Does your property name matter?

Choosing a property name that fits your brand

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So, you’re about to name a new multifamily property, or rename an existing one. How do you choose the perfect property name? Your building sits on Elm Street, so working that into the name could seem like an obvious choice, until you’re the 14th building to use it - then it’s a real nightmare. (See what we did there? Happy belated Halloween, Freddy Krueger fans.)

Rather than going straight to the obvious, consider a variety of factors that will give your name meaning and help your community stand out:

Design vision

For new properties, we like to start by better understanding the architects’ and developers’ vision. They have known and loved the property long before pen ever made it to paper. If we can get them into a room with the building’s operations and marketing teams, magic happens. Bringing differing perspectives together can help solidify a name, and a brand, that is perfectly aligned with the original vision.

Geography

If there’s something unique to your surroundings, that can offer a ton of naming possibilities. We visited one client’s neighborhood in Minneapolis where every other building was named Mill Creek Something-or-Other, and this client needed to stand out. When we learned that Minneapolis sits on the Earth’s 45th parallel, equidistant from the north pole and the equator, that pointed to a perfect name: Latitude 45 (or L45 to their friends).

Language

For another client, Alister, we turned to Gaelic for inspiration. In that language, Alister means “man’s defender,” which ties into the company’s strategy of preserving and renewing older properties and giving them new life. (Our own name, Après, comes from the French and has similar significance for us.)

Qualities

What your property has to offer residents should play into your naming considerations. Is it safe, luxurious, modern, quiet? What are the main draws to life within your community? The name you choose doesn’t have to be a literal representation of your amenities, but it should convey the feeling you want your residents to experience.

Differentiators

In addition to the quality and vibe of your property, what do you offer that others don’t? Do you have trail access or a lake view? Are you situated in a trendy neighborhood with hot spots and night life? Play up what makes your property unique. As a fictional example, Lake Vista tells a completely different story than Elm Street Apartments. It speaks to a property’s unique attributes that set it apart.

Trends

When working with clients to select a new name and brand image, we consider current trends. However, we don’t want to settle on something so trendy that it will be outdated in a few years. So, for the record, we won’t let you name your community Fly Cribs (see Nos. 17 and 18 on this list of words that “make you sound like an old fart”).

Your name, and your brand, should fit your location, style and characteristics. Trying to fit a slick, Vegas-quality brand into a laid-back, rustic location will just make you look silly (trust us, we’ve seen it in action). A great property name will stand the test of time and will help you stand out as fresh, unique and desirable.

To learn more about our approach to naming and branding, contact us today. We specialize in helping multifamily properties create distinct, 21st century brands.