Virtual Apartment Tours, Interactions, & First Impressions
Apartment communities are always more than happy when they see a new contact form gets submitted. But, a new text field has become more and more important in gathering data for your marketing team.
“How did you find us?”
From drop-down menus, free response, and multiple choice–I’m now having unwanted flashbacks of exams in college and high school–these options are one click away from a marketing team getting incredible feedback from how new residents and potential residents are finding their way to learning about your apartment community. While in the past, lots of apartment discovery was based on seeing an apartment in passing or asking around, a large part of the market is much more easily discovered online. Online discovery of apartments is now far more important for a marketing team than in-person discovery. Here’s why!
1. Online search is now a first thought
In 2015, which is now 7 years ago I might add, Apartments.com found that 72% of renters generally turn to the internet when first starting to look for an apartment. This is followed by 71% who agree that they relied on the internet for their apartment searching needs now more than three years ago, and 71% consider the internet to be the most up-to-date source for apartment availability.
Obviously, this was 7 years ago so you can expect this number to have increased dramatically because of better software, more easy user experience when contacting an apartment, and apartments beginning to put greater importance on the look and feel of their website.
2. 24/7 Apartment Info Online
Modern websites are now equipped with photos, videos, floor plans, virtual tours, lists of amenities, pricing, availability, and everything else you can imagine. Potential renters have the ability to view everything about your community online any time of the day when it’s convenient to them. After this step is split. Some renters are more comfortable signing a lease to an apartment without ever seeing it in person, and some need that one more check.
3. If they don’t like it online, they won’t sign a lease
Your apartment communities’ online presence will almost always be the first impression a potential renter has. Not a conversation with a leasing agent or peaking over the fence at the pool. So, if a potential renter’s first online impression is “meh” then say goodbye.
All this to say, an apartment communities’ website is now and for the near future will be the most important first impression. Equipping it with powerful tools and beautiful photos and videos will make or break starting an in-person conversation.