Despite the across-the-board increase in renewals, savvy property firms are always looking to improve their lead-to-tenant conversion rate. And, often the first place to start is your website. Here are a few simple strategies to increase your website traffic, generate qualified leads and fill your available units.
Bridge the Marketing/Leasing Gap
Too many times marketing works independent of sales/leasing. These efforts need to be coordinated. A good marketing strategy lays the groundwork for the leasing team. Cross-department meetings and feedback on what is and what isn’t working enables to marketing team to constantly adjust and tweak to optimize their ads. And, it enables the leasing team to understand where their leads are being generated.
It’s Not a Brochure. It’s a Lead Engine.
How many times have you heard people in the industry refer to setting up a “brochure site”? That misses the point completely. It’s not just a brochure with photos and some info, it pulls in prospective tenants and converts them into leasing-ready leads. Does the copy sing and entice the prospect? Do the photos show not only the property, but help depict a lifestyle and community? Is there a way to get more details via email or text message? Is there a strong call-to-action? Is there a plan in place to nurture leads that many not be ready to sign just yet? Approach your website as an active sales funnel.
Lower the Commitment Level
The vast amount of property websites have a call-to-action to “Apply Now” or “Inquire Now.” Let’s face it, most people are not ready to commit to a lease without seeing the property. Some marketing professionals recommend not posting 3-D virtual tours, but instead having a call-to-action to “Take a Virtual Tour.” This opportunity allows leasing agents to share a screen and walk them through the amenities, helping prospects get a sense of the gym, lobby, common spaces. That’s when you can direct them to a place on the website to apply.
Think Keywords, Keywords, Keywords
While content is only one factor in SEO, it’s one that is completely under your control. While words like “space” or “environment” can be alluring, don’t forget to use words that people use when searching. Work in the word “apartment” as well as the type or the number of bedrooms (bachelor apartment, studio apartment, two-bedroom apartment, etc.) Location keywords are extremely important. Don’t forget to integrate not only the city name, but the neighbourhood. (e.g. “In the heart of Toronto’s sought-after Corktown district…”)
Did you know over 90% of the people who visit your website aren’t ready to commit? But here’s the thing. Your website’s job isn’t to get people to rent, it’s job is to move them further along the funnel – to fill out a form to get more information, see a virtual tour, or when things get back to normal, visit the property. But to do this, you need to build a sense of urgency.
Most people looking for an apartment have a month or two to look, so they aren’t in a huge hurry and want to find the best apartment at the best price. So, it’s your job to convince them that your apartment is “THE ONE.”
What specially would motivate them to lease quickly? Some websites offer a discount offer – e.g. “Move in before July 31, and get $200 off.”
Many property firms create weekly hot lists, rather than show all availabilities. On the hot list, the supply will reflect two or three apartments of each unit type. This keeps the leasing team focused on filling these vacancies first.
How Property Vista Helps
Our web-based software facilitates 24/7 lead nurturing, by automating your property listings and allowing prospective tenants to make an inquiry as well as view the property rental description, get neighbourhood info and arrange a showing. It includes online applications, automated screening and digital leases. Automating the leasing cycle keeps your company ahead of the curve, puts a stop to time-consuming paperwork and, ultimately, puts you ahead of the competition. If you are looking to improve automation across your property management business, check out our pricing here and contact us for a demo.