Whether your investment portfolio is comprised of a 20 unit apartment complex in the suburbs or 10 retail strips located across five states, it is important to know that your building, whatever it may be, has its own brand.

For those of you unfamiliar with developing a brand in commercial real estate, the basic principal is that your brand is the delivery of an experience.  By marketing your brand, you are creating a promise regarding the type of experience your brand will deliver to its consumer.

Too many people think that your brand is just a catchy tagline and a logo, but it’s actually a history of actions, an expectation of standards, and the promise of a future.

You can’t be everything to everyone, so it is important to pick what you will focus on when building your brand to avoid expectations for something you can’t deliver.  Here is an example.

You own an apartment complex and decide the three things you want your property to be known for are Safety, Proximity, and Reliability. Some other owners may choose to highlight Affordability or Luxury or some other aspect of their property.

The promise of safety is relatively simple.  Potential tenants have a psychological need for a unit that is a safe habitable environment.  If your brand’s reputation does not meet this basic principal, then the property will never produce a stable rent roll.

The promise of proximity comes in close second to safety.  Proximity to workplaces, points of interest, or even public transportation is necessary for any tenant.  Although, the evolution of transportation has created a broader sphere for what is considered “driving distance”, the fact is that no piece of commercial real estate can operate in isolation.

The last principal of reliability has a very broad interpretation.  It can range from the perspective of client relations to whether or not the property continues to receive capital improvements at a modest pace.  Given the option, tenants are going to go with a property that has a reputation of being one step ahead of current or possible issues.

Whether you are trying to attract tenants or shoppers, focusing your brand message is an important exercise.  By creating a concise brand message which portrays your property and your company in the best light possible, you will establish a strong foundation in which to build your tenant roster.

The end goal of creating a strong brand focused around the directives that you choose is to ensure a better return on investment.  Once you have created your brand, you can then use it to drive your marketing by allowing you to tailor your marketing messages and strategies for your target audiences.

For more information on how to structure your property’s brand, you can join us at our next Commercial Property Academy live event.  We’ll be covering not only marketing strategies but techniques in determining the value of a property, financing methods that work at any level, strategies to analyze your intended market, and so much more.