Rebranding Multifamily

When rebranding multifamily, consider community and current residents

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As we have discussed in past blogs, a multifamily brand goes well beyond a name or a logo. When rebranding multifamily, it helps to remember a few industry truths that can guide you toward a brand personality that better resonates with current residents and prospective renters:

It’s all about community

Your brand and your product in multifamily must speak to people on a visceral level.

When they come to you, people want a new home – and all that the word “home” implies. Sure, location might drive their initial search, but they will choose a home based on a variety of factors beyond your proximity to their job or transit.

So, when someone comes home to your property, what does that mean? What sets your community apart as the right place for your target market?

If you can shift your thinking away from words like “property” and “units” – and toward “community” and “lifestyle” – you have fought half the battle. Think of your brand as something with a life of its own that also offers life to the people who reside in your multifamily community.

One multifamily executive summed it up nicely for the publication of the same name:

“In today's market, it takes more than just features and amenities to meet the expectations and needs of our customer, and our branding strategy helps communicate the service and special living experience that our residents enjoy, regardless of which [Brand] community they choose. Additionally, branding helps our associates understand the high level of expectations of our customers and ultimately deliver a consistent level of service that [our brand] represents.”

Add a human element to your branding and show people that your community has a heartbeat.

Why renters renew … and why they don’t

Your current residents should be one of your primary target audiences. Branding and marketing are not all about attracting new customers: It’s also vitally important to communicate your value to your current customer base.

As we discussed in our last blog, your customer service should back up your brand promise. Residents will leave en masse if you ignore issues, delay repairs or maintenance, or fail to deliver on your brand promise. Zillow reported that up to 55 percent of existing renters will move to another rental property when their current lease expires, and that is a huge lost opportunity.

Some reports show that modern consumers will turn their backs on a brand if it:

  • Isn’t unique (64 percent)

  • Doesn’t fit their identity (66 percent)

In addition, a whopping 64 percent of consumers cite shared values as their primary reason for building a relationship with a brand.”

You need to show both prospects and existing customers why your brand matches their values and their lifestyle needs. When a current tenant chooses to leave your community, take the time to find out why. Gather as much detail as you can, and then make customer service and brand changes accordingly.

You can’t please everyone, but you can wow your fans

One of the biggest mistakes we see multifamily brands make is trying to please everyone. That leaves your brand vulnerable to becoming a vanilla cookie – without icing or sprinkles.

Add the sprinkles and accept the fact that some people won’t like the color or flavor you chose. Be unique in a marketplace full of same-same.

When you fully embrace and own your brand’s unique assets, culture and lifestyle, your target market will seek you out. You will wow them and turn them into fans who are excited to tell others about where they live. That word-of-mouth marketing is gold.

So, what’s your brand’s personality? Why would someone want to hang out with your brand? Who are your brand’s people?

If you can’t answer those questions right now, then spend some time researching the demographics in your area. If your property has been around for awhile, the modern renter profile might surprise you. They might be: older than you think, less concerned about physical amenities than they once were, more concerned about the environment, looking for service-based and lifestyle-based touches, etc.

Take the time to discover who is renting in your area, and then build a brand that targets a specific subset of those prospects.


If you need help building a unique and modern multifamily brand, contact us. We offer design, branding and marketing services to multifamily brands nationwide.