At nearly a thousand acres and with 2,300 units of diverse product types ranging in price from the $130,000s to $400,000s, Vista Lakes in Orlando, Fla., needed a way to get local Realtors educated and excited about the entire project without losing their interest during a tour.

For a Realtor-only event, sales and marketing manager Diane Diaz of Terrabrook, the project's developer, devised a safari-themed tour at which Realtors were given disposable cameras to photograph their favorite features and details as they wove their way through the project. "It seemed like a creative way to get them to see everything, especially for a project so big," says Diaz.

Responding to a postcard invitation to members of the Orlando Regional Realtors Association, about 250 Realtors attended the early evening event. Greeted in the project's Residents' Club by sales staff in full safari garb, attendees set off on their journey through each of the project's model home complexes in trolleys and motor coaches, armed only with sales literature and their individually labeled cameras.

At the end of the tour, the cameras were collected and processed; Diaz and her team then judged the photos and rewarded the top three shooters with a digital camera, high-powered binoculars, and a pair of passes to Disney's Animal Kingdom in Orlando, respectively. "We got a great reaction, because we gave them something to do [along the tour] to make it more interactive, with the potential for winning a prize at the end," says Diaz.

Indeed, Diaz estimates that local Realtors have accounted for at least half of Vista Lakes' sales to date, which are averaging 24 units per month since opening in July 2000; sales traffic following the event averaged nearly 1,000 a month. "Realtors definitely generate a higher percentage of qualified traffic," compared to advertising and drive-by visitors, says Diaz. "We want them to feel special and know that we appreciate the business they bring us."

The Vista Lakes Residents' Club, which features a pirate ship wreck, among other poolside amenities, was the inspiration for a "photo safari" aimed at getting local Realtors to visit and remember the project.
Courtesy Vista Lakes The Vista Lakes Residents' Club, which features a pirate ship wreck, among other poolside amenities, was the inspiration for a "photo safari" aimed at getting local Realtors to visit and remember the project.

Campaign Details
Program: Special promotion; Developer: Terrabrook Orlando Division, Orlando, Fla.; Price: $130,000s to $400,000s; Program Cost: $20,000; Advertising agency: Vergason Sojourner & McWaters, Winter Park, Fla.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Orlando, FL.