Anyone in the business world knows that names are important. A great name will stick out – it’s unique but clear, providing a sense of what the business does, likely contains keywords, and distinguishes your brand from other companies. But is what you call your apartment building or complex really that important? The audience for that name is likely much narrower than that of a clothing store or website yet building names shape who will live there so you need to think carefully about what names you choose for your Houston area rentals.
If you’re in the midst of the naming process or thinking about rebranding your property, one of the most important things you can do is look at current naming trends. Recently, for example, there’s been a leap in properties named after people, strangely enough. Washington, D.C. is home to the Liz, Adele, and Jason, as well as the Henri and the Lacey. Boston is host to the Harvey, while New York has the Oskar.
Of course, in many ways, these personal names are a play on classic hotel names like the St. Germain, Marianne Hotel, though these have begun to fall out of favor. In another way, though, such apartment names are a rejection of tradition. A quick look at the most common words in apartment names reveals a sort of dull idyll; words like Park, Village, Creek, Oaks, and Crossing dominate the field. And to name a new apartment with these sorts of words today would suggest something dull and run down, certainly not anything desirable.
So what names are dominating the Houston apartment scene right now? Certainly you’ll see a lot of the old names – Crossing at White Oak or Camden Cypress Creek, but you’ll also catch sight of some newer names like The Carter and The Morgan. Other names strike a balance, like Residences at Gramercy or The Lofts Citycentre. These types of name read high end, though in a more classic, timeless way.
The Power Of Attraction
What you name your property is about more than just being on trend. In fact, if you’re having difficulty selling your property or attracting renters, it could be a matter of naming. Or, if you’re attracting tenants who aren’t a good fit for your community, your name may be sending the wrong message. Tenants looking for something trendy will apply to rent in these freshly named properties, but they’ll be disappointed to find a property called The Laura or The Harrison is actually an old condo complex. Meanwhile, if you’re trying to attract renters who want something more traditional, those old standby terms like Park and Village are your friend.
One reason that the new naming style works so well is that using people’s names makes it more likely that your property’s name will stand the test of time. After all, names may cycle in and out of popularity, but they tend to come back around, and they always come with a touchstone – a friend or relative with that name, a celebrity. Words like Park and Village, on the other hand, haven’t aged well. When naming your property, you want a name that will still be relevant in ten years. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself having to rebrand or face falling tenancy.
Skip The City
One piece of property naming advice that might seem counterintuitive is that you shouldn’t include the name of your city in the property name. Why not? In a city as large as Houston, putting Houston in the name doesn’t actually tell tenants anything about your property or the location. Neighborhood or even street name information is much more useful to potential tenants than knowing your property is in Houston. By putting the city in the apartment name, you can also skew search results online in ways that aren’t helpful to potential tenants or to you as a landlord.
Spelling, Shorthand, And More
Another common mistake that landlords make when naming their property is choosing atypical spellings. The Lofts Citycentre is a prime example of this. By opting for an unusual spelling of center – another similar case is town versus towne – this property will be harder for potential tenants to find. While they may be boring, words like park, creek, and village are easy to spell, which accounts for at least part of their popularity.
Similarly, you want to be careful about how you identify neighborhoods. In New York City, landlords can easily get away with references like SoHo or even DUMBO, which are widely recognized nicknames for specific neighborhoods. In Houston, though, many of the regional nicknames are slippery. Does The Heights refer to Independence Heights, Greater Heights, or somewhere else entirely? Meanwhile, trendy areas often pick up names that aren’t necessarily found on city maps, like the currently trendy area known as Pearland. If you mention a location in your property’s name, it should be one that’s relatively precise and widely recognized.
Finally, don’t forget about your basic address. Around the world, there are certain addresses that are iconic, and a growing number of luxury rentals are trying to leverage that tradition. Playing on One Hyde Park, variations on “one” are popping up around the globe, including One57 in Manhattan (157 W. 57th St.) or the AYKAN London One. Though it won’t work for every property, if your property’s address offers a potentially catchy name, consider running it past a focus group.
Get Your Name Out
Whatever you name your property, you need help to promote your property and get that name out there. That’s where Green Residential comes into the picture. We provide landlords with the full complement of property management services including property leasing, tenant screening, maintenance, and inspection, which means your properties are more likely to be in demand. We’ll even take professional photos to promote your property, applying our vision and experience to your perfectly named property.
To learn more about how Green Residential can help you make the most of your Houston area rental property, contact us today. With over thirty years of local experience, we understand the local real estate market and can reach the perfect tenants for your property. Get started today with Green Residential.