Real Estate Developers: Good or Evil?



Mr./Ms. Developer, you are a brand.

No matter the size of your company, your brand is being watched and talked about by somebody, somewhere. Developers are already behind the 8-ball – I mean, you destroy grasslands and forests, gentrify neighborhoods, and are generally presented as money-grubbing scoundrels at the very best of times. (See movie review of Yogi Bear in The Vancouver Sun, January 4, 2011: “It’s a classic little morality tale of good vs. evil, in this case the bears and rangers against the developers.”)

Large real estate developers need to be proactively thinking about the strategy for their brands (meaning their businesses, projects – whatever you want to call it), and how they engage with the cities and communities they work in. The world has changed. As this New York Times article puts it: “Yes, they [brands] can run ads on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and everyplace else. But social media elevates consumers over corporate marketing; suddenly what matters isn’t what an ad says about a company, but what your friends think about that company.”

The opportunity here is to stop being reactive and start being proactive, thinking through not just a social strategy but an entire brand activation approach: social, content, web, community engagement, altruism, integrated project launches… You’re limited only by your imagination.

Mr./Ms. Developer, your entire business relies on campaigns. Figure out what yours is, and get on the stump.