People are at the heart of every community and that includes the families that live there, local businesses, the onsite staff, builders, designers, urban planners and management teams.
When it comes to big developers and communities, human connection can sometimes appear lost amongst construction, finance and business numbers, and key performance indicators. It’s the everyday gestures and interactions between people that make the biggest impact to your community and your business’ bottom line.
If you want to build a thriving community that people want to call home, your strategic mission needs to be committed to bringing people together, welcoming residents and inspiring your own staff and team. It’s a two-pronged approach of centring on people in your corporate and community strategy.
Building a corporate team
From a business point of view, you need to be ‘people smart’. Hiring a team that is switched on and believes in your vision, identifying people with strong capabilities, aligning them to your business strategy, nurturing them, motivating them and building them to be leaders is when you’ll hit success.
A sales team that understands the property industry, believes in storytelling and your brand narrative, and finding the perfect home for people, will be doing your business and your buyers a favour. Similarly, having builders who are experts in their field is how you can champion quality and innovation in design and construction; and urban planners who understand the geography and location of your community will enable you to embrace the natural surroundings and history to build something unique to your community.
Building a place to call home
The difference between the place where you live, and the place you call home is in the emotion attached to people and place.
Creating a sense of community from the start − so that as more families move in, they feel welcomed and connected from the moment they enter − is essential for creating a safe, community minded and a true home where people can bond over belonging to a shared place. It’s one of the ways that you can connect the idea of emotion to your community, a key psychological factor in home buyer’s decision making.(1)
With a dedicated community officer across several of our AVID communities, we’ve found that they have been essential to fostering a strong community culture. By organising a variety of community activities and events they are able to help to shape and develop connection and interaction between neighbours.
This role creates a bridge between the business and the residents by getting to know the real people who live in the community, listening to who they are, what they like, what they need and getting them involved. A community development officer helps boost engagement and broader community involvement by initiating events like local holiday celebrations, online platforms, and residents to connect on, supporting local business and ventures and creating fun and educational workshops.
Building a future
Another strategic way of creating communities around people and building lasting connections is by targeting owner occupiers. While investors should always be welcomed and are another avenue for growing your community, it’s owner occupiers who are more likely to build emotional connections with the people of your community and become loyal to your brand.
By focusing on this strategy, you’ll attract people who will put down roots, raise a family where future generations will live, or even rightsize and live out their retirement years. These people will build memories and you’ll build your business a legacy dedicated to people.
The property market is constantly fluctuating and is affected by uncontrollable variables, like the devastations of the bushfires and COVID-19. Stimulus initiatives like the Federal Government’s HomeBuilder Grant has us on the road to recovery, which has certainly had a strong impact on consumer confidence, however our current thoughts should be turning towards the future and what the next 12 to 18 months looks like.
Government incentives have been an incredible boost for the property industry but we need to be able to survive when Grants come to an end and the impacts of low immigration start to be seen, which is a significant factor for states like New South Wales and Victoria.
Current uncertain times show just how important it is to future proof your business and community by nurturing people and building your community around people.
(1) REINSW, 2017, Seven factors that influence home buyers
AVID PROPERTY GROUP NEW SOUTH WALES PROJECT DIRECTOR
Nathan manages the business’ projects in New South Wales. He has more than 25 years’ experience delivering a variety of projects in both the public and private sectors. Prior to joining the company, Nathan was Senior Project Manager at Cardno, where he worked on a variety of land development and infrastructure projects. Nathan is on UDIA NSW Land Development Committee and holds an Associate Diploma in Civil Engineering, a Bachelor’s Degree in Building (Construction Economics) and a Masters in Property Development.
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