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Thursday, June 16, 2016

3 Ways to Market Your Community's Walkable Urbanism

While suburban communities still have their appeal, it is becoming more and more apparent that urban environments are attracting new home neighborhoods -- and buyers!  Both Millennials and Boomers are considering and buying in areas that previously wouldn't have offered new construction.

Downtown Richmond -- start exploring!
One of these neighborhood's key features (or, you might think, amenity) is it's walkability. There's even a new term: walkable urban places (sometimes referred to as WalkUps -- but completely different than multi-story buildings from the early-mid 1900's!!).

WalkUps are defined, as BuilderOnline's Lauren Shanesy notes in a recent article, as a development with substantially higher density, mixed-use product, emerging and new product types and a variety of transportation options.

There are a couple of concepts associated with WalkUps you might consider as part of a community-based marketing program -- not too complicated or expensive yet providing good touch points for your home shoppers:
  1. Highlight Transportation Options -- Home shoppers in all demographics love the idea of reducing their reliance on a car. Residents in WalkUps spend less on transportation so why not highlight options for your home shoppers?  Provide maps, schedules -- even signage from your local metro.  While Millennials and Boomers are key demographics for the new urban community, reduced transportation costs appeal to moderate-income home shoppers, as well.
  2. Offer Walk Abouts -- One of the reasons WalkUps are popular is easy access to convenient, interesting and unique shopping and dining venues.  Why not create an "It's in the Neighborhood" guide highlighting 15 close-by locations that are probably new to most of your home shoppers?  Think: ethnic restaurants, unique bookshops, unusual hardware stores.  Let your potential buyers explore the neighborhood (literally or virtually) and see themselves living the experience!  Drones are making aerial photos so much more affordable -- take a look at Richmond above and consider using this visual introduction to the neighborhood.
  3. Shine a Light on Educational Institutions -- Washington, DC is considered the second highest ranked WalkUp -- and over 50% have B.A. degrees.  One of the urban neighborhood attributes frequently mentioned by Boomers is access to educational opportunities.  These don't have to be just colleges and universities --  there's always adult education and interest-focused centers, as well.  Think: great knitting shops, photography studies, art centers.  Let your visitors know what's in the neighborhood with an easy-to-read map focused on neighborhood learning opportunities!
Take one step further and consider highlighting these factors using an interactive touchscreen system.  CPS' SalesTouch offers the aerial photo detailing shopping, dining, recreation and community options in Richmond (above); can't you see your buyers wanting to be able to virtually explore your neighborhood?

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Retailers: Improving Line Wait Time Improves Customer Satisfaction and Profits, Too

No one likes waiting in line -- whether at the DMV, grocery shopping, amusement parks or sporting events.  And, today, long wait times can be splashed across social media at any time.  That's in addition to lost profits when the customer balked or reneged and left the point of sale location.

Every retailer and entertainment venue constantly evaluates how to better improve the customer experience -- and improved line (or queue) management provides an immediate and long-lasting impact.  That's because effective line management technology offers more than just a shorter wait experience.
Enhanced Customer Satisfaction is the goal!

Automated line management provides at least 4 significant business benefits:
  1. Wait time management tools provide control -- Long-standing studies indicate average wait times can be reduced 10-30% with line management technology.  Lots of "fewer than 10 items" customers today?  Using automated management tools, store management is able to quickly realign registers to better serve those customers while reducing the number of "full service" registers.
  2. Improved line management -- Customers are more quickly and accurately directed to an open location as compared to "manually" guessing which station is available or casually strolling towards a register.
  3. Customer perceptions improve -- Two factors impact customer perceptions regarding lines: perceived wait time and the issue of fairness. Customers typically over-estimate the amount of wait time -- that's probably human nature. Providing an automated, call forward system not only efficiently directs customers to the next available register but encourages them to think the wait isn't as long as it actually is. Customers like knowing what is going on -- so seeing the next available register is beneficial even if it isn't their register!  And, people appreciate being treated fairly; an automated system is perceived as providing similar service to all.
  4. Expanded impulse purchase opportunities -- Whether an automated system operates a single, serpentine line or multiple, register-specific lines, the opportunity exists for expanding impulse purchase opportunities.  First, the business is regulating how and where the waiting zones are located. Additionally, customers are less stressed waiting so they're more likely to review offerings and make impulse purchases.  It's also possible to advertise and encourage such purchases through messaging on line management monitors. 

Interested in finding out more about how automated line management can improve your customer satisfaction levels and provide additional business benefits, too?  Talk to us at CPS about QuikLine -- an automated line management system providing call-forward technology with easy-to-use management tools and straightforward hardware components.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

3 Ways to Enhance Your Outdoor Living Space Marketing

Just in time for summer: all sorts of new home builder articles about the latest outdoor living designs. You've probably seen similar articles with their focus on:

Use Summer & Social Media to Market Your New Homes!
-- outdoor kitchens
-- firepits
-- fountains
-- outdoor dining options
-- seamless indoor/outdoor flow

And, there were probably all sorts of gorgeous photos, interesting menu possibilities and, even, recipes.

What you might not have seen were ways for you to market similar features in your new homes.  We've developed 3 ideas that we think will build a fire under your home shoppers:
  1. Put your model home kitchen to use! Organize a weekend bbq event and invite your home shoppers with automated emails.  Highlight the menu; provide recipes! Use your CRM system to make this happen! 
  2. Leverage the event with a Social Media event hashtag (think something clever like #GetYourCommunityNameBBQOn).  It probably doesn't make sense to invite people with your social media hashtags but... why not run a contest asking if the ribs recipe is preferred over one featuring tri-tip or whether Arnold Palmer drinks are more popular than sweet tea?
  3. Post photos after the event on social media -- and put your Social Media Wall to use.  Everyone enjoys seeing people having fun -- why not in your outdoor living space?  Let your home shoppers see what buying a new home in your community offers as a lifestyle. 
Don't have a Social Media Wall?  Need some help finding a CRM system that will send automated emails (with recipes and great-looking photos!!)?  All of us at CPS can help you!