Something comes to mind when customers hear, see, or experience a company and its products/services. When you hear the words Nike, Coke, Apple, or Google, all exceptionally branded companies, an essence of that company comes to mind—that’s branding!
“Branding refers to the elements that define the image, ethos, and tone of the company.” In other words, it is “a name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies a seller’s goods and services as distinct from other sellers.”
Branding is not limited to consumer product companies. In this post, we will explore how property management companies can also benefit from branding their multifamily communities.
Your property’s brand identity can be based on a number of factors such as what your mission is, what your values are, and what you want customers to feel when they think of your community. Branding is your way of communicating the nature of your property to your audience.
In order to be effective, branding must be consistent. Consistency in branding allows you to differentiate yourself from your competition, improve trust among prospective residents, and foster a solid foundation for building loyalty. With so many communities to choose from, you want to make sure potential residents know who you are, what you’re about, and think of your community first when they are ready to move.
Consistency consists of several different facets: consistency of message, tone, delivery, and design. Let’s explore each.
Message consistency refers to your apartment community’s message or core beliefs. Your branding should align itself with these beliefs so you avoid any issues of authenticity. Remember, it’s crucial that your message remains consistent. Are you a luxury community according to your website, but not so much in person? You have to be authentic in your branding. Maybe you’re not the most luxurious property, but you have a great management team that offers great service. Use your strengths in your brand messaging.
Tone consistency is how you present the spirit of your property’s brand through channels of communication such as your website or social media. Are you fun, friendly, and amiable or an aggressive A-type personality who gets things done? Your target audience should always know what to expect from each respective post.
Delivery is another form of branding consistency. As you hear frequently, timing is everything. For example, if you blog, publish a newsletter, or have social media followers, but haven’t posted anything new in weeks, you are not being consistent in engaging your audience. There’s nothing worse than having a group of loyal followers feel let down when you do not deliver what is expected. At the peak of the social media age, it has never been more important to deliver a consistent experience to your audience. Also, make sure your tone, style, photos, and colors are consistent with your property’s brand messaging across all of your digital platforms.
Lastly, the aspect of branding that seems to be on the forefront of everyone’s mind is design. This is because imagery is the most obvious element of brand consistency. Logos and colors are only a fraction of what creates a brand, but they are important. Colors and fonts evoke emotions, convey moods, and trigger responses from the brain. You want to be sure to choose the right ones that will reinforce your property’s brand story.
But be sure that whatever design you choose is consistent across the board. The logo and signage on the front façade of your building should match the logo and signage on the side of your building, your business cards, your website, your social media pages, and everything you do on and offline.
Here is an example to illustrate our previous point. Let’s say a couple is driving around the city, and they notice your property. They quickly jot down the name of your community, but when they get home and Google your property, they don’t think that what they see online could possibly be the same apartment complex. The look and feel of the website they find are not consistent with what they saw in person. Now, you’ve lost a potential lead because your branding was confusing and inconsistent. You want to avoid that at all costs.
Now that you better understand what branding consistency means, it will be easier to grasp the benefits of its practice.
Enhancing your property’s branding consistency is a good way for you to introduce your apartment community to your target audience. In doing so, you are providing your community with a distinct personality that prospective and current residents can relate to. Once your audience becomes familiar with your brand and core beliefs, it helps to manage expectations by providing your residents with a blueprint of your outlook and attitude. Once your audience begins to know you, they will soon begin to trust you, which encourages brand loyalty, securing only future successes for you and your property.
Secondly, consistent branding will help protect your investment by avoiding any brand confusion. As you build your property’s brand, you reinforce your position within the rental market, making it more difficult for competitors to nudge their way in. If you remain true to the process of building your brand and expanding your client base, you cement your brand in the minds of your prospective residents.
Most importantly, brand consistency imparts professionalism and stability. It allows you to differentiate yourself from other apartment communities in the market, making your property stand out in the minds of your target audience.
When your branding efforts are consistent, it brings a perceived value and trust with prospects. When people are able to see that you are consistent visually, through your messaging, content, and timing, you are going to get more qualified traffic on your website. When people recognize your brand, understand why you’re different, and see the value your community offers, it’s a lot easier to not only convert them into residents, but also have them refer friends, family, and share positive reviews online.