Warmth, Connection, and the Island Balance Sheet: Record Sales for 2018

The business side of life on Callawassie Island is part of the balance we enjoy here, and in this past year, that balance was favorable indeed. Record sales of homes and homesites and memberships were the theme in 2018. Results like these further reward the confidence Callawassie Islanders have always felt in the wisdom of their decision to live here.

At a pace of more than one property per week, people acted on their intuition and bought a home or homesite on Callawassie Island 53 times last year. That’s up 26% over the year before, and up 55% over 2016. Discovery Visits from prospective residents were up 71% above 2016, too. Of the 53 sales last year, 49 were existing homes and four were homesites, a balance that bodes well for the value of the investment Callawassie Islanders have made in their homes here.

The Results of Time and Teamwork

Why such a great 2018? The ongoing efforts of a lot of people deserve credit. Our team at the Welcome Center, as always, have a lot to do with it. Moreover, we got 255 visits from external real estate professionals in 2018 too!This interest from outside pros is something we’ve been working on for the past three years, through briefings, positive news stories, and reputation management. With the favorable outcome of the state’s ruling on our membership agreements, all that ongoing effort came to harvest in 2018.

“We invested a lot of our efforts in communicating with real estate pros throughout Beaufort County,” said Claire Noonan, who serves Callawassie Island as Marketing Coordinator, with an office situated in the Welcome Center, right at the foot of our scenic causeway over Chechessee Creek. Reaching out for the views of the real estate community was the key. “Honestly, the understanding came from going to their offices; attending their sales meetings; introducing our General Manager, Jeff Spencer; and asking what information or sales support they needed,” Noonan said.

The focus of this teamwork, the game-plan if you will, is something that Callawassie Island residents took an active part in developing. Beginning in the summer of 2016, our Marketing Committee embarked on a guided process of further developing Callawassie Island as a brand. The beauty and the inspired experience we found when we came across the causeway to a home that, for many of us, was beyond even our dreams, that destiny needed a handle on it. Making Callawassie Island easier to share with prospective residents, that was the purpose of the brand refinement we undertook.

How to Describe the Magic

“It came more from the message than the media,” explained Lindsey Cooler, Communications and Membership Director. “We began almost three years ago to put clear handles on the magic that Callawassie Island residents describe,” Cooler said. “Some made up their minds right away, fell in love at first sight on the causeway. Others were making a study of the best gated communities in the Southeast, and that led them here.”

Callawassie Islanders took part in this full-on, guided branding initiative to discover the best true things to say that would share what they found here clearly, to like-minded people who’d likely find the same.

“Warmth, balance and connection, those turned out to be the keys,” Cooler said. “Our climate and natural beauty – we share that with much of Coastal Carolina,” she affirmed; “what’s unique and enduring here is the feeling.” The confidence that Callawassie Islanders feel in the community’s management was part of that feeling and another standout factor. The brand study found that residents put a high value on the preparation; the fast, spirited response; and the smart, clear management they see from Callawassie Island leadership, staff, and team members.

“Considering all the other gated golf communities in the region, we had to create something more distinctive and ‘ownable,’” General Manager Jeff Spencer said, “The branding initiative that residents took part in, helped us do that. The results we see in 2018 real estate and membership sales testify to how effective this effort became.”

Attracting a Wider Interest

While many initial Callawassie Island residents chose the Island for their retirement, more and more Islanders are bringing-up families here, even continuing to pursue their careers, thanks to digital tools and the choice of two international airports. People who visited their parents here on holidays as children have chosen to live here themselves as life’s passages move forward. Occasionally, a whole family moved to Callawassie Island after visiting the couple who came here first.

The explanation might be found in the kind of warmth they find here. It’s a love of life and not just a feeling of repose. We don’t withdraw from the world here; instead, we enjoy an especially attractive connection with it. Callawassie Island is fully a home as well as a resort. “Serenity, not seclusion, was the conclusion from the brand study,” Cooler said. “Bringing this promise to life has been the thrust of the messages that resulted from our work over the past two years.”

Still Our Best Ambassadors

Residents are still Callawassie Island’s best spokespersons. The enthusiasm they communicate, the examples they offer from their own lives of the warmth, balance, and connection they find here, these firsthand moments continue to set Callawassie Island apart. The branding work simply makes this joy a little easier to put into words. We found a way to describe the unique value of Callawassie Island and set the Island apart from competition even more clearly. We walked a path that involved residents directly in finding the answers, to make the most of their passion and dedication. We turned the interest of real estate professionals into an asset by asking them what they need to present Callawassie Island to the world. And we discovered a language for getting across the special feeling residents’ treasure, about the life and the home they enjoy here.

That’s the story behind the story of Callawassie Island’s triumphant 2018. Nothing sudden about it. Rather, the coming together of efforts from the whole community – may be the clearest sign yet of the warmth, balance, and connection we’ve found here. Come visit and see what we mean.

- ### -