Ahh the World Wide Web and Websites. The home of just about anything that anyone wants to know about anything. It’s pretty safe to say that the internet and websites hold a pretty strong influence on you and me. From videos we watch on YouTube, reading the news from our phones, the 13 year olds on Tik Tok that make more money than I do as a college graduate in a corporate job, and don’t forget about advertisements. Just yesterday I bought a new drink I had never seen before at the grocery store, walked back to my car, opened Instagram and saw an ad for it…@Al Gore please explain the internet to me. Nonetheless, let’s focus on the influence of websites in our industry.
Creating an influential design on an apartment website is one of the most important things a property management company can do to market a property. The perfect balance of influence makes a prospective resident on your website feel impressed, welcomed and eager to keep clicking through. I’ve narrowed down what an influential website does for a prospective resident to three things: impresses a prospect before seeing the property in person, gives all the resources needed within a couple clicks, and encourages a prospect to take action.
Before we dive into these three influential pieces, we have to understand what elements make a website influential. A couple weeks ago we wrote a blog about the 5 best tools for your apartment website.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- AI Chatbot
- Purposeful Visuals
- Call to Action (CTA)
These are just a few of the most important elements that work into a website design as a whole, but certainly not everything. The main idea is that all these elements, including the ones above, should work together to satisfy the three pieces that influence prospective residents. Think of it like The 3 Stooges. Larry, Moe and Curly all use script writing, acting, costume design, set design, improv and wit in their comedy, and their three influences make comedy and comedy makes us laugh. Just two of their influences doesn’t do the trick, it has to be all three.
Impresses a Prospect Before Seeing in Person
If a prospect doesn’t like what they see online, they aren’t going to take the time to schedule a tour. Photos, video, listed amenities are all website elements that beautify your website. Investing in a high-quality photographer or videographer can make your property look next level. Strategy is also important here. People don’t want to sift through 200 pictures of the same thing from different angles and watch a 20 minute video about why they should rent an apartment at your property. Keep it short and to the point.
User Interface and User Experience are the two background pieces that make or break a website. You can have a pretty website but if it sucks to navigate, prospects have all the more reason to stop clicking around. All this to say, if you don’t have your stuff together online, then you more than likely don’t have your stuff together on the property. Prospects will take one look, and in the words of the great American Idol host, Randy Jackson, say, “It’s a no for me dawg”.
Give All the Resources Needed Within a Couple Clicks
A proper apartment website should have no shortage of information to show everything a prospect needs to see before talking to a leasing agent. Things like floor plans, photos of the property, list of amenities, contact information, AI chatbot to get questions answered. If you present all this information at once in a simple way that is easy to find, a prospect should have no questions by the time they close out of your website. A property website should do everything for a prospective resident besides handing over the keys.
Encourages to Take Action
Action! Comes in many ways for a prospect…getting in contact, scheduling a tour, or the best one, getting that John Hancock on a lease. If you’re a fan of baseball, getting a prospect to sign a lease feels like how Francisco Lindor feels signing a 10-year $341 million deal with the Mets…well almost. At this point on a website, you have done everything you can do to feed the necessary information a prospect needs. They say, “I like what I see, but what should I do next?”. This is where Call to Actions (CTA) come in. Visit Today! Apply Here! View our Floor plans! Schedule a Tour! Call to actions give hints of what a prospective resident should do as they complete looking around your website. Make them easy to find and easy to click on.
Creating an influential website can seem like a daunting task, but once you strike gold on the perfect balance of creative elements and encouragement, you’ll have every prospect in your back pocket.