This time of year, many building firms are launching new communities. It’s a rite of spring that often extends into summer.

But before you open a new development, there are a few things to consider about how to market it. First and foremost: What makes your new community unique?

The answer establishes the foundation for an effective overall marketing campaign. By asking and answering some very basic questions about your company and your new community, you will have all the pieces to assemble the compelling marketing message. This message starts with your internal team, works its way through your corporate culture, and is reflected in every marketing piece and throughout the sales process.

A simple brand differentiation exercise is a great way to start. With your group, discuss these questions:

How are you different from other builders? Be specific. Don’t just say, “We do quality work.” That’s too vague (and, frankly, everyone promises that). Discuss your commitment to choosing the best materials and why that matters. Consider the experience of your craftsmen, the expertise of the designers, and the unwavering commitment to following through on details.

Why would someone buy from you? They have a lot of choices. Why you? And while you’re talking about it, ask this: Why NOT you? Be clear about the negatives, because these points create opportunities to grow and improve.

What do you do better than your competition? Again be honest and specific. Consider what your buyers have praised in the past.

What separates this new community from others that your prospects might be considering? Location? Amenities? Creative home design? Make a list, all the way down to the designer faucets and a particular type of window, because all of these points add to your uniqueness.

Everyone in the company should be on the “same page” and this differentiation exercise will get you there. Once everyone internally knows what your company stands for, share your story with potential buyers. The most effective marketing is all about simplifying. While every part of your new community is important to you, from a marketing standpoint the goal is to craft the ONE message that will compel potential buyers to take action. Once you identify what is most important to your buyer, you will be able to connect with them on an emotional level through your marketing.

This post has been adapted from my new e-book co-written with Mollie Elkman, PROVEN PRE-SALES: How to Successfully Launch a New Community, which guides home builders through the process of successfully launching a new home community.