The concept of “Brand Management” has always been an area of focus for Marketing Directors in this industry. How do we distinguish and position our brand, our communities apart from the competition? Based on recent observation there now appears to be a new twist on this concept. Instead of supporting the management company’s brand, the key may be to enhance the resident’s personal brand.
Personal Brand Management
According to the newly released Q1 2016 SatisFacts Index Analysis, The Top 5 influencers on renewal likelihood are:
- Appearance and Condition of Apartment
- Responsiveness and Dependability of Staff
- Community Sponsored Social Activities, Events
- Appearance, Condition of Grounds, Landscaping
While a couple of these have been in the Top 5 year after year (Appearance and condition of apartment and Responsiveness and dependability of staff), there are a few new kids in town. The most intriguing influencer is “Community sponsored social activities, events,” which has always ranked toward the bottom of the list. When paired with other findings, an enlightening trend begins to emerge: The importance of a renter’s personal brand.
Personal branding now stretches beyond ones public persona. It has the ability to impact a renter’s choice to stay in a community or move elsewhere should that community enhance or detract from the way others perceive them. Residents may now be asking themselves, “If I decided to tell someone about my community, how would that effect their perception of me? Do my friends think I’m fun, intelligent and financially savvy, because I live here?”
This personal awareness is significantly reflected in the importance placed on the community’s social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.). When evaluating the influence on a renter’s perception of the sense of community, “Community’s Social Media” ranked number 4. Even more significant, when evaluating the impact on a renter’s perception of “Value” the community’s social media is ranked number 3. Bottom line, renters want their friends to perceive their community as a hip, happenin’ place.
What once were differentiators have now become basic expectations, meaning that prompt, courteous, consistent customer service is now considered the norm. In order to separate a community from the norm, the team must focus on how to support their residents’ personal brand. Not only is each team member an ambassador of their community and property management company, they are now the personal representative of each resident. Is the front entrance, building #4, the pool, the maintenance shop a positive or negative reflection on Ms. Jones? Does it enhance or impede her personal brand?
Brand management may now be the new gateway to resident loyalty.
By: Jen Piccotti SVP of Education and Marketing & Lia Nicole Smith VP Education & Marketing
Sample Apt 202