How to Turn Your Apartment's Website Into a Conversion Machine
by McKenna Hogan, on Sep 3, 2019, 9:00:00 AM
Get this: research has shown that only a quarter of leads are actually sales-ready, while the other 75% often become dead ends. So how in the world are multifamily marketers supposed to maximize the amount of marketing qualified leads?
Historically speaking, data has been used. Also historically speaking, it has not been used well - the main reason being not having the right solutions. This often results in directionless outreach methods by marketing and sales.
Bombarding potential leads with unrelated ads, emails, and phone calls is a good example of marketing without direction. However, there is a way to utilize data in a way that caters to targeting rental leads.
Corinne McGinley from HubSpot explains the overwhelming benefits of behavioral marketing. This strategic way of interpreting consumer behavior makes it completely possible to turn your apartment’s website into a machine that improves inquiry to tour conversions and ultimately increases occupancy.
Data will still be necessary
The main goal of behavioral marketing is to provide relevant content to past consumers and potential leads. This means finding out what their interests are, where they’re located, and what behaviors they are typically involved in online.
Luckily, solutions like HubSpot, WordPress and Hootsuite have the capabilities to measure engagement, geolocation, and behavior connected to published content and emails from your site.
In addition to consumer behavior, you’ll want to track market behavior as well. Specifically those in direct competition. This will be necessary to maintain visibility as well as provide better insight into market trends.
There are plenty of analytic-driven software out there, like RealPage, that can assist in accumulating data on resident screening, business intelligence, analytics, and benchmarking.
However, everyone is completely capable of analyzing outside research, so don’t feel the need to outsource.
Start by identifying valuable content
Let’s face it, we no longer live in a time where open houses with attentive, on property real estate agents are a norm.
In fact, by 2020, 85% of the consumer’s experience with a company will include zero human interaction. So how can apartment communities create that same in-person experience all online?
Blog posts and e-books are excellent sources of content for a site, and apartment websites should provide them. Having informative and interesting resources can act as a digital leasing agent. On top of that, they are highly effective when properly positioned.
But we’ll do you one better: consider immersive digital content.
Boosting interest almost immediately, digital tools like videos and interactive content statistically steal the show when it comes to website interaction. Especially in real estate where everything is very visual, utilizing these kinds of tools (virtual tours, VR, photography) can create memorable experiences for your hyper-connected audience.
In addition, if it’s done correctly, a virtual tour, video, or photorealistic rendering can provide almost all of the information a renter needs to make a decision on whether or not to inquire further. These types of content are incredibly powerful for converting users with calls to action that guide them to a form fill.
So focus on this quality content, then make room for direct inquiries.
Strategize website design
Let’s talk about the benefits of a call to action.
Sure, everyone has probably been exposed to one, but guess why? It’s because it’s one of the easiest ways to indirectly ask if someone is interested.
Sounds easy right?
Here’s the thing, we don’t want them to be effortlessly scattered across a website or advertisement for no reason. We want them strategically placed right by that valuable content mentioned above, and we want them to provide a relevant offer.
The format of a CTA should be as simple and obvious as possible. A few examples would be links embedded to content stating “schedule a tour” or “apply now.” As you can see in this example of a virtual tour with a CTA in plain sight. Make sure your CTAs are aligned with the goal of your website. For instance, many renters aren’t ready to apply from the homepage of your site. In most cases, they’re still in the discovery/research phase. Consider something like “schedule a tour” and further into your website, you may want to test “apply now.”
Potential renters will immediately be presented with a choice to either: 1. Be led to some type of content offer, or 2. Ignore it and log off.
Based on that decision, a CTA has the opportunity to gather information about that lead that will allow sales and marketing to reach out and send relevant information. Which brings us to our next topic, a landing page.
What will a landing page do?
A landing page is going to immediately present a potential renter an offer - whether that’s some sort of resource, an answer to their inquiry or scheduling an in-person tour. By filling out a few simple fields like name and email address, that individual is giving their permission to receive more content, allowing you to re-market to them through email campaigns for discounts or offers.
Landing pages and CTAs are most effective when they’re strategically placed at the bottom of blogs, next to digital content, or in a way that makes it appear as a response to the consumer’s pending question. That way it will seem like a natural response.
A strategically built landing page is one of the easiest ways to utilize consumer behavior and turn your apartment’s website into a conversion machine.
Lastly, provide an open channel of communication
The whole point of this process is to convert leads into lessees, right?
So after potential renters show interest, there’s a good chance they’ll somehow inquire about your business. This could happen via live chat, phone call, or, of course, content offers (think: packing checklists, local area guides, etc).
In fact, Conversion Logix states that chat bots have actually converted over 80% of their multifamily prospects into leads.
Why are people so attracted to them? For the same reason they are attracted to interactive content. It takes the entire renting process - which can be physically and mentally exhausting - and turns it into an easy informative 24 hour open house.
According to Conversion Logix, “When a prospect chats with our live chat team, they feel like the service is designed to help them, rather than sell them. Ironically, this converse over convert emphasis actually leads to more conversions.”
A huge part of behavioral marketing is providing relevant information to your audience, and chatbots are the literal representation of just that.
Keep it Subtle But Smart
Listen, visibility is absolutely crucial for generating leads. But constantly bombarding people with random information will either make you invisible or scare people away. The best way to give people what they want is by letting them inadvertently drive their own experience. Let them take control of their decisions.
Food for thought: there was a 56.68% increase in open rates and a 147% increase in click through rates according to an interest based nurturing track. Strategizing your website to naturally take inquiring leads through the sales cycle will turn your apartment’s website into a pretty powerful conversion machine.
Want to convert more rental leads? For more information on powerful multifamily content, click here.