Three Ways To Build Your Brand
Just do it. Open happiness. I'm lovin' it. Brand is everything, especially in multifamily. Here are some strategies to consider when building yours.
1) Make your identity adaptable
New York-based El Ad Group CEO Udi Erez’s personal brand is like a chameleon. Whether it was teaching at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, auditing for Arthur Andersen, or buying buildings for El Ad Canada, he distinguished himself as a closer whose big picture outlook added value to any transaction. Now he has his sights on condo development in Manhattan, including some new projects recently branded 108 Leonard St (at the Manhattan Criminal Court site) and One West End (1M SF at 59th and Riverside with co-developer Silverstein Properties). The best part: these deals are flexible. If the condo market breaks, El Ad can convert to apartments and still break even. (They did it with the Carlyle in LA in ’09.)
2) Cater to a niche
The Finger Cos’ 2900 West Dallas, Houston’s fastest leaseup (nearly every unit delivered in the past three months is spoken for), has seen success by targeting a burgeoning subculture—foodies. We snapped property manager Sammy Del Real showing off a major draw: gas cooking. He says the property draws culinary enthusiasts because of the kitchen amenities (including wine coolers in each unit, the appliance not the beverage) and proximity to hot local restaurants like Tony Mandola’s across the street. Walkability is another perk for amateur chefs that need a last minute ingredient from the new Whole Foods nearby. And so is noise control. Having 6” of concrete between levels means no one’s the wiser to your loud blending, slicing, and dicing.
3) Nose to the grindstone
At the end of the day, actions always speak louder than words. Related California may keep relatively quiet, but EVP Lydia Tan tell us 2014 will be its banner year in Northern California (the three-year-old company has 9,500 units statewide). Related has 750 units, or seven projects, under construction, including: a $36M reno of some public housing sites it acquired from the Berkeley Housing Authority (construction kicked off this week); 200 affordable units atop 10k SF of retail in Mission Bay; and a 316-unit mixed-use project on an old industrial site on Potrero Hill. Moral of the story: keep grinding out units and the changing skyline will reflect your brand and tell your story.