Level up your marketing strategy: harness the power of awards

During this uncertain time, marketers in the housebuilding industry are probably a little unclear as to what their communications strategy will look like next week, let alone for the rest of 2020. We are all adjusting to a new, flexible schedule of launches and deadlines – and the awards organisers are no exception.

Many high-profile ceremonies have been rescheduled to take place in the autumn, which means an action-packed schedule later in the year. In the meantime, however, there are a number of award entry deadlines looming which, at the moment, are not being delayed:

New London Awards

Entry Deadline: 1st May 2020

Supported by the Mayor of London, the NLAs seek projects of the highest design quality which make a positive contribution to their surroundings and to life in the capital.

Housebuilder Awards

Entry Deadline: 1st May 2020

The Housebuilder Awards cover all aspects of the industry including design, customer satisfaction, community engagement, sustainability, marketing, regeneration and more.

Estate Gazette Awards

Entry Deadline: 8th May 2020

The Estate Gazette Awards will celebrate developers, advisers, suppliers and investors in the built environment. Criteria rewards innovation, future proofing and best practice throughout the supply chain, with a focus on how businesses are tackling climate change and making a positive impact.

British Homes Awards

Entry Deadline: 28th May 2020

The British Homes Awards honour every aspect of housebuilding from one-off houses to major developments and placemaking on a grand scale with a strong emphasis on the architecture. Categories also include interior design and landscaping.

What House? Awards 2020

Entry Deadline: 3rd July 2020

Now in their 40th year, The What House? Awards are one of the longest-standing awards in the industry and include a myriad of categories to suit a wide range of residential projects. The projects are judged and shortlisted from the written presentations, before the judges undertake site visits to determine the winners.

Now more than ever, we understand that winning an award has to be about far more than a pat on the back from your peers. A tailored, strategic approach to awards must be a valuable addition to your sales and marketing plan.

Third party endorsement

A winning award entry (and a commendation or being shortlisted), can provide some real gravitas for your customers – a recognised and respected endorsement of your product by a third party. The power of such an endorsement cannot be underestimated; it’s proof that your home or development is better than the competition.

Industry recognition and awareness

Successful marketing isn’t just about reaching the end buyer, and the same applies to an awards entry. Few of us work in isolation (well, digitally at least), especially in the property industry and winning an award, especially on a large-scale platform, shows potential future partners why you are a step above the rest. What’s more, the networking opportunity at national competitions provides the chance to meet a host of other potential new collaborators.

Brand reinforcement

Of course, the most important component of an award entry is indisputably the development, home or initiative in question. However, as with all marketing channels, consistency of message and brand reinforcement is paramount. Your award is not just an award, but another tool in your kit with which to promote and market your product in the future.

Overall motivation and satisfaction

Not only do awards recognise your outstanding projects, but also the people who helped create them. Accolades increase your team’s morale and recognise their personal contribution and achievement – all of which enhances their commitment and productivity!

For more than 20 years, we have created winning bespoke entries for our clients. We’ll help you find the right opportunities at the right time and guide you throughout the process, to make sure your entry has the best chance to succeed. If awards are something you’d like to consider as part of your marketing strategy, or you are wondering whether your developments or projects are suitable, call the PHM team on 01483 561119 to find out how we can help.

 

 

Property House Marketing Awards

The best year on record: 1 in 4 of PHM’s entries scoop a Gold award in 2018

PHM is delighted to congratulate its clients for an extremely successful day at the What House? Awards 2018, where the entries we prepared on their behalf scooped 12 of the 66 awards, including 7 of the 20 Golds.

The prestigious ceremony, known as the Oscars of the housebuilding industry, took place at the Grosvenor House Hotel on Friday 16th November and saw the best new homes and developments across the UK awarded in 20 categories.

Among PHM’s clients, the winners were:

Anthology: Hoxton Press

Best Exterior Design

Gold

Berkeley East Thames: Kidbrooke Village (Urban House)

Best Sustainable Development

 Silver

Berkeley East Thames: Kidbrooke Village

 Best Regeneration Scheme

 Silver

Broadway Living: Copley Hanwell W7

 Best Starter Home Scheme

 Gold

London Square: Star and Garter (East Wing)

 Best Luxury House

 Gold

London Square: Star and Garter

 Best Luxury Development

 Gold

London Square: Star and Garter (East Wing)

 Best Interior Design

 Gold

London Square: Streatham Hill

 Best Apartment Scheme

 Gold

London Square: Streatham Hill

Best Mixed Use Development

 Gold

London Square: Streatham Hill

 Best Development

 Bronze

McCarthy & Stone: Parkland Place

Best Retirement Development

 Bronze

Vanderbilt Homes

 Best Small Housebuilder

 Bronze

2018 has officially been the best year on record for PHM’s award entries, with our clients scooping top accolades in every major housebuilding competition in the industry.

72% of all PHM entries in 2018 were shortlisted. Nearly 1 in 4 (23%) of the entries we’ve prepared this year on behalf of our clients have been awarded the Gold or top prize and more than 1 in 3 (36%) have won an accolade in their category.

If you’d like to discuss how a strategic awards programme in 2019 can support your marketing objectives, get in touch with the team on info@housegroup.co.uk or 01483 561119.

 

Ready, Set, Bake!

As we head into the final week of The Great British Bake Off, where the finalists will be battling for the prestigious winner’s trophy on 30th October, we thought it’d be a nice treat to share some fabulous kitchens that definitely rise to the (baking) occasion.

Our first pick is West House in South Holmwood which provides 5,000 sq. ft. of luxury living. The kitchen is seriously impressive. Cleverly designed, it offers an uninterrupted view of the landscaped garden and features white quartz stone work surfaces and a breakfast bar as well as two double ovens, and a large fridge freezer providing an abundance of space for baking your favourites. You can even chill your wine in the dual wine coolers while you prep.

High Barn occupies an elevated position in Effingham with spectacular panoramic views of London’s skyline. The kitchen is located in the main residence, a converted oak-framed period barn, and boasts immense character with stone floors and exposed brick and flint walls. The kitchen and breakfast room spans 45 feet giving plenty of space for entertaining while baking treats.

Alfold Cross is a gorgeous Victorian family home arranged over three floors and set in 1.35 acres. The kitchen features vaulted ceilings which reinforce the enviable sense of space and flood the room with light; there is even a butler’s pantry which provides an ideal area to add the finishing touches to your baked goods before serving to your family or guests.

May the best baker win!

If you’re a property developer or an estate agent looking to maximize coverage for your homes in the press and on social media, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team to discuss how we can help, on 01483 561119 or email info@housegroup.co.uk.

 

Terrific townhouses in Zone 4 available with London Help to Buy

Combining high-quality, contemporary design with an up-and-coming London location and exceptional value for money, The Townhouse Collection at Trinity Walk by Lovell Homes provides a rare opportunity for first-time buyers to purchase a new house in London. With prices starting from just £590,000 and the three and four-bedroom houses now available with London Help to Buy, even more buyers can call this exciting development home.

Using the London Help to Buy equity loan scheme, a deposit of just five per cent (£29,500 on a £590,000 home) is required. The government will lend up to 40 per cent of the purchase price (£236,000), interest-free for the first five years, meaning a mortgage of only the remaining 55 per cent (£324,500) needs to be arranged.

In addition to the houses, only a few one-bedroom apartments remain, which are also available to purchase through London Help to Buy with prices starting from just £335,000. Special incentives are now on offer, and both the houses and apartments will be ready to move into before the end of the year, if a homebuyer reserves before the end of October.

Each townhouse has a modern, flexible layout. The three-bedroom showhome incorporates a sleek open-plan kitchen/dining room on the ground floor; the kitchen cabinetry is by Symphony kitchens and appliances, which are included as standard, comprise a steel Bosch oven, an integrated fridge/freezer, dishwasher and washer/dryer.

The living room on the first floor extends onto a private two-tiered terrace leading to a communal podium garden with mature planting. There is also a double bedroom, along with a family bathroom featuring Kohler fittings, full-height tiling and chrome mixer taps. The second floor comprises two further double bedrooms, and a ‘Jack ‘n’ Jill’ shower room.

As well as a designated parking space in the secure undercroft car park for each house, bicycle storage is also available.

The ongoing regeneration in Woolwich has already led to the delivery of new green areas and amenities. The arrival of Crossrail in 2019 will provide quicker journeys into the centre of London with 12 train services an hour; passengers from Woolwich will be able to reach Canary Wharf in eight minutes, Liverpool Street in 14 minutes and Bond Street in just 22 minutes. From Woolwich Arsenal station, London City Airport is only two stops away on the DLR; ideal for trips abroad.

For more information contact the Lovell Homes sales team on 0203 131 8511 or visit the website.

 

The swimming pool at Alfold Cross

Make a splash this summer: Fabulous swimming pools

It’s certainly been a scorching summer so far thanks to a series of heatwaves around the UK, what better way is there to cool down than in your own private pool? Whether you’re planning to have a gentle swim, tan at the waterside or throw a pool party, these homes will fit the bill:

Barnfield is one of Surrey’s most attractive small estates. To one side of the house lies a croquet lawn with a summer house and an apple orchard and on the other, approached by Yorkstone pathways, is a large terrace and the beautiful swimming pool area and changing room. There is also an all-weather tennis court, vegetable garden and a modern ten-stable barn.

Alfold Cross is a beautiful, six-bedroom Victorian house arranged over three floors. Not only is there a swimming pool and sun terrace, but a set of stables have been converted into an office, games room and log store. This home is perfect for family living and set within 1.35 acres of landscaped grounds.    

Willowhayne is a five-bedroom house situated in the highly sought-after village of Wonersh. The property has stunning landscaped gardens expertly created by an R.H.S award-winning garden designer. A heated pool (a handy feature for the chillier months), hot tub and sauna are also set within the picturesque grounds.

High Barn is a striking property, offering 8,000 sq. ft. of living space including 10 bedrooms and eight bathrooms. A leisure complex sits adjacent to the main house and is set around a sheltered south-facing terrace, swimming pool and Jacuzzi. It includes an apartment with two bedroom suites, a gymnasium and even a suite of offices with a boardroom. High Barn boasts wonderful gardens, paddocks and woodland.

If you’re a property developer or an estate agent looking to maximize coverage for your homes in the press and on social media, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team to discuss how we can help, on 01483 561119 or email info@housegroup.co.uk.

 

How to keep your PR campaign entertained during the summer holidays

– By Harriet Bolt, senior account manager

Much like children, your PR campaign needs constant attention. Although it won’t be asking you to play outside or demanding a lolly every time it hears the chime of the ice cream van, a PR campaign still requires nurturing and special attention during the summer holidays.

The six weeks from when children break-up from school and before they start the new academic year can traditionally be a tricky period of time for PR campaigns – especially for the property industry. Like the rest of the working world, many journalists will also be taking time off having filed their stories in advance, making the chances of securing new editorial coverage that bit slimmer. Your target audience may also be enjoying some R&R, meaning the opportunity to encourage them to sell/buy a new home becomes harder.

So what can you do to ensure your PR campaign is kept happy and busy? Consider these three steps and we promise it won’t be repetitively saying ‘I’m bored!’ in your ear…

  1. Choose a different game (alter your objective)

It’s unlikely that your campaign will be able to assist in drawing large numbers of leads as it can in peak home buying season (before the summer break), but it can still play a crucial role. Brand awareness is key – focus on reaching those who may not be sat in the office receiving emails, but perhaps poolside with a cocktail in one hand and a smartphone in the other.

For example, consider increasing your advertising spend on any social media posts, and optimise them for brand awareness or mobile devices to reach a wider audience than before. If you’re relying on organic (unpaid) content, make it engaging and interesting with less emphasis on the hard sell. A competition can get everyone’s attention.

2. Take it to a summer event (consider sponsorship opportunities)

If you feel like it might be difficult encouraging potential homebuyers away from their holidays to your house/development – find them at a local event instead, such as a summer fair. Opting for sponsorship opportunities can be a great way of increasing brand awareness, and provides the chance to meet the community in a relaxed environment.

The chances of a direct sale might be lower than if you had a visitor to the marketing suite, but any friendly conversations had at the event help to sow the seed for a potential sale. Especially if anyone you meet then decides that they actually do want to put their house on the market come September.

3. Take it shopping for new stationery (get it ready for a new term)

Use the quiet time wisely. Reconsider the objectives of the PR campaign for the next term – who are you trying to target, how, why, when etc. Making full use of the time to put together reports of the success to date or strategies for the approach going forward, having learnt from what has or has not been working for the past few months, can be incredibly useful.

A fresh perspective will leave you better prepared for the new term in September, one of the busiest months in the property calendar.

Still struggling with how to keep your PR campaign happy this summer or don’t have the time? Let PHM help – call us on 01483 561119 or email info@housegroup.co.uk.

The Townhouse Collection – stunning new homes launches at Trinity Walk in Woolwich

Situated just a mile from the future Crossrail station in Woolwich, a range of 12 contemporary three and four-bedroom townhouses with prices starting from £650,000 is launching for sale on Saturday 21 July at Trinity Walk by Lovell Homes. In addition, a stylishly dressed three-bedroom townhouse showhome will be available to view, showcasing the high specification and light and airy living areas of these contemporary homes.

Each townhouse has elegant facades in a yellow stock brick with subtle detailing, that complements the historic walls which surround the former barracks nearby and reflect the area’s rich military architecture.

Inside, each townhouse has a modern and flexible layout. The three-bedroom showhome incorporates a sleek open-plan kitchen/dining room on the ground floor, as well as a downstairs cloakroom and separate storage cupboard. The specification is excellent in every home: Symphony kitchens are included and appliances include a stainless steel Bosch oven, an integrated fridge/freezer, dishwasher and washer/dryer, as standard. Each home has a designated parking space in a secure undercroft car park and a bicycle storage is also available.

On the first floor, there is a living room which can also be used as a more formal dining area, study or guest bedroom. It extends onto the residents’ own two-tiered terrace, which leads to a communal podium garden with mature planting. There is also a double bedroom, along with a family bathroom featuring a Kohler bathroom suite, full height tiling and chrome mixer taps. The second floor comprises two further double bedrooms, and a ‘Jack ‘n’ Jill’ shower room.

The ongoing regeneration in Woolwich has already led to the delivery of new green areas and amenities. The arrival of Crossrail later this year will provide quicker journeys into the centre of London; with 12 train services an hour, passengers from Woolwich will be able to reach Canary Wharf in eight minutes, Liverpool Street in 14 minutes and Bond Street in just 22 minutes. From Woolwich Arsenal station, London City Airport is only two stops away on the DLR, ideal for trips abroad.

Prices start from £650,000 for a three-bedroom townhouse. To visit the new showhome, contact the sales team on 02031 318 511 or visit www.trinitywalk-woolwich.com.

CGI of So Resi Twickenham. Call 0208 607 0550.

Shared ownership makes it possible to buy your new home at So Resi Twickenham

So Resi has launched a contemporary collection of one and two-bedroom, shared ownership apartments in Twickenham – with local residents and those working in the area being given the first opportunity to reserve a property. The shared ownership scheme means that homebuyers at So Resi Twickenham can buy a 25 per cent share (£101,250) of the full price of the home (£405,000), requiring just a 10 per cent deposit of £10,125 and paying a monthly So Resi payment on the share they don’t buy.

Originally built in the 1960s, So Resi has fully renovated the original building to create a collection of high-quality, modern homes.

Each home features floor-to-ceiling windows that allow an abundance of natural light to fill the main living areas, while integrated kitchen appliances and stylish fittings create a contemporary finish. Many residents on the higher floors will benefit from views towards Richmond Hill and Richmond Park as well as Twickenham Stadium, the River Thames and beyond. The development will also include a contemporary rooftop terrace, landscaped with plenty of seating for residents to relax outdoors.

The leafy town of Twickenham, the home of English rugby, has a range of shops, bars and restaurants. The high street is less than half a mile from So Resi Twickenham, while Twickenham Station is just five minutes’ walk away. From here, trains reach Richmond in five minutes, London Waterloo in 23 minutes and the City in 37 minutes.

To register your interest in So Resi Twickenham and to find out how So Resi can make it possible to buy your new home, call 0208 607 0550 or visit www.soresi.co.uk 

es1

PHM’s clients scoop 11 prizes at the Evening Standard New Homes Awards

The Evening Standard New Homes Awards is always a highly-anticipated date in the property calendar and Friday’s celebrations did not disappoint, with it being one of our most successful competitions to date.

11 of the 23 entries we prepared on behalf of our clients scooped a prize at this year’s ceremony, which took place at the Dorchester Hotel, London. A whopping seven of our clients’ developments took home the winning prize, while four were highly commended in their category.

Our clients won the following prizes at the ceremony:

Winners

Highly commended

  • Kidbrooke Village by Berkeley East Thames was highly commended in the Best Regeneration Project category
  • Victory Pier by Berkeley West London was highly commended in the Best First Time Buyer Home category
  • Streatham Hill by London Square was highly commended in the Best Large Development category
  • Star and Garter by London Square was highly commended in the Best Conversion category

Awards are a brilliant tool for marketing and promotion, offering a respected third-party endorsement as well as the prestige of industry recognition. If you’re considering entering awards for a development or project of which you’re particularly proud but not sure where to start, speak to the PHM team today on 01483 561119.

SPRING

Spring clean your social media

Warmer temperatures and longer days mean it’s time to blow away the cobwebs. Here are our tips for getting your social media channels spick and span for a summer of success.

Digital marketing plays a vital role in supporting many of our clients’ communications objectives, making social media an integrated part of PR and our everyday lives at PHM.

To truly get the best out of social media, it’s incredibly important to understand that time, commitment and consistency is key – this will build your following and increase audience engagement. However, there’s a whole range of tools which can help with the time-costly day to day tasks and keep channels alive and thriving.

Here come our four top tips on how to do just that:

  1. Scheduling platform

If like us you manage more than one social media channel, it’s probably worth investing in a scheduling platform where you can manage multiple accounts from one, secure place. These platforms can help with optimising posts for engagement, reporting and publishing, and doing so consistently and efficiently.

  1. Canva

Canva is very user-friendly – we can safely say it’s become one of our most-used tools for creating visual, interesting content for social media. The website is home to thousands of social media graphics and layouts suited to every kind of platform, which you can design and personalise to integrate into your strategy. As social media is a place where visually led-content thrives, this is a great way to mix up how you present your message.

  1. Link shorteners

We use link-shortening services, such as Bitly, in almost everything we publish online. This not only makes the most of your content on platforms like Twitter, where you’re limited to 280 characters, but creates a slick and professional aesthetic for your posts – when links stretch over two or three lines it can look untidy and dare we say, un-clickworthy.

  1. Unsplash

We cannot stress enough how important visuals are when it comes to online content. We always make the most of sites such as Unsplash, which enable you to browse and download images for free. This really helps in implementing fresh and exciting content without becoming too repetitive in your use of imagery.

If you’d like to talk to PHM about how we can freshen up you social media channels – and take on the time commitments you can’t fit into your calendar –  call us on 01483 561119 or email info@housegroup.co.uk.