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Corporate Branding

In the apartment industry corporate branding is everywhere. Branding isn't just about having the same logo or design on your business cards. Branding is about creating customer loyalty that GENERATES LEASES! This is why branding is so important!

Corporate branding also isn't just a buzzword that is taught in marketing classes across the country. Branding is a serious tool that can help you achieve all the goals that your company has set for itself. Coca Cola doesn't spend over 1 billion dollars building their worldwide brand just so they can have a nice logo on their company stationery. They spend the big bucks building their brand so that they will create customer loyalty, which will then produce more sales!

More leads, more traffic, more leases: that's what every management company wants. I love the big management companies with their continuity in marketing materials, signs and quality standards. They continue to raise the bar in the multifamily industry. After all, Tiffany's doesn't have to convince anyone that they offer exquisite jewelry?? - everyone already knows! That's the power of a well-developed and maintained brand. When your company enjoys a reputation for quality, excellence and sound management, you already have the respect of the qualified and discriminating prospects you want to attract.

One key to brand building is having all your communities in one central geographic area collaborate with each other. In the front of every apartment magazine across the nation there are pages dedicated to management companies. These pages aren't there to rent apartments. They're there so that when prospects flip through the pages, they will recognize a brand that they can trust.

Some management companies have discovered that a custom-designed "Management Company Book" is a powerful and cost-effective tool to increase local market share. Think of it as your own private apartment magazine that promotes your properties, and only your properties. No one community can be all things to all people, but you can keep the business in the family by promoting all of your local properties in one attractive and convenient marketing tool. Essentially, you blitz a market and shut out the competition by never letting a prospect leave one property without being guided to one or more sister properties. By feeding off each other, networked apartment communities can help each other grow and produce greater revenues for the management company.

Don't worry if your company isn't yet branded across the board. Here are some great ideas that can help get you started on the path to brand recognition.

1 - If your company isn't quite ready to create a "Management Company Book," a simple rack card or postcard featuring all your local communities can go a long way. When one property can't help a prospect, the leasing professional simply hands them a rack card highlighting the other sister properties that offer what the prospect needs.

2 - You also need one marketing piece that explains the values of your company and the general amenities that are common to all of your properties. When a current resident needs to relocate, they will know that if they move into another one of your communities that their needs will be well taken care of.

3 - A phrase or slogan that relates to the quality of your company can be a great way to brand your properties. AIMCO, for example, makes good use of the slogan "From the very first day‚?¶You're at home." A simple, easy-to-remember phrase goes a long way to retaining clients.

4 - The colors that are used in and around the leasing office can really affect the way a prospect views your brand. If they go to three of your properties and everyone is wearing the same gold shirt, they are going to begin to relate to the brand that you have created.

You will be surprised how quickly branding your company establishes a loyal customer base. As the old saying goes, people love to shop but hate to be sold. So let them shop around, become attached to your brand and lease, lease, lease!!!!!

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