Rethinking Your Apartment Website Design

Rethinking Your Apartment Website Design

Property management companies know that their apartment websites are one of their biggest assets when it comes to lead capture. A lot of multifamily websites look the exact same. Gallery photos of staged units and some property photos as well. Nothing about it is exciting or gives the prospect an idea of what life is like at your property or in that community. This is the state of apartment website design today.

 

When it comes to apartment web sites, taking inspiration from apartment therapy content on social media and multifamily blogs is a great place to start rethinking what the content on your website should look like. The multifamily world really hates the word “complex” and instead uses “community” when describing their apartments and properties. It’s understandable. The word complex is so sterile and feels bland and boring. Community on the other hand feels like it’s full of life, it’s a place someone would want to call home and live in for a few years.

 

The understanding of this is there in property management companies, and yet the websites read more complex than community. How can this be fixed? Let’s dive into a few ways to bring more life to your apartment website.

 

 

COMMUNITY CENTERED

The first thing that can be updated is the photos. While it’s important to have those stock like gallery photos of the units and property, including photos of people actually living in the units and property is a great way to bring life to your website.

 

Usually multifamily websites have a reel of photos playing on the main landing page. This is where some of the more lively photos should live while the staged ones should live just in the gallery portion of your website. Photos of resident events are also great to add through your landing page as well as photos of the community your property is located in.

 

This will make your website stand out to prospects because the majority of apartment website design looks like what we described above, complex-y. Taking a more community approach the photos and videos you display on your homepage will make your website more attractive and appealing to prospects.

 

 

SEO AND BLOGS

SEO strategy is critical to have. It’s how your apartment website gets ranked in search results organically. Investing time and effort in narrowing down what keywords prospects are using, like “apartments near me”, will help you add that kind of copy to your website. The more areas in which you can add your primary keywords, the easier it will be for search engines like Google to rank you higher up in search results.

 

The thing is, there usually isn’t a lot of copy on multifamily websites. That copy is also hard to add keywords into as well. Creating a blog that is specific to your property and local neighborhood is a fun way to create space to add copy that can contain all sorts of keywords while also centering your website as a go to for information on what to do in the neighborhood.

 

Apartment therapy content is a loved category by many and entering that space will help you keep prospects on your website longer and even attract prospects that might have not been able to find you before. There are so many things you can blog about including:

  • Reviews of local businesses
  • Recaps of local events
  • Decorating and design tips for specific apartments
  • Move in tips specific to your property
  • How to request maintenance
  • Recap of resident events

 

Keeping prospects on your website longer will help you capture more insightful data, if it’s designed to do this.

 

 

ENGAGE WITH AI

Leasing AI has really changed how lead capture and automation work. For starters, it has made it more efficient and with platforms like PERQ, there are complete solutions that can do the engaging, capture, automated nurture, real time reporting, and more. PERQ uses a natural language chatbot to answer prospect questions 24/7. It keeps the history of the chats and uses the information the prospect provided in it’s follow-up messaging and can understand if they are low or high intent.

 

PERQ only hands off high intent leads into the CRM that are ready to talk to the leasing team. No more crowded CRMs and time wasted trying to sift through all the bad leads to find the good leads. Leasing teams save time by only focusing on quality leads while PERQ takes care of the rest.

 

These three components — community centered, SEO and blogging, leasing AI — when combined together make for an apartment website that is designed to keep prospects engaged, gather information, and place your property as the go to place to live in the neighborhood.

SuperHuman: How Leasing AI Supports Multifamily Teams

SuperHuman: How Leasing AI Supports Multifamily Teams

Picture a typical day in a typical leasing office: You have your typical leasing agent daily checklist — leads to look through in a crowded CRM, tours to give, residents who need support, and a steady flow of routine inquiries — some from promising prospects, others from people kicking the tires who’ll never engage with you again. By the time you climb your way out of the daily minutiae, it’s closing time and you’ve barely squeezed in high-impact activities like developing a new marketing campaign, meeting with high-potential leads and getting signatures on rental agreements.

 

If only you could clone yourself or add more hours to your day, right? It turns out you can.

 

What would be possible if you found a way to automate low-impact, time-sucking tasks without sacrificing customer care so you can do what you most enjoy and are best at? That’s what AI leasing assistants can do for your team.

 

Making brands more human, and humans more efficient

As ironic as it sounds, natural language AI leasing assistants actually make brands feel more human. That’s because they enable brands to engage consumers on a more personal level at scale, writes Mike Kaput, a senior PR consultant and Chief Content Officer at the Marketing AI Institute.

 

As humans, there’s a limit to the number of one-on-one conversations, relationships and tasks we can manage, let alone manage well. It’s no wonder workers get burned out and customers feel frustrated by delays, miscommunication and hit-and-miss exchanges. AI plugs that gap.

PERQ bot icon | AI Leasing Assistant

“With chatbots and other forms of conversational AI, marketers can participate in one-to-one conversations at scale, 24/7/365. And consumers, 90% of whom want to communicate with businesses through messaging, now have the means to connect with companies on their own terms, whenever they want,” says Kaput.

 

Kaput goes on to list specific things AI assistants can do to benefit workers and consumers. (We’ve added a few of our own to this AI Leasing Agent Resume.)

  • Provide instant answers in real time, ‘round the clock.
  • Eliminate or supplement lead generation forms.
  • Schedule property tours, calls or meetings — even while your leasing agents sleep, go out to lunch, or serve other customers.
  • Engage cold leads and warm them up for leasing agents.
  • Deliver support to less qualified or lower-priority leads so your team can focus on high-potential prospects.
  • Execute consistent follow-up and lead nurture.
  • Capture prospect preferences and behavior insights, learn from every interaction and adapt so messaging is increasingly relevant and personalized.
  • Make personalized recommendations.
  • Shorten the sales cycle and accelerate revenue growth.
  • Capture prospect data and instantly sync up with your CRM.
  • Facilitate decision-making, reveal blind spots and money-making opportunities with rich behavioral data.
  • Increase the value of connected technologies like your CRM and internet listings.

 

Multifamily property managers who’ve partnered with PERQ report they’ve been able to free up 10-12 hours of leasing specialists’ time per week as the AI leasing assistant tackles 70% of routine inquiries and captures 3-5X more prospect data points. As a result, they’ve experienced a 200-400% boost in leads, and up to 50% increase in tours and lead-to-tour conversions. The same is possible for your team!

 

Human + machine = more engaged employees

Shorter sales cycles, greater productivity and revenue are big benefits of AI leasing assistants, for sure. But for the humans on your team, it’s also a way to sharply reduce tasks that keep them from doing impactful work that requires human leasing agent skills.

 

“Organizations can use AI to automate mundane tasks, freeing up human workers to apply their uniquely human capabilities (such as interpretation, communication, judgement, and empathy) to less-routine tasks, as well as explore new problems and opportunities,” reports Deloitte researchers. “The focus is on augmenting people, not replacing them.”

 

Consequently, AI assistants help create an environment that’s more fulfilling for workers — a much-needed antidote to the wave of burnout and attrition growing across all industries.

 

From innovation to industry standard

Like the advent of cars, computers and smartphones, AI is just another revolution in a string of revolutions designed to enhance human experiences. And it’s quickly evolving from innovation to an industry standard, driven by consumer demand for instant gratification, deep personalization, and anytime/anywhere access.

 

“The landscape has changed,” reads the 2021 State of Marketing AI Report. “Leading marketers know that in order to deliver the personalization and experiences modern buyers expect, marketing must become smarter. It must be marketer + machine.”

 

There will always be jobs. Will AI change job functions? Sure. And that’s something to be excited about.

Halloween Themed Ideas for Apartment Communities

Halloween Themed Ideas for Apartment Communities

It’s officially spooky season! This is a great time for onsite teams to do some fun and festive events, contests, social content, and promos for local events. Depending on your location, this could be a time of year where there is a lull in leasing and you’re focusing more on resident satisfaction. Resident events, while for residents, can be used for your own marketing and SEO purposes as well. Taking photos and writing recap blog posts of these events can help boost your search rankings organically and give you more fun content to pull from when promoting posts on social media or running your ads later.

 

 

CONTESTS AND EVENTS

witch bot | PERQ AI Leasing AssistantHalloween is a great theme for events. Some themed activities you can do for your community include:

  • Door Decorating Contest
  • Costume Contest
  • Scary Movie Nights
  • Trick or Treat
  • Craft Night
  • Carving Jack O’Lanterns
  • Halloween Trivia/Bingo Night

 

It can be difficult to get resident participation, and this varies from community to community. Creating some incentives for winners and participation can boost your attendance numbers. For every post on social media, and for attending, you can give them a raffle ticket for either gift cards to local businesses or for online shopping. You could also do physical prizes like a new vacuum or pots and pans.

 

The best part about these kinds of events is that you can take photos and videos of them to use for content on your website, Instagram and TikTok. This will help break up the stock photo like posts of gallery photos and random community reminders. You can also write recap blogs about the events for your website. This can help boost your local SEO and give prospect’s a reason to stay on your site longer. People like to know about what life is like in different communities. That’s why reality tv and vlogging is a huge segment of entertainment.

 

If your community is all ages or has kids, hosting a trick or treat or a craft night for kids to help with door decorating will be a great win for prospects and residents with children. They want to live in communities that care about their children. Making it a fun place for kids to live will attract more families and encourage the ones that are there to renew. Not many communities tend to focus on the kids but if your property has a lot of families, you need to have some events and activities to cater to them as well.

 

These ideas can be done year after year. Tag us on Instagram or TikTok, @perqmarketing, if you end up doing any of these. Happy Halloween!

Walking the Line Between Occupancy and Pricing

Walking the Line Between Occupancy and Pricing

Finding and maintaining the perfect balance of occupancy and pricing is crucial for multifamily communities to achieve revenue success. In Multifamily Real Estate (MFRE,) it is considered a best practice to train employees to understand that the value of an asset comes in the form of it being a healthy, stabilized asset. That, by definition, is an asset that has not just achieved high occupancy, but that has achieved a balance of maximizing rent growth while maintaining/achieving stabilized occupancy.

 

Anyone can achieve “high occupancy.”  In fact, it would be really easy to get to 100% occupancy if a property simply dropped rents 20% below market rate. That, of course, would not achieve the true goal of a property, which is rental revenue. In order to have a truly performing real estate asset, you must push an asset’s rent growth while also increasing occupancy. It’s a balancing act.

 

This balancing, today, is hard. Pricing algorithms in revenue management systems will suggest how much a property can push on renewal rents and new rents. But, really, it is the job of a property manager — and all those that support that role — to understand what the market can truly handle in new rent. And this can only come from knowing the market.

 

 

THE BIG RUB

When a property is high occupancy, there is sudden tension between work needing to be done to manage residents and their needs, versus all the other things that get done out of the leasing office. It’s difficult to know what leasing will look like in the next quarter and availability will remain unknown until you are sending out renewal offers. This difficulty leads to unawareness of what units will be open and how they should be priced. When occupancy isn’t at risk, multifamily teams often end up not realizing how much they are shifting their attention away from maintaining this balance in the future.

 

The logic behind the decision seems sound, but this is a big mistake that puts both the occupancy and the pricing elements at risk. The loss in visibility of the market economics affects a property manager’s ability to properly price units.  And, being out of market for new renters can make it nearly impossible when you need them.

 

 

SMARTER PRICING BASED OFF DEMAND

Engaging with the market during those high occupancy times helps your team better understand market trends. When you keep your leasing activity alive, you gain visibility into:

  • Future demand for specific floor plans
  • Volume of active future leasing activity
  • Budgets of active future leasing prospects

 

This kind of actionable data empowers you to make smarter decisions on rent growth and price your units based on demand and what renters are willing to pay for specific units. Not only will you know if your units are underpriced, you will also understand if they may be overpriced. As a result, you will better understand your prospective renters’ budgets months before they make the move.

 

But how do you get this visibility if you’re not actively marketing and looking for renters?

 

 

FUTURE LEADS ARE LOOKING NOW

We all know the pandemic had a considerable impact on the MFRE industry.  But it also had an impact on renters. To find the property they seek to call their home, they need to begin looking earlier. Data collected by PERQ shows that over 22% of rental prospects are looking to move 6 months out from when they begin searching. So, while your property may be high occupancy, the leads that are coming in during these high occupancy months are still serious about renting at your property, but they aren’t ready to move for months.

 

It is becoming a best practice for PMC’s to continue with their marketing and leasing activity during these high occupancy months. Therefore, if the current resident in an apartment chooses not to renew, you already have a list of qualified leads who are ready to move in. This leads to quicker turnover of vacant units as well as the added benefit of pricing your units based on demand.

 

While each property is different and property management companies can have portfolios of varying sizes, 20 – 30% of your marketing budget needs to go to lead nurture and automation. According to DemandGen’s reporting, companies that have lead nurture campaigns show an average 20% increase in sales opportunities than non-nurtured leads. Cutting out lead nurture while you have high occupancy will make it harder for onsite teams to be successful with leads further down the pipeline.

 

But how does the leasing office manage all this activity as well as the added work of managing high-occupancy properties?

 

 

HOW PERQ CAN HELP

PERQ was built to solve this problem. With PERQ, you can maximize the effectiveness of all your marketing and leasing activity, and minimize the need for the team to do more work. PERQ uses AI to manage your top of funnel activity; managing communication, nurture and digital experiences for rental prospects before they are ready to speak with a leasing agent.

 

PERQ works with leads and pulls them down the pipeline, so when a vacant unit does open up, your team has a list of prospects who are qualified and ready to move. It nurtures all of those quality leads that have stated they are over 90 days out from moving, without adding more work on your leasing teams. PERQ’s proprietary combination of assistants, interactive online experiences, and cross-channel lead nurture keeps those prospects engaged, while also capturing important insights that help to qualify prospects and personalize their experience.

 

Without a technology like PERQ to pick up the work, these important leads are at risk of falling through the cracks. And, knowing how many leads are in your pipeline lets you more precisely budget marketing spend during your busiest leasing months.

 

 

CONCLUSION

High occupancy now doesn’t guarantee high occupancy in the future. Just because you’ve found a good balance now doesn’t mean there isn’t work to do to maintain that balance.

 

Lead nurture tools can help fill the talent gap, giving your prospective renters a consistent, engaging experience without the need for a leasing team member.  And, it can help you understand the balance between occupancy and pricing by giving you more insight into demand, renter budgets, and improve your operational efficiency year round.

 

That’s a concept that’s good for everyone.

Creative Ideas to Boost Your Apartment Marketing

Creative Ideas to Boost Your Apartment Marketing

The last couple of years have been all about adapting, evolving, and finding new solutions when it comes to how we market apartment communities. While the world has gone digital for quite some time, it wasn’t until the pandemic hit for remote lifestyles to become more normalized. Today’s generation of renters are different from any generation of renters before them and we have access to insightful data on their buying habits and what they want from a rental unit. Let’s dive into ideas that will strengthen your apartment marketing efforts from SEO to creative social media content.

 

LOCAL SEO MATTERS

You need your apartment community to show up on the first page of Google. In order to do this, you need to lock down a local SEO strategy. SEO, or search engine optimization, is the practice of finding what keywords and phrases your target audience is using when they search on Google or other search engines. Knowing these keywords allows you to add them to the copy on your multifamily property websites so your sites get ranked higher up on search results. We all know how important it is to be on the first page of results. These websites get more visibility and let’s be honest, how many times have you gone to the second or third page on Google?

 

LocalIQ conducted a study of renters and found that 93% of respondents used a search engine when looking for their next lease. 80% of respondents in the same study noted that they actually would visit three or more property websites before deciding which ones to visit in person. This shows that it’s important to be ranked higher up in searches when 4 out of 5 renters will look at multiple property websites. Local SEO needs to be prioritized in your marketing strategy. There are SEO strategy agencies that can help you or you could have someone dedicated to this by using SEO tools like Moz or SEMRush.

 

A WEBSITE TO REMEMBER

Once you’ve got your apartment SEO down, you need to have a property website that’s engaging and set up to collect insightful data on the prospect. There are a lot of fun marketing ideas for apartments that talk about social media, which is important and we will touch on, but another important and creative marketing idea is blogging.

Blog Assets | PERQ AI Leasing Assistant

Creating and maintaining a blog can be a lot of work but it’s worth it. Businesses with blogs have 55% more online visitors than those that don’t. Writing blogs will allow to have more places to add keywords onto the copy of your website page helping boost your search visibility. There are lots of things you can write about as a property to including:

  • A Move-in/Move-out Guide
  • Decorating tips for specific floor plans
  • How to put in maintenance requests and what to expect from them
  • Renter friendly storage ideas and DIYs
  • Recap of resident events
  • Local business reviews

 

There really is so much you can write about it. This is great not just for prospects but for residents as well. Creating a neighborhood/city guide will position your property website as the hub of information for what’s what in your local neighborhood. When renters sign a lease with your community, they are also committing to the neighborhood too. They want to know what life is like there and if it fits their needs — whether it’s vibrant nightlife or a quiet community, this impacts renters decisions too.

 

SOCIAL MEDIA CONTENT

Apartment related content has over a billion views collectively on YouTube and TikTok. Getting your property in these tags will help you meet today’s renters where they are online. A lot of fun marketing ideas for apartments include Facebook contests, but let’s be honest, Gen Z don’t care for Facebook. A lot of them don’t even have an account.

 

While it’s important to keep a Facebook presence, your social media strategy needs to be focused on Instagram and TikTok. Luckily with Instagram you can easily share your posts on Facebook too so you don’t have to waste energy keeping your Facebook active.

Untitled design 21 | PERQ AI Leasing Assistant

When it comes to TikTok, a lot of the ideas of things you can blog about can easily be transformed into video content. Stay up to date on what the trending tags and sounds are as this is how you will be found.

 

Even if some of the trending hashtags don’t relate to what you are posting or relate to apartments in general, the way the TikTok algorithm works is based on adding those tags as well as #foryoupage and #fyp in order for your video to show up on renters’ feeds. Some ideas of posts, which can be done on both Instagram and TikTok include:

  • Pet of the month
  • Meet a member of the onsite team
  • Move-in/Move-out tips
  • Resident Event vlogs/recap posts
  • Local business review

 

Apartment marketing needs to be more creative in order to get the attention of Gen Z renters. They will look at your competitors before making a decision so you need to make sure you stand out and really show how your community can be their future home.

Fall Themed Resident Events

Fall Themed Resident Events

After a long, hot summer, that chilly fall breeze feels amazing. Fall is a great time of year for many reasons — nice weather, warmer drinks, and more time spent being cozy inside. This is the perfect season to bring back resident events. During a busy leasing season, resident events tend to take the back burner especially when you have a lot of turnover happening in units.

 

Fall starts when leasing season usually comes to an end and everyone is beginning to settle into their new homes and communities. Fall events are important as it brings new residents into the community and if you have student housing, it helps students become acclimated to their new homes. Let’s dive into some fun ideas to make the fall season a fun one for residents.

 

 

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE WEATHER

Sweater weather is here and while it’s not blistering hot or unreasonably cold outside, Fall is a good time to have some outdoor events. These events don’t have to be at the property either. There are plenty of fall-themed activities at local businesses that you could partner up with for a group event. Some outdoor ideas include:

  • BBQ Cookout
  • Cornhole Tournament
  • Apple Picking
  • Pumpkin Patch Tour

The first two could be one event or two separate ones. A BBQ cookout would be a nice way to use any grill/lounge spaces you have at your property for a resident event. Residents can meet each other and get to know the leasing team. Be sure to include vegetarian and plant based options so all residents can enjoy the cookout and if you have a 21+ community, have some hard seltzers or beers too.

 

The same goes for the cornhole tournament — or “bags” depending on where in the midwest you’re from. Make it a good time with music and hard seltzers/beer. Have residents submit their teammates beforehand so you can easily set up a bracket before the event happens. You could create an incentive by offering the winners some sort of prize.

 

The last two on that list require partnering with a local orchard or pumpkin patch. Maybe they could offer a discount for residents or you could set up a time where everyone goes to pick apples or pumpkins. With every event, remember to take plenty of photos for socials and have residents tag you in their posts as well.

 

 

SPOOKY SEASON

The two big holidays in Fall are Halloween and Thanksgiving. The month of October is perfect to have a themed month at your property. Some spooky activities and events you could do are:

  • Door Decorating Contest
  • Scary Movie Nights
  • Trick or Treat
  • Costume Party/Contest

Door decorating is always a fun way to spruce up a property for a themed event and a great way to make the community feel more cozy and like home. Hosting scary movie nights with popcorn and candy corn is also a great way to get everyone together and do something spooky. You can even send out a poll to residents on which movies to play.

 

Trick or Treat is more for communities with a lot of kids but even if you don’t have any kids you can still leave out a bowl of candy in common areas or in the leasing office for residents. Everyone loves candy and chocolate and Halloween is the one holiday in Fall meant for chocolate. As for the costume party/contest, this one will take the most planning to do. If you have a large clubhouse or communal space, you could go as far to hire a DJ or just come up with your own playlist. You can even offer themed snacks and drinks.

 

Resident events are a great way to boost resident satisfaction and to build a community within your property. Neighbors getting to know each other and really settle in will help them feel more at home.