2021 Can Mean Finding Order from Chaos for Multifamily Brands
Whew. We made it. I am sure you will miss 2020 just about as much as we will – not at all. This new year feels especially poignant, and our team has chosen to embrace the possibilities it holds. As we move forward, we want to help our clients create order from chaos as they grapple with what renters want and need most in 2021.
First: Your Community
Where to begin? That’s how many of our clients connect with us initially. They have a collection of great ideas and a vision of where they would like to go, but no idea how to get there. Throw in the topsy-turvy changes of 2020 and you have a perfect storm of urgent needs combined with confusion.
As a first step, take stock of your community with an informal analysis of your current reality and opportunities:
- What worked this year and what didn’t?
- What would your current residents say about your community?
- Are you meeting the needs of current residents?
- What programs or amenities might better meet those needs?
- Are there untapped audiences in your area?
- Have you reviewed your branding and marketing strategy recently?
- What piece of your story remains untold?
The good news? We LOVE the challenge of creating order from chaos. Our creative brains thrive on untangling problems and developing something new and unique. Whether you have some ideas on paper or a completely blank page, we can help. We will work collaboratively with you to understand your target audience, and we will help you develop a vibrant brand personality that helps you stand out.
Next: Your Renters
When trying to make sense of chaos, you need to begin with your end-user. For multifamily communities, that’s your residents or prospective renters.
If your branding and marketing feel stuck, you need to consider whether it actually speaks to renters. Too often, property managers cling to messages or processes that no longer serve the brand.
If this past year has taught us anything, it’s that letting go of the old – and letting go of tired expectations – can actually liberate us. Now is the perfect time to try something new. Not only will it give your brand a shot in the arm, but renters have asked for it. What they need and want this year looks a little different than it did in the past.
As reported by appfolio:
“Many have had to unexpectedly shift to remote work and learning environments in 2020. As the situation has become prolonged and renters have spent more time in their homes, their living preferences have been influenced. Overall, 60% of renters surveyed agreed that the pandemic has changed their preferences on where to live.”
Sixty percent. That’s more than a little mind-blowing, and it means that what worked in 2019 will not work now.
Renters now report that they want an apartment home:
- In a less populated area
- Somewhere new, simply for a change of pace
- Closer to family
- Ready for a remote-work lifestyle
For property managers in smaller cities and suburbs, that could mean a huge influx of new prospects. Now is the time to prepare for people who will be checking out your town or region for their fresh start.
If your community sits in an urban core or tech hub, however, don’t panic. While renters might not need to live as close to the office or commuter lines, you will still have an audience seeking the lifestyle your neighborhood offers. To find those people, you might need to shift the focus of your marketing messages.
In addition to these trends, renters continue to seek a sense of community and connection – perhaps even more than in years past. The more you can offer in terms of community-building, whether in-person or virtually, the better.
Finally: Your Brand Story
Your brand story helps you tie it all together. It communicates not only the hard facts of your offering, but the promise of home, security, comfort and community that renters want and need right now.
You can position yourself as a safe haven from the storm or a luxurious retreat that can inspire someone’s next phase. You might focus on sharing your neighborhood’s story or showing how your property creates the perfect jumping-off place for outdoor adventure.
In multifamily, while you might need to focus on the data and market numbers, branding is where chaos dissolves into peace. It tells the people side of the story. In our work, we love to find those stories and tell them in both design and words. We look for the visceral reactions that will turn prospects into signed leases and current residents into loyal fans.
As you emerge into this brand new year, and blank slate, we urge you to focus on the possibilities it brings. Reacquaint yourself with your vision and mission. Shift to meet the changing needs of people who are seeking the comfort of home.
Need help creating order from chaos in your multifamily marketing and branding? You found the right team. Reach out to us to learn more about our collaborative approach to design, marketing and branding.