7 Ways to Convert Residents with Your Website
By Donald Davidoff, D2 Demand Solutions
Go beyond providing information about the apartment homes and community.
We’re heading into the high season now. This is a time when we typically get plenty of leads, so I thought I’d take time this month to talk about how marketing can help during the “lead consideration” phase of a prospective resident’s buying journey, rather than the “lead generation” phase we marketers tend to focus much of our energy upon.
Here are seven capabilities I recommend for all community websites that will help you convert more prospective residents by helping them during their “consideration” phase:
Pictures and video
We all know that both are important to help in lead generation, and they are equally important for the consideration phase. They help prospects visualize what to expect before they tour, and they are particularly helpful post-tour. It’s not unusual for apartment seekers to take several tours in a short period of time. The result is that these tours mesh together, making it hard for prospects to remember exactly what they saw. Pictures and video allow them to reflect on what was presented to them after their visit and make sure they are matching their memories to the correct community.
Information on apartment homes, community and neighborhood.
It may seem obvious that you need information such as this on the website, but is that information complete?
- Do you have accurate square footages, prices, and availability of units? Do you have floorplans? How about interior pictures?
- Do you have a site map of the entire community? How about specific information (maybe even specific landing pages) for each community amenity?
- Lastly, is your site rich in content related to the surrounding neighborhood? Many websites have a lot of information on its apartment homes and the property but neglect the overall neighborhood. I recommend a map feature that allows prospects to see local attractions. It’s also a good idea to highlight other relevant features (walk scores, local cultural events, sports facilities, parks, restaurants, etc.)
Prospects are going to find reviews anyway, so why not serve them up? Make it easy for prospects to understand how other residents feel about the community and see how the onsite staff responds to comments -- both the positive and negative ones.
A “sharing” function
Research on the prospect buying journey has shown that a significant percentage of prospects look for affirmation from friends or relatives. So, make it easier for them to share information, pictures, floorplans and availability with their friends and relatives.
Help with tips for moving
Prospects aren’t just considering their new home; they’re considering the entire moving process. Helping them with the latter is not only courteous, it establishes a tone conveying your standards of service. A few examples: Moving checklists, lists of local moving companies and information on resources you can provide for moving (e.g. if you have dollies they borrow, rules for reserving elevators to move in, etc.)
Searching for a new home and making the decision can be overwhelming. There’s so much information about so many different options. Help your prospective residents make sound decisions by allowing them to compare options on your website. Let them stack up floorplans and unit stats side-by-side, so they can easily understand differences and make the choice that is best for them.
Quick answers to questions.
Prospects are sure to have many questions. So, make it easy for them to gets answers with FAQ sheets, chat features and click-to-call.
Lead generation is certainly a critical marketing function, but don’t spend so much time on it that you neglect the lead consideration phase. Implement the seven recommendations above, and you’ll go a long way toward making your website a true resource for your prospective residents!