Your property’s brand is the renter’s answer to “Can I see myself living here?”
From the way staff answers the phone to the landscaping, an apartment community’s brand makes an impression on renters. Though the term may seem broad at first glance, branding is really a powerful tool that filters through every detail of your property.
But how can multifamily marketers apply lessons from big brand success stories like Nike or Disney to their apartment community? Kathy Neumann, Rent.’s new CMO, and Sean Barry, Rent.’s COO, took the stage on May 25th at the AIM conference to answer this common question. They offered a fresh perspective on property marketing, stemming from Kathy’s award-winning background leading major consumer brands, and Sean’s expertise in transforming B2B companies and driving profitability.
Here are highlights from their discussion on why a property’s brand is important and how to implement a brand that actually boosts performance.
Why is your property’s brand important?
Sets you apart from competitors
In today’s marketplace, renters are up to their ears in options—and they have multiple tools to sift through apartment communities. Whether your property is a luxury lease-up in a major metropolitan area or a more conventional community, the way you tell that unique story will determine how well you attract renters.
Consider your current residents and why they choose to live in your community. The onsite amenities, lifestyle, service and surrounding neighborhood all fit into your property’s brand story. By distinguishing your property from competitors in the area, you can cut through the distractions and guide renters to tours more quickly.
Connects with renters emotionally to earn trust and loyalty
As author and branding executive, Kent Huffman said, “A brand that captures your mind gains behavior. A brand that captures your heart gains commitment.” Successful brand strategies help property marketers accomplish two key objectives:
- Prompt renters to take action to schedule a tour or fill out a guest card
- Build trust so renters can confidently commit to signing a lease year after year
Explore ways to build branding initiatives that speak to both logical decision making and renter emotions. For example, is your property showing that the leasing staff are both friendly and knowledgeable about critical details? Similarly, the unit itself may check all of the boxes, but the renter’s final decision may depend on whether they connect with the leasing team or feel welcome in the community.
This also plays a role in resident retention. Maintain that balance and emotional connection over time to inspire commitment so residents jump at the chance to renew every year.
Creates staff satisfaction and builds employee advocates
With the Great Resignation taking a toll on leasing teams, employee advocates are an invaluable resource. Highly engaged employees will bring energy to tasks and provide next-level service to renters, sustaining a strong property brand.
Getting employees on board means developing a brand that accurately reflects the team’s values and aspirations. Strengthen your brand by welcoming employees into the fold and consistently celebrating the talented staff that make up the community. Go one step further by reinforcing your core values in everything you do, and being clear with employees about how they can play a part in delivering on your brand promise.
Branding in action: help renters know what to expect
The recognition you feel when seeing McDonald’s golden arches or the Disney princess castle helps you instantly connect with the brand. And that’s possible for properties to achieve. Brand recognition helps renters understand what they can expect from your property whether it’s the service, the amenities, or type of units. Post Properties’ red tulips are a great example.
Prior to being acquired in 2016, Post Properties, Inc. was known for its upscale, garden-style apartment communities throughout Atlanta and the sunbelt regions – and for its tulips. Post’s logo featured a bright red tulip. Post wove this element into their property design and landscaping so visitors were greeted by gardens of red tulips under the sign whenever they entered.
For happy residents and fans of the property, the red tulip symbolized what they enjoyed about the community.
How do you get your property brand out there?
Branding is in everything you do. Opportunities to strengthen your property brand show up in daily operations, marketing and even employee communications. It’s in the marketing materials you create, whether those are your website, images in your listing, ads, brochures or social media. It’s in the way staff answers the phone, handles maintenance requests and greets renters at the community.
A brand is a living entity — and it is enriched or undermined cumulatively over time, the product of a thousand small gestures.
From designing brochures that reflect your community’s modern feel and luxury amenities, to imbuing your core values in every aspect of your operations—you can begin to shape your property’s brand story.
Take charge of your property’s brand. And let us worry about the execution.
The first time renters meet your property’s brand will often be online. So, it’s critical to have a strong, consistent and clear presence in all digital marketing channels. That’s where we can help. Fueled by our customer’s brand vision, Rent. builds award-winning search and social ad campaigns that target in-market renters. We also provide trained staff that fully align with your leasing team and specializes in delighting renters. As marketing experts who live and breathe multifamily, we empower property teams to elevate their brand presence.