The goal of your apartment website should be to make it easy for prospects and customers to interact with your community. For customers, this is pretty easy: Make it easy for them to pay rent and submit maintenance requests. For prospects, this is a bit more involved.
Think of all the things you’d want to know about a community while apartment shopping. All of that should be on the website—video and photos of each floorplan, amenities information, rental rates, pet policy, etc. Making it easy for prospects to find desired information is one aspect of making it easy for them to rent from you.
But you can do more than that.
You can also use your website to actually make it easy for prospects to schedule a tour.
At a minimum, your leasing office number should be prominently displayed on every page of your community website. On the mobile version, you can simply add a push-to-call button.
You can now also schedule tours online without ever needing to talk to a prospect on the phone. If you are a RentVision client, we have this functionality built into our websites. Read our post about the Request an Appointment tool from our client support center to learn how it works.
Why is this a big deal? In online marketing we use a concept called “friction” to talk about the level of difficulty it takes for a prospective customer to complete different tasks. The more steps you ask them to fulfill and the more difficult those steps are, the less likely the prospect is to become a paying customer. So a huge part of successful marketing and website design is understanding and minimizing friction.
There are other benefits that come from using this kind of tool to schedule showings.
More Inbound Leads
It’s simple: When you make a task easier to do, more people can do it. So when you make it easier to book a tour of an apartment in your community, you are likely going to see more people sign up for tours.
There are, of course, reasons to be cautious here: “More leads” doesn’t always solve all your problems. You care about quality leads, not just quantity of leads. That being said, leads from the appointment scheduler should often be comparable in quality to any other lead you get on your website. Some strategies tend to inflate your lead count by adding lots of low quality leads. That is unlikely to happen with the appointment scheduling tool.
This is directly related to the issue of friction. Removing friction helps your bottom line, but it also improves the prospect’s experience. If you have a large number of prospects who hate using the phone and you make it possible for them to book a tour without using the phone, you have helped your community. But you’ve also helped the prospect. They no longer have to do something they dislike because of how you designed your website. It’s a relatively small thing in the big picture, but it’s a small thing that can reduce friction and improve a person’s shopping experience.