About the Client

This multifamily real estate development and operating company has a diverse portfolio of institutional quality multifamily rental communities across the US. It has a 31,800-unit pipeline of communities ranging from operating to under pre-development that exceeds $12 billion of high-rise, mid-rise, and garden apartments.

The Challenge

The client engaged Velir to create a scalable approach to building and managing the individual websites for their growing portfolio of communities. With over 60 communities serving various audiences, the centralized marketing team needed a flexible design system and platform that allowed for expedited, streamlined site creation. The platform and design system had to meet the digital needs of unique communities and a highly distributed team of regional marketing managers.

To accomplish this, Velir set out to design and implement a multisite, self-service platform that unified all the client's community websites.

The client’s key business challenges were:

  • Equipping their marketing team with a flexible design system
  • Enabling their marketers with a self-service model to create websites
  • Reducing reliance on outside agencies and accelerating website time to market from months to days and weeks
  • Providing IT the ability to centrally manage and secure dozens of websites previously spread across multiple platforms

The Approach

Velir started this project by conducting a thorough analysis of the client’s existing web properties. Working closely with client stakeholders, we established a standard information architecture (IA) and developed wireframes to define key pages and a set of flexible components for community websites. From there, our designers and developers began collaboratively prototyping to determine the best out-of-the-box Acquia Site Studio components that could be paired with custom ones to add community-specific functionality to the new site experience. Once all website components were defined, we worked closely with the client to develop three unique web templates that allow for design variations as new community websites are launched.

Three Distinctly Designed Themes

In addition to template development, Velir worked with the client to create a theme framework for the branded site experiences. We fully immersed ourselves with the existing branding and stylistic approaches used by major communities and markets. Based on our review, and insights from a landscape analysis, we recommended three distinct design approaches to be designed into themes. These three themes were based on property type, it's market, and style—allowing for the customization of key property brand elements to deliver new and unique community websites on the fly. Learn more about Velir’s design process to create these themes.

Our approach to address the client’s key challenges and business requirements included:

  • Unifying all community sites under a single hosting and management platform with Acquia Site Factory
  • Providing content marketers modern, user-friendly web authoring tools with Acquia Site Studio
  • Creating centralized storage of community media assets using Acquia Digital Asset Management (DAM)
  • Establishing an IA framework to standardize the organization, structure, and wayfinding across all sites
  • Defining and designing a flexible design system that allows unique community branding with controlled design and component variation
  • Enabling community websites to be quickly created and modified with Site Studio’s preconfigured Themes and Helper Templates