5 apartment website features that convert leads into leases

Jul 25, 2023

Person using apartment website features on a phone

Today’s sites have plenty of gadgets and gizmos, but how do you know which of these bells and whistles are really working to convert renters? We recently studied 3,130 property websites to see which apartment website features turn leads into leases.

We found five website features that outperform the rest.

First, take a look at the infographic for a quick synopsis, then learn a little more about the study and the standout features, as well as two runners-up that do a great job too.   

There’s also a shareable pdf at the end (just in case you need a little help convincing your team to make some website updates).

Website conversion features infographic

Colorful infographic showing 5 apartment website features that convert leads at the highest rate

About the study

We examined data from 3,130 property websites to compare how features performed. Conversion rates were determined by dividing the number of leads submitted by the number of leases generated per feature.

We looked at 10 features, and these five performed the best: live video tours, RentCafe® Chat IQ, the front desk widget, self-guided tours and nudge marketing.

Top 5 apartment website features for conversions

1. Live video tours: Bridging the gap

One of the most impactful website features to engage potential renters is live video tours. In today’s fast-paced world, not all prospects can physically visit your property, or they might not be ready to do so yet. Offering agent-guided video tours enables them to experience your apartments from the comfort of their current location.

Offering this personalized and convenient experience can significantly influence their leasing decisions. The study found that live video tours delivered an impressive 36.03% conversion rate.

2. Chat IQ: Providing instant answers & real results

Instant communication is crucial when potential renters have questions or need assistance. Chat IQ is a smart, conversational chatbot that offers real-time support on your website.

With a remarkable 33.66% conversion rate, Chat IQ allows prospects to get immediate answers to their queries. It uses natural language process to have real conversations, eliminating the frustration of waiting for a response.

3. Front desk widget: Offering a contact point on every page

Making it effortless for website visitors to engage with your team is essential for conversions. Renters want to get in touch with you, but if they have to poke around to figure out how to, you might lose them.

The front desk widget is a concierge-style bell icon that appears on every page. It centralizes contact points so prospects can chat, text, call, email and even schedule visits from anywhere on your website.

By offering multiple communication options, you empower potential renters to reach out and start meaningful conversations. The proof is in the numbers. The front desk widget has a conversion rate of 27.90%.

4. Self-guided tours: Empowering prospects

Not all prospects prefer agent-guided tours. Self-guided tours allow prospects to book unstaffed tours at their convenience, accommodating a wide range of scheduling needs and personal preferences.

This study found that self-guided tour scheduling on a website had a conversion rate of 19.78%. By giving potential renters the freedom to explore on their terms, you create a more flexible and comfortable experience.

5. Nudge marketing: Encouraging next steps

And finally, incorporating nudge marketing can significantly impact conversion rates. Nudge marketing encourages site visitors to take the next step confidently by pointing them in the right direction with timed messages and offers.

Whether it’s prompting them to schedule a tour, apply for a lease, or sign up for a newsletter, these subtle nudges can lead to tangible results. The study revealed nudge marketing had a conversion rate of 15.64%.

Read all about nudge marketing for RentCafe websites.

Bonus: 2 runners-up

Two other website features in the study delivered conversion rates above 11%. These were the floor plan assistant and floor plan availability notifications.

Prospects who are ready to rent have already refined their search and know what they want. Help them find the unit that’s right for them with the floor plan assistant.

If the floor plan they want is not available at the moment, let them sign up for floor plan availability notifications. Much like a retail site that notifies interested buyers about the return of sold-out styles, it will alert them when the floor plan they want is finally ready to rent. This can be especially helpful in areas with high occupancy rates.

Get a shareable pdf of the study

Get a copy of the apartment website features study data that’s easy to share.


Remember, optimizing your website not only for organic traffic but also for conversion is crucial. Potential renters want engaging website features that help them:

  • See apartments on their terms
  • Get instant answers and support
  • Take the next step with confidence
  • Find the exact floor plan they want

Understanding what renters want and offering them the right tools will set your properties apart and help turn prospects into loyal, rent-paying residents.

“Driving traffic to your website is only the first step. You must also optimize for conversion to turn a high volume of visitors into rent-paying residents.”

Esther Bonardi
VP of Marketing
REACH by RentCafe 

Are you ready to take your apartment marketing strategy to the next level? Incorporate these five high-converting website features and watch your leasing conversions rise!

Geneva Ives

Geneva Ives is the manager of marketing content at Yardi. She leads content initiatives for REACH by RentCafe. Writing may be her first love, but data is a close second. Geneva is based in Santa Barbara, California.

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