9/16/2010

Resort Development Marketing

It seems that resort developers are still clinging to the mantra, “build it and they will come”. You know how it goes. Find a nice piece of property, build out the infrastructure, secure a “luxury” hotel flag, develop a swanky resort with pool, have a well known golf course designer layout a golf course, maybe through in some tennis and voila'.

What's that sound? Oh, those are crickets. The land guys are still waiting for buyers to show up. Following this historic economic downturn, resort developers are finding themselves more and more behind the curve on what is going to entice investors and tourists to let go of their money. Selling the promise of a private getaway with golf and tennis is done. Get that, it's over. Time to step up your game.

I have meet so many resort community execs over the last year and a half to discuss how they should position themselves. It is easy I tell them. You have to offer more of an experience. Home owners, guests, tourists want excitement. They want a certain level of adventure and some of it serendipitous. Hum! They ask, how do we do that??? So, I lay out a rather creative approach to the types of activities they should offer and how to convey such an offering across multiple media platforms. Their eyes glaze over and they say, “we will get back to you”. Ultimately, they want to continue down the path they know so well. Oh, the status quo. This path that will eventually find them less and less competitive.

Today, buyers and guests are looking for something more to help with their decision making. Real estate developments and resort communities have to deliver on experience. To make it simple, people want to do stuff. They want to be entertained, engaged, challenged and maybe learn something new in the process. It is all about the adventure from the time your leave your house until you return. Those developers that can figure out what the right combination of activities to offer is and how to communicate to their target audience are going to mover well ahead of their contemporaries.

Be proactive! Get out ahead of the herd and start positioning yourself as the destination that has the ability to deliver rather than make empty less than fulfilling promises. More and more, families are vacationing and buying second homes where the whole family finds enjoyment. Think about sports, educational programs, events or experiences that appeal to the whole family. Build up the aspirations of your audience before they visit and over deliver once they are on the ground. If you can manage to create a sense of adventure, you will be helping to build memories that will be talked about for years to come. And that is what will bring more and more people back to your place.

The good news is that there are a few developers and related consultants that have figured out that marketing adventure and experience works. Let the stream of imaginative consciousness flow.

For more information, look me up....



Share the experience, sell the dream...Full Throttle Media! FTM Seth Horne

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