Multifamily property Managers: are you happy with your current occupancy rate?
If you are, that is great! You probably don’t need to change any of your marketing tactics, but if you are thinking you need to sign a few more leases and get new residents into your unoccupied units, you may be thinking about increasing your advertising spend in paid channels or signing up with another ILS to attract potential renters to your property.
Spending more on paid ads and other paid mediums is a great way to boost visibility and attract new visitors to your website, but have you considered the potential that lies in your current website and organic SEO efforts? Is your website ready to convert visitors into scheduled tours, new guest cards, phone inquiries, or even new residents? Let’s look at efficient ways to increase organic conversion rates and maximize your lead potential from one of the most valuable assets you have online -- your website.
Making certain improvements to your website can have an impact on the amount of leads you capture. First, let’s answer a few frequently asked questions about leads and conversion rate, then we’ll find out what design elements work best for a site that wants to maximize conversions!
Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is the systematic process of increasing the percentage of website visitors who take a desired action — be that filling out a form, becoming customers, or otherwise. The CRO process involves understanding how users move through your site, what actions they take, and what's stopping them from completing your goals. (source: Moz)
Ideally, for apartment websites we want to make it the easiest thing in the world for the visitor to convert. We don’t want it to be hard or difficult for a prospective renter to find information or to get answers to questions they might have.
Organic conversions are those that come from traffic generated from search engines rather than a paid ad or listing. Examples of actions considered conversions on an apartment industry website include:
Requesting of information via a contact form
Scheduling an in-person tour
Signing up for a virtual tour with a leasing agent
Filling out a lease application online
Click-to-call on mobile devices or calls to the property using the phone number listed on the website
Online guest cards
Micro-conversions can also be considered an important metric to track. Micro conversions are secondary steps or actions taken on a website that indicate a person may convert in the near future.
Examples of Micro-conversions on an apartment website include:
Signing up for an email list
Downloading an eBrochure or other online asset
Watching a video tour or other highly relevant video relating to an available apartments with the property
Time spent on site or on specific pages like the floor plans pages or leasing specials page
On-page social shares of blog posts and other media
Real Estate websites see an average conversion rate of 4.8% (source: Wordstream)
Compare that to a study conducted in 2020 by Invesp that found that the average conversion rate of e-commerce websites in the United States is 2.63% as compared to a conversion rate of 4.31% globally. We typically see that website conversion rates have quite a bit of variance depending on the industry and business model. For instance car and motorcycle e-commerce sites see conversion rate benchmarks around 1.55% while visit-to-lead conversion rates for necessary home services like HVAC and plumbing tend to exceed 15% or more. (source: Blue Corona) The reasoning behind such a huge difference is urgency. Usually, when you need an HVAC specialist, a plumber, or other home care professional, you need them because something very vital has stopped working. With apartment hunting, there can be urgency (my lease expires in x days and I NEED to find a new place ASAP), but usually renters begin their hunt for a new place months in advance and have time to compare options.
It usually varies by influencing factors such as seasonality, metro location, and amenities or specials offered, but Digible has seen apartment websites convert at an average rate of 2.5% visit-to-lead as a call or form fill.
Now that we’ve answered your most burning questions about converting traffic on your website, let’s find out how to generate better results from your existing traffic sources, and expand on your current number of organic leads.
Conversion Rate Optimization can enhance results with the traffic you’re already getting on your website. This makes it a no-brainer option and often preferable to spending additional money on paid ads and other forms of digital marketing. You can easily generate more leads by simply improving various aspects of your website and the overall user experience.
Place a Phone Number on EVERY Page - Make it highly visible and stand out! Make it super easy for site visitors to pick up their phones and call you. NEVER MAKE A VISITOR SEARCH FOR YOUR PHONE NUMBER. EVER! Sorry to yell, but it’s frustrating as a user to have to scroll and search for something as simple as a phone number. If someone has to work at contacting you, there is a higher chance you will lose that lead because they can’t simply find a way to call.
Place the Property Address on Every Page - Don’t make your visitors guess where your property is located. Make it highly visible and stand out! Oftentimes people are comparing numerous properties in an area and you always want them to associate your great amenities and floor plans with YOUR property. Make sure that address is quick and easy to find. Search engines love this too! ** PRO TIP: It’s even more impactful if the address links to your claimed Google My Business map page.
Implement Strong Calls to Action (CTAs) - Clearly state the intention of what you want the visitor to do. Make sure the request sticks out visually and captures attention. Don’t confuse people by giving them too many options. And above all, make sure your links work! Nothing is worse than clicking on an Apply Now link or a click-to-call link and nothing happens. Here are some CTA examples:
Schedule a Tour
Sign Up for Our Mailing List
Attend Our Event
Download Our eBrochure
Request More Information
These are quick ways you can help capture more conversions immediately. While these tactics may seem simple in practice, we see the large majority of apartment websites fail to check off all the items above. And this is by no means a full or exhaustive list of items that can get your conversions flowing. If you’d like to know more you can download Digible’s CRO Best Practices for Multifamily Websites below to learn about best ways to implement reviews and testimonials, contact form best practices, and the benefits of creating a sense of urgency to attract attention to your available units.
Digible is always available to answer questions about conversion rate optimization on your website, or questions about any digital marketing need. Please reach out to us and one of our knowledgeable staff will be happy to lend a hand. By focusing on the changes listed above, you will start to see more leads from your digital marketing efforts in no time.