with a fashion-inspired website
How do you win the hearts and minds of the most wanted audience in new-builds? If you ask Brand Director Jason Wong, selling homes like T-shirts is not the answer. But it might be a great way to start.
They had a bit of a shaky start, the marketing team back in Vancouver. Maneuvering new policies in Surrey where Parkway is to be built. Sudden shiftings in demographics. And who could forget: a pandemic.
“The idea was to take some of the world’s best-in-class consumer digital experiences and bring them to real estate.”Jason Wong
However, when the website finally went live after years of building the Parkway identity — the 362 homes of the first batch sold out in less than a week. An outcome that Brand Director Jason Wong at BlueSky Properties, could only dream of.
The North Star of Downtown Surrey
“Our goal was to make Parkway the North Star of the entire downtown area. You know, in up-and-coming places, theres usually a particular building or development that everyone associates it with. But of course, you never know how these things will turn out, so this rush came as a surprise to everyone.”
”Millennials grew up looking for strong, lifestyle-oriented brands, so why not make homes as easy as other products to engage in?”Jason Wong
So how do you brand a complex development like Parkway, targeting the most wanted target audience in new-builds? Well, to begin with, the marketing team were well aware that to earn a spot in the busy minds of young millennials, it would take more than a simple website and some nice images to run with it.
A fashion-inspired website, because why not?
Unlike the usual clean and tidy project websites we are all familiar to, Parkway’s was given a highly interactive setup, with animations reacting to your behavior, personal pathways to follow and a pretty massive amount of dynamic lifestyle images and films.
“The idea was to take some of the world’s best-in-class consumer digital experiences and bring them to real-estate. Simply because: why not? Millennials grew up looking for strong, lifestyle-oriented brands, so why not make homes as easy as their favorite brands and products to engage in?”
A mix of renders and lifestyle content
The website’s lifestyle content was then playfully mixed with marketing renders portraying the Parkway amenities, including the 16,000 square-foot pavilion equipped with a gym, plunge pool, yoga studio, sports court, workshop and various co-working spaces.
“We didn’t want the sales team to call like 6000 people when 4000 had no intention of buying. So the wall was a way for us to know who really wanted that call.”Jason Wong
In addition to still images, several immersive virtual tours were integrated into the website. But, again, in a way rarely seen in the world of new-builds. To receive access the virtual tours, and enjoy a 360° view of the available apartments, you namely had to fill in a contact form, programmed to be sent straight to the BlueSky sales team.
Hiding virtual tours to collect leads
One of the marketing goals in Parkway was: no lost leads. And to help qualify visitors and hand potential buyers over to the sales team, BlueSky decided to integrate Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL) to the website. Which meant you had to fill in a contact form to access the virtual tours of the Parkway homes.
”A home is not something you can buy and then change the next day, so we have to create places where people actually want to live.”Jason Wong
“If the sales team call like 6000 people when 4000 have no intention of buying, it’s obviously a huge waste of time. So the wall was a way for us to know who really wanted that call. However, the wall was not an obvious call since it might annoy potential buyers.”
Luckily, this bold move proved successful as it managed to separate the hot prospects from the rest. The question is: where did this bold attitude special for Jason and his team at BlueSky come from?
Building on learnings from backpacks
In the world of new-builds, Parkway stands out in more than one way. But then, as it turns out, Jason is not the average real-estate kind of guy either. Nor is his marketing team at BlueSky Properties.
“You know I actually used to brand backpacks before BlueSky, and fashion marketing is something I’m really passionate about. The leader of our department here also came from fashion. And my boss, she worked at the game developer EA. So it do help us see things a little differently.”
Why homes will never be like T-shirts
To Jason, this experience from the outside world, is one of his team’s greatest assets. And potentially, one of the golden keys to Parkway’s initial success. But as he points out: Even if marketers in new builds have much to learn from successful consumer brands in fashion and retail, homes are, and will never be, T-shirts.
”A home is not something you can buy and then change the next day. So we have to create places where people actually want to live. Not only today, but years from now. And there’s always a risk when you’re trying to sell something five years out of completion. So I guess time will tell how well we really did.”