How to Elevate Your Multifamily Website Design
With over 70% of apartment shoppers starting their search online, your multifamily website design plays a pivotal role in shaping that all-important first digital impression.
Good design can also help you seamlessly capture data about prospective renters, and attract quality residents.
Beyond aesthetics, your website must offer engaging content to prolong visitor engagement. Your multifamily property website serves as a first touchpoint with prospective renters, including interactive features, helpful on-demand answers, and details about your neighborhood and city that matter to prospects and guide them through the apartment shopping process.
When your website design is optimized with personalized features, your property becomes not just a marketing tool, but a centralized hub of helpful insights and a valuable resource for potential residents.
Several key factors influence potential renters when deciding whether to lease an apartment. A recent survey by national apartment management firm, Village Green, found that the top three criteria potential renters use to evaluate a property are:
- Rent Price
- Community Environment
The first two are quite obvious: the monthly rent price must be within budget, and the apartment should be conveniently located. However, the community environment is often underestimated but highly significant to most potential renters. Prospective renters want to know if the apartment community and surrounding area can fulfill their interests and hobbies. This is why it’s vital to prominently feature this information in your multifamily website design.
Are these elements easily accessible and clear on your website? Are they interactive and engaging rather than static? Can you track how rental prospects engage with your site? The best multifamily website design offers all these features and more.
Designing a landing page or blog that includes reviews of local businesses and restaurants, as well as recaps of local/city events, is an excellent way to incorporate helpful information about the community environment that prospects need to inform their decisions.
Proper apartment website design will help you track engagement using multifamily software. You can learn how potential renters or leads found your multifamily website, track every time they return to continue their research and identify which engagements drive them to sign a lease. The bottom line is driving engagement. Effective multifamily website design guides people to the information they need, making it easy for them to make an informed decision.
Though web engagement may seem like an intangible buzzword, it can be both measured and defined. When an apartment seeker visits a property’s website for the first time, they are still in the research phase.
While it might seem like the ideal time to inundate the shopper with every piece of information about your property, you need to first engage the visitor. It isn’t sufficient to merely measure a visitor’s clicks and the time spent on your multifamily website; it’s crucial to strategically invite them to share their information.
Katrina Greene, the Senior Property Manager of Sheehan Properties in Indiana and Kentucky, explained that her site and online materials aim to capture information about the customer rather than just providing something to look at.
The main metric we use to gauge our website’s engagement is lead conversion. It’s not enough for someone to just browse through a gallery and maybe call to book a tour; we need to be more proactive about collecting their information. That’s why on our website, many features require the shopper to provide us with some kind of information as a barrier to entry. But that also means we need to offer them something engaging enough that it’s worth sharing their email or phone number to get in returnKatrina Greene, Senior Property Manager of Sheehan Properties
At its core, online customer engagement begins with offering visitors a clear view of what life is like at your apartment building. The features you include in your website design should share a comprehensive look at your amenities and available units.
Traditionally, property managers attempt to achieve this by sharing unit and amenity photos, as well as floor plans on the site. Many property management websites no offer the same basic tools for online apartment shoppers to use for research and exploration. However, according to Greene, these elements don’t necessarily lead to better leads or more engaged renters.
I think that what property managers are doing wrong is continuing to sell the same product repeatedly. It’s all the same thing. It’s selling four walls. While the finishes, colors, and layouts may vary, they’re still essentially the same. The pictures and floor plans are very cold details to focus on. There needs to be warmth and friendliness to the website that represents their new home.Katrina Greene, Senior Property Manager of Sheehan Properties
Lead to lease conversion and online engagement within the multifamily industry can’t be improved with content alone. Engagement is something much deeper than providing customers with relevant information about an apartment or photos of the interior from every angle. Engagement means connecting with your apartment leads on an emotional level too.
Finding a new home is stressful for apartment seekers, and if they don’t feel welcome, why would they share their information with you? Rather than revamping your apartment website or blindly increasing your ad spend budget, improving online engagement means a radical rethinking of what the website experience should feel like.
In Greene’s view, this means appealing to prospective renters via an emphasis on the community by showing them what living at your property really feels like. In addition to thinking about website engagement, property management companies need to consider a holistic digital strategy. Developing a digital strategy for your multifamily property and maximizing its potential isn’t as simple as updating your Facebook page or publishing a new blog. Creating a strategy should be a thoughtful process that involves reviewing your budget, competition, and available resources.
With a wide range of web tools and social media platforms, devising a digital strategy in the multifamily industry requires a multifaceted approach.
Learn more from the full Q&A with Katrina here, where she shares insights on how property managers can refine their digital marketing strategy.
For many property management websites, a static “Contact Us” form is the sole method for potential renters to request more information about available apartments, amenities, and pricing. These forms force online prospects to either pick up the phone to speak with a leasing specialist or submit their name and phone number, then wait for the leasing office to call them.
Visitors who fail to reach out through the contact form leave multifamily property managers with no knowledge of who visited their multifamily website. That prospect likely moved on to a competitor’s site for further research, and if their property management website is more engaging and collects data on their visit, that competitor can reach out for follow-up while you can’t.
Multifamily properties can gather more leads and higher quality lead information by implementing AI technology that guides consumers through the apartment shopping process. With interactive tools like a personal expense calculator or floor plan assessments, properties can also capture valuable lead data from online visitors.
“Educating and engaging our consumers better on our website has streamlined our leasing process in ways I couldn’t have imagined,” says Casey Rusk, regional manager at Watermark Residential. “The renter has much more information at their fingertips, so the leasing process is faster.”
By capturing data from every online visitor, an apartment website can convert anonymous website traffic into high-quality leads. PERQ multifamily clients convert up to 200% more website traffic into known leads and see an average lead increase of 550%.
“We’ve seen an incredible increase in website leads since implementing PERQ in mid-December,” says Casey Rusk. In just over three months, Watermark Residential’s website leads jumped by more than 300%.
Today’s consumers are demanding more integrated, seamless digital experiences, and expectations when shopping for an apartment are no different.
It used to be sufficient for an apartment building to have a website, but today, even small developments have an online presence. Multifamily website design can make a significant difference in capturing more of the local market. By using unique web tools that make your apartment website efficient and engaging, you can easily promote the warmth, personality, and uniqueness your multifamily property has to offer.
The best multifamily websites excel they provide engaging content and capture data from a prospect’s journey on your site. The section above delves into some tech tools you can add, and the final section of this article provides more specific solutions. In this section, we’ll delve deeper into the engaging content portion.
Some of the best multifamily websites stand out because they provide detailed information, not only about the units and property but also about the neighborhood and city. Prospects usually begin their apartment search journey online, with many starting on an ILS. Most prospects don’t visit the property in person unless they are ready to tour. To get to that decision, prospects have already conducted extensive research about the property and the community.
Creating a neighborhood/city guide and a multifamily blog will not only establish your multifamily website as the go-to source for local information but also keep prospects on your site longer, making your property more memorable to them. Businesses with blogs attract more monthly visitors and leads than those without.
Why? These businesses can rank higher in organic searches because they have more content on their sites and can incorporate keywords and phrases throughout multifamily blog posts.
The best multifamily website design is one that’s built with SEO in mind. Search engine optimization is vital for getting your website to appear higher in organic searches and ensuring your property reaches online prospects. Identify the keywords prospects use to search for apartments and use those phrases in multifamily blog posts.
For example, if the keywords are “1 bedroom apartment in Indianapolis,” you could write a blog post about how residents have decorated their 1-bedroom apartment in Indianapolis. Apartment and lifestyle content is a very popular, growing category with Millennial and Gen Z prospects.
Multifamily has the opportunity to create apartment content for this consumer base, but not many companies are taking advantage of this chance to stand out. Not only will your multifamily website stand out to prospects and rank higher, but your property will also become more well-known among the new generation of renters.
Your digital marketing needs regular reevaluation to determine whether you’re effectively utilizing your resources, or if you’re wasting money. Whether it’s email, digital ads, or social media, there are numerous multifamily marketing ideas for apartments. Let’s explore a few.
When it comes to social media, we often think about our own pages and sponsored posts. However, one idea that is sometimes overlooked is posting photos of your property and units on Pinterest. Pinterest is the social media platform for all things related to home and interior design. Sharing photos of your units is an excellent way to reach prospects searching for apartment decor ideas.
Promote your open houses and tour availability on Facebook. Create a Facebook event for your open house and share it on local community pages. It’s a great way to promote your property and provides hesitant prospects with an option to visit without committing to a one-on-one tour.
TikTok is a fantastic social platform to gain views and attention for your property. The apartment-related hashtags alone have collectively garnered over a billion views. Create TikToks showcasing property tours or share videos of resident events and testimonials. You can repurpose these videos on all your other social media pages as well.
Apartment digital marketing can both enjoyable and a way to make your multifamily property stand out from competitors. We’ve discussed various types of content you can create and promote, but capturing data on prospects is equally important in your digital marketing strategy. In the next section, we’ll explore some tools that can help capture the best data and streamline the work of on-site teams with automation.
AI Marketing Automation represents the latest technology solution in the multifamily industry. There are several options to choose from, but PERQ’s AI automation takes multifamily leasing chatbots and automation to the next level.
PERQ’s AI Marketing Automation platform enhances operational efficiency and profitability by increasing lead conversion, saving leasing specialists hours of work, and collecting better data in the leasing process. This is achieved through the combination of a chatbot, lead conversion widgets, and automated follow-up, providing properties with a comprehensive omnichannel solution that’s easy to implement with no technological or process changes.
What sets PERQ’s marketing automation apart from other chatbot or follow-up options is that it’s an all-in-one platform. By consolidating individual solutions, the AI platform comprehensively addresses all phases of the leasing journey to improve overall results and deliver a more cost-effective renting experience.
But don’t just take our word for it. One of our clients, Jamin Harkness, EVP at The Management Group, has attested, “We love PERQ because you help convert people. With your AI Bot, my favorite part is because we use CRM, when there’s a chat on the AI Bot, all that information goes into our CRM as a guest card. That gives us the context of what was asked before we reengage with that prospect again.”
PERQ seamlessly integrates with your existing website and lead sources to engage, nurture, and convert every lead, enhancing the multifamily leasing journey for all involved.