Client: Lowe Enterprises
Location: Seattle
Size: 168 units

Leading condo sales and marketing in the immediate post-recession environment.

Overcoming the condo hangover of the Great Recession

Condos developed a bad reputation during the Great Recession, with many projects faltering and failing. This presented several challenges for Luma – one of the first condo projects in Seattle after the recession – including gauging the market (given the lack of comparables), assuaging fears among buyers who witnessed the chaos of the recession and connecting with a new generation of buyers.

A tower notable for its timing and location

Luma is a 168-unit high-rise condo tower in the First Hill neighborhood of Seattle, on the cusp of Capitol Hill’s Pike-Pine District, which is the center of the city’s nightlife scene. Luma was the first new for-sale residential project on First Hill in 25 years and one of the first condo projects to come to market in Seattle after the Great Recession.

Owning the juxtaposition of a classic neighborhood and nightlife hub

Red Propeller initially helped site owner Alecta define what was originally to be an apartment tower. After partnering with Alecta, Lowe Enterprises asked us to look at the potential for condos instead. This was a difficult proposition, given the lack of new condo projects at the time, and required triangulating conclusions based on the apartment market, condo resales and neighborhood sales growth. We leveraged our deep understanding of and engagement with the apartment market to understand trends and opportunities among potential condo buyers.

We helped refine the project – including unit mix, sizes and amenities – to suit a condo building and the target audience, and developed a positioning that spoke to the juxtaposition of the classic nature of First Hill with the energy and vibrancy of Pike-Pine. The name Luma refers to the brightness (black and white balance) of an image, speaking to the black-and-white facades of the building, and the quiet and loud balance of First Hill and Pike-Pine. We worked with the design and art teams to carry this theme throughout the building, including black-and-white interiors and custom, large-scale black-and-white photography in elevator lobbies. Our campaign tagline was: “Have Your Quiet, Live Your Loud.”

Virtual reality helped Luma outpace the target sales absorption timeline.


Red Propeller then became the project’s sales and marketing team. We developed a sales center in Pike-Pine and utilized what was then cutting-edge Oculus Rift VR technology – allowing us to maximize flexibility in a small space (Pike-Pine the most desirable retail location in Seattle), speaking to our tech-minded target audience and drawing media coverage. Our strong prospect and buyer engagement strategy included events such as mixology sessions led by local bartenders and First Hill historic walking tours. Our specific, targeted and efficient use of funds enabled our marketing to come in under budget.

Results outperformed by $10M

Red Propeller’s sales strategy and marketing approach allowed Lowe to realize an additional $10M in revenue, selling out just two months following delivery.

Notably, our dedication to maintaining strong buyer relationships translated into a 99% closing rate, meaning only 170 contracts were executed to sell all 168 homes.