How would you like to have a branding partnership that has sold over 800 homes in two years and has generated an interest list of 300,000+ home buyers?
In this podcast, host Dean Wehrli and Minto’s President of Latitude Margaritaville Bill Bullock will inspire you to think outside the box to partner with an iconic brand. Minto’s partnership with Jimmy Buffett has resulted in roughly 400 home sales per year each of the last two years in Daytona Beach—the second highest number of sales for a single-builder master plan in the country. Minto has opened a second Margaritaville community, with a third recently opened and crushing it.
Partnering with an iconic brand is not as easy as it sounds. Partnerships with great brands need scale because the partner has to be paid. Also, great brands do more than just lend their name. They stay actively involved in all decisions. Minto consults with Margaritaville executives several days a week. Jimmy Buffett named all of the streets in the community. He also purchased a home in the community and has been known to surprise residents with a knock on their door for an impromptu cocktail.
Minto’s success has generated significant interest from landowners all over the country. Bill points out that Minto stays disciplined to make sure all 5 factors for success are met:
- Scale. The community has to be large enough to support great amenities. Bill suggests a minimum of 1,000 homes, adding that 3,000+ homes is ideal. The massive scale of Margaritaville in Daytona Beach allowed Minto to purchase a beachfront property a few miles away, offering free shuttle service throughout the day.
- Inexpensive land. The land price has to be low, allowing payments to be made to the brand partner while also providing homes that can be priced in the low 200,000s. While I was very impressed with everything I saw when I toured Margaritaville in Daytona Beach in early 2018, what impressed me most was the value.
- Travel-friendly destination locations. The community has to be easy to visit, ideally by prospective buyers while already on vacation. Residents also want access to interstates and airports to facilitate travel. Minto’s next location in Panama City Beach, Florida, is already a popular destination for Texans, which Bill expects to comprise a large percentage of their 3500+ home buyers.
- Great medical within 10 minutes. Access to really great medical facilities less than 10 minutes away is critical. Inexpensive land close to great medical facilities is not easy to find.
- Great shopping and entertainment, also within 10 minutes. With 3000+ homes, Minto can afford to build additional retail within the community.
Bill also adds that access to a plethora of college-level education opportunities provides an additional bonus. I was reminded of the comprehensive study of retirement destinations we completed 15 years ago, concluding that affordable college towns attracted a much larger share of retirees than other areas. The attraction is not just the educational opportunities, but also the opportunity to be around young adults. Additionally, many retirees desire to return to their college towns where they still have strong connections.
Bill also shared a few surprises:
- California residents. Minto has seen a surprising number of California residents buying in Daytona Beach, with many of them cashing out of their very expensive home, and also attracted by no state income taxes.
- Campouts. Not only did the initial 55+ year old residents camp out all night to purchase their home, this particular fun-loving demographic made a party out of it, developing friendships that resulted in them choosing their next door neighbors that night.
- 12 concerts a week. No, that is not a typo. Residents can enjoy afternoon concerts at the pool and evening concerts at the band shack with a wide variety of musicians.
- Half not Parrotheads: Approximately half of the residents were not particularly attracted by Jimmy Buffett but have grown to love the lifestyle.
How many other great brands out there have millions of followers who would like to live with others who share their tastes? We look forward to seeing what you can come up with.
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