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Love at First Site-Why Websites are the Most Important First Impression

In this online day and age, almost all potential renters will view a property’s website before seeing it in person. According to the NMHC Resident Preference Report, that number is 85%. When the vast majority of apartment seekers rely on your site to decide whether to schedule a tour or cross your community off their list, you can’t afford a web design straight out of the mid-2000s. An easy to use user-interface, beautiful photos, plenty of information about amenities and the surrounding area can go a long way for a potential resident.


Show off with the visuals

According to the NMHC survey, 88% of residents said they’d view photos of apartment models and amenities during their next apartment search, and 81% wanted to watch videos of the property. It’s vital to put your best foot forward when so many potential customers rely on visual information to make their renting decisions. Make sure you include a variety of high-quality photos showing off the property with a variety of angles, engaging colors and exciting composition. Photos of individual units and amenities are also essential. Capture all your most essential apartment features, any exciting views, and residents enjoying features like the pool or gym. 

Don’t neglect videos either – they provide a chance to engage website visitors and give a better feel of what life is like in your community. Without great images and well-produced videos, you could lose out on prospective clients. 

An illustration of a resident on a laptop searching different amenities on an apartment website.

Map it Out

93% of apartment residents said they planned on viewing floor plans and 79% said they would use 3D floor plans in their next apartment search. Showing off your floor plans not only allows prospects to see if a unit is viable for them, but also encourages renters to envision themselves in a space. Engaging creativity in a home by seeing measurements, imagining furniture placement and getting a feel of the flow of the unit can decide whether the apartment feels like home.

Floor plans are also a powerful tool that should be part of your arsenal. 81% of respondents wanted to view a map of the community before renting. This makes sense, especially given the importance of shared spaces, amenities, and community features. Be sure to include plenty of information on the layout of the community as a whole, not just individual rooms. Helping customers get a feel for the apartment environment will mean they’re more likely to want to see your property in person.

Website interface shown with different orientations on three different smart phones.

Focus on mobile

Optimizing your site for mobile isn’t optional – it’s essential. 92% of those surveyed said they used a smartphone either primarily or some of the time during their apartment hunt. That marks a ten percent increase since the last poll in 2017, and that trend is unlikely to change any time soon. Be sure smartphone and tablet users can access website features like photos, videos, floor plans, and chatbots. Compatibility with mobile browsers is no longer a nice add-on, and treating it as an afterthought could cost you a massive share of potential customers. Additionally, Google uses mobile rather than desktop sites to rank results . Make sure your website is mobile-friendly and design-forward so prospects can find all the essential information you have to offer. That way, customers book tours and sign leases.