As Benn, Lani and I were discussing the propensity on AG to discuss Generation Y and I continued to rage against I know not what true to my Generation X roots, I happened to mentioned my Westbrook Village real estate site.”You should write about it,” they said. And so here I am.
Westbrook Village is an active adult community in Peoria, about a mile west of Arrowhead Ranch and less than a mile from Loop 101. When UDC started construction a quarter of a century ago it was on the edges of civilization; civilization since has sprung up around it.
Once upon a time there was one dominant real estate company – Westbrook Real Estate. That brokerage was later bought out by Russ Lyon and to this day, Russ Lyon has the (dare I say it) lion’s share of the market. But once you get beyond Russ Lyon, it’s fairly wide open.
Let’s Talk About Me
Here’s where I enter the story. About 18 months ago my then-branch manager suggested in a sales meeting that someone start working in Westbrook Village. A small group of us guaranteed. Money was tight for marketing so we used door hangers from one of the local title companies, sent letters, etc.
I started the website – I’m a one-trick pony and this is my trick.
Even as we discussed how to market I was told that you can’t market an active adult community via the Internet. Never mind that Westbrook Village now is open to residents 40 years of age or older – the vast majority of folks aren’t tech-savvy enough to ever know the website’s around.
I pushed ahead. The group came apart when none of the “traditional” marketing methods proved effective. Westbrook Village Real Estate.com, meanwhile, became a category killer and a lead machine.
Some of those who contact me are looking for themselves. Others are looking for their parents. But they’re looking online – they want to see photos, they want to see floor plans, they want to see the newest listings to the market and they want to see all of the listings without having to register to see them.
It’s Not Really About Me
It’s about the fallacies we fall into when we market ourselves and our services. It’s about making incorrect assumptions about how a certain generation may behave and how they search for services. My 67-year-old mother has a computer and almost knows how to use Google. It’s something I’ve never forgotten and refuse to overlook.
It’s paid off.