Being successful in the property industry is all about achieving the right balance. You can only offer tenants what you have available in your portfolio, and you constantly have to balance your tenants' needs with those of your investors. This challenge is by no means easy to overcome, but Redefine Properties, a property loan stock company listed on the JSE and the second largest company in its industry, is shaking things up, thinking differently and, literally, redefining the nature of key business relationships in the sector.
The company contracted Yellowwood to create a brand positioning and marketing strategy that would support their revised strategic direction as a company, in order to lead them into their new financial year and into the future.
Shekha Wilson of Yellowwood said: "We typically start any strategic project with a critical discovery and insights phase. And through that we learnt that the word 'landlord' is often met with mistrust. You don't usually hear from your landlord unless there is a problem: You haven't paid your rent.You've broken one of their rules. You have to move."
Having established this insight, it became clear that this naturally adversarial relationship between landlord and tenant needed to change, or at least be addressed, for Redefine to realise their future goals as a business. The point of departure was to ask: "Why can't your landlord be seen as your business partner, a source of support and an enabler to your business?"
Working closely with the Redefine management team, who proved to be an innovative and entrepreneurial group, Yellowwood developed a brand positioning that sought to redefine stakeholder relationships in the property industry. The marketing strategy provided the team with tools, guidance and ideas on how to change perceptions and deepen common understanding amongst the company's various stakeholders.
While the need for balance between the interests of the different stakeholders remains fundamental to success, Redefine Properties really are redefining relationships
in the industry, where your landlord has a face, a name and even a personality. Where he or she truly can become a trusted partner vested in your success - and not just someone who comes knocking on your door when your rent is overdue.
For example, one of the initiatives created off the back of this marketing strategy is the "We're not landlords. We're people" advertising campaign. A series of radio and TV adverts were created that convey this single-minded message, while Redefine's recent sponsorship of the MTN Golden Lions also shows the 'human' face of the brand. "We have investors, clients and tenants throughout South Africa, many of whom are passionate rugby supporters," says Redefine's COO David Rice, "so this was the perfect campaign for us."
Redefine's Group Marketing and Communications Manager Marijke Coetzee concludes: "Yellowwood's thorough approach was fantastic. Everything was well researched and professionally presented. The entire management team were excited to be a part of the marketing initiative. Additionally, the go-to-market strategy one-pager is extremely valuable and easy to use and understand. It's our bible and we can plan our lives around it!"