3 ideas for upgrading your apartment marketing tech stack

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The role of an apartment marketer during a vacancy crisis is clear: generate as much traffic as possible to their community's website and leasing office in order to increase occupancy. But what exactly should apartment marketers work on when occupancy is strong?

Believe it or not, the focus should still be on increasing occupancy—by working towards decreasing the average amount of vacant days between residents. This means taking advantage during prolonged periods of high occupancy to invest in walkthrough video tours, floorplan-specific content, and their website's mobile platform, as each of these marketing tools work towards shortening the timeline between one resident moving out and a new one moving in at their communities.

Doing so will not only minimize lost rent accrued from unnecessary days of vacancy, but also better equip communities to withstand future changes in overall demand and maintain strong occupancy.

Investment No. 1: Walkthrough Video Tours

One of the forgotten challenges for apartment communities experiencing stable occupancy is not having units available for in-person showings. This problem can slow down (or even put an end to) the leasing journey for prospective residents interested in that community because they don't feel comfortable signing a lease without actually seeing the inside of a unit.

So how do you overcome this problem and pre-lease occupied units without in-person showings conducted by leasing agents? The answer is simple. Ensure that you have high quality walkthrough video tours on your apartment community's website. They allow you to give a perfect showing of your floorplans—regardless of vacancy status—to thousands of people, 24/7/365.

Walkthrough video tours have become an expectation for apartment shoppers. This is because they want to be able to see the inside of units, and doing so from the comfort of their own couch is a convenience that weighs favorably for your apartments during their decision-making process. Having a walkthrough video tour helps you when you’re unable to show a particular unit, too, by giving confidence to a prospective resident that the unit they will be renting looks nice and fits their own unique needs.

Without walkthrough video tours, an apartment community’s website will fail to engage with prospects and could lose out on a significant amount of leads. Investing in professionally produced walkthrough video tours and making them a prominent feature for the end user would dramatically improve your marketing presence, leasing performance, and number of days between residents.

Investment No. 2: Floorplan-Specific Content

Apartment marketers are intuitively aware of the importance of having beautiful media content featured on their websites. A common issue that we've observed with many apartment websites, however, is that the media content and other relevant information isn't presented in an organized or helpful fashion.

For example, on one page of a website you’ll often see a bunch of two-dimensional diagrams of floorplans. You might see rental prices and, if you’re lucky, some availability. You won’t see floorplan-specific photos or walkthrough video tours presented.

Instead, a common website feature we come across is a separate page titled “gallery”, or something similar, where photos of the various units and amenities are all clumped together. While their intent is to attract and delight prospective residents with beautiful photos of the property, these gallery pages actually create more confusion. There is no way to tell if every floorplan is represented. This will lead prospective residents to wonder, “Do any of the photos match the unit I’m interested in leasing?”

Imagine if you were looking to buy a house, and the real estate agent only had photos of the exterior, as well as photos of the nearby community pool, dog park, and maybe one of the patio and firepit in the backyard. You’d be understandably frustrated because, ultimately, you’re most interested in the inside of the home.

This is why floorplan-specific content is a far better, more effective option. When prospective residents are able to go to a dedicated page for an individual floorplan and see photos and a walkthrough video tour, as well as specified amenities, pricing, availability, a floorplan diagram, and other relevant information, it gives them an accurate and clear assessment of your apartments. This develops confidence in their decision to move forward with a lease, without needing to visit your apartments or leasing office personally.

Investment No. 3: Mobile Platform

Apartment shoppers have turned to using their cell phones during their searches, and our own data confirms this: 70% of all traffic to our clients’ community websites originate from mobile users.

This means that websites should actually be designed with a mobile-first mentality, as that is where a majority of prospective residents will engage with an apartment community. The experience of a desktop site should translate seamlessly to mobile, and still be easy for users to gather all the information they need on their phone to rent an apartment. 


Video: Mobile version of an apartment community website
built by RentVision.

The evidence is clear that an apartment community’s website must be optimized for mobile devices, and investing in the improvement of your mobile presence while occupancy is stable will be critical for when demand changes.

For more ideas like these, be sure to download and read our ebook
How To Manage Your Apartments When Occupancy Is Strong
by completing the form below.

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