The decision to add staff depends on job function, availability of contractors and personal preferences.
Today’s apartment market is full of competition, leaving prospective residents with a variety of apartment options with comparable living experiences and amenities. As the race to fill these homes continues and investors become more selective on lending, now, more than ever, it’s important for apartment owners to find ways to stand out. For owners who have been in the business a long time, a brand refresh may help attract new residents, increase brand and industry awareness and re-engage employees.
Rebranding may seem intimidating, and if not executed carefully, could have negative results; however, when done correctly, rebranding can breathe new life into a brand while satisfying all stakeholders. Without doubt, one common challenge that apartment owners face when rebranding is creating an identity that speaks to both the business and the residents. Too often, an owner focuses primarily on one audience, which can lead to conflicting messages down the road.
As Morgan Properties began a rebrand, the 20th largest apartment owner in the United States first engaged with colleagues, vendors and investors to gain positive and negative feedback about the brand. Receiving outside input prior to making any changes enabled the company to do the following: quickly identify areas for improvement; gain a clear understanding on what an improved identity would look like; and develop a plan of action that would hopefully address everyone’s requests.
Through conversations, staff learned that renters are more attracted to brands that showcase ideal living experiences. The team also learned that as a brand with more than 30 years of history, 150 apartment communities, and more than 1,100 employees (some who have been with the company for decades), consistency is key to streamlining business as growth continues. By gaining input and identifying problem areas upfront, Morgan Properties ultimately avoided major identity challenges later in the rebranding process.
As part of the rebranding, Morgan Properties completely revamped its website, logo, tagline and signage across its portfolio. The website showcased new visuals (graphics and video) that highlighted the family-based, communal lifestyle and amenity-driven living experience prospective residents can expect at a Morgan apartment community.
This further supported the new “Experience More with Morgan” motto, which reflects top-level service, value and amenities that provide residents a sense of community and allow them the opportunity to grow with Morgan Properties. Videos of family gatherings at the pool, residents working out in the gym and couples walking their pets are just a few of the many tools that were created to support the new vision.
First impressions are everything, and by showing living situations that a prospective renter is seeking, Morgan Properties is more successful at garnering renters’ interests prior to a physical site visit. As part of the corporate website facelift, all apartment community pages, which live on the Morgan Properties’ website, were updated. This step led to consistency across existing and newly acquired properties and guarantees ease-of-use for residents.
Though rebranding is a long and tedious process that can present unexpected challenges, the end result can be quite rewarding. Through Morgan Properties rebranding, a 30-year-old company was able to modernize with a new look and feel that will propel the brand forward for generations to come.
Tracy Fauntleroy is the Director of Marketing at Morgan Properties.