We’re tired of luxury in multifamily. What once meant exclusive and the best-of-the-best, now seems surprisingly standard.

When multifamily overstates their offerings and over-inflates the descriptions of their usual or typical amenities, they’re not being truthful. And it doesn’t justify a super ridiculous rent increase, just because you’ve painted the cabinets and put in new countertops.

Problems with Claiming Luxury in Multifamily

Similar to the word “natural” in food packaging and marketing, there are no guidelines or rules around the use of the word “luxury” in the multifamily industry. It’s like hearing a movie is “must-see”, you go see it, and you come away from the theater annoyed and $15 poorer. When claiming an apartment community is “luxury”, there are no parameters, and suddenly it’s the dealer’s choice as to whether the community they’re advertising is actually luxury. There are at a handful of reasons using the term “luxury” for your apartments (when it’s not) is problematic; among them:

  1. Prospect Distrust
  2. Price Misalignment


What they see (advertised) isn’t what they get? That sounds like a case of false advertising. When the prospect is shopping for a home, is attracted by the term “luxury” and comes to find an entirely different property class, quality level, and offering, there’s huge misalignment. The word “luxury” cannot be used for anything and everything. Being aware of your property class and branding accordingly will help your prospects get what they want, because it’s what they expect.

False advertising undercuts any rapport you can develop with your leads, and does not start the prospect relationship off on the right foot. Be upfront about what you offer. Be self-aware and be truthful. This doesn’t mean you can’t be creative—but you should still be clear on what kind of community you really are.


With everything costing a bit more than it used to, from groceries to housing—folks are on the lookout to find better deals and save money. If you use the term “luxury” there’s a decent chance that you’re either:

  1. Driving away people who could afford you—because they didn’t even get far enough to see the monthly lease cost; OR
  2. Attracting a clientele with very high expectations who will be disappointed with your offerings—because it’s not luxurious.

Work on reaching your ideal residents by being authentic with your brand, and telling the truth (by knowing what exactly you are and what you offer.)

Defining Luxury Properties

But what if you are a luxury apartment building? What if you do offer a lifestyle that goes far above and way beyond the typical?

Let’s figure out what luxury really means. (And while we’re at it, we’ll do a quick review of Class-A properties, too, to see how they align or compare.)



In general, luxury apartments offer high-end amenities, top-of-the-line finishes, and often expansive views from spacious balconies. They’re both conveniently located and bring convenience to the resident. Amenities of all sorts are found in the community that go above and beyond a pool and a clubhouse. If you have a pool and a clubhouse, you don’t get to automatically claim “luxe living”.


Typically Class A includes the highest-quality buildings on the market. This standard can vary depending on the city—but the buildings have typically been constructed within the last 15 years. The modernizing of a building through renovations may also help it become classified as Class A.

In short, luxury is more about the finishes, location, amenities, and square footage.

Class-A properties are merely defined by:

  1. Age of the buildings—constructed less than 15 years ago;
  2. Significant updates to an older building; and
  3. Quality (top-tier) building materials.

Instead of Saying “Luxury” in Multifamily…

As a creative agency, it’s basically our job to tell you: be more creative. Multifamily, we can do so much better than saying “luxury”. Instead of saying “Luxury apartments” because the community is nice, use other methods.


Let’s kick the age-old “luxurious” and “sparkling pool”. Don’t even think about using “unique.” That doesn’t tell me anything different than the next community. Pivot. Focus on the special things you offer to your target resident.

Instead of “luxury” say “grand” or “indulgent”—if it really is.

Instead of “sparkling” pool, try describing it by the actual shape— “geometric” or “lap” or “oversized” to paint the full picture.

Instead of “state-of-the-art fitness center” be truthful—you don’t have 20 Pelotons in a row—or focus on the positives, like the fact that it’s open 24 hours or offers classes.

Most of all, use your messaging to create a picture for your leads. Beautiful photos help, too. (Show before telling.)


Don’t just take our word for it. You’ll need to include other voices in your marketing, too.

Testimonials – Get a few residents that you know love your community. Have them share their favorite parts about the community. You’ll see amenities make the list here, and that will help leads latch on to what’s important for them, too.

Reviews – One-star and two-star reviews are a scary thing for any business—keep an eye on your review sites and see what kind of five-star reviews you can garner and share on your printed materials as well as on your website. When leads are concerned about finding “the truth” this is where they’re going to look.

Social Media – When everyone else goes “fake” you can go real. Give a few behind-the-scenes glimpses, and put some of your staff on camera to help answer FAQs. Repost photos and videos you’re tagged in. Participate and respond to connect with leads and current residents, and to give a better “concierge style” that extends beyond the front desk or leasing office.


Going for an “It’s super nice and you should live here!” vibe? Figure out how your brand would say it. In its brand voice. To its ideal residents. Creating a lifestyle brand apartment community can extend out to how you look and how you talk about yourself.