3 Ways to Market Your Community’s Walkable Urbanism

3 Ways to Market Your Community’s Walkable Urbanism

While suburban communities still have their appeal, it is becoming more and more apparent that urban environments are attracting new home neighborhoods — and buyers!  Both Millennials and Boomers are considering and buying in areas that previously wouldn’t have offered new construction.

Downtown Richmond — start exploring!

One of these neighborhood’s key features (or, you might think, amenity) is it’s walkability. There’s even a new term: walkable urban places (sometimes referred to as WalkUps — but completely different than multi-story buildings from the early-mid 1900’s!!).

WalkUps are defined, as BuilderOnline’s Lauren Shanesy notes in a recent article, as a development with substantially higher density, mixed-use product, emerging and new product types and a variety of transportation options.

There are a couple of concepts associated with WalkUps you might consider as part of a community-based marketing program — not too complicated or expensive yet providing good touch points for your home shoppers:

  1. Highlight Transportation Options — Home shoppers in all demographics love the idea of reducing their reliance on a car. Residents in WalkUps spend less on transportation so why not highlight options for your home shoppers?  Provide maps, schedules — even signage from your local metro.  While Millennials and Boomers are key demographics for the new urban community, reduced transportation costs appeal to moderate-income home shoppers, as well.
  2. Offer Walk Abouts — One of the reasons WalkUps are popular is easy access to convenient, interesting and unique shopping and dining venues.  Why not create an “It’s in the Neighborhood” guide highlighting 15 close-by locations that are probably new to most of your home shoppers?  Think: ethnic restaurants, unique bookshops, unusual hardware stores.  Let your potential buyers explore the neighborhood (literally or virtually) and see themselves living the experience!  Drones are making aerial photos so much more affordable — take a look at Richmond above and consider using this visual introduction to the neighborhood.
  3. Shine a Light on Educational Institutions — Washington, DC is considered the second highest ranked WalkUp — and over 50% have B.A. degrees.  One of the urban neighborhood attributes frequently mentioned by Boomers is access to educational opportunities.  These don’t have to be just colleges and universities —  there’s always adult education and interest-focused centers, as well.  Think: great knitting shops, photography studies, art centers.  Let your visitors know what’s in the neighborhood with an easy-to-read map focused on neighborhood learning opportunities!
Take one step further and consider highlighting these factors using an interactive touchscreen system.  CPS’ SalesTouch offers the aerial photo detailing shopping, dining, recreation and community options in Richmond (above); can’t you see your buyers wanting to be able to virtually explore your neighborhood?

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