Branding Urban Multifamily

How urban multifamily stories differ from suburban brands

Renters of all ages want to live somewhere with a vibrant lifestyle. Close to the action. However, the definition of “action” changes depending on your target market. Branding an urban multifamily community will look a lot different than a suburban brand in many respects, but the overlap between the two might surprise you. 

The urban story

The rise in Gen Z renters prompted RentCafe to dub some urban and semi-urban centers “Zoomer cities” in a recent survey. This cohort’s rental activity, they say, has sparked an urban revival: 

“The only generation to record an increase in renting activity in the past year, up by 21%, Gen Z is playing a big role in the urban revival, bringing to the front lines of development these Zoomer cities. Currently representing over a quarter of lease applications nationwide, Gen Z renters are swarming large urban hubs that promise job opportunities, bringing new life into cities that were once considered doomed due to the pandemic.”

The cities topping this list include true metropolises like Manhattan, Boston and San Francisco, but it includes a few smaller cities like Des Moines, Iowa, and Lewisville, Texas. However, even the smaller cities tend to sit on the edges of large metros with: 

  • More jobs
  • Quality public transit
  • High-speed internet connectivity (a must have for Gen Z)
  • Tons of recreational, entertainment and dining options 

For multifamily communities located in thriving city centers, branding needs to focus on connectivity in a broader sense. That includes technology, car charging stations and the ability to connect to other places using transit – but it also means creating a sense of connection and community among people. 

Urban renters are looking for a mix of convenience, community and lifestyle. They want a great mix of amenities within their multifamily community, but they also want access to incredible features in the neighborhood and surrounding area. 

The suburban story

Remote work accelerated the trend of renters opting for apartments in suburban areas. These areas often offer more interior space for a lower price, in addition to easier access to outdoor recreation. As Apartment List reports: 

“This sort of hybrid work arrangement is likely to alter decision making with regards to how far one is willing to live from the office. A long commute from the distant suburbs may seem much more reasonable if it only needs to be endured twice per week. It seems that some workers are choosing to forgo the convenience of being close to the city in favor of getting more space at a lower price point.”

Many renters who choose to live in suburban areas seek safer and more family-friendly neighborhoods, which should inform a property’s branding strategy. However, single and retired renters have also flocked to the suburbs in search of more parks and green spaces, less traffic, and more peace and quiet.

Keep in mind that some suburban renters will commute to large city centers either full time or part time, so transportation will play into branding as well. 

Where the two intersect 

One of our recent branding projects, for 3Thirty3 in New Rochelle, New York, provides a perfect example of urban-meets-suburban multifamily branding. 

New Rochelle offers fairly easy access to Manhattan and other key areas in the New York City metro area. It also boasts a more urban vibe than many other suburbs with a variety of restaurants, coffee shops and entertainment options. 

3Thirty3 itself stands out for its distinctly New York luxury vibe in the heart of this semi-urban location. The community’s amenities will appeal to an urban renter, including: 

  • 24/7 concierge
  • Access to two resident-use Teslas
  • Electric car charging stations
  • Mixology lounge
  • On-site golf simulator
  • Indoor/outdoor pool and infrared sauna
  • Nearby arts and culture institutions, including galleries, museums and performing arts companies

Suburban-style renters will appreciate:

  • Nearby waterfront parks
  • Panoramic views (you don’t get those in Manhattan)
  • Accessible commuter options
  • Pet-friendly living
  • Great schools and libraries

When the building opens, the 27-story, glass-clad structure will stand out for its clean, modern presence. Its interior will echo those modern lines and add moments of sophisticated elegance. 

Regardless of location, multifamily developers can make use of branding that bridges the gap between urban and suburban – and what makes each attractive to renters. 

Looking for a multifamily branding strategy that resonates with your target renters? Reach out to us to learn more about our collaborative approach to design, branding and marketing.

Posted By

Sara Bess