If you start with the premise that research and outreach form the foundation of success when developing a property, community outreach is the cornerstone of that foundation. Future residents and community members yearn to connect with where they live and work and are dedicated participants in vision creation.
This engagement is important for two reasons:
- Residents and neighbors play a large part in the approval and acceptance of a new development,
- Residents and neighbors are excellent sources of knowledge.
The more you can learn from those who live in the community, the more effectively you’ll be able to create your vision for the development, which will allow you to create the right brand and the right brand promise.
Brand promise is no mere nicety. It is what your brand tells your audience about what it delivers and why: Think about great brands and the attributes you associate with them when you hear their names.
Outreach to the community is driven by the need to connect the community with a new development on an emotional level. Properties that make an intelligent and emotionally appropriate link to their surroundings add value by paying homage to the history and culture of the neighborhood. Community input enriches vision, and by association, the brand. It helps preserve a singular line of focus and can ultimately help a project proceed more efficiently. For the community, input gives neighbors and potential residents a chance to be heard and to influence their surroundings. It strengthens consensus and community bonds—and by building excitement, it can also reduce resistance to change.
What is your experience with community engagement? We’d love to hear from you. – Stephanie