Is your property website ready for leasing season? Tips to help you attract & convert renters
Apr 12, 2023
Leasing season is quickly approaching, and prospects are already beginning to search for new apartments. Is your property website positioned to attract the incoming waves of traffic?
Your website should look good and function well if you want to get the attention of renters. But you may find yourself procrastinating on changes to your website because there’s so many other pressing tasks on your to-do list. Follow-ups with residents, maintenance on your property, conferences … the list goes on (and we understand).
However, unless you want to miss out on the abundance of prospects this leasing season, website maintenance should be a top priority.
Here are some things you can do to ensure that your community’s website is ready for the spring, summer and beyond.
Freshen up your design
Does your website still have the same look and feel as 3-4 years ago? Then it’s probably time for an update. Apartment and website design trends change quickly, so it’s important to stay on your toes with the latest styles and layouts.
If you use RentCafe to build your website, we have many themes to choose from, all of which can be adapted to fit your brand’s style. Some of the most popular themes this year reflect Japandi, dark academia or maximalist styles.
According to Neha Marathe, web design manager for REACH, “With a 125% increase in Google searches compared to the previous year, Japandi claimed the top position as the fastest-rising interior design trend for the second year in a row.” She goes on to explain, “It’s because of the simplicity and natural organic elements that the effect of this type of design is calming and comforting. Even though the intention of this style comes across as simple and serene, the focus is on a practical design.”
Dark academia also experienced an increase in searches compared to last year. This style has practical accessibility elements that “[reduce] eye strain, increase visibility in low ambient light and provide an emotional boost.” Maximalism saw an increase in search interest as well. This is a fun one because there are endless possibilities when developing a maximalist property website.
A simple redesign can keep prospects interested in and engaged on your website. But it’s important to know what your target audience likes. Is it simplicity, accessibility or something else?
Don’t know where to start? Check out our portfolio to get inspired.
Rewrite website content
Because search engines are constantly updating their algorithms, your content that was near perfection two years ago may be getting overlooked today, resulting in poor SEO results and missed opportunities for traffic.
Years ago, keyword stuffing and filling your website with as much content as possible, whether completely relevant or not, could have driven positive results. Now, it may be hurting your website.
In December 2022, Google rolled out its helpful content system. They claim, “the helpful content system aims to better reward content where visitors feel they’ve had a satisfying experience, while content that doesn’t meet a visitor’s expectations won’t perform as well.”
We recommend cleaning up your website and removing any unnecessary content. Relevancy is key with the new algorithm update.
Google stated, “Any content — not just unhelpful content — on sites determined to have relatively high amounts of unhelpful content overall is less likely to perform well in search, assuming there is other content elsewhere from the web that’s better to display. For this reason, removing unhelpful content could help the rankings of your other content.”
Try sticking to content that you know your prospects and current residents will find useful and important.
Add website features that convert
The RentCafe platform has features that are proven to help your website perform better. Here are some free add-ons that can help your website rank higher on search engines, keep your prospects engaged and improve the user experience.
Interactive property maps
Our interactive property maps allow residents to see where on your property available units are located. Not only does this give the user a good sense of what to expect, but it keeps them on your website longer and increases their clicks. Our studies have shown that clients may see a 32% increase in the average time spent on the website when they add an interactive property map.
Local area marketing map
Another way to keep your prospects engaged and on your site longer is to add a local area marketing (LAM) map to your website. Our LAMs are designed to market your property by selling its location. Often found on the maps and directions page, these maps display a pin of your property as well as useful businesses nearby. Users can also drop down to see a list of these featured businesses, allowing them to envision a life of convenience with their favorite stores and restaurants nearby.
Custom FAQs page
Our frequently asked questions (FAQ) pages are a perfect opportunity to rank higher on search engines with Google’s new helpful content system. With a simple list of common questions and their direct answers, this new feature can tell Google that your website is great at providing helpful information.
Plus, this page is useful to aspiring renters. The FAQ page serves as a quick and easy way for users to get answers that they would have to otherwise read pages of information to find.
FAQ pages are available for all RentCafe websites. If you’re a REACH client on the RentCaffeine platform, our team can help you create a crawlable FAQ page.
Floor plan assistant
Our floor plan assistant is a feature that shows up as a tab on either the left or right side of your website. It promotes conversions by simplifying the search journey for your prospects.
REACH Manager Nicole Landfried states that the floor plan assistant “helps narrow the path for prospects to help them decide what to do. It also gamifies the floor plan selection. Prospects become invested in finding out the result, and the selections are simple so they can tap through quickly. The end result is more leads and more time spent on your website.”
Our data shows that clients can potentially see a 129% increase in leads after adding the floor plan assistant.
Plus, since the floor plan assistant is shown as a tab on the side of your site instead of popping up as a nudge, it’s less likely to bother users or impede the flow of your website.
Test the user experience
So, you’ve redesigned your website, written new content and added new features. What’s next?
The last step we recommend when prepping your website for leasing season is to test out your website.
Pretend you’re a prospect who has never heard of your property or has never been to your website. Check it out with fresh eyes. Does the design look appealing? Is the site easy to navigate? What do you click on first? Is helpful information easy to find? Which features do you find useful?
Once you’ve clicked all the buttons, scanned every page and engaged with every feature, you can apply any changes to make sure your prospects’ journeys are as easy and seamless as possible. Then, finally, you can let out a sigh of relief and find comfort in knowing that your website won’t hinder your occupancy rates this season.
Want more property website tips? Schedule a free 15-minute consultation with one of our experts.
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