How to Protect Your Apartment Community’s Brand (By Not Following Ryan Lochte)

I’m not a fan of watching sports, but by that I mean baseball, basketball, football…pretty much anything that has my husband hogging the TV and preventing me from watching reruns of How I Met Your Mother. That doesn’t include the Olympics. I love the Olympics, especially the Summer Olympics (excluding baseball, basketball, and football—which I’m not even sure if they play). My favorite sport is swimming, because I was on the swim team back in high school. Oh, and also because the U.S. men’s team, as a whole, is really, really ridiculously good looking.

Stop that!

Anyway, everyone is super into the Michael Phelps/Ryan Lochte rivalry. I know everyone loves a good underdog story (but really, does being a previous gold medal-winning Olympian really still qualify you as an “underdog”?), but I was really rooting for Phelps, because it would be awesome to torture my grandkids one day with boring stories about how their Olympians are nothing, and in my day our Olympians broke records! And I really joined Team Phelps when Lochte won a gold medal and then tried to wear a grill with an American flag on it (for those who aren’t aware—and why would you be, because who really wears them…besides Olympians, apparently—grills are basically bejeweled retainers) over his teeth during the medal ceremony.

Oh yeah, and he was totally denied his gold medal until he took the stupid thing off. (And of course he put the grill back on after the ceremony.)

The theory is that he couldn’t wear the grill because it wasn’t part of the uniform. Maybe. Maybe they were just too showy and “weird.” He’s a person, yeah, but he’s also part of Team USA’s brand. And he needs to look the part.

Same goes for apartments.

When you’re trying to get an apartment leased in your building, make sure that it conveys the brand messaging you want for your community. This is especially important if you’re trying to rent out an apartment where the current renters are still there (for example, if they have a month left but didn’t renew). If you walk potential renters into a unit and there are neon Corona signs, John Belushi posters, and Budweiser can pyramids, the renters are going to think that all their neighbors are in to partying at all hours. Which is cool if you’re a student housing community, but might not get the same reaction if you’re marketing to families with young children. (Though, who are we to judge?)

How could you avoid this? Of course, ask your current renters if they could straighten up before you bring your prospective new people. (Also, give them a specific time you’re bringing them by—and stick to it—so they can be sure to be out of the apartment, and so you don’t catch them in the shower or dancing like Tom Cruise in Risky Business or something.) And maybe also ask if you can do a walk through by yourself first. After all, one person’s straightening up is another person’s push everything into the closet so that it all explodes out when you open it like in every single cartoon in creation. If you go through first, you can see if there is anything that goes against your brand that you can either have your resident remove or clean up. Also you can see in advance if there’s any damage that you would clean up before the new person moves in that you can let potential renters know about. (Like if you’re going to shampoo the carpets after the current resident leaves.) That way you’re won’t be caught off guard with anything.

What else could you do to protect your building’s brand when showing it to new renters? Have you ever given a property tour and seen something absolutely crazy in someone’s apartment?

-Jessica Fiur, News Editor