Rethinking Property Activation in the Digital Age

By Chris Arnold
Rethinking activation

In 2024, the old strategy of attracting renters through simple "Now Leasing" signs is no longer sufficient. Let that sink in for a second.

*Checks building signage...*

The modern renter seeks an experience that feels intentional and personally curated.

This evolution in renter expectations (in many ways driven by the intentionality we've seen blossom in hospitality) demands a robust, thoughtful approach to property activation that encompasses everything from physical signage to digital engagement.

Rethinking Physical Branding

The journey toward effective property activation begins with a critical reevaluation of physical branding elements.

Traditional banners and signage often fail to make an impact and may even detract from the property's appeal. Instead, developers, owners, and multifamily marketing leaders should consider leveraging the available real estate—fences, for example—for dynamic banner activation.

If it's not "Now Leasing" in red and white block letters from the local print shop, what should it be?

These banners should be eye-catching and integrate modern elements such as QR codes and URLs that easily lead potential renters to a well-designed website.

This approach not only enhances visual appeal but also simplifies the process of gathering information, making the initial interaction as seamless as possible.

On a giant building? Stick to a simple and obvious URL.

Along a busy street? Offer a QR code for those walking by.

Aligning Signage with Brand Identity

It's essential that every piece of signage, from window decals to floor mats, reflects the property's brand identity.

This alignment extends to the language and call-to-action (CTA) used in signage. The goal is to move beyond generic messages to create a narrative that resonates with your target audience.

Redesigning vertical signage to align with the broader brand strategy can transform how prospects perceive the property right from their first encounter.

Consider incorporating your brand's patterns, textures, and a key slogan into your onsite activation.

Leveraging Digital Tools for Engagement

The point of better signage and better onsite activation is simple: in today's world (the digital age), an effective go-to-market strategy for properties includes a strong online presence.

Driving potential renters from a banner, sign, or online ad into a well-curated and articulated website should be a top priority the day you launch a splash website.

Your goal here is to build a community even before a lease is signed. Drive excitement. Stoke the fire. Build on momentum month after month.

Continuously nurturing leads through scheduled updates and personalized interactions are crucial for converting prospects into renters.

Enhancing the Renter Journey

The chef's kiss in property activation is ensuring that every interaction with potential and current renters reflects thoughtfulness and attention to detail.

This can include anything from high-quality, branded office swag to well-crafted leasing collateral. These elements contribute to a positive leasing experience and can significantly influence a prospect's decision to rent.

Thoughtfulness in these interactions shows renters that their comfort and satisfaction are top priorities, which often leads to higher retention rates and more satisfied renters.

And, you guessed it: that often starts with the onsite banner.

Holistic Property Activation

Adopting a holistic approach to property activation goes beyond mere aesthetics; it is about creating a cohesive, engaging renter experience that begins the moment they see your property online or walk through your door.

As we move forward as an industry, the challenge for developers and owners will be to continuously innovate and adapt these strategies to meet changing renter expectations.

Keeping a pulse on renter preferences and ensuring their properties stand out in a crowded marketplace will become a requirement.

Are you looking closely? Then you know this shift is underway today.

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