Why naming your buildings or properties is important

By Bruce Firestone | Business Coaching

Jan 08

I am into naming things (like the elves in Tolkien’s Middle Earth did–they spent their first few tens of thousands of years there naming stuff). I also like creating taglines. 

It adds value for both landlord and tenant—it’s like Italian trains of the 1970s—the only difference between 1st and 3rd class was the price you paid. #Seriously

Basically, this was so men in business attire wouldn’t have to ride with peasants and their animals. 

So, working or living, for example, at “Heritage Place” instead of 155 Queen street Ottawa or “Robertson House” instead of 1 Mill Hill road Ottawa is considered posher. And playing at the Staples Center is probably better than the “arena at 111 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90015, USA.”

The Aussies call this “poser” value. 

But, believe it or not, folks will pay higher rents because they associate themselves with higher-status individuals. 

If you think poser value doesn’t exist, you haven’t watched thousands of consumers line up/camp out overnight for the latest Apple product, which, while I am sure they’re decent, are not worth either the premiums you pay for them or a cold night spent outdoors.

Here’s a list of taglines and names I like, https://profbruce.tumblr.com/post/103861541279/some-taglines-i-like-wheres-the-beef-wendys.

For French names, I often look at a map of France and English names, a map of England 😊 

Here’s a great online resource that can help you pick names for your buildings,https://www.housenameheritage.com/default.asp. They have a list of celebrity house names and one with over 7,000 British house names as well as shorter lists of French, Latin and other potential names.

In addition to naming your buildings (by the way, if local municipal ordinances or bylaws prevent you from having a large sign or wall mural, a small plaque near one or more entries will suffice), you will also want to register them with Google maps and Google Search via Google my Business; see what I wrote below to another client of mine, Erika (not her real name), an architect with a property portfolio in Quebec…

Hi Erika:

I was helping another client of mine in BC (who is looking at buying a significant commercial property on the Trans Canada highway) with some simple market research using Google maps. 

Basically, we used Google maps to help us find out, for example, how many pharmacies are near the site where maybe she is going to add on to the preexisting plaza. If there aren’t too many and the population base is there, well, you can be pretty sure a pharmacy will work. 

What occurred to me a few minutes ago is this: What if we (say) named 60 Caron (and your other properties)?

You know I like naming things. 

In the past, I named things like Robertson House, the Palladium, Briarbrook, Kennedy Farm, Dunrobin Lake, Dunrobin Springs etc. 

I try to make them easy to say and to spell. For English names, I actually look on a map of England and for French names, which you would use, look on a map of France.  

But what I am thinking is that you come up with a name for the building at 60 Caron (not the real address) like “La Marseille” so people are living at La Marseille instead of 60 Caron or they are using maker spaces or storage spaces at La Marseille. You paint a nice mural on the outside of the building of the city of Marseille’s skyline with the name superimposed on it too. 

Why is that important other than the obvious—well, you will attract better tenants paying more and staying longer. And, the other thing is: YOU REGISTER “LA MARSEILLE” with Google maps. 

Think about it? How many landlords are using “Google my Business” to register their residential buildings? Plus when you use Google my Business, you are registering “La Marseille” with BOTH Google search engines—maps and their main search engine. 

Here’s how to use Google my Business:  https://profbruce.tumblr.com/post/138216199164/register-your-business-name

Ignore the first part on registering a business name with Ontario and focus on the second part, Google my Business.

I’ll bet not too many landlords have figured this out but some like Paramount has; see below:


Bruce M Firestone, B Eng (civil), M Eng-Sci, PhD
Real Estate Investment and Business coach
ROYAL LePAGE Performance Realty broker
Ottawa Senators founder


Image of Staples Center courtesy of: Prayitno from Los Angeles, USA – Staples Center, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=27389512

Tags: naming rights naming property google my business

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About the Author

Bruce is an entrepreneur/real estate broker/developer/coach/urban guru/keynote speaker/Sens founder/novelist/columnist/peerless husband/dad.