In the sales process, you hope your amenities help lure people to buy ... then hope you didn't waste valuable land on a horseshoe pit and a few tennis courts. At BridgeMill, a diverse, 1,700-acre, 2,510-home community outside of Atlanta, marketing director Kay Williams wanted to make sure the development's vast array of amenities gathered crowds instead of dust. In addition to hiring a full-time activities director, Williams expanded the community newsletter events calendar into a colorful, pocket-sized guidebook. "We're such a diverse community, with so many activities and amenities, that we had to get that point across better," she says.
The pocket-sized guide categorizes BridgeMill's amenities into seven tabbed sections, using dramatic photography, lots of color, and very brief text to make its point. The "Holiday" section, for example, simply lists the year-round events at BridgeMill, including a New Year's Eve Party, Mother's Day Brunch, and Labor Day Weekend Pool Party. "Whatever your age or interests, there's something in the book to spark your interest," she says.
The guidebook was introduced this past summer, after the community passed the halfway point in sales. It was provided to existing residents and also given to visiting prospects, sent to local real estate agents, and mailed to targeted ZIP codes--without any kind of sales pitch or even a cover letter. "We want people who get it to ask, 'What is this?'" says Priscilla Jessup, president of Denmark Advertising & Public Relations in Atlanta. "It's fine if it looks like a resort guide. It makes them come and see us."
Program: Printed brochure (activity guide); Cost: $1.90 each; Marketing/Advertising agency: Denmark Advertising & Public Relations, Atlanta; Community: BridgeMill, Canton, Ga.; Acres/Homes planned: 1,700/2,510; Size range: 1,200 to 10,000-plus square feet; Price: $150s to $1 million-plus; Developers: Jefferson Development Co., Atlanta; The Johnson Cos., Atlanta
Learn more about markets featured in this article: Atlanta, GA.