Seth Godin, a well-known business author, defines a brand as, “… the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another. If the consumer (whether it’s a business, a buyer, a voter or a donor) doesn’t pay a premium, make a selection or spread the word, then no brand value exists for that consumer.”
We all know a brand is important in consumer product and service industries but it is also very applicable to the property management industry. First, let’s examine the first part of Godin’s definition and think about the properties that you manage. What defines that property? What are the collections of expectations, memories and relationships that have formed people’s perception of that particular community? What distinguishes that property from the competing one down the street? Creating an identity and living up to those consumer expectations can be very powerful and create a competitive advantage. Secondly, let’s focus on the second part of Godin’s definition as it has positive implications for the cash flows within your portfolio. Godin says, “…if the customer doesn’t pay a premium….then no brand value exists for that consumer.” Creating an identity and building a brand that becomes known for the positive attributes associated with it can command a premium in the market. That means more revenue and higher profitability!
Let’s return to thinking about your property’s identity. Are you performing the maintenance, customer service, and other activities that align with how you want to be perceived in the market? Are you creating the right brand? If yes, then outstanding, but if no, make the adjustments necessary whether that be staffing or otherwise. Provide the facilities and the type of service that align with the brand and identity you want to portray to the market. As Godin implies, those efforts and this focus on creating a brand identity can have positive financial and competitive implications.
At MRI Software we are committed to powering maximum flexibility; that is our identity. The products and services we offer align with that as our design platform makes it easy for other solutions to plug-in to ours, we have a toolkit application that allows clients to customize the software, and we have an expanding Partner Connect program just to name a few. All of those products and services are designed with that brand objective of “Powering Maximum Flexibility.”
How do you define your brand? Do you have the tools necessary to live up to that identity?