Just Do It: The Presales Teaser Site, and You


Something funny happened a week or two ago. I was researching for my last blog on email blasts, scouring around registering for real estate projects far and wide under my not-so-secret alias, carlostherascal@gmail.com. And surprise, surprise: the presales registration “teaser” sites were as lacking in imagination and balls as the correlated welcome/thank-you email responses. So I figured I’d start with a why: why build a teaser site at all? It’s a legitimate question. I mean, why not just blow your resources on a full-tilt website and slap ‘em in the face with that. Here are six indisputable reasons why:

1. The marketing, man! Even in the most robust markets, we should be looking for ways to to consolidate demand. Good marketing in general drives little diamond-tipped arrows into the hearts and minds of your audience(s). It is a series of steps that tap into those parts of the human experience that create intent and action: FOMO, status, greed, aspiration, self-actualization – all the good juicy stuff we need to sell our projects. Use the teaser site as the first step in a real-life trip down the rabbit hole that unfurls mystery and subtlety to create urgency. The teaser site then becomes the nucleus of your marketing program: objectives, phases, transitions, CTAs, social media integration and content production.

2. The insight. A teaser program is like a gun range to a navy seal. He or she can practice blasting bad guys before ever setting foot in a hostile environment. With a teaser site, you can test everything from call to action messaging, to A/B sample of ads, to heat mapping, font size – you name it. Not only that; you’ve also got the ability to use your teaser site as a means of data collection. Collect info from your early engagers and nurture them through the project’s marketing journey, testing them along the way to inform each subsequent step.

3. The Google. The longer your URL is live, the better your SEO is going to be. Even if we assume only incremental interactivity with your teaser program, longevity is a wonderful thing for SEO. Long story short, if you care about page ranking, get a URL live with a teaser site STAT in order to ensure that Al Gore and Google love you.

4. The brand. This is the first real peek under your kimono. There is a business case for creativity (I feel a future blog here…). The subjective nature of brand creative and the positive correlation it has in business results seems almost asinine to argue today. However, the lazy, crappy creative we continually see in real estate astounds me. The number of times I vomit a wee bit in my throat when I see the schlock potential buyers have to weed through is amazing. It’s 2017, people! Build a brand strategy (not just a logo and tagline), get some good creative, and use it to surprise and delight your market, beginning with the unveiling of your teaser site.

5. The freeze. In a competitive marketplace, your teaser speaks to your target market. “Stop,” it says commandingly. “Cool your jets. Something good is coming. Don’t leave the party ‘til we’ve had a chance to talk.” A “freeze the market” teaser site tells the world you’re coming; and you’re worth waiting for.

6. The size. (Or lack thereof.) A teaser site can be tiny and still effective. It doesn’t require massive investment or huge lead time. Given its efficacy and the relative ease with which your teaser site can be launched, there is just no reason not to.

Our recently completed teaser sites tick all six boxes:

A contemporary urban development in downtown Kelowna, where the tech industry is booming but the lakes and wineries of the Okanagan still beckon.

An idyllic enclave backing onto acres of forest, meadows and trails of Tynehead Park, Canopy is the kind of place where kids ride their bikes and neighbours come together for barbecues.

On the border of downtown Seattle and in the heart of vibrant Belltown, Arrivé captures the zeitgeist of a place, a time, and a rare opportunity.

In the heart of Vancouver, next to Queen Elizabeth Park, Little Mountain is the essence of sophisticated, vibrant Vancouver living.

Announcing… The Jolt
The Underbelly of the Verv Volt

I spent the first 40-ish years of my life as an introverted, stoic sort of fella. Still assessing how that’s turned out. My gut says it has lead to an at times aloof facade, and possibly a few confounded relationships along the way.

In my 41st year I took to Instagram as a way of documenting the more frivolous, maybe even daft parts of my life that my daughters would otherwise never see. After all, if I got hit by a bus tomorrow, how would they know that I had a penchant for singing Radio Head, or marvel at the sight of a broken toilet in an alley?

So, the Jolt. My own platform for, as my old friend David Allison would say, “laying naked in the street for people to poke with sticks” from time to time.

Don’t poke too hard.


Day of the Dad
In the fall of 2006, after finding out I was going to be joining the daddy club, I tailspun. It was a mild day, and we were going for a workout. A pee test and two little blue lines later, life was changed for good. The workout that day consisted of a quick drive home and laying fetal on the floor for perhaps three hours.

I was one of “those guys” – trying to establish a career post-university and post-sports, to whom this represented the ultimate coup de grâce. I was Ferdinand the bull: I sat under my tree in my beautiful field, free to do whatever, whenever. The news broke and was met with reflections on mortality, fear of not being able to provide, and the stress that came from being the awkward adult around kids. I was facing the matador.

At some point, I moved the bullshit aside and decided to make a go of it as a fosterer of little people. Not that I really had much choice. Likely no surprise to the rest of the word, but in many ways it’s been the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. The awkwardness faded fast, changing diapers wasn’t that gross, and I realized I never actually stayed out super late or had bender weekends, anyway. The hardest part for me has been the dichotomy of pursuing career and professional ambition with wanting the be the best dad ever (I’ve already got coolest/most badass dad parts down – ref. intsa posts dated April 16, 2017, or Dec 28, 2016).

These days, I’m trying to truly enjoy and appreciate the relationships I have with my girls. One is a tad shy and, at moments, a little bit nervous. But she sees the world in 4-D technicolor, and with a sense of unbound optimism that I hope never wears away with the coming of age. The other is a spitfire, full of moxie, with the yearning of a conquistador and the approach of a hyena. They’re so different, but so similar in their idiosyncrasies and weird little mannerisms, and in their completely intuitive ability to tame this bull.

The MO of father’s day yesterday was “Adventure.” A wake-up card thanking me for our constant adventures set the tone. So, we spent the day on another one: an Italian brunch downtown, an exploration through Chinatown, testing tents and stoves at Mountain Equipment Co-op, a nearly three-hour swim together emulating sharks and seals, and testing our deep water diving and survival skills.

Like with most of our other conquests and weekend undertakings together, at the end of the day they both said to me in exhausted voices, “Thanks, daddy, for the adventure today.”

In my appreciation of our relationships, if I can teach them to be brave, curious, intrepid, good little survivalists, and maybe even a little badass, then I guess the coup de grâce was worth it.