March 18, 2022 |
Updated March 18, 2022
There are three important messages your brand communicates to your residents, and you can help shape them.
Your property has a brand, and while those at the top play a role in shaping it, it is owned by the residents who have lived within its walls.
As an owner or manager, setting yourself apart might seem impossible in a market where renters span Gen Z to Baby Boomers, urban to suburban, A to C class, coast to coast.
But as you work to develop your multifamily brand and how it is experienced by residents, over time it can become influential and create loyalty. There are three important messages your brand communicates to your residents, and you can help shape them.
1. Your multifamily brand positions a lifestyle.
The landing page of your website should promote ease of living, stylish surroundings, exceptional access to business centers and superb locations. The look, feel and messaging of the brand — from the website to the amenities, the physical buildings to the trendy locations — everything should confirm the type of lifestyle your property provides.
Your brand provides exclusivity in the sense that it communicates through messaging, social media, amenities and staff, a lifestyle that brings residents of like-mindedness together in a community. Whether they are looking for a family-friendly apartment with playgrounds and trails or an upscale experience with concierge services and views of the skyline, your brand will confirm how they want to live, allowing you to anticipate and fulfill their needs.
In multifamily housing, the resident experience spans more than a luxury hotel stay. Anticipating the type of lifestyle your residents want is critical, and if your brand executes it well, residents will see you not as an apartment, but as a home.
2. Your brand depicts a sense of community.
While a desired lifestyle is important, community is also critical to residents. If you’re asking residents to make their home with you, you should use events, messaging and online presence to express the type of community they can enjoy. For example, a luxury midrise might host a wine tasting event while a suburban garden community might want to host a family fitness event.
“We are in an era where people want to feel appreciated,” said Jese Gary, owner of LuxeGiving LLC. “In general, customers value companies that provide value-added services to produce brand loyalty.”
The apartment industry has moved into a time where emotional connectedness to the brand is more important for resident retention than resident satisfaction. Current and future residents need to see that where they live has a strong element of neighborhood and community, so it feels like home.
“A great event creates community and a good time,” said Gary. “I think there will be an adjustment back to gathering over the next few months or years. The goal for events wasn’t just to feed the residents. The goal is to create a sense of community.”
In your brand strategy, do you value community at the corporate level, and describe it through your messaging? Do you have an active onsite and online social program? As residents experience your brand, they will get a sense of the community you offer, and the commitment to this pillar can shape how the brand communicates it, and the properties deliver it.
3. Your brand can build trust.
Charlotte-based Marsh Properties makes a promise to their residents: “From Our Family to Yours,” they state boldly online, reinforced by its commitment to its core values, which include "Integrity and Fairness, Marsh Quality Standards, Personal Service, Family Heritage, Competitive Spirit and People.”
Executing these values has built trust. With a long family history rooted in Charlotte, Marsh Properties displays a commitment to People and Heritage by offering tours of the original Marsh Family estate, and organized community gardens that bring residents together while positively impacting their neighborhood.
Property companies should always craft a brand promise based on their mission statement and desired customer experience, then develop a strategy to carry out that promise to their residents. Consistency will help residents trust your brand. To shape the message of your brand, ensure that your staff understands and connects with your mission, as they are your on-site brand ambassadors.
Express Your Brand to Current and Future Residents
Anticipating needs, honoring core values, and providing a trusted message, will all help express your brand to current and future residents. And the result is a beautiful thing called “brand loyalty.” What you speak to your residents, they will speak to others in the form of referrals, online reputation ratings, and future renters. Because while you can shape your multifamily brand message, the resident is the ultimate brand owner.
Ashley Tyndall is Chief Relationship Officer for Criterion.B.