Spotlight on CIP Communities: A RentCafe corporate website

Jan 19, 2024

Image of the CIP Communities corporate website homepage floating on a rainbow gradient background

If you’ve wondered about RentCafe corporate websites and what it takes to set one up (or switch an existing site over), this article is for you!

Recently, our friends at CIP Communities faced a familiar challenge. After updating 38 of their property websites, their corporate website started to feel stagnant, like it failed to capture the vibrancy of the CIP brand. It was time for a change.

“We had just completed a brand refresh, and we knew our identity and how we wanted to showcase that in the digital space,” shared Autumn Hunt, director of marketing at CIP Communities. “We were excited to partner with REACH to transition our old site to a fast, responsive RentCafe corporate website that delivers on our customer experience promise.”

Create a new corporate website on a quick timeline for one of the top-rated Midwestern property management companies? Sure, we love a challenge. And we think we delivered, thanks to the outstanding efforts of both the CIP marketing team and our creative team.

Keep reading to see how the project went and what makes a success, featuring insights from Alyssa Lee, Deann Venditte and Autumn Hunt at CIP.

Headshots of Alyssa Lee, Deann Venditte and Autumn Hunt from CIP Communities

User-driven design, brand-focused decisions

From the start, the goal of the corporate website refresh was clear: build a modern, user-friendly site that truly reflects CIP’s identity and resonates with potential residents and employees alike.

“It was important for us to translate our revitalized brand onto a website that really reflected it,” emphasized Alyssa. “But it also had to be fast, responsive and mobile-first.”

Understanding their local market was crucial. As a household name in Lincoln and Omaha, CIP knew renters actively sought their properties. The website had to make finding them a breeze. But CIP’s audience stretches beyond residents. As a significant local employer, they needed a website that resonated with career-minded property management professionals — an area the previous design did not adequately showcase.

Based on these insights, a clear roadmap was crafted, outlining the website’s goals, target audience and core functionalities. The next step, of course, was getting it built.

“We were able to provide our brand guide, which included tone and voice, to the REACH team, and they truly brought that vision to life,” explained Alyssa.

Building the site

In the span of about 20 weeks, our creative team was able to mockup and integrate a fully functioning site with over 20 pages between the home page, standard pages and custom pages. This is faster than a typical timeline and would not have been possible without a close working relationship.

“Usually, we can go live with a simple site with a handful of custom pages in about 14 weeks. That is already pretty quick from start to finish in terms of design, coordination and approvals,” said Shelby Holteen, marketing specialist at REACH. “The fact we were able to pull off a seamless transition to a new corporate site for CIP in such a short period of time was an amazing accomplishment that would not have been possible without the organization of the client and the hard work of our design team.”

“Working with the REACH team was pretty seamless,” affirmed Alyssa. “Getting and sharing mockups with the team then passing along feedback was simple. Communication was really open, and turnaround time was fast. We were on an abbreviated timeline to get this done, and they pulled it through!”

Authentic storytelling, engaging content

One of the things that sets the resulting website apart is CIP’s commitment to using photos of real residents and staff members, rather than stock images. This is similar to another story we shared from Weidner, and we think it’s a genius approach to building an authentic brand.

“Sometimes property management brands can be too cold, too professional. That’s not who we are at our core,” shared Deann Venditte, creative and content marketing manager at CIP Communities. “Now, more than ever, especially with younger generations entering the market, they want to know the company and its values before moving in. We desired to demonstrate our approachable, friendly and authentic brand so our audience understands who we really are.”

The homepage leads with an engaging video that shows what it’s like to interact with the CIP team and move in. A richly detailed “about” section shares the company’s mission and core values, highlights their charitable giving and speaks to their commitment to building more sustainable communities. The careers portion of the site highlights real team members, competitive benefits and exciting career paths, with clear calls-to-action throughout.

The results are (starting to come) in

As with any site refresh, results develop over time. But there are already several strong indicators that the project is a success:

  • Improved mobile user experience
  • Improved SEO
  • More content and blogging opportunities

The CIP marketing team has been excited about sending both rental and career traffic to the website now that it’s been updated to truly reflect the brand. They are using QR codes on print collateral to push traffic back to the site, something they didn’t do before.

“Finding marketing experts in the multifamily space was a huge part of the success of this project. We already use many Yardi products, so it just made sense to work with REACH. Leveraging their experts is probably the biggest component in the initial and ongoing success of our new website,” asserted Autumn.

Share your brand story

CIP Communities’ journey is a testament to the powerful combination of vision and expertise needed to create a winning corporate website.

If you’re looking to revitalize your own online presence and tell your brand story in a compelling way, consider booking a free 15-minute website consultation. Our no-pressure assessment will help you identify areas for improvement that align with your digital goals. We can also help you explore RentCafe website options if that’s something you’re interested in.

Don’t let your website become an outdated relic — reach out today to see what’s possible.

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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