The apartment rental market is a $133 billion industry, with positive growth spurred on by low numbers of home purchases and an economy that is slowly trying to recover.
These circumstances are perfect for property owners who have rental apartments and homes.
While the market is booming, you may find yourself with vacancies if your web site does not provide the information that your potential tenants are looking for, is hard to navigate, or does not reflect favorably on your company.
Keep it Simple
Don’t load your website down with countless bells and whistles.
Instead, keep the layout standardized and simple, making sure that it’s easy to get to all of the different sections of the site. Include information about the neighborhood the apartments are in, apartment complex details, pictures of the actual apartments, and resource links to utility companies.
You might be tempted to have a Flash intro and a long winded message about what drove you into the rental business, but most tenants simply want to know what you’re offering, and how much it’s going to cost.
Integrate Tenant Screening
Tenant screening is a necessity to avoid bad tenants who could damage your property or don’t pay up.
However, you may cringe at the thought of adding more costs to the rental process. But an Apartment Association can offer free tenant screening to their members, taking a bit of the cost pain out of your business expenditures. Integrate tenant screening into your application form and automatically sending the tenant data through a secure connection to the screening company.
This allows the tenant to quickly get a decision on whether or not they passed the test and your requirements.
If a potential tenant cannot get the information they need from your website, it’s unlikely they’re going to consider you a reputable company.
Zillow recommends sticking with a 1 or 2 sidebar website that has plenty of clear navigational options so there’s no confusion. You want to make sure that you have a fast server with good uptime so the information is always available online. The last thing you want is for your potential tenant to find out that you aren’t online because your Web host went down.
Pick a memorable domain name.
You can use your brand name or use local keywords. Unless you have multiple properties across the United States or your region, optimizing your website for local searches is going to get you better traffic overall. Make sure that you include plenty of keywords for the local neighborhoods, schools, and points of interest so you get that traffic.
You want to make sure that there’s a contact form in case your tenants need additional information, preferably one that does not require them to enter a great deal of personal information.
They might be too shy to inquire if you want more than their email address.