HERE ARE SOME WORDS to catch the attention of prospective buyers in 2006: commute, transportation, close to shopping. Richard Gollis, principal of San Francisco–based real estate consultants The Concord Group, says that the amount of time individuals spend commuting has become so onerous, it's bubbled to the top as a purchasing driver.

While you're thinking about those buzzwords, also realize that customers today have never been more cynical as it relates to the authenticity of advertising and the sales experience, says Kathleen Cecilian, a brand strategy consultant to master plan community developers. The current approach to ads, collateral pieces, Web sites, and the sales experience has to change, she says. Up until now, everything has been inwardly focused on the builder or the community. “It's been, ‘Here is who we are. Here is why we're special. Picture yourself here,'” she says. “I think in 2006, it has to be about [the buyers].”

Learn more about markets featured in this article: San Francisco, CA.