For the past 17 years, Victorian developer Lifestyle Communities has been designing and building residential communities for people downsizing and transitioning into retirement.
For the first time since launching in 2003, digital technology was incorporated into the company’s sales and marketing strategy for Lifestyle St Leonards as a way of helping its buyers understand and appreciate the resort-like community.
The project, located in an idyllic location along the Bellarine Peninsula is the company’s 18th Victorian community, designed specifically for the working, semi-retired or retired over 50s home owner looking for connectivity and resort-living.
Launched during a pandemic while restrictions were enforced and people were isolating was a big challenge for the business but one the company confidently navigated, Lifestyle Communities head of marketing Monika Pilekic says.
“We started with an Expression of Interest campaign to target interested prospects, and when we were ready with the sales launch, we were able to provide them with all the information they required to make an informed decision,” she says.
All marketing collateral was established prior to the project’s launch, including relevant renders of St Leonards’ clubhouse, resort amenities and homes available in the project, as well as price lists, information on weekly fees and answers to frequently asked questions.
One in two sales comes from referrals and a key component to the Lifestyle Communities strategy is regular and transparent communication, such as EDM drip campaigns which ensures education around the project and development progress updates.
It’s untrue that an older demographic was adverse to technology, Monika says, with the introduction of DisplaySweet technology into their Lifestyle Lounge embraced by their homeowners.
“We have definitely observed that our customers and homeowners are engaged with social media and digital communication,” she says.
“We’ve shifted to virtual info packs, EDM and SMS communications, and even Zoom calls – all which have been embraced by our customers. The DisplaySweet integration in our Lifestyle Lounge is a sales-led tool which our consultants have embraced, and they use these tools to help step the customer through their buying journey.”
The Lifestyle Lounge, the first of its kind for the developer, helped prospective buyers visualise the quality of the community once construction is completed while showcasing a full kitchen, quality of finishes and a mini cinema, where visitors can see the resort lifestyle and amenity available.
“The easy-to-use iPads combined with casting to the TVs and cinema screen, allow for a truly immersive experience to bring the project to life while it’s under construction,” Monika says.
“We want to mimic the experience with our brand across multiple touchpoints. The digital experience is seamless – the available homes for sale are based on live data fed through our CRM system, ensuring we’re providing customers with the most up-to-date and relevant information as possible.”
Functions such as being able to email interested home designs to buyers simplified the sales process and avoided the confusion of brochures and paper printouts.
For the sales team DisplaySweet’s onsite training sessions and support was invaluable and empowering, Monika says.
“They love how intuitive the design is, and how easy it is to use. And the fact that it complements our sales process so naturally,” she says.
“We had a very successful Expression of Interest campaign which set us up for success when we had our soft sales launch. We’ve had a lot of interest from the wider Melbourne catchment and the challenge has been getting them to visit us during lockdown.”
“Now that the ring of steel has lifted, we look forward to meeting these interested prospects and welcoming them to our Lifestyle Lounge. Construction is underway and we look forward to welcoming our first homeowners mid-2021.”
Find out more about Lifestyle Communities and Lifestyle St Leonards by clicking here.