Southeast Luxury Communities

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Southeast Luxury Communities

Governor's Land, Haig Point, Colleton River Club, Dataw Island, Bay Creek, French Broad Crossing, The Preserve at Little Pine, Albemarle Plantation, The Landings, and Callawasse Island are exclusive luxury communities in the Southeast. Each has marketing messaging that differentiates them from the others, however, none of the communities has an active marketing campaign through television, radio, or print. While all the communities have a social media presence, their messaging varies across the social media channels. Some communities have specific challenges that have been recognized in news or press releases, but the majority have general issues attributed to all similar types of communities. Below is an overview of our findings.

Governor’s Land at Two Rivers

  • Governor's Land at Two Rivers is located in Williamsburg, Virginia.
  • The exclusive, member-owned community sits on 1,400 acres of waterfront between the James and Chickahominy Rivers. Amenities include a deep-water marina, private beach, an 18-hole golf course, and a resort-style country club.
  • The marketing director is not published on the website. A general press search and Linkedin search did not provide a contact name in the marketing department. General contact information is: 2700 Two Rivers Rd, Williamsburg, VA 23185; Homeowner's Association (757) 253-6976; Country Club (757) 258-4610.

General Messaging

  • The website tagline for Governor's Land at Two Rivers is "Swing Into Luxury Living On The Waterfront." The focus of the website is on the range of activities offered in the community.
  • The exclusive community boasts activities for everyone including the artistic or athletic, the gardener or the reader. This is further evidenced on the testimonials page in which three of the four comments mention the diverse activities.
  • The video on the main page of the community website provides an overview of the features and amenities of the community. These include: the award-winning golf course designed by Tom Fazio; social gatherings and events offered by the country club; the marina and yacht club; biking and hiking trails; tennis courts with professional instructors; and the fitness center with personal trainers.
  • Throughout the website and video, the message that resonates is that Governor's Land has something for everyone, no matter the age, interests, or activity level. For example, the golf course was designed to be enjoyed by golfers of all levels and lessons are available for beginners. Dining at the country club ranges from formal to casual with a variety of cuisines that will appeal to the entire family. The marina and yacht club has activities for both serious and casual boating enthusiasts. Professional tennis instruction is available for all ages. There are a range of homes available in different sizes and architectures that will fit any lifestyle.
  • Another theme prevalent throughout the website is that Governor's Land is a place to relax and unwind. According to the promotional video, "It's the place to do all the things you love to do or just unwind and relax."

Social Media/Marketing

  • Governor's Land at Two Rivers has a dedicated blog on its website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube.
  • The administrators are not very active publishing articles on the blog. The last post was from May 2019 and concerned a charity golf tournament for kids.
  • The community's Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages are very similar in content. All three focus on community happenings and events. There are also photos showing the beauty of the landscape. There is very little variation in the content posted between the different channels.
  • The Pinterest page is specifically for the Governor's Land at Two Rivers Country Club. The page highlights wedding events held at the club.
  • Despite having a link to YouTube on the community website, there is very little activity on the channel, with the last video being posted over a year ago. Of the 22 videos posted on YouTube, one promotes the dining options in the community, 20 shows each of the holes in the golf course, and one is the promotion video featured on the community website.
  • After a thorough news and press scan, we were unable to locate any specific advertising through television, radio, or print media. The community has been featured in articles on Private Communities, Ideal-Living, and Links Magazine.
  • A post on Facebook on February 19, 2020, indicates that Governor's Land participated in the Ideal-Living Expo in Connecticut. The expo was targeted to resort and retirement living.

Challenges

  • Governor’s Land at Two Rivers celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2018. As an older community, it has been challenged with staying relevant with an evolving marketplace.
  • In order to attract a younger group of homeowners, the community has had to make some changes in policies, including lessening dress codes in the country club areas, adding more casual dining options, and offering weekend entertainment. With these policy updates, the community has ensured an equal mix family types with "one-third families with children, one-third working couples, and one-third retirees."
  • In 2001, the homeowners purchased the club from the developer. This has allowed the homeowners to make decisions that are in the best interest of all members. The current members have been focused on updating and expanding the club and creating new revenue streams. New revenue streams, such as non-member wedding services, helps keep member dues down while allowing improvement to the amenities.

Haig Point on Daufuskie Island

  • Haig Point is a "sea-island community just off the coast of South Carolina, between Hilton Head and Savannah, Georgia." The community is only accessible by water ferry and water taxis.
  • The 1,050 acre island is home to a diverse community from around the world. Amenities include a 29-hole golf course, an equestrian center, 7 tennis courts, and a country club.
  • Adam Martin is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing. Lauren Hunt is the Programming and Communications Director. She handles all internal communication as well as social media posts.
  • General contact information for the community is: 10 Haig Point Circle, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina 29928, 800-686-3441, Email: info@haigpoint.com.

General Messaging

  • The tagline of the community website is "Leave the Mainland Behind."
  • The main messaging throughout the website focuses on the laid back Southern lifestyle, gracious living, and connecting with community.
  • The video featured on the main page of the website starts with the phrase, "No hustle, no bustle, not even a single bridge." It asks the question, "What will you possibly do all day?" The remainder of the video features all the amenities on the island.

Social Media/Marketing

  • Haig Point on Daufuskie Island is active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest.
  • The Haig Point Facebook page is primarily filled with posts to articles featuring the community. Several posts show activities and events on the island. The Twitter page takes the opposite approach, primarily featuring posts about activities and events with a few posts showing articles about the community.
  • The community's Instagram page features pictures promoting upcoming events and various sights around the island.
  • The Haig Point YouTube channel contains 14 videos, though the last video is dated over a year ago. One of the videos speaks to the lifestyle of the residents on the island. One resident claims that the island is "laid back yet has all of the amenities." Another resident states that the environment and closeness of the community cannot be matched anywhere. The video also features a young girl resident, showing that the community appeals to all ages.
  • The Haig Point Pinterest page contains several boards including: Beautiful Daufuskie and Press which features pictures from articles about the island; Haig Point Golf which features pictures of the golf course and articles published about the course; Haig Point Homes featuring homes in the community; Haig Point Weddings featuring pictures of articles about wedding events on the island; Happenings featuring events on the island; Low Country Style featuring home decor found at Haig Point; and Haig Point Equestrian featuring horse riding on the island.
  • A press and news search for advertising mediums by Haig Point located no specific advertising on television, radio, or print media. However, the community was featured in a video on the Golf Channel and an episode of 843TV in 2017.

Challenges

  • The island is completely secluded from the mainland with no bridge access. Residents depend on a private ferry service to travel on and off the island. Some residents would like an improved ferry service with more frequent trips, making it easier and more convenient to go to work, grocery shopping, and doctors appointments.
  • In addition, personal automobiles must be parked on the mainland in a community parking lot. This has been a point of contention in the past as some residents would like to be able to transport their vehicles to the island while others like the solitude of the no-car environment.
  • Some of these issues were addressed in a video posted by Haig Point in 2016. The private ferry offers valet service for groceries and luggage. Residents simply pull up to the ferry valet where their goods are unpacked from their car and packed into the valet trailer. Upon arrival to the island, the valet service will deliver the goods to the resident's home. Residents that like the no-car policy state that they have adapted to living in an environment without all the modern conveniences. In the event of an emergency medical situation, a helicopter can reach the island in about 10 minutes. According to residents, this would be about the same amount of time for an ambulance to arrive on the mainland.

Colleton River Club

  • Colleton River Club is a 1,500 acre private peninsula community located in Bluffton, South Carolina. The community boasts an aquatics complex, a community dock with deep-water access, two clubhouses, a fitness center and spa, two golf courses and a practice park, a tennis complex, and two nature reserves.
  • Kelley Finley is the Director of Marketing. She can be contacted at 843-836-4432 or kelleyf@coltonriverclub.com.
  • General contact information for the community is: 60 Colleton River Drive, Bluffton, SC 29910, (843) 836-4400, Email: info@colletonriverclub.com.

General Messaging

  • The predominant theme that weaves through the narrative on the Colleton River Club website and promotional videos focuses on the serenity and beauty of a one-of-a-kind lifestyle. "Peninsula Living" is the tagline and the beauty of the surrounding nature provides a breathtaking setting for luxurious living.
  • The preservation of the natural surroundings is an important value of the community. All aspects have been designed to respect the natural landscape, making the island a natural paradise.

Social Media/Marketing

  • The Colleton Club has profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube.
  • The majority of the posts on the community's Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages concern golf and other sporting events taking place on the island. There are a few posts highlighting the beauty of the landscape and homes available for sale. The theme of a one-of-a-kind lifestyle in a natural setting is apparent in these posts with words such as "unmatched," "pristine," "paradise," and "serenity" being used to describe the pictures.
  • The Club's Pinterest page has 8 boards including: Colleton River weddings, featuring wedding events on the island; We Love to Golf, featuring pictures of golf and golf events on the island; Member Events, featuring pictures of member activities; Event Design We Love, featuring pictures of decorations used in weddings and other events; Ideas for Club Events; Low Country Living, featuring pictures of homes on the island; Culinary Delights, featuring pictures of food from the area restaurants; and Scenes from the Low Country, featuring pictures of the nature and beauty of the island.
  • Colleton Club has an active presence on YouTube, posting over 90 videos, with the most recent posted four months ago. Many of the videos regard the golf experience on the island. Another series of videos posted in 2017 features residents of the community sharing their experiences through interviews with 843TV.
  • The earliest promotional video for Colleton Club was posted in 2012. Using the phrase "where in the world" repeatedly throughout the video, the narrator expresses the uniqueness of the community and island. Other descriptive phrases used in the video include "one-of-a-kind" and "unique." The video ends with the phrase, "Colleton River Club, no where else on earth."
  • A press and news search of the Colleton River Club found no direct marketing in television, radio, or print. However, the community's YouTube page features a video that appears to be a 30-second television commercial. It was released in 2017 and features a very short overview of the island peninsula.

Challenges

  • No challenges specific to this community were found during our search. However, we did find a site with reviews from current and previous members and property owners.
  • The most frequent issues mentioned in the reviews were regarding the HOA fees and membership dues. One reviewer stated, "Two clubhouses is a problem socially and financially long term. We just sold our house and are moving to Belfair where dues are $6K a year less."

Dataw Island

  • Dataw is a private gated island located in Beaufort, South Carolina.
  • Amenities include a sports complex with golf, tennis, bocce, a marina, a country club, and more.
  • Laura McCarthy is the Director of Marketing & Communications for the island. She can be contacted at datawmarketing@islc.net.
  • Contact information for the community is: 121 Dataw Drive, Beaufort, SC 29920, (843) 838-3838

General Messaging

  • The tagline on the Dataw Island website is "Historical charm. Natural beauty. Extraordinary living."
  • Datawites, as the community members are called, are known to be a very generous group, participating in numerous charities. This is an important part of the Dataw Island culture and a feature on the community website. This "mutual commitment to give back" helps to keep the community connected. Residents are actively involved with over 120 charities.

Social Media/Marketing

  • Dataw Island has active social media profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.
  • The benevolence of the Dataw community shines on the community's Facebook page with multiple posts about charity events benefiting Habit for Humanity, Toys for Tots, Veterans, and breast cancer awareness.
  • The community Twitter page focuses mainly on sports events happening on the island.
  • The Dataw Island Instagram page features pictures of events related to community members.
  • The Island Pinterest page highlights amenities available through the Dataw Island Club, including catering and weddings.

Challenges

  • As with many private communities, upgrades and renovations are often charged to the members. Dataw Island is no exception. In 2011, the members approved a $54 million golf course renovation. Club members are required to pay an additional $115 per month, in addition to the annual HOA fees of $1,800 annually until the loan is paid off.
  • Board politics has been an issue in the past on Dataw Island. In 2013, homeowners sued the Board stating that the Board had conspired to change policies that benefited the Golf Club members by raising HOA fees and deferring the money to the Club.

Preserve Communities

During our initial research, we also discovered Preserve Communities, a luxury community developer with multiple luxury properties in the southeast.

Bay Creek

  • Bay Creek is located in Cape Charles, Virginia across the Chesapeake Bay. Amenities include 2 signature golf courses, a beach club and fitness center, an acclaimed restaurant and tavern, community pool, tennis courts, and a private beach.

General Messaging

  • The tagline on the Bay Creek website is "Coastal Living at Its Absolute Best." Living in the community offers relief from the cluttered and overcrowded areas of other coastal locations.
  • This is mirrored in homeowner testimonials featured on the website. One homeowner stated, "You cross the bridge and all your stress disappears. There's no traffic when you arrive. There's no schedule. I think that's what we love about it. It's just so convenient."
  • In November 2019, Bay Creek was purchased by Preserve Communities. According to Matt Hagler, Vice President Preserve Clubs & Resorts, "Bay Creek’s location on Virginia’s Cape and to the town of Cape Charles is quite unique. We’re going to re-imagine the community by interacting and activating the beautiful nature, stunning and seemingly endless waterfront, and the charm of the city emerging here."

Social Media/Marketing

  • Bay Creek has profiles on Facebook and Twitter.
  • The Facebook page contains very generic posts mentioning holidays and events in the area, although the events are not specific to the community.
  • Although the community has a Twitter profile, the last post on the page was in June 2019 and promoted a 4th of July event.

French Broad Crossing

  • French Broad Crossing is a secluded mountain community along the French Broad River located in Marshall, North Carolina, about 30 minutes from Asheville. Amenities include a river lodge, community fitness center and pool, UTV and hiking trails, a community tree house, family pavilion and park, and community garden.

General Messaging

  • The tagline on the French Broad Crossing website is "It's Like Living in Your Own National Park" with about 1/3 of the property in permanent conservation.
  • What sets French Broad Crossing apart from typical private communities is the lack of a golf course, dress codes, and spas. Instead, it offers unspoiled nature, a tight-knit community, and family adventures.

Social Media/Marketing

  • French Broad Crossing has social media profiles on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.
  • The community's Facebook and Instagram pages are filled with promotional posts. Almost every post highlights the beauty of the surroundings and the community's dedication to preservation.
  • The French Broad Crossing Pinterest page has 6 boards: Homes features homes and properties in the community; Scenic Views features pictures showing the beauty of the natural surroundings; Lifestyle and Special Events feature pictures of events happening in the community; Outdoors features pictures of outdoor activities and amenities; and Marshall, NC features pictures of events happening in the local area.

The Preserve at Little Pine

  • The Preserve at Little Pine is a sister community to French Broad Crossing. It, too, is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Amenities include a mountain lodge, equestrian center, observatory, pavilion and pond, and an apple orchard. The community shares amenities with French Broad, including the fitness center, hiking trails and community garden.

General Messaging

  • The taglines on the Little Pine website are "Reconnect with Nature" and "The Pinnacle of Blue Ridge Mountain Living", referencing the community's location at 4,000+ feet in elevation.
  • The promotional video posted on the website, reiterates these themes with statements such as "you can reach out and touch the clouds," "a place where you can breathe and expand your mind," and "a place to reconnect with nature with your family."

Social Media/Marketing

  • The Preserve at Little Pine currently has no presence on social media. The website links to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. However, each of these links leads to an empty profile for Preserve Communities. No posts have been made on any of the linked social media profiles.

Albemarle Plantation

  • Albemarle Plantation is a golf and marina community located in Hertford, North Carolina. Amenities include a signature golf course, clubhouse, resort-style pool, full-service marina, community center, and a fitness facility.

General Messaging

  • The tagline on the Albemarle Plantation website is "Coasting at a Higher Level."
  • Albemarle Plantation is member owned meaning "your interests come first, your money seems to stretch farther and your serenity level stays at the high end of the gauge.

Social Media/Marketing

  • Interestingly, Albemarle does not share any of its social media accounts on its website. However, it does have an active Facebook and Instagram account.
  • The Albermarle Facebook and Instagram pages have very frequent posts and uses the hashtag #innerbanksliving. Most of the posts feature activities in the community and natural scenes that can be witnessed there.
  • No posts have been made on the Albemarle Plantation Twitter page since 2011.

The Landings of Savannah 

  • The Landings is a 6,300 acre island community located in Savannah, Georgia.
  • Amenities include 30 miles of hiking, biking and walking trails, two deep-water marinas, a community farm, and over 100 community social groups. Homeowners who join the Landings Club will have access to "six championship golf courses, 31 tennis courts, four unique clubhouses with farm-to-table dining, five swimming pools and an innovative fitness & wellness center."
  • Rosemary Longueira is the Director of Public Relations for the Landings Company. She is responsible for marketing and public relations promotion of The Landings and The Landings Club. She can be contacted at rlongueira@thelandings.com or (912) 598-0500.

General Messaging

  • The tagline on The Landings website is "Start Living." In fact, "The natural beauty of the island combined with modern amenities and the closeness of the city makes The Landings an ideal place to live."
  • Community involvement is a major value at The Landings. There are over 100 community and social related organizations on the island that help to connect residents with one another.

Social Media/Marketing

  • The Landings has social media profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin, and YouTube. All of the social media accounts are managed by The Landings Company, the privately owned real estate company commissioned by the homeowners to represent the community.
  • The social media profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Linkedin are active but seem to focus more on Savannah, Georgia in general rather than The Landings Community.
  • The Landings YouTube channel has 8 videos, all posted within the last two years. The most recent features the tagline "Start Living" and features testimonials from residents describing their life on the island and explaining why they chose The Landings their home.

Callawassie Island

  • Callawassie Island is an 880-acre island community located on the Colleton River near Savannah, Georgia.
  • Amenities include three championship golf courses designed by Tom Fazio, a private tennis facility with six courts, a fitness center, multiple swimming pools, casual and fine dining options, walking and hiking trails, and boating activities.
  • Maggie Denison is the marketing manager for the island.

General Messaging

  • The basic message presented on the Callawassie Island website is "Warmth," "Balance," and "Connection."
  • Warmth: Callawassie Island is a tight-knit community where neighbors care about one another.
  • Balance: Community members care about the environment and understand the importance of their natural surroundings.
  • Connection: Away from the hustle and bustle of the city, community members can connect with nature, neighbors, and even themselves.

Social Media/Marketing

  • Callawasie Island has social media profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.
  • The community's Facebook page reiterates its message of warmth, balance, and connection throughout its posts using the hashtag #warmthbalanceconnection. The posts show instances of this message whether through community events, charity events, or invitations to discover more about the island.
  • The Callawassie Island Instagram and Twitter pages focus mainly on pictures featuring the beauty of the island and the island lifestyle.
  • The Pinterest page focuses solely on wedding events on the island.

Challenges

  • There have been a series of lawsuits against Callawassie Island by residents over the last several years. The lawsuits stem from a change in HOA policy which require residents to pay club dues even if they resign from the club. The lawsuit went all the way to the South Carolina Supreme Court. In 2018, the court rules in the Island's favor.

General Challenges of Gated/Private Communities

Our research indicates that published information regarding challenges for some specific private communities is not available. However, there are general challenges that apply to these types of communities.
  • Private communities want to appeal to people of all ages. Therefore, they must find a balance of amenities for a large demographic of ages and generational ideologies. In addition, as ideologies and values change, the community must be flexible and change policies.
  • These communities must have a plan to address aging homes as the community ages.
  • Some communities may be secluded from conveniences such as grocery stores and hospitals.
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