The main page of the new Loreto Bay web site (loretobay) As we anticipated based on yesterday’s communication from Michael Coyle of Replay Resorts, the new Loreto Bay web site launched today. Although obviously a marketing vehicle, existing homeowner’s should be interested in the positioning and messaging used to attract new buyers to the development. The new site is heavily flash-based, a technology from Adobe, which makes for a fancy, splashy next generation looking site. Loni will be happy! We spent some time clicking on the different sections and taking in the information, and here’s our initial thoughts and reaction. We’d love to hear what you think.
The look & feel:
- the new web site incorporates the new logo and design elements we wrote about yesterday; this continues to impress
- the slick Adobe Flash is nice, but perhaps loads a little too leisurely at times in my opinion (then again maybe that’s consistent with Loreto!)
- lots of color and beautiful pictures: like it
- the designers seem to be going for a magazine-like motif with the header “Feature Contents, This Issue” – does this mean there will be regular updates, and information? Or is it just a snappy, glossy look? Either way, good stuff
- the new whale logo is called Grand Azul or “Big Blue” – azul is the same interior décor we chose for our little casa, a good sign?
- problem: if you click on the text on the “The Inn” page, you are sent to the Replay Resorts web site… it seems like this should take you to the Discover Loreto Bay web site? (in fact Loni confirmed this seems to also happen on the new logo and sustainability pages)
Promotional message highlights and press mentions:
- “One of the top 50 developments worldwide”
- “#1 place to invest in Mexico” (we carried this headline before, see our post “Loreto Selected #1 Place to Invest in Mexico” from May, 2008
- sustainability continues to be a differentiator and there is a section with facts on the environmental footprint of the development
- “One of Ten Great Places to Slumber Under the Stars”
- suggestion: they should provide links to the actual source web sites that contain the press mentions
Marketing the homes and site plan:
- the only plan publicly available on the new site is the Casita Cortez; they are really pushing this one model, probably to simplify construction
- it’s an all-inclusive pitch “$375,000 All In.” with furniture (viewing tower is an option)
- the fire pit and fountain which were previously considered options are now included
- the floors are “polished, stained concrete floors” vs. Saltillo tiles
- more information on the Cortez Explorers’ Club will apparently be available Oct. 31
- a promotional offer starts from $299 including 4-days and 3-nights
No surprises really, and starting at $375,000 is still not bad (although it includes more) given the current real estate downturn and economic crisis. We did notice a few other tidbits of information. If you look closely at the Aqua Viva map (under ‘Neighborhood Plan’) you’ll notice 2 buildings. It appears that a future phase will indeed include more condo buildings. Again, not much of a surprise. How else to maximize profit on a limited beach front? Still I’m sure many will be disappointed with this direction and wonder about its potential impact on the walking village concept originally envisioned. It’s convenient to include a mileage chart under the “location” tab, but a question: where is SAN FRANCISCO (SFO)?! We have one of the largest and most passionate homeowner groups here, and I would suspect a lot of future prospects (area population over 6M). A flight to Loreto from the SF Bay Area is a 1/2 day shot via LA.
I like the “Twelve Reasons to Love Loreto Bay” section. Again, slick and involving – it should engage prospects who will spend time clicking away. In the end, the key test of the web site for Replay is how well it will generate new leads. It’s nice looking, but what really counts is conversion of leads into prospects into sales. It will be a tough haul for a while (for the entire market and any real estate project), but I believe if the original vision remains true, and effective execution continues we will be great long-term. Oh, final note: if Citibank is looking to sell their investment, perhaps they should call Warren Buffett?