How to Build an Apartment Brand From Scratch

by McKenna Hogan, on Mar 22, 2021 8:30:00 AM

In real estate marketing, branding is a lifestyle—and building an apartment brand that does so successfully is no easy feat.

Whether your brand is outdated, complicated, or even just in need of a refresher, creating a cohesive apartment brand opens the door to endless possibilities (and hopefully more profitable and consistent business).

Whatever the reason, to best execute the vision you have for your community, and to bring in your desired renters, below are five essential steps to building an apartment brand from scratch.

1. Map out what will draw in renters

Whether it’s families, young adults, etc, deciding on how to spark interest in your target demographic is your first order of business.

A few factors that play into this decision are the local community, any amenities or special offerings your apartment provides, the cost of leasing, property type, and most importantly, filling a specific need in regard to consumers.

This is so important when beginning to build your apartment brand from scratch because it sets the pace for the rest of your marketing and sales efforts.

A good way to assess this is by taking a look at local competition and the renters they bring in. Is it a consistent demographic? Does this percentage reflect the type of people that live in or around your community specifically? 

Your goal may be to try to fill a niche, or contrarily, to be the best out of local competition. Just be sure your branding is consistent with your target renters wants and needs.

2. Establish your brand identity

A significant part of branding is visually based.

It lets your consumers know you’re you, and can help direct positioning as well as making your brand recognizable.

Since you already know your ideal renters, putting together some type of mood board consisting of furniture, decor, brand colors, etc., to help visualize the goal of your apartment branding can help kickstart your marketing strategy.

Pinterest is an excellent place to build a mood board for your apartment community. You can choose a general style and collect like-images to piece together the “mood” of your community.

Your apartment aesthetic can also dictate what your digital platforms will look like.

For example, you choose a minimalist look for your aesthetic with dark undertones, your target renters are working individuals in their late twenties or early thirties, and they are busy tech-savvy consumers.

Your website should reflect this by incorporating a minimalist design that’s easy to navigate, with only the necessary information front and center.

And the same goes for your community’s social platforms—aesthetics (especially on Instagram) are what initially spark interest in prospects. Using graphic design websites such as Canva can assist in building the aesthetic in an easy and appealing way.

By having a set vision or goal for the appearance of your property and other assets, you can build your apartment brand from the ground up.

3. Develop consistency

Over 90% of consumers expect consistency across all media platforms, and across physical locations.

A consistent brand depicts consistent service, and illustrates a set standard for business to consumer interactions—therefore making you more reliable and trustworthy.

Not to mention, it would be hard to become recognizable if your brand assets differ significantly for various marketing strategies.

One way to help execute a consistent brand image is to create brand guidelines for everyone working for your apartment community.

This can act as a reference for any marketing or sales operations, and it helps ensure at least the very basic branding features are being leveraged correctly to promote consistency throughout branding.


Below are a few assets to establish for your brand guidelines that should be apparent through digital platforms as well as physical location.

  • Color scheme
  • Logo
  • Tag line
  • Typeface
  • Voice
  • Priorities
  • Value-adds

These guidelines can be incorporated into the aesthetic of your community, the content you produce, the digital tools you provide, and much much more.

Brand guidelines will be the basis for all future branding, and is often based on the type of renters you’re searching for as well as your communities strongest features.

4. Add value for a meaningful impression

For example, your brand may prioritize environmental awareness and therefore incorporate environmentally-friendly amenities or community events that would stand out to a certain demographic.

However, many apartments are starting to incorporate features like solar panels, or gardens, which, in turn, may make this specific branding obsolete in the minds of renters.

To build visibility and stand out among competition, multifamily marketers need to hone in on shared values.

In fact, two-thirds of consumers say shared values are one of their primary reasons for choosing a brand.

So if environmentalism is your value-add, make a conscious effort to incorporate the cause within all of your content. Hold charity events, partner with a local restaurant with environmentally friendly options, and even leverage environmental branding through the aesthetics of your community.

Going above and beyond will not only register with renters, but it can also be what differentiates your apartment brand from others.

5. Start building your reputation

Building an apartment brand from scratch is a lot of work, but when done successfully can be apparent throughout the community. And one of the best ways to leverage this success is through the opinions of happy tenants.

Once you’ve established your brand, take a second to get to know the people living in your community and ask for referrals or testimonials to help with future renters.

If you’ve done well, a good reputation alone can be the most important achievement from your branding.

And if you have a bad reputation - or none at all - consumer reviews can change the way people perceive your business. So make it a point to connect to renters and tenants and ask them to leave a review or provide a testimonial you can use to add to your business listing, website, social media, etc.

Take control of your brand

To build a brand is to create an experience—your brand has the opportunity to dictate what kind of business you receive, and should be treated as a top priority.

With so many things being lost or forgotten during the apartment search, ensure your community stays top-of-mind to renters, and be a trailblazer among competition by establishing a strong, goal-oriented apartment brand.