WHY MUltifamily website Design is important
Everything you need to know to make your multifamily website stand out.
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With over 70% of apartment shoppers searching for apartments online, it’s crucial that you’re paying attention to your multifamily website design. Your property’s website is the first impression prospects have of your community. Your multifamily website design needs to include answers and engaging content to keep online prospects on the site longer and peak their interest. An apartment community’s website should also include information about the neighborhood/city. This is important for the out of town prospects are people who are new to the area. Making sure you include this makes your property website the hub of information for what’s what in the community. It should also work to guide them through the apartment shopping process organically yet intentionally.
Even before the pandemic, many potential renters only visited multifamily properties in person for apartment tours. Multifamily industry trends show that people go to the property’s website first to get all the information they need before making the decision on whether or not it’s worth going in person. Additionally, most are searching for multifamily websites or apartment marketing sites to find their next apartment.
There are several key factors that potential renters consider when deciding whether or not to lease an apartment. A recent survey administered 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 pretty obvious: the monthly rent price has to be within budget, and the apartment should be close to work, family, or whatever the potential renter deems important. Community environment is a factor that’s often overlooked, but it’s actually extremely important to most potential renters. People want to know if the apartment community and surrounding area will have what is needed to fulfill their interests and hobbies. This is why it’s important to include this in your apartment website design.
Are these elements easy to find and clear on your website? Are they interactive and engaging instead of being static? Are you also able to track how rental prospects are engaging with your site? The best multifamily website design offers all these things and more.
Creating a landing page or blog like page that includes reviews of local businesses and restaurants as well as recaps of local/city events is a great way to include the community environment that prospects are looking for in their decision making.
If you’re able to track engagement using something like multifamily software, you’ll be able to gain valuable insights. You can learn how potential renters or leads found your multifamily website, track every time they return to continue research, and see which engagements drive them to sign a lease. It all comes down to driving engagement. Proper apartment website design will direct 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.
Though this can seem like the best time to give the shopper every piece of information about your property, you’ll need to first engage the visitor. It isn’t enough to simply measure a visitor’s clicks and the length of time on your multifamily website; it’s important to strategically invite them to share their information.
Katrina Greene, the Senior Property Manager of Sheehan Properties in Indianapolis; Columbus, Indiana; and Louisville, Kentucky; explained that at the end of the day, her site and online materials aim to capture information about the customer rather than just giving them something to look at.
“The main metric we use to gauge our website’s engagement is lead conversion,” she says. “It’s not enough for someone to just look 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 site, many features require the shopper to give us 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 return.”
How to Create a Property Management Website
At its very core, online customer engagement starts with offering visitors a clean property management website and quality interactions. These features need to allow visitors to get a good sense of what life is like at your apartment building.
Traditionally, property managers try to do this by sharing unit and amenity photos and floor plans on the site. Many property management websites now offer the same basic tools for online apartment shoppers to use to research and explore because of this. But, according to Greene, they don’t actually add up to better leads or more engaged renters.
“I think that what property managers are doing wrong is continuing to just sell the same product over and over again,” she explains. “It’s all the same thing. It’s selling four walls. Ultimately the finishes are different, and the colors and layouts vary, but they’re still basically the same. The pictures and floor plans are very cold details to focus on,” Greene says. “There needs to be a warmth and friendliness to the website that represents their new home.”
Lead 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 welcomed, 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 mind, this means appealing to a prospective renter through community by showing them what living with you really feels like. In addition to thinking about website engagement, property management companies need to think about a holistic digital strategy. Considering your digital strategy for your multifamily property and how to maximize its potential isn’t as simple as updating your Facebook page or publishing a new blog. Creating a strategy should be a diligent process that requires you to review your budget, competition, and available resources.
With a wide range of web tools and social media avenues, considering how to develop a digital strategy in the multifamily industry doesn’t just require a single-pronged approach. See the full Q&A with Katrina here, where she shares insights on how property managers can refine their digital strategies.
Property Management Websites
Before making a big financial decision, like renting an apartment or townhome, consumers begin their search online. Give renters the answers they are looking for on your property management websites while delivering multifamily property managers detailed leads on each prospect’s online journey.
For many property management websites, a static “Contact Us” form is the only way a potential renter can request more information about available apartments, amenities, and pricing. These forms force online prospects to either pick up the phone to speak to a leasing specialist or submit their name and phone number and then wait for the leasing office to call them.
Visitors who fail to reach out through the contact form leave property managers with no way of knowing who visited their multifamily website. That prospect likely moved on to a competitor’s site to do more research and if their property management website is more engaging and collects data on their visit, that competitor can reach out for follow-up and 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%.
It’s no secret that today’s consumers are looking for more integrated, seamless digital experiences, and they’re shopping for an apartment home is no different.
It used to be enough that an apartment building had a website at all, but today, even small developments have something online. Multifamily website design can do a lot when it comes to capturing more of the local market. By using unique web tools that make your apartment website efficient and engaging, you’ll be able to easily promote the warmth, personality, and polish your multifamily property has to offer above the rest.
Best Multifamily Websites
The best multifamily websites are the ones that have engaging content and capture data from a prospect’s journey on your site. The section above goes into some tech tools you can add and the last section of this article dives deeper into some specific solutions. In this section, we’re going to dive deeper into the engaging content portion.
Some of the best multifamily websites are the best because they go into a lot of detail, not just about the unit and property, but the neighborhood and city too. Prospects typically begin their apartment search journey online and a lot start on an ILS. Most prospects don’t visit the property in person unless they are ready to tour. To get to that decision means the prospect has already done a lot of research about the property and the community.
Creating a neighborhood/city guide and a multifamily blog will not only make your multifamily website the hub of information for what’s what in your neighborhood, it will keep prospects on your site longer and your property will stand out more to them. Businesses with blogs have more monthly visitors and more monthly leads than businesses that don’t. Why? These businesses can rank higher up in organic searches because they have more content on their sites and they can put keywords and phrases throughout multifamily blog posts.
The best multifamily website design is one that is built with SEO in mind. Search engine optimization is crucial to getting your website higher up in organic searches and getting your property in front of online prospects. Identify what words your prospects are using 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 up a blog post about how residents have decorated their 1 bedroom apartment in Indianapolis. Apartment content is very popular with Millennials and Gen Z. Multifamily has the opportunity to create apartment content for their consumer base but not a lot of companies are taking this chance to stand out. Not only will your multifamily website stand out to prospects and rank higher, your property will be more well known among the new generation of renters.
Apartment Digital Marketing
Have you taken a look at your apartment digital marketing strategies recently? Digital marketing needs to be regularly checked and evaluated so you know whether or not you’re wasting money or if your efforts are working. Whether it’s email, digital ads, or social media, there’s a lot of multifamily marketing ideas for apartments. Let’s take a look at a few.
When it comes to social media, we start to think of our own pages or even sponsored posts. One idea that gets overlooked sometimes is posting photos of your property and units on Pinterest. Pinterest is the social media for all things home and interior design. A great way to get in front of prospects who are searching for apartment decor ideas is placing photos of your units in front of them.
Start posting about your open houses and tour availability on Facebook. You can 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 gives unsure prospects an option to come in without committing to a one-on-one tour.
TikTok is a great social platform to get views and attention on your property. The apartment hashtags alone have collectively over a billion views. Create TikToks of tours of the property or share videos of resident events and even resident testimonials. The best part is you can use these videos on all your other social pages as well.
Apartment digital marketing can be a lot of fun and is a great place to make your multifamily property stand out from competitors. We’ve talked a lot about the kinds 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 go into some tools that help capture the best data and make onsite teams lives easier with automation.
AI Leasing Assistants and Multifamily Websites
AI Leasing Assistants are the newest technology solution to enter the multifamily industry. There’s a number to choose from but PERQ’s AI Leasing Assistant takes multifamily leasing chatbots and automation to the next level.
PERQ’s AI Leasing Assistant improves operational efficiency and profitability by increasing lead conversion, saving leasing specialists hours of work, and collecting better data in the leasing process. This is done through combining a chatbot, lead conversion widgets, and automated follow-up to give properties a complete omnichannel solution that is easy to implement with no technology or process change.
What makes PERQ’s AI Leasing Assistant different from other chatbot or follow-up choices is that our solution is an “all in one” platform. By combining single point solutions, the AI Leasing Assistant platform cohesively addresses all phases of the leasing journey to increase overall results and deliver a better renting experience that is much more cost effective to the community.
Don’t just take our word for it. One of our clients, Jamin Harkness, EVP at The Management Group, has said, “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 context of what was asked before we reengage with that prospect again.”