Can You Brand a Neighborhood?

In an age of social media and personal brands, is it possible to brand an entire neighborhood?

You bet it is!

Creating a buzz is easier than you might think.

Here are some tips to create a great neighborhood brand… and spread the word.

Look for the story

The first step of neighborhood branding is figuring out what your neighborhood stands for. A smart way to discover this is by researching the history of your area and looking for a compelling story. The Midtown neighborhood in Atlantaaccomplished this by sharing a tale of their community’s prosperity. Do a little digging to see what values you can hang your hat on. You can also ask neighbors what they love about the area.

Improve first impressions

Once you understand the neighborhood, it’s important to share what you know with the folks looking at and living in your rental homes. First impressions are essential to developing a strong neighborhood brand. A highly noticeable way to promote your brand is to invest in creatively-designed yard signs. These could be basic realtor-type signs that have a positive message like “Welcome Home” or “Progress Lives Here.”

Neighborhood pride is contagious. You might host a block party where participants design their own messages and handcrafted signs. Once you get a few signs posted, more people will ask for their own yard signs. Soon, anyone who drives through the community will clearly understand the “brand” and the implied value of living there.

Mobilize the media

The next step to spreading the word about your brand message is to mobilize media outlets. Start promoting your neighborhood brand on your web site, Facebook page, Twitter account, Nextdoor community or printed newsletter. If you aren’t using these tools, start working with at least one of them to get the momentum going. You may need to begin with a traditional approach to build awareness about your online tools. That can be as simple as leaving a postcard or printed newsletter on each doorstep encouraging people to sign up for an email list or like your Facebook page. Also make social media sign-up a part of your rental process so that new renters are in the loop.

Up the ante with an event

Great! Your neighborhood brand is thriving and everyone is proud to call it home. Now, how do you market your community to a broader audience so that you continue to build your reputation and entice new renters?

Why not host a friendly event? There is nothing like a festival or tour of homes to add wow factor to your neighborhood. If your community is small, consider inviting nearby neighborhoods to join in the effort. The goal is to get as many people to visit your community and experience it in a positive way. A small tour of homes or concert in the park can have a big impact that you can expand upon every year, as part of your renting efforts.

If you want your rental homes and neighborhoods to draw top-notch renters, invest some effort in creating a memorable brand for your neighborhood. The right neighborhood brand will help keep everyone engaged and feeling positive about living in the community.