Esplanade brand and location near Ward Lake have stimulated strong interest in the new community.
Developer Taylor Morrison has opened another community in East County to considerable fanfare.
Esplanade at The Heights opened May 8.
Taylor Morrison Division President Joe Fontana said interest in Esplanade at The Heights is strong — six homes already are under contract — because of the Esplanade brand and because of the community’s location off Honore Avenue, just west of Ward Lake.
Its community includes a giant hill called Mount Tumulo (the Italian word for mound) that separates two distinct Taylor Morrison communities — Esplanade and Grandview — within The Heights development.
Sales in Grandview at The Heights, a future community of 170 homes, began in late January and how have reached 36 homes. Prices start in the high $200,000s and homes are between 1,582 and 3,422 square feet.
Esplanade at The Heights carries the Esplanade lifestyle brand, but is a boutique version with no golf course. It will have about 260 units and features include a resort-style pool and spa, fitness center, a cabana area, lighted tennis, pickleball and bocce courts, and a dog park.
Esplanade at The Heights offers villas and single-family homes with villas starting around $295,000 and home base prices starting between $329,000 to $369,000. Sizes range from 1,533 square feet for a villa up to 2,275 square feet for the largest home.
Fontana said his company has enhanced its virtual chat system, added Zoom calls with sales agents on a Smart device and starting conversations without having customers needing to set foot in any models if they so wish.
He said teams have been trained on how to do that, and how to do that well.
“So much of what we do is body language, and emotional,” Fontana said. “Now you’re trying to understand what the customer is looking for without them being in front of you.”
Fontana said nationwide, there have been 1,500 virtual tours and 100 homes sold virtually — with buyers never setting foot inside the model themselves.
Fontana said the shift to engage buyers virtually is a trend he expects would have needed to happen over the next five years anyway.
“I think a lot of the things we’re doing now — the virus is really accelerating,” Fontana said. “We’re were forced to do them sooner — telemarketing, virtual tours, Zoom, virtual meetings, working from home.”