UTS Library

Fitz Blitz

Client: 

Urban Land Development Authority

PR Company: 

Urban Land Development Authority

Award Category: 

Award Type: 

Call Number: 

2010 C9 - 13

Year: 

2010

Executive Summary: 

The Fitz Blitz campaign was developed by the Urban Land Development Authority (ULDA) to launch the Fitzgibbon Chase development.

The prefabrication and in-situ construction of the Sales Information Centre within 24 hours was the foundation of the campaign strategy, to generate quality leads and traffic to the development, sell Stage 3 and 4 lots and drive a positive community perception of the development.

The Fitz Blitz also provided opportunities for the ULDA to engage with our political leaders, provide much needed construction training opportunities and build good will with our residential neighbours.

The success of the Fitz Blitz campaign can be clearly seen in the outstanding sales results. On the day of the Fitz Blitz, 50% of the release was sold. The quality of the leads was proven when Stage 4 was subsequently released and all lots were sold on pre-release in 18 days.

Situation Analysis: 

The Urban Land Development Authority (ULDA) was established in late 2007 as a key initiative of the Queensland Government’s Housing Affordability Strategy and Fitzgibbon Chase is the first development project the ULDA has undertaken.

Fitzgibbon Chase is a 114-hectare development, 13 kilometres north of the Brisbane CBD, that will consist of approximately 600 lots and more than 1500 dwellings.

Throughout the development we are supporting the delivery of a wide range of home types and tenures, including the provision for social and community housing. This has resulted in some negative perceptions about the development being a future ghetto.

In 2009 the ULDA commenced civil construction of the site and by mid-year were progressed enough to begin considering opening a Sales Information Centre (SIC) onsite.

The opening of a Sales Information Centre (SIC) provided an opportunity to officially launch the Fitzgibbon Chase development and increase awareness that the site was now open to visitors and invigorate buyer interest in the development.

At this time the world was in the grip of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC). The development and construction was heavily impacted by the economic downturn. As a result many training opportunities and apprenticeships were being lost.

As a State Government Statutory Authority the ULDA is on the lookout to find ways to leverage more for the community out of our development presence, to give more to the community than simply homes on the ground. The construction of the Sales Information Centre had the potential to offer quality training opportunities for apprentices or school based trainees.

By bundling together the SIC construction, official opening and development launch we were creating an ideal situation to create a lot of interest in the development and generate leads and sales. Ideally this alternative news angle would help limit news stories about social housing at Fitzgibbon Chase.

Research: 

In June 2009 the CEO of the ULDA called a cross-disciplinary meeting of ULDA staff to discuss, share knowledge of previous events and brainstorm ideas for the Sales Information Centre construction. At the meeting were team members with varied experience from a range of commercial developments, sales and marketing, public relations and building construction.

Individuals shared stories of success and elements they believed were necessary to encourage community and media interest and attract buyers. The key elements were:

1. The launch day itself needed to have things happening that attracted all people to attend, not just buyers

2. Ensure their was a substantial land release with a mix of prices and product types

3. People needed to be able to buy on the day

4. Neighbours of the development must feel welcome

5. Activities to entertain kids were a must to allow parents the time to have in-depth conversations about the development.

At this meeting a presenter explained how Jehovah Witnesses have, using the skills from within their congregation, erected new temples over a weekend, starting on Friday night and working in shifts through to completion in time for Sunday meetings.

We also considered the lack of training opportunities within the construction industry and that more and more apprentices were losing their apprenticeships as a result of the economic downturn.

With all of these ideas in the melting pot the concept to build the Sales Information Centre in 24- hours was decided. A key group was left to undertake further research of the concept to ensure it was a viable concept.

As the concept developed the Fitz Blitz: a 24-hour challenge became a solid campaign.

With the decision to use out-of-trade apprentices to pre-fabricate a purpose designed building, that would then be flat packed, transported to site and constructed in situ over a consecutive 24- hour period.

The campaign was hinged on the 24-hour construction strategy and the apprentice construction. This raised potential issues of not completing the deadline, workmanship not being up to standard.

The cross-disciplinary team then worked with external experts including architects and group training providers to research building design, materials and training models that informed the final centre design and construction model. This ensured the final 24-hour construction would be feasible.

Target Policies: 

There were four primary target publics for the Fitz Blitz, each with a different driver for engagement.

Ready buyers

Buyers who were ready to purchase immediately from the launch land release that included 30 house and land packages, 4 turn key homes and 12 attached homes.

Future buyers

Fitzgibbon Chase will take up to 5-years to complete. We have staged land releases over this period. We needed to capture leads for future releases, who will be ready to buy over the next 1-5 years.

Fitzgibbon Chase’s residential neighbours

Encourage good neighbours to welcome the new residents and build good will with neighbouring residents to compensate for some of the less pleasant side effects of development like dust and noise.

Political leaders

As Fitzgibbon Chase is the first development undertaken by the ULDA it is critical for the ULDA to successful manage our political leaders. Securing the support of our political leaders will ensure the ULDA will grow and gain future opportunities. Specific targets were:

•        The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe MP (shareholder Minister)

•        Vicky Darling MP, Member for Sandgate (local state representative).

Communication Strategy: 

Hearing of the loss of training opportunities within the construction industry we decided to use outof- trade apprentices to pre-fabricate and undertake the consecutive 24-hour construction. This concept was the central strategy of the campaign

Key components for the plan were:

•        The land release reviewed and priced to ensure a mix to attract the broadest range of buyers.

•        A media strategy developed which considered a range of issues potentially impacting on the success of the site, in particular the recent approval of a community housing project which could scare the potential buyer base.

•        Leverage of our political contacts for greater media coverage.

•        The completion of the 24-hour period culminating in a community and sales event to attract visitors to the site.

•        The date of the event, 23 January 2010, scheduled to coincide with the end of school holidays and a time of year that was usually a key period for land sales.

•        Support expensive paid promotions with digital tools, in particular electronic direct mail (eDM) to 666 registered people and updates via Facebook and Twitter.

Implementation: 

As a government Statutory Authority we leveraged our political contacts. Invitations to participate in the launch event, and to visit the pre-fabrication shed to witness the apprentice construction, were issued to the Premier, Deputy Premier, Minister Hinchliffe and local State MPs and Federal MPs and Minister for Job Participation.

The ULDA felt the Fitz Blitz was a really great project, and decided to commission video documentary of the Fitz Blitz (see Appendix A) to enable us to continue to leverage the event, well after it was finished.

Implementation table

Results: 

Attendance

720 people attended the Fitz Blitz, including 50 never before registered leads

Sales

50% of product released sold at the event, that’s 23 homes.

Political engagement

Significant state and federal political support was achieved throughout the pre-fabrication and 24- hour blitz:

•        The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe, Minister for Infrastructure and Planning, wrote individual letters to Fitz Blitz apprentices and participated in both the commencement of the 24-hour period and the opening of the Centre, personally congratulating and awarding apprentices with their letters and certificates

•        Vicky Darling MP, state member for Sandgate, was a great supporter of the Fitz Blitz and often made mention of the project in her weekly local newspaper column

•        Carolyn Male MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Education and state member for Strathpine visited the Fitz Blitz shed and toured the work being undertaken

•        Yvette D’Ath MP, Federal Member for Petrie, visited the Fitz Blitz shed throughout construction and even got her hands dirty during the 24 hour construction period!

•        Senator Mark Arbib, Minister for Employment Participation, visited the Fitz Blitz shed while visiting Queensland to announce the Apprentice Kickstart Program (see Appendix A for photographs).

Media coverage

13 articles were published in local and state-wide publications, only one that specifically mentioned affordable housing (see Appendix A full articles).

Additional results

•        4440 training hours recorded by apprentices

•        Video documentary produced that showcases the project, used to promote the project and the ULDA

•        75 kilos of sausages were sizzled raising $1,500 for the local Lions Club.

Evaluation: 

When evaluated against the objectives set for the Fitz Blitz the strategy was extremely successful.

Evaluation table