Proven branding concepts that will help you find residents
As a property manager or owner, you’re asked to do a lot. Many people claim that they “wear a lot of hats,” when they talk of their job. It’s completely true in your case. Let us help you navigate one of the trickiest avenues for growing your business: Marketing and Branding.
For starters, let’s clear up the difference between marketing and branding. The words are too often used interchangeably. Marketing is your efforts to entice and convert sales. Your brand is the sum total of many factors, some of which you do not control, such as how you are perceived by others. When we talk about your brand, we are talking about the way your company behaves and performs, and the way you present yourself to the world. Everything from your customer service to your logo design impacts the perception and understanding of your brand.
If you’re starting new, you have more leeway as you begin a marketing effort. If your property is older or if you’ve just taken your position at an established property, you have to take the time to research and comprehend how your residents see you, how your peers see you, and where your place is in the competitive market. As you learn those things, you unearth the brand identity of a company or property.
Whether you are rebranding or building a brand from scratch, a holistic approach is the best method. How many times have you been enticed by how something sounds or appears, only to find out that the product is junk? It happens every day. We buy things based on what we are told or what we interpret about them. In order to create a sustainable brand, you have to have the product to back it up. That’s the holistic way –– to make everything about your property, from the maintenance to the bill paying to WiFi performance, as consistently high-quality as possible.
So where do you even begin? Well, it’s not as complicated as many would try to have you believe. Follow the plan below, and you will be setting yourself up for success in any of your future marketing efforts.
Know Your Property
Don’t assume anything. Whether you’re new to a property or you’ve been there for a decade, you do not know the entirety of how your brand is perceived. To really understand where you can take your property, you have to know where you currently stand. That means surveying residents and past residents. It also means visiting other properties in your market to understand your place in the larger picture. People who are considering a move to your property will often consider the same alternatives either in the same price point or the same neighborhood. You have to know your competition to know yourself.
Know Your Audience
Who lives in your property? What type of person are they? For many beginning marketers, it helps to create actual personas. Name them Jane and Jeff and Jon, or something easy to remember like that. Jane is your “typical” female resident. When you design your newsletters, social posts, ads, or other marketing efforts, write directly to Jane and Jeff. The best marketing feels personal and targeted, so creating actual “people” out of what you know about your audience can be a flexible and impactful too. Remember, Jane will grow and change. As you learn more about your audience, use those common attributes to add to Jane’s persona.
Do The Work
Too many property managers and small business owners spend too much time promoting and marketing their business (worried about how it looks) and not enough time running and optimizing their business (worried about how it works). A well run property, with no junk laying around, no yard debris out front, and the highest levels of personal service, will be much easier to market. It’s about how it performs, not how it appears. To create a lasting, sustainable brand identity, you have to build a great property.
Know The Story
Do not get bogged down trying to tailor your efforts to meet the needs of Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. Those are channels, and they come at the bottom of the marketing plan. Your story, in other words, why you exist, is at the top of the plan. When you know your property’s Why, you can then craft all of your marketing materials and efforts to tell that story in myriad different ways. As you do that, always keep your audience in mind. Then, when you have your stories hashed out, they become campaigns. As a final step, not as a first step, you tailor each campaign to be expressed on each of those social media channels.
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