Are You Selling Ice to Eskimos? - Tailor Your Product to the Market | Eagle Vision

So what does selling ice to Eskimos have to do with property development and targeted marketing you may ask – well, in short everything. By knowing your target market and developing property to suit the predominant majority of buyers in the market – this opens the opportunity to appeal more and sell your projects faster, thus maximising your profitability.

Sounds quite simple, right?

If only it was so in real life – quite often I’ve seen developments presented to the marketplace starting from totally incorrect orientation and colour schemes, through to room sizes and dwelling arrangements.

As an example, if we were to take an area of Mt Waverley in Melbourne. This particular suburb is an inner eastern suburb, around 20kms to the CBD of Melbourne and it was primarily established in the 1970s. Vast majority of the residents are baby boomers living in single level houses with large plots of land.

The optimal re-development of such blocks is for townhouses and the developers in the know put the master bedrooms on the ground floor of these double storey townhouses. This is so that the baby boomers that purchase these properties – have the best of both worlds. Low maintenance and good security and at the same time they can stay downstairs and let the visiting or live-in kids sleep upstairs.

Unless you as the developer knows the demographic of the area and draws conclusions based on that research, it is too late when the property is already built to change positions of bedrooms. Thus a little bit of research upfront can go a long way to optimise your project and create the best appealing property that will sell quicker whilst others stay around.

Key Points:

  • Sell what your market wants
  • Research demographics and resident trends through council or local government resources
  • Keep within the colour schemes of the marketplace – don’t try to fight the wave
  • Present property configured to the needs of the majority of the local residents

5 Elements to Creating the Right Project for the Market

Element 1 – Thorough Research of Current Sale Stock

One of the best ways to start is by having a good set of questions for the local real estate agents to let them present what is currently on the market in terms of new stock, how long has any particular property been on the market for and what is selling really well.

Element 2 – Thorough Research of Demographics and Buyer Trends

The above research would only be as good as the current market situation, without knowing what the demographics of the area wants to purchase. Government websites like Australian Bureau of Statistics ( and Department of Sustainability and Environment ( are both excellent resources to understand local area demographics and trends.

Element 3 – Integrate This Research at the Outset of the Project

Quite often if the client has no particular objective at the initial stage and comes to an architect asking them for a solution – they are at the whim of the experience and ideas of the architect. If on the other hand – the client had a well defined objective and solid research on what the project should achieve – then the architect will have a much clearer path of developing the solution within the parameters set by the owner.

Element 4 – Monitor The Market

Whilst having the initial parameters pre-set for your project, it’s still worthwhile to monitor the market and watch out for any emerging trends. What if a particular style of sandstone finish becomes really popular? There is always room to insert this texture into the project in the construction phase – just have to weigh up whether the extra cost in variations is going to be really worth it at completion.

Element 5 – Stick to Your Guns

As well as seeing the market trends and what is hot at that moment is great, however sometimes the best thing to do is nothing at all and what I mean by this is – if you have done the research in the first two elements, then that will give a solid foundation to the developments outcome. Finetuning the development while the planning application is going is reasonably cheap, however if you decide to make major modifications at construction phase – then that could turn out quite costly.

Case Study

Recently I was told of an apartment development that was going through a planning application to the city of Port Philip and the project was in Port Melbourne. It is a reasonably wealthy area with high likelihood of applications being refused at council level and otherwise having contentious outcomes. In this particular example, however the architect was very clever and created a marine theme through the project – they even went as far as having a “schools of fish” mosaic in one of the panels near the entrance the building.

This impressed the councillors so much that the project received unanimous council members support (8 out of 8 votes) at the council meeting which for this experienced developer previously was unheard of and he obviously was very excited to receive the permit at local council level.

Clearly this was a development put together with good research and experienced architecture which will undoubtedly hold the project in good stead through to the sales stage as that fish element will feature in all of the branding for the project.


Staying with the marine theme – it is always easier swimming down stream then up-stream. Stay within the confines of the market place and innovate strategically rather than presenting a black sheep where the market wants white wool.

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