Multifamily Demographics: Creating a Sense of Place

Where did you grow up? Urban or rural there is a place (or places) that make you think of home.  What are they and what do they represent?  Collectively, they are more than just a single address.

There is home, of course, and places that represent a combination of the corner store, your favorite burger joint, the place where you always buy socks; your church, school, and dentist.  Maybe its a park or favorite walking trail.  All of these addresses represent a sense of place.

With respect to multifamily assets, each represents a sense of place. Does your leasing staff present the property’s “sense of place” to a prospective resident?  Whereas home is more than windows and doors so too is the “home” represented by a multifamily unit for rent. Where is the nearest coffee-house?  You mean there is a real bookstore nearby? How far is the walk to kindergarten?

In property management we represent ownership.  It is our responsibility to engage the public on behalf of ownership.  This includes providing prospective residents with the sense of place as represented by the apartment home available for rent on the open market.

This is not the selling of sizzle versus steak.  People want a home to come to, a place that has a character and uniqueness. To the best of our ability, we can represent this best by differentiation in the multifamily assets we represent by knowing what makes them distinctive within their community.  It’s not rocket science but it does take planning and implementation.

John Wilhoit is the author of the best selling book on rent roll analysis: How to Read and Rent Roll. See also the companion guide to measuring the quality of rental income: Rent Roll Triangle.  Find JW’s Podcast here.

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