How to Sell When Your Clubhouse or Golf Course is Being Restored or Renovated
Most real estate sales professionals in “New Home” communities have a two-fold secret to success that they utilize all the time to promote the “newest community” coming to the marketplace. First, they have at their disposal the mega-dollar “advertising campaign” budget spent by the builder. More importantly, they have the ability to sell the “dream.”
While we in the club business may not enjoy their mega-dollar budgets, we can learn from real estate sales professionals and mirror their strategies of selling the “dream.”
Many of us in the Southwest Florida market go through restoration or renovation during the summer months, when the vast majority of our members have headed to their northern homes and courses. This is the time of year when we can grow grass from dirt, although not all sales cycles begin and end with the breaking of the ground. It’s a continuous cycle of building leads and generating interest so we can convert prospects into our newest members for the fall or the start of our “season.”
Here are several strategies that have worked for me in the past, during my career with the PGA Tour, Club Corp and now in the member-owned club I’m at today:
- If at all possible, first and foremost, invite those in your pipeline to come to the club before constructions starts. Pair them with tenured members who are the club’s biggest fans.
- Plan ahead with “before” pictures -plans, 3D renderings, anything that you have and share all of it on your web page, through social media, and in a “show and tell” book with the prospective member.
- Share the Board and Committee prospectus that was used for the member vote to approve your plans for the course or the clubhouse – be an “open book.”
- You are totally selling on a promise of what will be – by grabbing their emotions, helping them visualize what will become, not what is.
- During your tour and the “storytelling,” let prospective members see your excitement and passion for the project. Have them visit all the areas that are being improved, use story boards along the way, and create the “picture” of the expected end result.
- Include prospective members in all member communications, with progress reports, and published videos.
- Post all communications, updates, and drone videos, if available, on your public web page – not just on the member’s side.
- Invite prospective members back during the construction phase to see the progress.
- Develop “new” membership incentive programming that will be a “can’t refuse offer” – with their membership start date the first day you re-open.
- Build up the pre-construction reputation that you have in the community – tell them how your members won’t settle for anything less than “better than it was before.”
- Explain the urgency to join the club before the work is complete, and avoid the “rush” to join that will occur once the word is on the street that your Club is the newest and most recently improved.
So take heart, even without the mega-advertising budget, you can succeed by building a relationship with the future member – we assist them with their decision to find their new “home away from home.” You are connecting them to a place where they will become part of the family of membership and a place where they will experience life’s “magical moments” – paint the picture!