Building a Successful Brand is all About Understanding Time

When we work with real estate clients (any clients actually) one of the first questions we always ask is, “What are your goals?” We ask this because, as well all know, different goals lead to different solutions. In real estate the two most common responses we hear from our clients are:

“We would like to lease X apartments per month” (pace)

and

“We would like to achieve $X per square foot” (price)

Faced with these two goals, the intuition is to just lump them together as “have a successful property” and move forward with the task of branding and marketing. But the fact is that even though both pace and price are important components of a successful property, they’re actually not as related as one would assume. The reason? Time.

In The Long and Short of It: Balancing Short and Long-Term Marketing Strategies, Les Binet and Peter Field show:

“…the optimum campaign strategy is radically different if success is measured over the short-term versus the long-term. Achievable short-term goals will be volume-based and favor a direct approach in which immediate behavioral triggers such as discount pricing, an offer or incentive, new product features or some other promotional event, are central. Longer-term goals such as share growth or reduction of price sensitivity favor a ‘brand-building’ approach in which the strengthening of the esteem of the brand is key.

That means that in order to “have a successful property” we need to do things that achieve success in both the short-term (pace) and long-term (price). And those two different goals require different approaches.

In the long-term we need to create an emotional appeal that speaks to a wide audience. These communications are typically are associated with brand awareness campaigns. An example would be the “Live Local” campaign for 145 Front at City Square that told real stories of people that love downtown Worcester in order to attract new residents to the neighborhood.

And in the short-term we need to speak more directly to a specific audience. These communications are typically associated with an ongoing lease-up campaign: email, SEO/SEM, events, direct response digital/social, etc. An example is the townhome campaign that we developed for Brookfield Properties’ Eliot on 4th. By focusing on a specific unit type we were able to muster all the channels of digital marketing to successfully lease nine out of 16 homes in one month.

So when we’re working on a brand for your new community, we need to make sure that we’re developing strategies, plans and materials that allow us to achieve our goals over the short and long-term.

Here’s to being successful today and tomorrow!