One of the things that drew me to MC Companies last March was their Dare to be Different. President and Owner Lesley Brice was looking to disrupt typical mainstream apartment marketing for the company’s 7,500 apartment unit portfolio.
The group at MC wanted to advance their Share the Good Life mantra with social driven marketing and digital branding. So that was the hook that got us to move to the desert. But as we all know, talk is cheap, and sometimes things are not what they appear to be. A top that, mavericks sometimes don’t fit in. As we cruise past the nine month mark, all is well, we have launched the MCLife Brand, Go Solo Apartment Tours and Centralized Leasing. It has been a crazy cool nine months!
We have some pretty innovative apartment branding ideas on the bench for 2015. One of those is MC-Housemates. When we first discussed the idea it seemed a bit far fetched, but the more we thought about it and researched the idea, we think this might grow legs. Some brave apartment marketer somewhere decided one day that Student Housing would be rented by the bed, not by the unit. Now, today that is a stand alone vertical that only operates that way. But when we think of traditional market rate apartments, they only have a single lease per unit. As we started to research the idea of sharing living space, a few things started to surface. It seems as though this trend is being led by widowed or divorced 50-plus females as evidenced by this AARP Article; House Sharing for Boomer Women Who Would Rather Not Live Alone
Conditions are ripe to make home sharing an option for many women. Four million women age 50-plus live in U.S. households with at least two women 50-plus — a statistic that is expected to rise. According to the National Center for Family & Marriage Research, one out of three boomers will probably face old age without a spouse. Women, on average, live about five years longer than men. Adult children are often far away. And since 1990, the overall divorce rate for the 50-plus demographic has doubled.
There are surely a lot of pieces and parts to this initiative, both from an Apartment Operations standpoint and Marketing and Branding. Launching New Ideas are Not for the faint at Heart, but we think this one underserved niche falls square in our mantra of Sharing the Good Life. We are at that stage of having more questions than answers, but we are jumping into this, and are planning to tease the idea out at our new 224 unit development The Place at Santana Village.