The way renters choose where to live today is entirely different than it was in the early 2000’s. Today’s generation makes all of their choices through technology. And not just because your rental is listed online does that mean your work is done. Now you have many factors that will either bring in potential renters or leave you vacant. Let’s take a look at some of the mistakes multifamily units are making with how their websites look and FEEL.
Not Viewing The Website As a Source of Revenue
Gone are the days when prospective renters showed up at your doorstep in search of answers from a leasing agent or property manager. Now, renters do extensive research online, and if your website is not appealing to the eye, then you can expect never to meet these renters.
Today, websites are a reflection of how you as a property manager run your business and how up-to-date your multi-unit is. Although this may not make sense to some folks, it is true; renters today are much better informed, quickly biased, and impatient. Now if that doesn’t make you want to update your website, I don’t know what will.
According to the National Apartment Association, 8 out of 10 potential renters rent from the first place they physically visit. That means there needs to be an understanding that they will always look at your website before visitation. First impressions are just that – very impressionable. So make sure you allow a large part of your budget specifically to a great, and easy-to-use website.
Relying On Third-Party Listings
While using third-party listings will inevitably lead people to your listing, because that is the first place they look (apartments.com, apartmentguide.com or forrent.com) your rental will still be lost in the midst of hundreds of other apartment listings. You can upgrade your listing by adding some “bedazzle” to it, but at the end of the day, the lead quality is mainly poor, according to Full House Marketing.
Again, investing in a great website with a fantastic vibe, and an even better user experience will bring you in quality leads that will undoubtedly generate a renter.
Creating an Experience Through Your Site
If someone phones your leasing office, then more often than not that means they’ve done their research, and they’re ready to start the leasing process. That also means that if you want more people to call in for further information about leasing, then you need to make sure they want to call through the experience they have with your website.
The key components of getting your potential renter from researching your site to calling you for consideration are by:
- Including Specific Floor Plans
- Online Video Tours
- Pricing Info and Specials (No Hidden Fees)
- Clear Information on How to Qualify
These are relatively simple ways of getting a phone call. The following are the way to never get a phone call from a potential renter:
- The website has no customization; meaning the information isn’t relevant to their interests or if the user experience doesn’t match what they’re used to, ie. Google, Facebook, and Amazon.
- If they have to call to tour the property
- Limited information about pricing, photos, costs, or floor plans.
- Incomplete info about the surrounding community.
- A website giving errors or having the potential renter reenter information.
- Being forced to call, or have a leasing agent specialist call them while they research.
- Useless website with irrelevant information
If your site offers any of the above, we suggest having a significant renovation ASAP. Transforming your website from what an ad in a newspaper looks like to facts, and a great vibe will give you more quality renters at your door.