Once upon a time, the only branding elements needed for a property were a sign by the road, a logo over the door, and a flyer in their prospects’ hands. But times have changed. Nowadays, your brand needs to be everywhere, while also feeling seamless and natural.
Successful property brands are driven and strengthened by two important factors: consistency and interaction. Every touch point a prospect or resident interacts with — from an ad on their device to the appearance of the front office — should tie back to your brand, and create the same emotions and experience for a resident or prospect.
So, how can a brand be incorporated into a property successfully? For starters, it doesn’t mean plastering your logo on every square inch of your property. Your brand is so much more than just a mark. Using the same fonts, colors, patterns, materials, and overall mood (Is your property sleek and modern? Traditional and cozy? Social and vibrant?) will keep your brand top of mind with your audience and reinforce that with every interaction.
Here are a few great places to start:
Use color effectively
Color is arguably the largest element of a brand, and perhaps the most recognizable by far. In fact, studies show that color increases brand recognition by up to 80%. You wouldn’t need to be told that you were in Home Depot or Target to recognize the vibrant orange or red color scheme; the same should hold true for your property.
Bring branded color into your community spaces through paint, decorative items, furniture, and lighting. Don’t worry about sticking to only one color — utilize secondary, complementary colors to complete the look. Try incorporating your brand pattern or texture, as well. This can be on something as large as signage or accent walls, to something as small as the desktop wallpaper in the computer lounge.
Remember: When it comes to experience, first impressions are everything. As soon as prospects enter your property or reception area, you want them to immediately recognize their surroundings, as well as understand what your brand represents and why they would want to live there.
Name your amenities
Many renters are familiar with popular amenities, such as swimming pools, business areas, game lounges, and fitness centers. Give these community spaces a branded touch — and some more excitement — with a creative name that ties back to your brand.
For example, a student housing property in West Lafayette, Indiana, underwent a space-themed rebrand as LAUNCH Student Living. Soon after, residents were invited to grab coffee and snacks in Fuel, watch their favorite show in Satellite, or challenge friends to a pool match in Engage.
For extra involvement, consider making the naming process a fun competition for staff and residents!
Unify staff members and your messaging
Your staff members are often the first point of contact for a brand; they are the personification of your property. Branded uniforms and a set of scripted greetings for phone, email, and in-person interactions can help create a unified experience for every resident.
Make sure your employees are well versed in your brand’s culture and values — what are they, and how can they embody them? Brand identity will relate differently to a maintenance technician than to a leasing manager, so be sure to define this for each role. Don’t simply pass out a printed brand guide and expect someone to instinctively know what to do with it.
Promote your brand and events
Your branding can also be incorporated into your events — and those who attend them. Consider creating several photo opportunities with visible branding and messaging (such as signage, a step and repeat, or a photo booth) and encourage attendees to share their experience on social media. If budget allows, designate a photographer during your events to engage the crowd and post the photos using a consistent, branded hashtag.
Extend your brand into promotional items, as well! Think beyond the expected (such as pens, koozies, and water bottles) and go for items that will be functional and frequently used by your audience. For example, if your property is well known for its outdoor amenities and fitness center, pass out items like branded sweat towels, Bluetooth earbuds, yoga mats, or kettlebells.
Establish your brand voice
Don’t only think about how your brand looks — consider how it sounds! Specifically, consider your tone on social media and in online reviews, where the majority of interactions with residents and prospects can take place. What is your property’s brand voice? Are you sarcastic and goofy? Relaxed and friendly? Professional and no-nonsense?
If multiple staff members are responsible for your online presence, a short guide could be helpful to maintain consistency across different platforms. Make sure you don’t have one person posting long, eloquent Facebook statuses while another is creating Instagram captions entirely out of emojis. Establish a voice, get it in writing, and then stick to it.