Greystar Real Estate Partners is one of the world’s leading international real estate developers and managers. Based in the United States, and headquartered in Charleston, South Carolina, Greystar manages and operates an estimated $200 billion of real estate in 192 markets globally — making it a truly trusted global enterprise. Their 63 offices span across the United States, UK, Continental Europe, Latin America, and the Asia-Pacific region. Greystar offers real estate expertise in investment management, development, and today manages more than 7500,000 rental properties in the US alone.
Founded by Bob Faith in 1993, Greystar’s mission is to become a provider of world-class service in the rental residential real estate business.
Canva’s brand book management
Greystar's unique business model enables the company to own, operate, and develop collegiate, multifamily, corporate, and senior housing across the globe. So when it comes to their marketing efforts, the global enterprise wanted to ensure that their already successful efforts could be further streamlined to further improve efficiency and collaboration for their clients.
Laura Stankovic, Regional Marketing Director for Greystar's northeast region in the States, was keen to look for an innovative solution that would further improve and strengthen brand alignment, compliance and brand control within the five offices across the eight states she manages.
Laura says, "As a leader in the multifamily industry, Greystar is always looking for new and innovative solutions to drive quality, performance and NOI for our clients and partners. We saw the integrated Canva platform as an opportunity to improve collaboration between marketing and operations, create additional efficiencies in our marketing department and generate high quality, lasting brands for each unique property we manage as we continue to scale."
The catch was, delivering relevant, engaging campaigns and content for over 100 uniquely branded apartment communities to an extensive customer base is no easy feat. Laura’s team also had over 209 different property brands to manage, design, and support almost daily.
The large volume of brands they had to produce for was just the tip of the iceberg. The team had to keep track of multiple brand assets and monitor and adhere to the strict housing compliance required by law. Without an automated approval process in place, maintaining the high-quality standards they wanted to achieve for all their multi-channel marketing collaterals was an added challenge. So a solution was needed to reduce hours in back and forth clarifications and exchanges.
Laura also wanted to add an email marketing solution to increase Greystar’s audience reach. However, this needed to be integrated and accessible from one platform. While the team used Canva’s free design tool initially, with multiple design requests coming in each day, the Northeast marketing team needed a powerful solution to cater to all their needs and the fast turnaround time.
This is where Canva for Enterprise ticked all their boxes — a centralized hub that provided scalable solutions to deliver impactful branding and multi-channel marketing seamlessly.
Canva for Enterprise was introduced to Laura by one of her team members when looking for furthera brand consistency innovations. To their surprise, they discovered that Canva’s visual communication platform offered that and more — it was an all-encompassing design project management tool equipped with multiple design capabilities and features that checked all their boxes. “A compelling feature for us was that Canva provides a wide range of templates, sizes and layouts that were customized to the type of content and campaigns that are relevant to the multifamily industry. However, the biggest draw was the ability to seamlessly manage hundreds of unique brands and empower our property teams to design within their unique brand guidelines while maintaining our high Greystar quality standards,” says Laura Stankovic.
Another big win was Canva’s ability to consolidate different property brands into multiple Brand Kits to help differentiate the products. This feature provided the team with easy access to each of the property brands they managed. Teams are then able to apply and templatize the branding according to their needs. And to top it off, have the freedom to create custom designs to suit each property brand.
With Canva for Enterprise, the Greystar team could effortlessly create and deliver monthly and quarterly campaigns for almost every marketing channel with speed and ease - ranging from social media posts, email blasts, flyers to boosting their event calendars.
Canva’s highly customizable templates were also a huge hit. It took the guesswork out of designing, particularly for team members who were non-designers. It also made designing for different property categories easier as they could create templates specific to each property brand. Laura says, “Canva allows our property teams to quickly and easily apply their branding to a wide range of applications, so that the design feels custom every time – a custom solution for each property that is actually templated.”
When it was time to deliver the campaigns, all Laura’s team needed to do was to let the community managers hand-select the campaign templates for their needs. Laura and her team will then provide the necessary suggestions on how to execute the events or social campaigns. Plus, with no design experience necessary, managers could quickly customize beautiful, ready-made templates by applying their logo, fonts, and color palettes to the design, in a few clicks. And with Canva’s brand controls, anything that needed to comply with Fair Housing rules, such as specific logos could be locked in, making the design legally compliant every time.
Another favorite feature was Canva’s team functionality. With real-time collaboration available across all templates, the team could communicate and stay on the same page. It ended internal back and forth emails, multiple design revisions, saved time on approvals, and made designing a seamless process. Along the way, Laura’s team also saved up to $12,000 monthly in stock photography, as Canva included 100+ million premium stock photos, videos, audio, and graphics, and music tracks, as a free-to-use feature — perfect for all their marketing collateral needs.
Within Greystar, integrating Canva for Enterprise has been a game changer. “The positive feedback has been overwhelming. ”Laura shares. “You don’t have to know photoshop or be a graphic designer to use Canva and produce beautiful designs. It truly empowers everyone to design.”
Juggling multiple brands is never easy for any company or business, particularly when you have over 220+ property brands to market, stay on-brand, and legalities you need to monitor and track. This is no small task.
A visual communication platform like Canva for Enterprise can lighten the load and enhance the unique branding of different products or properties across multiple channels with its intuitive features by creating a centralized creative hub. But more importantly, it’s a platform that empowers huge organizations to design and work together, no matter how geographically spread out everyone is. As they say “Teamwork makes the dreamwork.”