3-minute read
  • Placemaking

Keeping Real Estate Real

By Sean Thompson — April 3, 2018

streetscape of a red and blue house and bright blue sky

Wow! Your neighborhood has streets, sidewalks, houses and a park? So does mine! – said no one ever.

As humans, we can’t create a neighborhood without a similar toolkit of building blocks to make it function. But we actually do have tremendous influence in how a neighborhood looks and more importantly, how it feels.

lookthinkmake has crafted, rebooted, lifted, and expanded brands for over 3,000 acres and over 3 million square feet of real estate projects throughout Texas and beyond. And we love it. We love working with development teams to study how communities behave in order to serve their needs. We love striking the right tone with the brands that we make. And, while we work with all kinds of real estate, from office to retail and everything in between, we love seeing the residential projects come to life with personalities of their own—that grow as the people grow within it. It’s a breathtaking privilege to influence how developments move from the functional tools of use and planning to the very place people put their hearts, conversations, families, and life dreams. We get to leave a mark that we hope will last for generations to come.

So how do we keep residential real estate real?

We have some fun with it.

When we meet a development team for the first time, we play a game with them. They’re experts in development, right? They’re aware of other communities, they know their competitors. They’re sharp folks. So the game should be easy, right?


Round one: we list the features of three communities.

Things like number of homes, number of parks, quality of schools, and maybe a few amenities like pools and trails.

No developers can guess the communities.

Then, round two: we layer in the benefits.

Open space, walkable, connected to nature, easy access to downtown, live/work/play.

Nope. Can’t guess.

Finally, round three: we layer in the emotional descriptors.

Neighborly, welcoming, wholesome, engaging. Or maybe it’s exclusive, luxurious, private. Now the flavor of the community is beginning to emerge and folks start having a-ha moments. It’s the special sauce or flavor that begins to make a project become welcoming to a community of people that are seeking a particular lifestyle.

headshot of Sean Thompson

Sean Thompson

What do you get when you combine a lifelong teacher, talented creative, and lover of places? A pretty awesome leader and LTM co-founder by the name of Sean. Fun fact: Sean is Canadian, so you know he’s nice.

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