Gated Communities?

Hi everyone. I have posted this question on NWCD and I was hoping to get some feedback from some of you guys over here.

The area I am looking to move to in Florida seems to have a high concentration of gated communities. So my question is how do I get into those communities to market my service? These areas seem to be the most likely to use a WCing service as far as I can tell.

I suppose it would help to know that I am not yet in this business. I live in Mi currently and I am planning to move my family to Florida in June to start a WCing bus.

Just trying to get as many things worked out as possible before I make the move. Any help or suggestions from you guys would be greatly appreciated. Also I am attending the IWCA convention in San Diego and look forward to meeting as many of you as I can. My name is Dave Allen.

You gotta get creative. When I was first starting off there was this one one community that I really wanted to get into. I did everything I could.

I put yard signs out in front, and around the area where people pulling out of the community would be likely to see.

I used the internet to look up address from known street names inside of the community. Get a hold of a map of the area.

Sometimes these places have community news letters or bulletin boards you can get into.

Once I got one job in there, from the methods listed above I drove around and got all the address’s. Then you can mail postcards and fliers all you want.

Mailers! That is what you need to do. Just send a concentrated burst of GOOD mailers (I would do letters). You just need one address in there, then go find what is called a “criss-cross street directory” Library’s have them and I am sure you can find one on line.

I also can give you info on a place that sells mailing lists with no minimum quantity. You can enter all the demographics you will need and a narrow radius, then viola.

Don’t pay for a list when it’s free…

Last week I did a job on a 4million dollar home that I sent a mailer to…

I tried to give the guard at the little gate/gaurdshack thing $50 to let me go in and put out fliers. (BTW this worked at one gated community and I still haven’t got one call.)

Either way… I went to the local County Assessors website. I don’t know about in your area… but in my area, all you need is a name of the neighborhood. It will give you names and addresses of every property owner within your designated search. In my case… by neighborhoods.

Why pay for what you can get for free?

Mailers are the best for high end…

I target homes $350,000 and up… in Oklahoma $350k buys a whole lot of brick. The lower end of my demographic gets fliered. High end gets mail.

Louie, I think you are right on target.

The advertisements I get in the mail are the ones that I will actually look at.

Usually the guys dropping the fliers into the newspaper boxes in my development are driving beaters and the fliers are very cheap. I toss any of these in the garbage as I want a reputable and established business providing services for me.

How the ads are presented carry alot of weight for me personally.

This explains your statement on the other thread I hijacked… (by accident of course)

My fliers don’t look cheap. One day I will show you. Very tasteful, very cheap to print.

Sending mailers get quite expensive. For me to get more bang for my buck fliers are the route.

PitBull… one way to get past the guards is do a Midnight Commando Run. Jump the fence at some point and walk your way into the residential area. Around here the gated communities worth marketing have golf courses. You can duck and weave if security gets wind of your presence.

Doing fliers in these neighborhoods… kinda pointless anyway. Who are you targeting??

The House Keeping Staff???

More than likely that’s who’s gonna get the flier first.

Direct Mail… no doubt.

Thanks everyone! Seems to be a consensus, Direct Mail it is. As I get closer to my start date I hope one of you fine people will be kind enough to instruct me on preparing an effective mailer. This board is great. Very knowledgeable and professional.

I have roughly 50 plus retirement communities here. Most of my business comes from them. I use their news letter. One thing to keep in mind with those places is that they are 99% of the time model homes. So what does that do for you? That allows you to set a price list for each model. If you can, tell the gate master you are looking to purchase a home. If it’s for 55 and older, and you are not 55+ tell the gate master you are looking for a family member. Anyway go into the sales office and ask if they have a booklet with all the models in them. Most of the booklets will have the amount of windows in each home, with options. IE model home #1 may have 10 windows, but could have an option to have an additional window placed over their sink in the kitchen at extra cost. Anyway come up with a set price for each place. If all the homes are the same, once again, set price them. The one thing seniors hate is calling for a service and not knowing how much it will cost. Nothing sucks more then calling someone for service, they quote you a price, then show up and tell you, this and that has caused the price to increase. They fear this, plus they fear you cause they dont know you. So some may be nervouse to call. If they have a set price and it says so in your flyer, mailer or ad you will get more calls. Plus it allows them to sit at the bingo table on friday nights and brag about your service. Then your phone starts to ring. Set prices like these are great cause it allows you to know exactly what you cost will be in time and labor. It will allow you to grow your business a lot easier when or if the time comes.

9 out of 10 gated communities in my area are Custom Built homes by about a dozen different builders.

You’ve got a sweet gig going up there though.

Kick down the gate! Drive around and toss rocks/baggies on the driveways! :slight_smile:

I once read a book about marketing for magicians (a previous life) it was called:

It Takes guts damnit.

Awesome book too.

The basic idea was, it is easier to get forgiveness than permission.

Does anyone really do this? I mean maybe I am just an arsehole, but I would be Peesed off at someone throwing something in my driveway that I had to bend over and pick up.

I have heard of this method more than once, guess I just can’t wrap my mind around it. I would be the guy that calls the number just to chew someone out for throwing it in my driveway.:mad:

This is another nugget of wisdom my father preaches. Just do it… it’s easier to apologize when it’s done than it is to talk your way into it.

I have gotten a lot of really good customers in this fashion. More compliments for ingenuity than condemnation for littering. Don’t get me wrong… I have received both. Placement is the key in this method.

Don’t just sloppily throw them in the driveway. Carefully place them on top of or in front of the brick mailbox. That way when they go get the mail, there it is. No special trip, no “what the hell is that?”

It’s a numbers game… What would Peese you off might delight your neighbor. You never know until you try.

Thank you both for the advice. I just need to stop thinking about what would upset me and just try some things. Setting the flyers on the mailbox instead of tossing into the driveway certainly makes good sense to me.

“Deeper Clean” thanks for the general idea of just doing whatever it takes to get out there and sell my service. I will try to keep that in mind when I get discouraged from time to time.

I am not a fan of the rock and bag, but as happens many, MANY times on here. Our personal feelings cloud the results. Really, the end result is what matters.

You guys ever think of putting something else in the bag instead of a rock? I bring this up because in direct mail there is a technique called “lumpy mail” That is when you put something in the envelope that arouses curiosity. Cheap stuff, like a rubberband or a packet of Advil.

You could also tie the object into the ad. Take the Advil idea-

[B][COLOR=“Red”]Are Your Dirty Windows Giving You A Headache?[/COLOR][/B]

Thats an awesome idea with the advil.

CFP…A-W-E-S-O-M-E idea!

For those who do not know…I am clearly professional. A deeper clean was a stupoid idea i am now stuck with.

the rock-in-baggy idea works. period. stay home and think of other ideas…or use the ones that work. I dont care.

i got plenty of calls about littering. No one chew my arse long…i can speak my mind rather well. Plenty started…and were told to get bent.

One guy called and yelled at me…I went to his house…

Placement is key too as mentioned above. toss it by the mail box.

The retunr is awesome…the speed of delivery rocks…and who cares what the ones who get mad think anyway. I want to wrk. If my image is stained by your opinion of how I got my message to you…go hug a root.

However…CFP’s idea of the “other” item…is by far, the biggest leap in the idea ever.

Wish I had thought of that.

worry about your image all you want…i am going to wash some windows.

Image is an elusive and very subjective beast. All eyes see differently

I thought of some more cool ideas about these dropped fliers, but I will keep those to myself.

After all, people get paid big bucks to come up with this stuff…

Go hug a root?? :slight_smile: Classic…

The whole idea behind the rock is the weight. I tried using " a penny for your thougts" campaign but the bags blew down the road. Defeated the whole purpose.

I am going to meditate on this while I am scrubbing panes today.

CFP - again, brilliant idea with the Advil, and nice reminder with the lumpy mail principle.

I love the Advil idea, and I would like to test it, but I worry about the possible legal problems with placing drugs within such easy grasp of kids (i.e. MAILBOX or the like).


You guys ROCK!

“Clearly”, glad you identified yourself. With the people here on this board, I am seeing a much higher level of thinking than the other board.

I hope to be able to contribute as well at some point, for now I will just keep inhaling all of this phenomenal advice.