The Abingdon…in need of a marketing makeover


In an interesting shift how developers market their projects, a post in The Real Deal points out how one residential highrise in Manhattan is offeringtheir penthouse units first, and will work on selling the other units as a secondary task.

I’ve seen this before in other projects in the suburbs, where a developer tries “creating value” by trying to sell their most expensive units or homes first. It’s a big gamble. It’s easier for suburban home sites, because the developers can build a few ultra expensive homes and wait to see if there is a market for them.  And if not, then they can always less expensive homes. They can have a plan B…but highrise and mid-rise developers don’t have that luxury.

With a highrise it’s much different.  You have to build the entire structure in order to get to the penthouse floors…which are always on the upper floors of a building.  Though the Abingdon seems to be only six stories high, it is still a financial gamble for the developer to try this.

A couple of problems on the marketing end:

  • the picture in the article is ugly
  • when you google the Abingdon, you come up with everything but this project.  When viewers read something of interest they automatically start looking for more information, and when they can’t find it, or its too hard to find, they click off and go somewhere else.  The key to selling/promoting something online is to give buyers what they are looking for at the exact moment they are searching for it.  Making them work hard to find it doesn’t work anymore.  No one has the time for a complicated search
  • if you are trying to create value by pricing a unit so incredibly expensive and it doesn’t work, you could have a real flop on your hands

The biggest obstacle selling this will be the marketing.  If you can’t find it at the top of a google search, then it doesn’t exist. And I can’t find it.

That’s not a great way to try selling a few $20 million penthouses…and gambling your entire project on something that may be the best kept secret.

Developers need to understand that it’s all about marketing to your target audience, in  ways they have never done in the past.

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