What defines you as a landlord and sets you apart from the competition?
If you struggle to answer this question, you should consider branding. Establishing a brand can be a great addition to your landlording toolkit, regardless of how many rental properties you own. In essence, branding is one of the best ways to get the edge over your competition.
But what is branding for landlords? How can developing a brand help boost the success of your rental business? And how valuable can your brand become? This article answers these questions and more.
What is Branding for Landlords?
Branding is more than just creating a fancy logo and an eye-catching color scheme. Branding your rental business involves creating a compelling story behind your multifamily property or rental unit. Branding aims to create emotional connections and encourage prospective tenants to buy into the story.
Branding helps to show potential tenants the unique value your rental unit offers. As a result, you can fill vacancies faster, and current tenants could stay longer.
Of course, your brand must be authentic and consistent to ensure that you provide what you promise. However, your brand can become one of your greatest assets when you get it right.
A solid brand should contain the following elements:
- Deliver a clear message
- Emotionally connect a tenant’s values with your rental units
- Motivate potential renters to act
- Create a sense of loyalty and belonging
- Use the latest technology to provide value to tenants
How To Build a Great Brand for Your Rental Business
Coming up with a brand can be challenging if you are a small-time landlord with a few rental units. However, getting the brand right is crucial because it gives you focus for your business goals. It also allows you to market vacancies to the correct type of tenant.
Here are a few steps to building a solid brand:
- Know your target renter: Define the ideal renter type you want to attract and what their needs are. Consider what their top pain points are. Are they families, young professionals, or tenants looking to enjoy a high-end lifestyle?
- Discover your unique selling point: Find what you’re good at and the benefits your rental units offer. These could be proximity to transportation, located in a historic building, or the amenities in the building. You could also develop a new niche to set your business apart from competitors. Just be careful when promoting your listings, as some advertisements might violate the Fair Housing Act. Read up on marketing and advertising laws here.
- Be consistent: Consistency is critical for your brand to become a valuable asset. Your color scheme, logo, and taglines should be consistent on all platforms—your website, social media, and building branding. Most importantly, consistency is vital in the level of service you provide.
Three Reasons Why Branding is Crucial for Landlords
The importance of branding becomes apparent when you put yourself in your tenant’s shoes.
Suppose you’re a tenant looking for a new place to rent. You discover five units in the neighborhood, each having a similar rent price, size, proximity to amenities, and quality. How are you going to choose between them? This is where branding can make a huge difference.
Here are three ways investing money into branding your rental business can pay enormous dividends.
Branding can attract better tenants
Your brand becomes your unique selling proposition. It sets you apart from the hundreds of other landlords in your neighborhood and defines who you are. You make your property special, and tenants will be willing to buy into that.
For example, you could renovate rental units to meet the demands of Millennials and Gen Z renters. This could involve installing smart devices, faster internet capabilities, and using technology to manage rental payments.
Or, you could remodel multifamily buildings to have communal, coworking spaces for tenants who work remotely. This could also be another way to monetize your rental property by selling spaces to non-residents.
Defining a distinctive brand for your rental units makes them unique and lets you market them to the right audience.
A strong brand means you could charge higher rent
A well-branded building or rental unit gives the perception of higher value. Tenants who enjoy a unique experience are willing to pay more. They are eager to buy into your brand and feel proud to live there. Therefore, your story becomes their story, and they will happily share with friends.
Tenants who feel connected to your brand are more likely to take better care of the property. Additionally, they are less likely to move for trivial reasons. After all, if they are getting a unique experience, why change that for something of lesser value?
Attract more prospective tenants
A brand becomes instantly recognizable and will significantly boost your marketing efforts. This happens in several ways.
First, your reputation will spread, and your high-value tenants will excitedly talk about where they live. This, in turn, creates effective word-of-mouth advertising.
In many cases, you will rarely have to list vacancies because prospective tenants will come looking for you. The result is that tenant turnover reduces, you experience increased demand, and your brand grows stronger.
Looking After Your Brand
Your brand becomes a valuable asset that you must protect at all costs. Therefore, developing and strengthening your brand takes regular time and investment. However, the rewards of establishing a solid brand in the rental market are tremendous.
Of course, branding only works if you deliver consistent service across the board. For example, branding your rental units as “smart homes” is no use if low-quality devices constantly break down, you have slow Wi-Fi, and tenants cannot contact you through a property management app.
Branding gives you a secure foothold in the local rental market. So, try to find your unique selling point and tailor your ethos to your tenant’s needs. By doing so, you will develop one of the most important assets for your successful landlord business—your brand.
Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.