the sizzle, not (just) the steak. Write the copy for prospective purchasers. Make the images consistent with the description (of luxury). To try to sell them quick--beyond the good advice provided by others here--try to generate a sense of excitement, exclusivity, and limited availability. And do research on your target customers, then market heavily to them.
2 votes
Elizabeth Pa…, Agent, LaGrangeville, NY
Thu Mar 17, 2011
Hello Mike,
All below advise would be good practice, especially having a model available to showcase and creating the excitment of limited availability.
Home buyers today are extremely savvy and will do a lot of research online prior to making decisions. Harness the internet to direct potential buyers to your web-site, and ensure it exudes luxury as well as this could be your buyers first impression of your homes sites. Weekly open houses with signage would also be advantageous and bring in drive by drivers.

Best of luck, and of course if you're looking for an agent, please feel free to give me a call. Our office successfully markets and hosts many new construction sites.
1 vote
;, , Riverhead, NY
Thu Feb 14, 2008
After looking at your site, you might add a place for a "preconstruction interest list", which requires sign up, and offers something along the lines of "for best homesites, sign up now". For whatever reason, people like the idea of being the "first", if the advantage is obvious. I didn't see a site plan (I'll look again) but often, people enjoy choosing the best lots. You could also email your list with incentives, etc., for preconstruction, but I'd focus on the lot choices as a benefit for signing up (and hopefully, signing a contract) early.
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0 votes
Gail Gladsto…, Agent, 11743, NY
Mon Feb 11, 2008
Hire a Realtor who will present you with a written Marketing Plan to expose the development beyond the local area.

Properties are more easily sold when there is a model to look at.

Incentives on new construction are typically preconstruction prices...which means the buyer will have a property with equity in it when they purchase...a rare thing these days.
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0 votes
Tammy Benkwi…, Agent, Somers, NY
Mon Feb 11, 2008
Hi, Mike.

I work in this area I can tell you that other developers are offering many incentives to move existing inventory. They will include upgrades and in some cases offer to pay the buyers mortgage for a period of time after closing. Incentives are also being offered to agents. I receive many emails daily offering not only commission incentives, but lunches, dinners, contests, etc....

But I think your best chance of moving the properties quickly is to utilize buyer incentives and most importantly competative pricing!

I also agree with the advice below that you will need mortgage expertise readily available to buyers.

You ask about how to get the word out, and of course I agree that using an agent is the way to go as we can get you into MLS and all over the web (including Trulia of course) very quickly and of course more.

Obviously if you consider using an agent, please feel free to give me call.

Best of luck!
0 votes
Jesse C. Tur…, , 94939
Mon Feb 11, 2008

As you are inquiring on a real estate site, I'm assuming you aren't working with a Realtor yet. This would be the first place to start as they will start advertising and attracting potential buyers most effectively. Next I would get in house financing in place so that any lookers can be pre-approved on the spot...this would be my expertise. Please let me know if this interests you and we can talk.
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