The Art of Bringing A Masterplan to Life

June 27, 2023

Bringing a masterplan to life takes time, resources, experts, planning, vision, research, demand, partners, budget, creativity, and a lot of heart. The biggest factor in making a masterplan successful is amenity design, community activation planning, product design and experience differentiation. This comes from understanding what the customer wants in a community, what the area can offer in terms of resources and planning, and how much a developer is willing to pitch, plan, design, execute and follow-through with the right partners to make the vision come to life.

After the vision is set, and land and architecture framework are approved by the builder team, the next phase of community planning moves to the marketing team. The marketing team must take the ingredients for community design and execute a story, a brand, and communications that appeal and expand on the design. A community theme must sing and connect to future homeowners, signage must create a path to help future neighborhoods develop awareness and activation, and programming plans for event spaces need to be established. Promising what “life will look like” is a tall order and marketers need to consider the key elements to painting the picture of real-life experiences.

“If you build it, they will come,” the famous phrase from the Kevin Costner movie Field of Dreams, is a phrase not related to just corn fields, but a phrase that can inspire the development of a masterplan. Why should they come here? Why do they want to move? Why choose this community over another? Why build? Considering why you build a community and how it aligns with the vision of the developer is part of the story and the roots in the marketing. Picking apart all the elements around why the community will exist and what it offers to future residents are the building blocks of the proposition statement, the brand, the lifestyle, the programming, and the brand promise. This also can help a marketing team take shape to their first blush at storytelling. Telling the story of a masterplan can be tricky, but thanks to entertaining video and the use of virtual technology, teams can leverage advanced ways to highlight how a community will feel once the weeds are plowed, the homes are built, and the pool is filled. Storytelling the “how” pays off the “why.” When you pair those explored philosophies, you now have a landscape for messaging and building your video assets. When looking at budgets and timing to market, the fastest way to sell the “unseen” is to use virtual animation. Animation wizards like the team at Focus 360 will take your architectural design and land plans to build the community before you do – all virtually! The best time to start building these assets depends on what your development teams need to accomplish. Sometimes early on animation is used to highlight how streets will flow and how homes will line the streets, how density will feel and how the neighborhood will contribute to the overall area. Animation videos create early municipality buy-in and even neighboring city interest. If you are past this phase, deeper thought and additional budget can be placed into expanded marketing assets that display connectivity to local and surrounding resources, entertainment, parks, trails, and retail. Furthermore, with today’s advanced technology, lifestyle vignettes can be added which highlight emotional appeal and unique family experiences that are likely to be garnered in a community. Evoking emotion, building excitement, and highlighting life vs dirt is what helps market a community early in the development process. Early buy in can lead to easily formed interest lists, and faster absorption of phases.


A community marketing strategy should pay off the masterplan’s future value with the right visual assets that translate a homeowner’s experience. Consider these four areas in your planning:

LIFE A community experience breathes life into a new development with parks, trails, schools, and a thoughtful sense of place for the needs of life.

PURPOSE Set the tone for future area development and pave the way for residents to enrich their lives in a fulfilling location that offers recreation, connectivity, and quality-built homes.

SAFETY Swinging gates that welcome someone home, thoughtfully placed landscaping, and articulate fencing all offer soft community boundaries and a sense of safety.

ACTIVATION How will your community’s heartbeat sound? Playful screams at the pool, the soft tread of sneakers on a running path or the whistle ending a game of football.

Great and strategic marketing and storytelling really is a fine art to making a masterplan successful, memorable, and unique. Once a community animation video is created, marketers can peel off sections and highlights to create social media reels, email marketing and YouTube shorts. Consider squeezing more ROI out of animation assets and feature video in your clubhouses, support your website content and use in sales center marketing experiences. An animation video can grow a ton of legs and have longevity even after the final assets are built and the last foundations are poured.

Building a masterplan truly is an art that starts with a developer’s vision, but marketing teams bring it to life. Check out a series of successful, unique, and award-winning masterplan videos over on our Vimeo or YouTube Channels. Let’s explore how to make your next masterplan a masterpiece!

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