As would be expected, more than 80% of renters begin their search online. Renters want the convenience and ease of gathering information about an apartment community without the hassle or time it requires to contact a leasing office. How can all of this information help a property owner or manager? Since they are coming to your website for searching, utilize the opportunity to capture as much data as possible so as to personalize the prospective renter’s experience and provide superior customer service.
For instance, did you know that laundry is the most in-demand apartment feature with 3 out of 4 prospects preferring a unit with a washer and dryer? This is according to the 2019 PERQ Multifamily Field Guide which analyzes data collected from consumers on property websites. Close seconds include modern appliances and walk-in closets as renters’ favorites followed closely by balconies and then wood floors. Wrapping up the list of top amenities renters seek would be dishwashers.
Of course, budget and location are always the number one deciding factors for the final decision, but it has been found that spaces with a renter’s top amenities become a reflection of who they are and they want the social aspect of what that brings. One obvious amenity in this field would be cable. With the amount of online streaming services and technology advances for internet, TV and sports broadcasts, many renters require internet if not cable access.
Poor parking situations can incite resident dissatisfaction with paying renters battling visitors for preferred spots in overcrowded parking lots which puts parking as another important amenity to prospects. Covered parking is preferred, and an additional parking space is always great incentive for prospective renters.
Pets also placed high on the list of renter priorities. Are you in a dog-friendly area? Twice as many pet owners have a dog versus other types of animals. To serve those furry family members, many properties offer amenities like dog-wash stations, conveniently placed poop bag disposal, and even doggie spas. Dog parks and dog runs have become standard at many apartment properties.
Make full use of this personalized data by empowering leasing specialists to connect with prospects on a personal level, using what has been learned from the online search to highlight the prospect’s preferred amenities and focus on popular community features when giving tours. In addition to enhancing customer service and learning about individual needs of prospective renters, consumer data on a property website can be used to improve digital marketing success and boost search engine optimization. All of these advantages aid to attract more ideal renters who first search online before an actual in-person visit at a more reduced expense because of the details collected and the target audience more fine-tuned for digital marketing outreach.
Another opportunity to utilize the data collected from prospective renters is by using the data to highlight the priorities both online and in print materials such as rearranging the website photo gallery and adjusting social media accounts to highlight the stainless-steel appliances and granite countertops before other community amenity photos if found that those are top priorities.
The data gathered on your website helps to be more personable and tailor responses in email or on the phone to the prospective renters’ wants. Don’t just send a cookie-cutter response telling the prospect something they already know. They’ve already been to your website, you KNOW what they want…use it to your advantage!