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Blog Image December 17, 2018

Why Every Marketing Manager Needs to Think Beyond Traditional Apartment Websites

It’s a common scenario: the well-amenitized community that falls short of leasing goals. Perhaps it has to do with the time of the year, the shifting leasing team, or maybe it has something to do with your online presence. There is a big difference between a webpage on the internet that you hope will drive leads to your community and an engaging apartment website that doubles as a powerhouse marketing machine.

Prospects are no longer sifting through classifieds to find a desirable apartment for rent. These days, a majority of renters conduct their search for rental homes digitally. With so many potential residents taking their hunt to the online sphere, there has never been a more crucial time to step beyond the traditional apartment website and create a high-performance site that will out-lease your competition.

Modern apartment websites are designed not only to establish brand identity and elevate online presence, but also to improve your bottom line through automated marketing, social media, and the delivery of end-user tools that will ultimately improve conversion rates.

Here are a few suggestions of what to look for when it comes to partnering with a provider to implement a new apartment website.

Think Inside the Mobile Friendly Box

It’s no secret that Internet use has completely eclipsed traditional communication methods. While desktop use isn’t going away any time soon, statistics point to mobile devices as the primary vehicles for Internet browsing, especially amongst Millennials and Generation Z. And given that the latter is entering the rental market at a rapid pace, it’s time to speak to this generation in terms that they can understand.

Translation? If you hope to catch the eye of these young renters, you must ensure that your website is not just mobile-friendly, but also device-friendly. According to recent studies, Gen-Z bounces between 5 different devices a day to access the Internet. In addition to the staggering amount of time spent on these devices, another study confirms that over 60 percent of consumers report feeling more positively about brands that offer good mobile experiences. With 90 percent of the same consumers saying that they will utilize the web the next time they search for an apartment home, a fully-fledged website that works on any device is an absolute must-have for your property.

Reinforce Your Search Engine Position

Not all apartment websites are created equal, and there is usually a reason for that: keyword-rich content. The first order of business for any new website is to work towards owning your community’s name online. Your name is your brand, and at the end of their search, interested prospects will narrow everything down to your actual community name. You want to control that search result, and with an effective mix of content and online optimization practices you will be in control of your own destiny.

In addition to well-written content incorporated with keyword logic, the underlying structure of your website will make a big difference in how it is indexed by global search engines. Beyond a visually attractive website, some brains must exist behind the beauty, including an optimized framework, schema tagging, and adjustable title tags. Searching renters are visual, but behind those high-quality photos that will draw them in, alt-tags must be completed to help search engines read and index your images. The right website platform will have these tools built in, making your rise to the top of search results easy and hands-free.

Leverage The Power of Social Media Channels

With 264 million social media users in the U.S. alone, social platforms are inarguably one of the most efficient methods you can use to get your marketing message out into the world. By publishing quality content to your social media channels, you can effectively communicate with your prospects and residents, while building valuable inbound links back to your website. This is known as the “marketing loop,” which allows you to pull social media traffic into your website and build incredible search engine rankings in the process.

Although all this sounds great on the surface, do you really have time to manage multiple social media channels, create content, and stay up-to-date with a strict posting schedule? Luckily enough for busy property managers, modern apartment websites integrate with social media, replicating all of your content to those channels with the click on a button. Before selecting that shiny, new apartment website, make certain that it has the ability to leverage socially driven content. It really is the fastest way to supercharge your digital footprint.

One Size Fits All Lead Forms Are So Yesterday

There is nothing more frustrating for a prospect than clicking a call to action button to schedule a tour only to be shoved to a generic contact form. Yes, it exists all over the web in the apartment industry, but we need to change our ideologies. Instead, every action deserves a unique reaction. It’s not a one size fits all form, and your success certainly isn’t measured by how many names it can capture. Consider the different scenarios: what if a prospect wants to ask how many pets they can have in an apartment, versus one that would like to come over Tuesday at 2:00 PM to look at a vacant unit. Do you think they should surface the same way inside your lead funnel? And what about the prospect ready to apply online? Should your website really redirect them to a contact form?

Apartment websites should be built to convert, delivering the right form to the right prospect at the right time. Whether it’s tours, waitlists, or applications, your website should have it all. Plus, with 95 percent of texts being read within three minutes, your apartment website should include real-time, bidirectional texting that integrates into its CRM system. Before you leap – look, listen, and learn about why you should chose a marketing machine instead of yesterday’s tired and traditional website.

Want to learn how to leverage modern marketing methods? 365 Connect has been a leading provider in delivering award-winning apartment websites to the multifamily housing since 2003. We provide a fully-integrated automated marketing solution that is designed to convert prospects into residents.

About The Author

Kerry W. Kirby is a renowned entrepreneur, speaker, and technology innovator. He is the founder and CEO of 365 Connect, the leader in delivering the world's most sophisticated automated marketing, leasing, and resident engagement platform for multifamily communities across the globe.

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