PodcastConsumer and Home Design TrendsNational Housing Market Outlook

Empire Communities’ Marketing Insights: The Art of Selling Lifestyle 

Dean Wehrli

Dean Wehrli

March 8, 2024

“Lifestyle” is one of the hottest concepts in new home sales and marketing. At its core, it means designing homes that not only have a specific buyer in mind but a buyer who knows exactly what they want and where they want it. It relates to both community and home. Lifestyle is about offering the right rooms and features in a home and the right amenities—schools, retail, parks—in a community. It is your identity wrapped up in your home and your neighborhood.

Building on our sales and marketing focus from our previous episode of the New Home Insights podcast with Stephanie McCarty of Taylor Morrison Homes, we chat with Caroline Simmel, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Empire Communities’ Georgia and Tennessee region. Caroline and her colleagues are all about lifestyle, but she also discusses trends and preferences, processes and methods with us.

Featured guest

Caroline Simmel, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Empire Communities

Here are some highlights, but check out the full podcast for so much more:

Become the master marketer.

  • Caroline believes sales and marketing should be a single engine driving toward the same goal. At Empire Communities, she preaches enhancing the customer experience throughout the process.
 
  • This isn’t easy. You must mind the data (see what I did there?), stay on top of market trends and buyer preferences, and let the results guide your actions.
 
  • When the market fluctuates, you have to be ready to act. Always have an incentive arrow in your quiver, focus on maintaining some ready inventory, and be flexible enough to take on the next change.
 
  • At Empire, Caroline has introduced a program called HomeBase in Atlanta that coalesces sales, marketing, design, and lending into a cohesive unit. This streamlined process allows Empire to handle multiple projects with a single centralized team.

Buyers and how to reach them

  • Targeting a diverse buyer array can protect against an issue in a single sector. Empire caters to the full spectrum, from young professionals to empty-nesters. Understanding the hot buttons of all these groups and tailoring your message to any of them is critical.

 

  • The overarching cohesion in that message is lifestyle. Empire Communities builds lifestyle. Even in urban areas, Empire’s communities usually connect to trails and other amenities that appeal to a wide range of household types.

 

  • Technology is big at Empire and getting bigger. This builder is fully onboard with the trend toward online sales and is experimenting with AI to see what the future looks like for home building.

But don't forget to play the name game.

  • Sometimes, you should sweat the seemingly small stuff. The name of a community can convey the lifestyle you are selling. At the least, it should sound pleasant. Not everything has to be called [Fill in the Blank] Estates.
 
  • Caroline thought some of the best community names at Empire were The Swift and Lovetree. She hated Promenade for some reason. I bad-mouthed Grazzchagrank Ranch (it was something like that), so I clearly won that round.

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About The Author

Dean Wehrli
Dean Wehrli
Principal
Dean helps housing sector clients figure out not just what might work and what might not, but why.

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