Posted in on April 24, 2018

Should You Create a Pre-Sales VIP Program?

So, you’re planning on building a brand-new senior living community, or expanding an existing one. Have you developed a strategy to secure deposits from future residents to ensure that you’re able to open your new community or neighborhood without a hitch?

The thing is, it can be hard to sell someone on something that doesn’t yet exist, which is why many communities choose to implement a pre-sales VIP program to entice prospects to buy into their new property. A pre-sales program is a great tactic for accelerating the timeline for reaching pre-sales goals on schedule.

What Is a VIP Pre-Sales Program?

Pre-sales VIP programs are exclusive groups for prospects who put down a deposit on your community during the pre-construction phase. This select group of future residents are often seen as the pioneering members of a community, and as members of the VIP program, they are usually given the opportunity to take advantage of special incentives, as well as enjoy many of the perks of living in the community before move-in day.

When Does a Pre-Sales VIP Program Make Sense?

Are you currently opening a new phase of your community (or a new community altogether)? Do you need to sell residences within this community in order to obtain financing or break ground? If you answered yes to either of these questions, then yes, it makes sense to implement a pre-sales VIP program to entice prospects who may be on the fence and secure the deposits you need to keep the project on track.

While renderings and presentations are helpful, on their own, they may not convince prospects to make the decision to live in your community, especially when you likely have competitors around you who have brick-and-mortar buildings to show on tours and give a real feel as to what the community is like.

Prospects will need something tangible from you, and that’s where a VIP program can help you. Pre-sales programs keep buyers engaged during the construction process and help reduce cancellations that can happen during the long wait period between securing a deposit and move-in day. So, if you’re looking for a way to sell prospects on what your community’s lifestyle will be like, while also keeping them up-to-date with community’s development and offering them special perks, then a VIP program is just what you need.

What Should a VIP Pre-Sales Program Include?

Not all VIP pre-sales programs are the same. What’s included in the program is largely dependent on what your community is able and willing to offer.

Some features you should consider including in your own VIP program:

  • Special pricing: There aren’t many people out there who don’t like saving money on a good deal. Reward the pioneering residents by offering special pre-construction pricing, or a discount on the entrance or monthly fees.
  • Location selection: Pioneering members can often choose their exact apartment location and parking spot, ensuring that early adopters are rewarded with prime locations.
  • Incentives: From upgrade packages to free move-in services, incentives that provide value to prospects can often be a home run.
  • Exclusive perks: Leverage your partnerships with local businesses that cater to the same buyer profile. See if restaurants, retail stores and other businesses in the community are willing to offer your VIP residents preferred pricing. Have a university nearby? Partner to provide lifelong learning. Ideally, your partnerships should align with the lifestyle vision for the community.
  • Lifestyle events: Host events (on campus and off) where future residents can get to know one another and sample the community’s lifestyle.

Branding Your VIP Program

There are some things you’ll want to take into consideration when starting a VIP program. For example, how will you be branding the program? Having a name for the VIP program is a simple touch that goes a long way in helping to celebrate the founding members of the community. Names such as the Pioneer’s Club or Founder’s Club will suffice, but don’t be afraid to get creative and develop a name that helps reinforce your community’s unique location or lifestyle.

Be sure to deliver on the brand promise of the program by making your VIPs the first to know about new information events from the beginning of development through move-in day. Keep VIPs up-to-date through eNewsletters and events, and provide any literature they may need to understand everything the project will entail so that they can make the decision that is best for them.

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