Design spotlight: Rebranding the Weidner corporate & property websites

Jun 15, 2023

Weidner website home page on a big screen

We love showing off our client collaborations, and this is a good one! The Weidner website project involved a full rebrand of Weidner’s corporate website and property websites.

Our creative team worked closely with Weidner to create a custom corporate website as well as three different custom themes that could be used to create connected sites by region.

Excitingly, this was a full rebrand by a company that wanted to be totally unique and stand out in the market. The Weidner team wanted our creative team to be exactly that — creative — and our marketing artists delivered.

Weidner.com is a work of art, and we’re excited to showcase it.

Curious about the rebrand process? We were too, so we asked our friends at Weidner and our team some questions about the experience.

Keep reading to learn how the REACH creative process works and what’s possible if you dream big enough.

Weidner rebrand: Client story

Josh Draughn is the vice president of marketing at Weidner. He’s been with the company for more than five years and is a passionate advocate for the brand.

“We really believe in what we’re doing. We don’t want to be just seen as a landlord. It’s all about the people for us,” Josh shared. “We care about the residents, we care about the people who work for us, we care about the properties. That’s why we don’t use stock photography on our websites or in our marketing collateral.”

Here’s his perspective on the REACH custom website process.

What was the original ask, in terms of design?

Josh: Weidner wanted something unique, colorful and unlike any other property management website. It was important to us that our sites would engage renters and connect with them at a local level.

What did the REACH team bring to the table?

Josh: The REACH team had all of us, including the marketing and executive team, sit down and go through colors, textures and ideas. They listened to who we were. They didn’t try to make us and our brand something we were not.

These meetings became our guiding light towards our new brand. The depth of collaboration led to a successful launch and helped reestablish our brand for future generations.

How was the process of working with Mark Nelson, your REACH web designer?

Josh: Working with Mark was amazing. We could see a concept in our head, and Mark made it on paper. The feedback back and forth was appreciated. His skill set is unmatched.

Your new websites feature location-specific watercolors (shown below). How did that come about?

Josh: The watercolor theme that Mark and the REACH team developed is super airy, open and approachable. We want to make apartment searching fun and memorable.

Working with the REACH team has been a great partnership. They would just take an idea and run with it. You could not have better people to work with in terms of idea generation.

How has the artwork been received by the team?

Josh: Everyone loves the new designs, the new brand and the new look. In fact, to get our team excited, we created an Easter egg hunt.

We hid 11 images in the original art that Mark created for our sites and had a competition to see who could find them all. The competition got more than 150 entries from our associates.

Best of all, instead of me walking them through the website in some meeting to tell them all the cool things we did, they went in and discovered it for themselves. It made them proud of the brand and what we did as a team. I think that’s a testament to how amazing the website is that we created together.

Digital watercolor by Mark Nelson of the Seattle skyline featuring the Space Needle, created for the Weidner website

Weidner rebrand: Web designer’s story

Mark Nelson is a web designer on our REACH creative team. He took the lead on creating unique assets for this project, including the beautiful watercolor illustrations that make up the hero images.

Here’s his perspective on being a part of REACH and the creative process that went into the Weidner rebrand.

What is your design background?

Mark: I’ve enjoyed art since I was a kid! I eventually got an associate degree in fine art, then got an additional degree in advertising and graphic design.

When you’re working on a new project, which comes first: the client or the concept?

Mark: The client, absolutely. My job as a designer is to create a website that communicates what they’re looking for. Basically, I pick the client’s brain and try to figure out something I can do to achieve it while keeping the project fun!

How did you decide on these watercolor images for Weidner?

Mark: So, the challenging part of the Weidner project was that they needed a lot of these illustrations! They made the request, and there was a bit of back and forth about styles and what we could achieve in a reasonable time frame.

The REACH design team put together some beautiful examples to show Josh and the team at Weidner. Eventually we settled on this watercolor illustration style. It’s bright, colorful and customizable. Also, it could be created in a reasonable amount of time.

How many did you create and how much time did they take?

Mark: We ended on about 13 pieces for the final site. A few of the other designers helped as well with multiple compositions. I’d especially like to thank Neha, Daniel and Cheyenne.

An illustration could take as quickly as four hours and as many as 16 depending on revisions, the location and the prompts!

The final file count in my development folder is 155 individual files to give you an idea of the complexity of creating these pieces.

What’s your favorite thing about working on the REACH creative team?

Mark: The ability to be creative in my job is invaluable. I really feel like I can let my voice be heard. The REACH creative team is full of so many bright and colorful people, it’s a joy to work and learn from them every day.

Digital watercolor by Mark Nelson of a skier in Utah, created for the Weidner website

Thanks for taking the time to explore one of our most exciting website projects to date. Our creative team is here to help, whether you need a fresh website, new logo, digital ads, 3D floor plans or something else. Learn more about our creative services and check out some award-winning RentCafe websites.

We love showing off our wonderful team and clients. If you have a good story to tell, we’d be thrilled to hear it! Get in touch.

Geneva Ives

Geneva Ives is the manager of marketing content at Yardi. She leads content initiatives for REACH by RentCafe. Writing may be her first love, but data is a close second. Geneva is based in Santa Barbara, California.

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