You have your property amenities sorted, your pricing figured out, and your interior design developed. But what does that all mean if you don’t have a name that fully captures the specialty of your real estate building?
Choosing a brand name is one of the most significant aspects of a brand development process. The right name creates an image of your property and brand in the mind of potential customers, sharing the idea of what you’re all about. And, it’s the most important keyword for internet searches.
A strong brand name should be:
- Meaningful: It communicates a brand story and creates an emotional response
- Unique: It should be memorable and stand out from your competitors
- Easily Understood: Avoid words that are hard to read or pronounce – they won’t stick in people’s minds
- Visual: It should lend itself to strong brand colors and imagery
- Future-Proof: You want your name to work now, and ten years from now, so veer away from names that feel really timely
Work backward. Decide what your brand identity, such as target audience, culture, mission, and purpose, will be, and then begin brainstorming names that line up with those needs.
Feeling stuck? Follow along for some tips for determining a successful name for your brand.
Reflect On Your Company Values
Think about your property’s mission statement or parent company’s values – what is it your company stands for, and how can your name tie back to that? Spend time with what your property is trying to achieve, focusing on your purpose and vision. Determining the heartbeat of your brand can lead to a stronger name association down the road.
Connect Your Name To A Story
We communicate in stories, and talking about a brand is no different. Effective marketing connects to a larger target audience through storytelling, which is why your property name needs to mean something. If someone asks you why you named the property what you did, and all you have to say is that it sounded cool, you’re missing out on some really good marketing.
Think about the history of the city your property is located in, what it’s known for, or what interests your target audience has, and then go from there.
Having a great story also allows for stronger visuals (think website design, brochures, signage, temporary leasing space designs), as the logo, colors, and brand patterns all have a north star to draw from.
Less Is More
Short and snappy wins the race! You want to limit the length of your brand’s name, as anything longer than three or four syllables will only be harder for your potential audience to remember. The final name should be punchy, and this is best determined by running any potential names by those who aren’t part of the brainstorming, allowing for fresh eyes and fresh opinions.
Here is where you’ll also want to factor pronunciation into the mix. Your property name won’t only live on signage and a website, it will be said by residents in passing, and therefore shouldn’t be something that’s hard to say or spell. So remember to say any names aloud!
Remember Your Competitors
The last thing you want is to come up with a really amazing name, only to find out a direct competitor has something similar. Standing out from your competition is a key factor in your brand name and final brand visuals, which is why doing research on your market early on is essential.
Consider Creating A New Word
The best way to avoid having the same name as someone else? Create a non-dictionary word. Your name should still have meaning behind it, and not just be created out of thin air, but there are a few ways you can create new words, like:
- Mashing up two words together
- Spelling an existing word in a new way
- Creating a word where each letter stands for something
Plus, what’s more fun than being the owner of a completely new word?
Think About SEO
You heard it here first, do not skip thinking about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) when it comes to naming your brand or property. SEO plays a key factor in determining how popular a potential name is for organic and paid searches.
Say you’re naming your property Dragon (not a great name, but work with us here), then Googling that name will bring up a lot about dragons themselves, the television series “House of Dragon,” a speech recognition software called Dragon, and restaurants in your area with Dragon in the title. A generic name like that could make it hard to stand out in the very competitive search engine space.
Psst. This is why creating a new non-dictionary word might help!
The success of your brand and property depends largely on the branding, which begins with a really great name. A name that’s meaningful to your audience, lends itself to great visuals, is short and snappy, and is easy to remember. A name that stands out from your competitors and can be relevant for your audience today, and in many years to come.
Don’t let determining a name feel overwhelming! Have fun with the process and see what unique options you come up with.
For more tips and information about company and real estate branding, take a look at the rest of our blogs, right here on our website! You can also subscribe to our email newsletter, or follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter!
Apartment branding isn’t what it used to be. In just the last five years alone, the landscape of apartment branding across North America has adapted to dramatic fluctuations in the housing market which have led to new innovations in naming, logo development, and brand identity.
As an apartment marketing agency with expertise in naming and branding projects, we’ve had a front row seat to the shifting needs of renters, owners, developers, and asset managers during this time and enjoyed a position at the cutting edge of the branding innovations that these shifts have inspired.
This experience has not only fascinated us, but also empowered above-market results for our clients, and we hope it will do the same for you. So without further ado, here are the key shifts we’ve seen in apartment branding trends across multifamily, student, and senior living markets within the last five years.
Branding Is No Longer an Afterthought
We couldn’t write about the changes in apartment branding trends without first acknowledging that the attention paid to branding has increased. That is to say, not only have the types of branding choices apartment marketers make shifted over time, but real estate creators and managers are also making these choices earlier and with more care than ever before.
Before the pandemic hit, many rental industries were experiencing a boom of new developments, causing increased competition that required developers, owners, and asset managers to focus their efforts on how they would differentiate their new developments from the competition. This also prompted existing communities to up their game to compete with newcomers, which made rebrands more common than before.
Now, even after the effects of the pandemic, the trend of thoughtful branding has continued because it has become the expectation among consumers and apartment marketers alike.
These days, crafting a brand for a new development typically occurs in tandem with the development and tends to inform and be informed by architectural and interior design processes.
More often than ever before, branding involves a careful research and discovery process, professional assistance from an apartment marketing agency, and the creation of in-depth brand guidelines documents to keep the branding consistent and effective over time and across multiple platforms.
Apartment Names are Bolder & More Memorable
Five years ago, you would find many new developments adopting names incorporating the street number of the complex (e.g. AMLI 5350) or a classic two-word formula featuring words like “Estates,” “Pointe,” and “Vista.” Nowadays, you still see plenty of those formulas being used, but more often, apartment brands are breaking the mold in favor of unique and memorable names that might have felt too bold just a few years ago.
For example, apartment marketers often eschew the familiar in favor of the unique so that brands feel “iconic” instead of “traditional.” Instead of “900 West,” or “Clinton Gardens,” new developments are more likely to be dubbed “NTX,” “Lumen,” or “Mosaic.” Also increasingly common are anthropomorphic names that instantly inject a sense of personality into a community, like “Emara,” or “The Guthrie.”
This trend is particularly true in student housing, where it’s generally understood that Gen Z prospects will overlook the boring and traditional. However, student housing does not have a monopoly on this trend. Even senior living brands are becoming more bold and adventurous, especially as we see a surge in Active Adult communities that emphasize an active lifestyle and resist the narrative of “slowing down” in their retirement-aged residents.
Sustainability & Social Responsibility Have Taken Center Stage
Climate change, racial justice, and public health have all taken center stage in the public zeitgeist, causing renters to pay increased attention to how their housing choices play a role in these factors. Especially among Gen Z and Millennial renters, green living, inclusive marketing, and public responsibility have become important factors in determining whether a brand resonates with them enough to make it into the consideration phase of their renter journey.
Apartment communities new and old have responded to these priorities by incorporating names, taglines, colors, textures and patterns, and brand voices that underscore themes of responsibility, cleanliness, sustainability, and inclusion. For example, brands looking to resonate with eco-conscious renters are adopting greens and blues in the brand colors or incorporating organic elements like plants and animals into their logos.
Student Housing Brands are Ruled By Gen Z Sensibilities
With the oldest Gen Zers now twenty-four years old, student housing has spent the last five years adjusting to the priorities of this generation of renters. That means student housing brands are emphasizing technology, social media presence, sustainability, and affordability more than they were when Millennials were their target audience.
How To Get More Leads & Leases from Gen Z Renters
For example, today’s student housing brands are incorporating messaging that emphasizes “an option for everyone” rather than “exclusive amenities” or “upscale living.” Of course, luxury student apartments are still being built, but even these communities are often leveraging themes of inclusion and attainability in their brand messaging and imagery in order to avoid the impression that they are catering to the wealthy few rather than to the millions of Gen Z renters who came of age during an economic recession and enjoy less public funding for their tuition than any generation before them.
Multifamily Housing Brands are Ruled By Millennial Sensibilities
While the oldest Zoomers are becoming renters in multifamily communities, the largest group of multifamily renters is still the Millennials. Many of these 20 and 30-somethings are experiencing fledgling careers (often changing jobs every two years or so), new parenthood, and mountains of student loan debt, which is making affordable housing, spacious apartments, family-friendly amenities, and work-from-home opportunities more attractive than ever.
Multifamily communities are responding to these needs by emphasizing how their apartments support residents’ careers, families, and physical health while providing an excellent overall value. As with student housing, luxury multifamily housing is still being developed, but the sense of luxury is often communicated through the highlighting of work-from-home conveniences, more spacious interiors, state-of-the-art fitness facilities, and convenient lifestyle perks like housekeeping services, pet grooming, and other factors that make adult life a little bit easier.
Senior Living Brands are Adjusting To The Active Adult Housing Boom
Senior living was once considered only in terms of Independent Living, Assisted Living, and Memory Care facilities, but that’s no longer true. These days, new senior living developments are more likely to be Active Adult communities than the “retirement homes” of yesteryear. This new trend appeals to Boomers and older Gen Xers who are ready to downsize after becoming empty nesters or reaching retirement age, but who are not interested in “slowing down.”
How Senior Living Is Changing
These generations of seniors are redefining what it means to be “old,” and showing apartment marketers how much seniors have been subject to limiting stereotypes and lackluster housing options in the past. It’s no wonder that the Active Adult sector has seen such a boom within the last decade, prompting the senior living industry as a whole to incorporate themes of adventure, discovery, activity, and connectedness in their branding.
Identifying key audiences is critical to any marketing campaign, and that is even more important when you are attempting to drive foot traffic and the right audience to your website. That’s why real estate marketers are constantly innovating around digital targeting tactics in an attempt to maximize your reach without wasting ad spend on unqualified leads and impressions. Addressable marketing is one of the most cutting edge advancements in audience targeting because it allows apartment marketers to target their audience on a household-by-household basis, achieving a granularity that was previously unheard of in location-based marketing.
If you’re new to addressable marketing and unsure if it’s right for your real estate asset, this post can help you understand what addressable marketing is, how it works, and how it can add to your real estate marketing plan.
What is Addressable Marketing?
Addressable marketing campaigns allow ads and other media to be served to individual households across a number of personal devices—Connected TVs, smartphones, personal computers, etc. These ads can target prospects based on household location, age, income level, home equity information, number of household members, and a variety of interests, resulting in highly qualified online and offline traffic from prospects who are more likely to convert.
Because it targets your audience household-by-household, this tactic shares many of the benefits of a direct mailer while also saving on design and printing costs and allowing you the flexibility to target your audience with data aggregation tools rather than requiring you to have a list of addresses ready at hand. Think of it like the direct mailer for the digital age.
How Does Addressable Marketing Work?
It used to be that location-based targeting was relatively limited in terms of the specificity it could achieve, but nowadays, it is possible to use GPS data combined with IP information and plat line data to specifically target on a household-by-household level. This image from Simpli.Fi, one of Threshold’s vendor partners, shows the evolution of available technology.
When creating an addressable marketing campaign, you start by defining the audience you’re hoping to reach across factors like household location, interests, and other demographic information such as age, income level, etc. Then, through data aggregation tools, micro-geofences are drawn around each physical address that meets those data requirements. Next, a conversion zone is drawn around a specific location where you want to measure foot traffic (e.g. your leasing office).
When a prospect enters your micro-geofenced locations (e.g. physical home address), they will be targeted with your ads on their mobile and desktop devices for a set amount of time (30 days is typical). When the customer enters the conversion zone (e.g. leasing office) with their mobile device after being served your ad, the conversion zone recognizes the prospect and attributes their visit as an offline conversion. OR, if a prospect converts online by filling out a contact form, that action is measured as an online conversion.
Who Should Be Using Addressable Marketing Campaigns?
Addressable Marketing tactics can be useful for any real estate vertical, whether it be student housing, multi-family, senior living, or commercial. But in general, the more time your audience spends at home (or at the geofenced location), the more opportunity you have to engage them with Addressable Marketing campaigns. This makes it a great option for multi-family communities with a target audience that includes work-from-home professionals. It also makes addressable marketing a particularly lucrative choice for senior living brands.
In fact, since the COVID-19 pandemic changed how we work, live, and relax, the emergence of addressable marketing as the next frontier of digital real estate marketing has only been bolstered. Targeting users while they are at home has become especially important during a time when going out is no longer the norm. In fact, with fewer prospects visiting leasing offices, addressable marketing is one way to off-set the reduced in-person marketing opportunities.
Simpli.Fi, a leading provider of addressable marketing services, put it this way:
As the COVID-19 outbreak continues and social distancing becomes the new normal, people are spending more and more of their time at home. It is essential for businesses to be able to effectively reach consumers in their homes in order to increase online sales.
Furthermore, because addressable marketing is emerging as the direct mailer for the digital age, it is regarded as a particularly excellent choice when marking housing to seniors. Because addressable marketing campaigns use data aggregation tools and fine-tuned targeting factors like age, home equity, and interests, they are able to hone in on senior prospects who may be ready to move, like empty nesters looking to downsize, for example. For more advertising tactics for senior living, check out our post on the Top Digital Marketing Strategies for Senior Housing.
Ready to see addressable marketing in action? You can see how an addressable marketing campaign contributed to 165 online conversions for one senior living property by checking out this Senior Living Case Study. And when you’re ready to try it for yourself, you can always reach out for a free consultation on our contact page.
Marketing to millennials is all about positioning your property as a notch above the competition. If you have a luxury apartment complex, you’re in luck. There are housing communities with luxury amenities, and there’s everyone else. Nothing is going to convince a prospect to pick your luxury property over the budget apartment down the street quite like mind-blowing amenities. However, amenities won’t attract anyone unless they’re marketed correctly. When every luxury apartment in the neighborhood has a pool, naming and describing the benefits of your pool becomes a whole lot more important than simply announcing that it exists.
If the competition offers a pool, you should be offering an “Expansive pool, tanning space and outdoor cabana.” If the competition offers a study room, your property should be offering a “Smart Study Lounge with blazing fast Wi-Fi.” With so much competition in the housing industry, multifamily marketing is more important now than ever before.
So you know you need to do some marketing, and you have amenities you want to show off. The next step is making sure your marketing efforts are seen in the right places to effectively reach prospects and residents.
The days of putting up a website, handing out brochures and calling it a day are long gone. Marketing student apartments is a year-round job. Well maintained Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds are just as important as a cutting edge website. The first step to creating effective month-to-month social media content is actually having things on the calendar to promote. Luckily, luxury apartments are easy to market through social media.
Its easier than ever to post high quality videos on Facebook and Instagram thanks to advancements in smart phone camera technology. It takes 2 seconds to snap a video showing off your pool or fitness facility and post it on Instagram. Facebook’s cool new 360 Image feature is also an ideal way to post mini-tours available units or just a quick shot of your hardworking leasing agents.
Clubhouses and fitness centers are also great spaces to host quick and easy events like Taco Tuesdays or Waffle Bar Wednesdays. Post a couple times on Facebook to promote the event and watch residents and their friends line up outside your door. Sometimes you need to post on social media just for the sake of keeping your page up to date, but its a lot more effective when your property actually has some events to talk about. Hopefully your event calendar reaches the point where you’re able to create event pages on Facebook and let residents invite their friends. Say hello to more prospects and more referrals.
In this post, we’ve established that events are an important tool for marketing on social media. But creating a diverse calendar of events is no easy task. As the marketing agency Austin apartment experts flock to, Threshold has a ton of experience filling out property’s monthly event calendars. We’ve been doing this long enough to know which events work and which are total busts. One event that always attracts a crowd is a partnership up with a local non-profit. Not only does philanthropy attract well-meaning attendees, it also acts as a boost to your public relations image around the community.
There are more new multifamily marketing ideas where that came from, so feel free to contact our team of experts next time your event calendar is looking a little thin.