DESPITE A WHITE-HOT MARKET, THE SECOND-HOME LANDSCAPE on Hawaii's Big Island is pretty competitive. To make its Kahakai Estates project stand out Honolulu-based Stanford Carr Development offered 98 one-acre, home sites (two-thirds of which were luxury spec units), at nearly twice the average lot size, thus setting the tone for an advertising and direct mail campaign headlined by a series of postcards.

Using a database created from prospect cards, the sales team sent interested buyers a postcard entitled “A Big Mahalo” (meaning “thank you”) within days of their visit, then sent two more pieces featuring a “Bigger is Better” headline, photo, and brief sales message on a two-week cycle to reinforce the large-lot theme. Telephone calls to prospects the weeks between the postcards and after the last one supplemented the effort. “We wanted to touch [prospects] each week during a 60-day cycle,” says Patrick O'Neill, sales and marketing director for Stanford Carr. “We weren't trying to sell anything [with the postcard], just give them a nudge to come back to the [sales] office.”

In addition to positive anecdotal feedback, the campaign established Stanford Carr as a sophisticated developer with a sense of humor. It also led to a faster-than-planned sellout, as all 98 lots (offered in scheduled phases) were gone within 16 months.

CAMPAIGN DETAILS Program: Direct mail (postcard series); Developer: Stanford Carr Development, Honolulu; Cost: $200 per month, including postage; Advertising agency: The Schiller Agency/Element 8, Honolulu

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Honolulu, HI.