Apartment Locator Website Tips
The sole purpose of a locating website is to make money by generating leads. The buyer's psychology that drives website visitors to fill out a lead form is complex and has changed over the years. People are very protective over their contact information. Your website must convey trust, credibility, and professionalism. Research shows you have about 10 seconds to communicate all of this when they click on your home page.
Here are the tips I give to apartment locators to increase online leads. Some are obvious, and some are more mysterious, but they all play a role in your success.
- Buy - Don't Rent: There are several built-it-yourself website platforms and real estate website builders with low cost monthly fee's. There is nothing wrong with using one of these builders to do it yourself, but keep in mind you are renting your website - you don't own it. You will have to pay the monthly fee forever, and some don't allow custom programming so integrating with other systems that automate emails or follow up tools isn't possible. To do this later, you will have to build your site again because these platforms don't allow you to move the content. In most cases you will lose SEO when you start over so the move could be costly. When you purchase our custom apartment locating WordPress website, you own it, and as an Apartment IDX client we host it for free. If you cancel your Apartment IDX service, we can continue to host it for a fee or we will move it to another host for free. We want to contribute to your long term vision by helping you build your website with a platform you can add-on too indefinitely.
- Apartment Search: Your website should solve a problem from your clients perspective. Think of your website as an e-commerce site that sells apartment leases. Insurance websites must provide online quotes, and hotel websites must show the cost of a room. An apartment locating website must show pricing and availability. We designed our Apartment IDX so locators can add pricing and availability to their website easily.
- Content: Your website content needs to be convincing. Some renters don't know what a locator does, or they have already decided they don't want to use a locator, or they think finding an apartment is easy so a locating service is unnecessary. Your content needs to inform, educate, and convince. It also needs to be unique so your service doesn't sound like every other apartment locating website.
- Update Frequently: Your content needs to be updated monthly. When the Google spider reads your website, it records the date the information was last updated. When it comes back and the date is the same, it records how old your content. Your website shouldn't read like a resume. The majority of your content should focus on solving a problem for your client.
- Technical Stuff: According to Google, mobile responsive with a secure SSL certificate is the minimum standard. 40% of website traffic comes from mobile devices, so your site should resize automatically to any device (don't maintain separate versions). Your domain name should be easy to share, easy to spell, and easy to repeat. It should deliver information the way your website visitors prefer considering many people don't like talking on the phone.
- Lead Capture On Every Page: Every page of your website should have a lead capture form and it should be easy to fill out. Research proves asking too many questions too quickly will deter people from filling it out. Your forms need to be linked to an auto-responder and a email drip marketing campaign for at least 4-6 weeks. Lead forms will also track your lead sources and tell you where to spend your advertising dollars. *Our lead forms come with a custom auto-responder from you not us (less spam).
- Social Media: Google is transparent about the importance of social signals. Adding fresh content to your social media pages each week is the easiest way to drive traffic to your website. All it takes is creative taglines that get people to click. The clicks create an audience, and the audience generates leads. Adding followers every week is a simple task, you don't even have to ask their permission. Find people to follow, and usually they will follow you back. It doesn't matter if they are moving or not, they probably know someone who is. *Our social media poster can schedule up to 100 posts at once.
- Measure Results: Your goal doesn't have to be page one of Google. It can be 10 more leads this month than last month. However, you need to know your position on Google compared to other apartment locating websites. How often do you read your Google Analytics report? Which pages get the most engagement? Unless you spend time each month evaluating your position and results, you can't improve your results consistently.
- Advertise: Lastly, you need to advertise your website. Paid or free marketing...social or drip email campaigns...you need to decide where your audience is and get in front of them on a regular basis. Your website is a billboard in the desert that no one see's until you drive them there.