The objective was clear but the path was complicated. In summer 2013, we were brought in to help national homebuilder Taylor Morrison announce its first 55+ community in the state of Texas. This was big news. It was also the second time in two years we’d been tasked with bringing together a large scale project for active adult homebuyers with a clear cut goal – demonstrate successfully that today’s active adult communities are nothing like the 55+ communities of the past.
In December 2011, we began work on the first 55+ community for Taylor Morrison in Denver. Like that project, this launch required resetting the expectations for an active adult neighborhood. These communities were designed for Baby Boomers, a demographic that is much different than previous retiring generations.
First there is the group’s sheer size: More than 20 percent of the U.S. population will be over the age of 65 by 2029. Then there’s their sheer buying power: Each year, people over the age of 50 spend $3.2 trillion.
Like Skyestone, we helped mold the initial messaging for the community, sat in on the focus groups as the community was rolled out and then worked on implementing our plan for going to market with the new community.
Because of the community’s location, Woodforest in Montgomery County, we knew announcing Bonterra, as the new community would be called, had the potential for creating significant sales momentum if it was executed properly. We started by coordinating interviews for Taylor Morrison’s division president with local influencers, the largest of which was the Houston Chronicle.
But that was just the start.
We knew for the community to be a success, convincing the 55+ homebuyers in the country’s fourth-largest city would take work. In Denver, our agency had implemented a social media campaign called “Greater Than My Age” to help illustrate to the independent homebuyers of Colorado that life didn’t have to stop at retirement. In fact, through our social media campaign, we’d learned that Baby Boomers were taking on second and third careers as they approached retirement age. They were scaling mountains (quite literally) and creating fashion blogs. They were vibrant contributors to society.
As we approached the grand opening weekend for Bonterra, we knew these same messages would hold true. Baby Boomers were telling us loud and clear they didn’t want to be seen as retiring from life. They expected, demanded in fact, to remain a part of the conversation.
Handed the reins to the social media campaign just two days before the opening of the community, we spent considerable time on the ground in Houston, making sure the grand opening was a success. In the end, almost 2,000 people showed up for the opening weekend, creating the sales momentum needed for the community. That momentum continued after our cover story on the Houston Chronicle’s business page hit the next week:
Less than a year later, we were on the ground in Austin for our second 55+ grand opening in Texas. Like Bonterra, the debut of Heritage at Vizcaya drew crowds (more than 2,000 people), plenty of sales interest and created the impact need for Taylor Morrison’s first 55+ community in the eclectic Texas city.
And again, the spr agency was part of the social media, public relations and digital marketing plan for the community, helping to drive the attention and the sales traffic necessary for a successful grand opening.