3 Strategies for Elevating Your Community’s Curb Appeal

These actions can make all the difference. Fogelman Properties’ Tammy Yeargan weighs in.

Tammy Yeargan
Tammy Yeargan

In a recent NMHC and Grace Hill survey of more than 200,000 renters, community appearance ranked as one of the most important factors that prospective residents consider when signing a lease. With such a heavy impact on renters’ decisions, community appearance and atmosphere is top of mind for multifamily pros.

The look and feel of one’s surroundings set the tone for what life might be like within a community. From well-maintained landscaping and aesthetically pleasing entrances to clear signage, small details make a big impact on residents’ quality of life.

While aesthetics go a long way in ensuring long-term resident satisfaction, when paired with a well-trained and committed onsite team to elevate the living experience, communities thrive. The following are three strategies to elevate your community’s curb appeal and achieve high retention rates and reputation scores:

How visual aesthetics impact the community atmosphere

It’s no secret that curb appeal has everything to do with appearances. The look of a community speaks volumes about the team that takes care of the grounds and enhances residents’ quality of life.

Creating an inviting atmosphere from the moment residents and visitors enter our communities is crucial for setting the tone of an exceptional living experience. Entrances are the first point of contact in a community, making them a key point for enhancing curb appeal. Incorporating tasteful elements such as potted plants, thoughtfully placed benches and lighting features can contribute significantly towards establishing a welcoming ambiance.

Beyond the entrance, using clear and helpful signage throughout the community elevates the experience and provides visitors with a sense of ease while navigating the property. Boulevard banners are a great option to upgrade wayfinding—they’re practical, professional and effortlessly point people in the right direction.

And perhaps the most obvious way to instantly elevate curb appeal is through professional, well-maintained landscaping. Lush greenery, vibrant flowers and well-manicured lawns enhance visual appeal while promoting a sense of well-being among residents. Hostas, boxwoods, peonies and rose bushes are all some low-maintenance options to add color to your community. Strategic landscaping not only catches the eye but also provides functional benefits like shade, privacy and noise reduction.

The difference a motivated onsite team can make

Although critical to curb appeal, aesthetics fall flat without impeccable customer service and community-building efforts. Onsite team members are vital to creating a long-lasting impression that goes beyond signage and greenery. Your teams’ day-to-day interactions with residents cultivate an environment where they feel valued and foster a sense of connection, something that 72 percent of renters value, a Grubb Properties survey reveals.

Whether it’s through organizing onsite events, facilitating communication through online portals, ensuring timely responses to maintenance requests or simply providing assistance such as holding a door open, these interactions build rapport and enhance the overall living experience.

Upholding curb appeal is a team effort that requires close collaboration among onsite teams. Clear communication, well-defined roles and proper training ensure that communities have a rock-solid staff. Motivating team members with recognition programs, incentives and team-building activities can be a strong tool to drive success. Setting clear expectations and encouraging an open dialogue among staff leads to seamless collaboration and prepares the team to take on challenges such as resident concerns or weather-related incidents.

Getting back to the basics

At Fogelman, we’ve implemented a “Back to Basics” method—our secret to radically improving retention. The goal of the program is to ensure that our teams are top-notch in every way possible so that when challenges arise, we’re hypervigilant. Think of it as a crash course in problem-solving and communication—when the onsite team is prepared with the basics, they can handle incidents big and small.

Depending on the challenges, this may include sharpening practical skills through workshops and training sessions or realigning communication processes through weekly team meetings or quarterly forums with executive teams. Since implementing Back to Basics, Fogelman has witnessed increased renewals and improved online reputation scores.

For example, in 2020, Fogelman welcomed a new community into its Atlanta portfolio. It was a distressed asset, suffering from graffiti, dilapidated signage and lackluster curb appeal. Over the first six months, we embarked on a comprehensive revitalization effort including rebranding the community, enhancing the signage package and revitalizing the landscaping. The results were immediate: rental income increased by 14.4 percent and our residents gained a home they could truly take pride in.

Tammy Yeargan joined Fogelman Properties in 2007 as a leasing professional with Gables Residential in Memphis, TN. In her current role as Director of Marketing, Yeargan spearheads marketing and brand strategy for Fogelman’s lease-up portfolio, encompassing search, social media and reputation management. She also directs redevelopment marketing initiatives and corporate brand strategies.

You May Also Like