Recently in this space, I’ve taken a look at the planning and design stages in a condominium’s life. Once these steps are completed, the developer can address marketing — which can take three to four months to get rolling. This time frame includes building the central vehicle for marketing and sales — the presentation centre, or sales office. Developers typically locate this facility on or near the actual condominium site. This allows visitors to get a real sense of living in that specific area. To help, we display an amenity map that designates where restaurants, theatres, health centres and other amenities are in reference to the condo.
When we receive the suite drawings from the architect, we translate these into information such as overall square footage and room dimensions for the floor plans. These include icons for the fridge, stove, washroom fixtures, walk-in closets and the like, so buyers can more easily envision their life in each suite. The floor plans are usually displayed on the sales office walls, and are available in brochure form.
During this time, we also commission a scale model of the condominium and its immediate surroundings. Visitors to the sales office can see the orientation and scale of the building on the site, the landscaping, windows and balconies, and where they will enter and leave the building.
We create computer-drawn elevations of the building exterior, and the layout and renderings of the amenities within. The lobby is important to most potential purchasers, because it is the first impression their guests will have upon entering their new home. Visitors gain confidence from the builder story that is usually posted on a wall. Building a condominium is a complex process; it’s vital to know you are purchasing a suite from a company with a track record.
A finishing board with samples of tiles and laminate flooring and cabinets gives visitors an idea of some of the many features and finishes they will be able to choose from. Many presentation centres also include a model suite, which is an ideal scenario because you can walk through a completed design in person to see how the finishes work together in the space.
Before the sales office opens, we pursue advertising and publicity to let people know about the condominium.
We set up a website and offer the opportunity to pre-register before the grand opening. This is an exciting time for developers, as the vision for the condominium truly takes shape in the public’s eye.
Linda Mitchell is vice-president of Marketing, High-Rise for Monarch Corporation. In 2005, Linda was presented with the coveted OHBA SAMMY (Sales and Marketing Member of the Year) award. In 2003, she received the Riley Brethour Award acknowledging outstanding and consistent professional achievement in residential sales and marketing.