The Importance of Location in Apartment Branding
It’s way more than an address—understanding the location of your community is important for successful apartment branding. Location should be one of the external factors that influences your branding, more so than most other things.
Location can tell you: trends, culture, resident type, neighborhood vibe, attractions, destinations, and history. Consider each of these when you create a brand for your apartment community. Start paying attention.
Components of Location in Apartment Branding
Where do people go on the weekends? What are the neighborhood hotspots? Which local spot is a must-brunch? Are there food trucks? Are there music nights in the summer? Is it bicycle-friendly? What are the most popular trends in the area? When you find something good, you can fold those trends into your brand messaging, your amenities (think bike storage) and what you mention on tours.
You’ll probably know these already based on the IRP you’ve developed after your market research. If not: Find the high points of your area. What’s bringing people in? Are there really good public schools or private schools? Is it an amazing food district? Are neighbors incredibly friendly? Is housing more affordable than neighborhoods close by? Is the art district thriving and interesting?
Who is being attracted by these things? Families? Individuals? Young professionals? Focus your messaging on them.
CULTURE OR VIBE
What kind of vibe is the neighborhood giving you? Is it a coffee mecca? Is it all about breweries? Are the streets filled with upscale boutiques? Are there plenty of family-friendly eateries? Is it quiet or sleepy? Depending on what the average person might be doing outside of the home in the neighborhood, you can factor this into the kinds of amenities you offer—or emphasize in your community’s marketing.
Is the area historic and proud of it? What things add flavor and interest about the spot you have in your community? Are there famous people from the area? If there was a tourist walking around, what would they find when googling the neighborhood? (And then which of those things would they visit?) It makes sense to look at your area like a tourist sometimes, just to take note of what could be included in your chats with prospective residents or what is a point of pride for the people that live there. (“The World’s Biggest…” is always a conversation starter.)
A city that comes to mind with all this history talk is Chicago. It seems every neighborhood has something interesting about it. Its Pilsen neighborhood, which is now home to a predominantly Hispanic/Latino population, was once filled with Polish immigrants. The area has also become somewhat of an artistic district, and murals are all over buildings throughout the neighborhood.
Knowing the history of your area gives apartment branding both a reality check and authenticity. Sharing the history of the area gives your residents something memorable to cling to.
Using Location in Apartment Branding
But now what? How to use this location information to better your apartment branding:
LOCAL HOT SPOT TOUR
Tours of your community, amenities, and units? Fine, but expected.
Self-guided tours of your local hot spots? Fun, exciting, interesting, helpful.
This gives your prospects a better idea of what they’re close to and what they have easy access to. You can even fit in some inside pointers, like which coffee drink is the best at the local cafe, or how far it is to the local library.
Tip: Think about what’s useful and/or fun, and share those spots through your area amenity/attraction map, but also: fold it into your prospect “extra self-guided tour” with a map or menu of all the stops.
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What are people dressing like in your neighborhood? What are their interests? What are the priorities of the city for this specific area? What are other apartment communities doing? Are they focused on eco-friendliness? Are the streets super quiet (and want to stay that way?) Are the neighbors friendly? Are there always “____ in the Park” events lined up every weekend?
Tip: Try to fit in a little and not break the mold too much. Your research around your IRP can either confirm this “blending in” or it will tell you that change is around the corner when you look at growth rates of particular sectors. Make observations, and use data.
Additionally, using the local historical buildings and architecture to create your style can help your community feel like “one of the rest.”
Is the neighborhood well-established? Depending on whether you’re a new construction or if you’re taking over management of an asset, you can reach out to local businesses and work something out (where you both get something good at the end!) Mutually beneficial deals are the best kind.
Tip: Create a special discount code for a local coffee shop or do some cross-promotion. Tradesies! For example, if you can put up your posters in their windows, they can give you a discount on their roasted coffee in your lobby. If there are new businesses coming to the neighborhood, help them thrive by including them in your suggestions, or by doing giveaways with gift cards to the spot.
An Example of Leaning into Location
We recently took a small group of marketers on a curated day away from the office in a neighborhood called Deep Ellum, just east of downtown Dallas. This area has been around for a long time and has gone through phases of gentrification, as well as ups and downs in terms of its liveliness and popularity. Today it is filled with unique restaurants and shops and has a big nightlife presence.
We spent the full day within a walkable radius and visited many of these local restaurants and shops. Below is a snapshot of how we spent our day:
- Started with coffee & pastries at Merit Coffee Co
- Went on a mural walk—the area is covered in intentional graffiti art!
- Crafted our own plants at The Plant Bar in Jade and Clover
- Enjoyed a sit down lunch at Ebb & Flow
- Relaxed by the pool at Kimpton Pittman Hotel with a charcuterie board snack delivered from Amor y Queso (this could be your apartment’s pool instead)
- Indulged in an upscale dinner at Harpers
- Laughed a ton at the Dallas Comedy Club
- Ended with cocktails and dancing at Truth & Alibi (had to get the password from FB)
Immersing ourselves in this neighborhood allowed us to understand the vibe and appeal of the area. The visit not only left us with great places to recommend to others, but also helped exemplify how a new apartment community in the area could brand themselves creatively.
Benefits of Location in Apartment Branding
The benefits to you, multifamily marketer—is that when you give location insights to your residents and prospects it does four awesome things:
- Crowns you The Authority for neighborhood knowledge
- Boosts website traffic via SEO (if you’re putting this knowledge in a blog!)
- Creates easy-to-use social content
- Communicates your care for every resident’s living experience, even outside of your property lines (a curated lists of things to do = a bonus amenity)
When you lean into the location instead of trying to carve a completely new path, you may find better lease renewal rates and a more integrated community feel from the beginning of your branding journey.
Source: Multifamily Insiders