The functionality discussed in this case study is now available in Canva for Teams.
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How PRG Real Estate enabled their whole team to design

About PRG Real Estate

PRG Real Estate owns and manages over 10,000 apartment homes throughout the United States. With over 30 years of successfully transforming communities, its 300 associates remain dedicated to providing residents with a great place to call home.

PRG currently has around 35 properties in total. Their internal branding and marketing team manages 35 sub-brands and two corporate brands (PRG and PRG Capital). They aim to preserve the unique identity of each property as well as to manage the corporate brands.

The Challenge

Each one of PRG’s 35 properties demands a substantial amount of marketing materials, including brochures, property cards, magnets, and more. On top of this, their corporate brands require ongoing expense reports, internal assets, and other types of digital and printed collateral — a seemingly never-ending task.

With the responsibility to create all these items on just one person, these design needs created a backlog of design requests and as a result, resounding frustration.

The Solution

The innovative leadership team at PRG could see the potential of Canva for Teams and put the visual communication platform to the test. It was made available to 40 employees who relied on design assets for either external or internal comms, including those from the branding and marketing team, HR team, regional directors, and property managers. “We mostly use Canva to preserve the brand of each of our properties. We’re using it every day for all our marketing materials… it’s a one stop shop for all the things that we need,” said Devon Ditko, Marketing Coordinator.

It didn’t take long for them to see positive results, noticing three key ways in which Canva helped their business:

  1. The first was empowering their brand, providing an easy way to maintain the integrity of all of the products within their portfolio.
  2. The second was that it was easy to use for absolutely anyone within the business.
  3. And finally, Canva became a solution, rather than simply a technology, helping them work more efficiently in more ways than they could imagine.


Here's How They Did It

By using Canva's easy-to-use design tools, everyone could manage their own design needs while freeing up their in-house designer to work on more technical designs such as floorplans and site maps.

“The beauty that we have with Canva now is that I can focus on the important designs and allow the property teams to create and empower their own sub-brands in their voice," said Sarah Wieman, Senior Manager of Branding and Marketing.

Brand Kits are invaluable for helping each team maintain brand consistency for sub-brands, while team folders help teams manage and access marketing materials within seconds. The ability to resize designs (thanks to our Magic Resize feature) without having to recreate them has also been a major benefit, particularly for day-to-day projects such as events that require multiple formats like an email, flyer, and social media post.

But it's not just external communications. The company's annual conference has taken a whole new approach with everyone designing together. This includes presentations, emails, social media contests, and even name tags that can be printed and delivered directly from Canva for Teams.

Even quarterly financial reports have seen the benefits. While spreadsheets used to be seen as boring documents, they've been redesigned with a branded aesthetic, delivering a far more refined look with instant appeal.

Moving forward, the team is now enlisting Canva for Teams to help build their corporate website, using it for visual mapping, extensive outlines, and for collecting images, which can then all be conveniently organized and packaged for the developers. As a result, the work coming back is exactly how they envisaged, without any confusion of the past.

Overall, PRG Real Estate found the more they leaned on Canva for Teams, the better of a solution it became.

Summary

Interestingly, it’s been the small improvements that have seen the biggest results, particularly in the day-to-day workflow. The ability for anyone on the team to log in and make minor edits without having to wait for the availability of a designer to update and re-save, re-export, and re-email has been a time-saving game-changer. Everything can now be done in a matter of minutes, and this has increased the output significantly. Plus, they’ve been able to be more efficient with designs by providing access to existing designs and allowing individual teams to update them with the right colors, fonts, and logos.

In fact, the time they’ve saved using Canva has allowed them to create an initiative called PRG Cares. Launched during the Covid Pandemic, social posts offer ideas around different things residents can do within their home, from D.I.Y. activities to staying fit, good reads, and recipes. Not only does this reinforces the fact PRG Real Estate really does care about their residents but it’s also reinvigorated their social channels engagement, something that wouldn’t have been possible prior to Canva.

“It’s so simple that we can make the edits, take the share link, send it back to the person or even just ask them to refresh their page," said Sarah.

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