WHEN COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO., builder/developer Classic Homes purchased 650 acres for a master planned community, one of the first questions was whether to remain the sole builder or to let other builders in to spread the risk—and the reward. This time it opted not to share, says director of sales Ty Olson. “I was confident we could do it on our own.”
Early on, the team had identified an opportunity to create upscale product at a higher price point than the area's average. By offering large lots, strict architectural controls, and a sense of exclusivity, Classic Homes created a best-seller. “We were pretty confident there was a buyer out there,” Olson says, “and it really took hold.”
Part of the sales strategy was not to build a clubhouse, Olson says. Instead, Classic Homes created a number of pocket parks throughout the site, so that no home was more than a block or two from a park. The parks have different themes and features, such as a basketball court, a dog park, and picnic areas.
Marketing for Indigo Ranch made use of traditional media—newspaper ads, billboards, and direct mail—and also participated in the local parade of homes. The latter provided high visibility for the community as well as publicity from awards won in the parade's design competition.
Now, the only issue to address is slowing the sales pace, says Jim Boulton, Classic Homes vice president. “We're selling too fast. We're going to be out of this sooner than we'd like.”
Project: Indigo Ranch, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Date sales started: January 2002
Sales through February 2006: 871
Total units planned: 1,937
Unit size: 1,100 to 4,700 square feet
Price range: $190,000 to $350,000
Builder/Developer/Architect: Classic Homes, Colorado Springs
BEHIND THE SCENES Proximity to caffeine: Less than a mile to Starbucks
Poultry items in a model: 67; “It's a country French décor. It's in the wallpaper.”
Sales center munchies of choice: Chocolate chip, peanut butter, and sugar cookies
Sunset central: From the deck in the model looking out over Pike's Peak
Sales staff's fave feature in the best-selling plan: A sports bar with multiple TVs in the Carlton model
Learn more about markets featured in this article: Colorado Springs, CO.