The culture of any entity; a company, organization or community is something that is planted early on by the founders/developers and evolves over time. Sometimes the culture grows into something different from what was originally envisioned and sometimes the culture remains the same. Time dictate’s which direction will be followed. The most important thing to understand is the culture of anything is defined by those within. As it relates to a community, that means the homeowners.
What is an organization, nation or a community? It’s a group of people with similar values and beliefs. When you have a group of people that share similar values and beliefs, a certain level of trust develops and from that trust, an amazing culture develops. If you’re having doubts, consider this scenario. You’re sitting in the London airport waiting for your plane. Someone you have never seen before sits down, across from you, wearing a sweater with your community logo on the front. What’s the first thing you do? Do you perk up because they probably live in the same community as you or, do you go back to whatever it was you were doing and not say a word? Your demeanor perks up! Why? Because you know that by wearing that logo, they most likely live in your community and if they do you have more in common with them than anyone else in London. By choosing to live in the same community you both share a culture that adheres to your values and beliefs and because of that it’s much easier to trust them, even if you have never met them before. Your immediate reaction is to say ‘Hey, you live in Such N' Such Community? So do I…’ and you probably sit there and talk as friends, even though you’ve never met before. The same thing doesn’t happen if that person has a logo you’ve never seen before, does it? That’s how strong community cultures are.
Why is this important?
For any community, knowing your culture is not only the first building block, it’s the cornerstone to understanding what your community is, what it represents and what it stands for. It’s the magnet for attracting others with similar values and beliefs to your community. If a community doesn’t know what it stands for then how does it know how to market itself? How do buyers know if they like it or not when there’s little to identify with? The good communities always know what they are, what they stand for and who they want to attract as homeowners. As stated, this is often attributed to the vision of the communities developer(s) and those entrusted with the leadership of the community over the years. This is important because what a community wants is for those looking to move into that community to appreciate the culture it has. If they don’t, the relationship never works. If the buyer and community want the same things, it becomes a match made in heaven. When the latter is the case is when people say ‘It just feels right’ or ‘I know it in my gut’. What they’re really saying is they identify with the community and what it represents. Whether they realize it or not, people buy into cultures more than they do houses.
Why is it important that I know this, and what benefit is it to you?
Everyone markets a property, obtains a buyer and negotiates for you when listing your house, condominium or lot. However, what if that process could be hacked and streamlined to produce a better more efficient result? Understanding the culture of a community allows me to do just that. By marketing specifically to people that are looking for a particular culture you get direct access to people that want to be a part of the community. This works to your benefit in multiple ways; 1) it makes it easier to obtain a buyer and 2) negotiations go very smoothly and more in your favor. Why? Because when I can identify someone that has a deep desire to be part of something like your community, ‘selling them’ is not required. They already want what you have and the result is you having the upper hand before the negotiating ever starts. I know this because I’ve done it to sell properties in areas that had been sitting idle for extended periods of time when others struggled to do the same. Not only does this give you an advantage in the selling process but makes the entire experience much easier allowing you to save two of your most valuable assets; time and money.
Understanding how to utilize the culture of a community to your advantage, whether you are buying or selling, is one of my specialties. In fact, it's one of the most advantageous things I do for the clients I work with and it's what allows buyers to enjoy their new home and area and what allows sellers to sell in less time, for more money and with limited interruption to their life.
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