Master-Planned CommunitiesConsumer and Home Design Trends

Halloween Happenings that Boo-st the Bottom Line

Ken Perlman Headshot
Anja Seng photo

Kaylin Czajkowski

Ken Perlman

Anja Seng

October 31, 2023
Halloween lunch

Halloween is here, and developers and builders are not missing the chance to engage their residents. Some scary-smart communities have taken their festive plans beyond one spooky day of fun. Whether you’re planning a community or selling in one, here are a few of the most creative ways developers and builders are celebrating with their residents—while also boosting website traffic, pulling in prospective buyers, and even reenergizing amenities that are open year-round.

Out-boo your neighbor

Daybreak (Utah)
Image source: @paseo_forever / TikTok

Help your residents be your marketing. Social media is a game changer for communities, not just to bring people together, but also for marketing. At Daybreak, residents are making noise with a fun Halloween twist: Barbieland! These Barbie-themed homes have scored over 400K likes on TikTok and earned their way into publications like House Beautiful. Daybreak even has a volunteer-led Facebook group, Daybreak Haunts, which maps out the best Halloween homes in the community.


Similarly, Hillwood Communities’ Harvest master plan conducts house-decorating contests on Facebook. They post submissions to their community page, and the photo with the most likes wins a gift card. According to Hillwood’s lifestyle director, this is a great way to boost your Facebook analytics. Community engagement and online exposure? Win-win!

It’s a bird, it’s a plane…it’s a jack-o-lantern!

Great Park Neighborhoods (California)
Image source: City of Irvine

Breathe new life into existing amenities with a Halloween twist. The orange hot air balloon is the iconic symbol of FivePoint’s Great Park. Think of it as what Mickey Mouse is to Disneyland. Well, this icon gets festive, too. Come fall, the hot air balloon reveals its spooky alter ego, Jack, to signal the change of seasons. Jack keeps the iconic orange look but sports a jack-o-lantern face. Seemingly such a simple change, it is a prime example of how to leverage landmarks and marketing collateral to renew residents’ excitement about amenities available year-round.

Fun for the family…and prospective residents too

Woodson’s Reserve (Texas)
Image source: Woodson’s Reserve

Create an event that gives nonresidents FOMO. Our New Home Trends Institute data shows that the media portrayal of “homebody culture” is overrated and that planned activities are among the top reasons home buyers choose MPCs. Every October, Woodson’s Reserve (Spring, TX) brings together staff and resident volunteers to turn its clubhouse into a haunted mansion that Walt Disney himself (or maybe Stephen King) would be proud of. Not only is this consistently sold-out event a huge must-attend for Woodson’s Reserve residents, but it brings in families from around north Houston as well. What better way to attract new home buyers to your community than to put the lifestyle on display?

No boos, just booze

Harvest (Texas)
Image source: Hillwood Communities

Don’t forget the adults. Who says Halloween should just be about trick-or-treating and dressing up the kids? Communities frequently cater programming to kids and families, but adults want to have fun, too. Hillwood Communities’ master-planned community, Harvest, reserves one event exclusively for the grown-ups. “No Boos, Just Booze” is a Hillwood-hosted Halloween event that brings in sponsors for adult beverages and prizes for a costume contest. No matter what occasion, consider every life stage in your community. Creative events catered to various age groups help ensure all residents stay engaged, which results in a closer-knit community.

Harvesting community spirit

Lakewood Ranch (Florida)
Image source: Lakewood Ranch Facebook page

Engage your local retail. Each year Lakewood Ranch hosts a month-long event called Pumpkin Pursuit because, let’s face it, Halloween isn’t complete without pumpkins.

At one of Lakewood Ranch town centers, Waterside Place, participating town center BOO-tiques and other local merchants hide pumpkins in their stores. Visitors try to spot at least six of these pumpkins throughout October. Each successful find earns a stamp on an entry card. As the month draws to a close, participants submit their entry cards by closing time on Halloween. Winners are randomly selected to win Waterside Place gift certificates totaling over $500.

This event blends mystery, fun, and community engagement and fosters deeper connections among residents. Strategically, it is a great example of how creative initiatives can stimulate local commerce within a master-planned community. Participants not only find themselves drawn to the town center regularly throughout the month, resulting in heightened foot traffic and potentially increased spending, but the grand prize also plays a key role in supporting local businesses within the retail center.

Earlier this year, the New Home Trends Institute (NHTI) surveyed the developers of 55 planned communities across the country. One of the key takeaways: Residents crave interaction with their neighbors. What better way to do that than to kick off the holiday season with some hauntingly fun activities?


Contact Us

Our team wishes you a safe and spooky Halloween! Our experienced consultants help developers maximize sales by segmenting master-planned communities by life stage, price range, and lot size while helping to shape community identity.

As the market becomes more challenging, our team is helping developers tackle affordability challenges in new ways, from unique product offerings to identifying which amenities residents value the most. Contact us to learn more. 

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About The Author

Kaylin Czajkowski
Senior Manager, Consulting
Kaylin provides clients with rigorous research and on the ground insights to help them make informed investment decisions in Florida and the Southeast.
Ken Perlman Headshot
Ken Perlman
Managing Principal
Ken works with real estate executives to help them make appropriate strategic decisions regarding their residential communities, including for-sale and rental of all types. He has a particular specialty in large-scale master-planned communities.
Anja Seng photo
Anja Seng
Senior Research Analyst, Design
Anja assists in the production of monthly DesignLens features and manages the New Home Trends Institute (NHTI) Instagram account. Additional responsibilities include helping run New Home Trends Institute’s Master Plan Trends Council and designing external presentations.

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