When listing a property on an Internet Listing Service, there are several ways to maximize the attractiveness of the listing. Customer research (from the Compete study as well as internal MyNewSite data and user surveys), indicates that the following items are the most important to a renter:
Properties that display photos are viewed three to five times more frequently than those lacking photos. Renters often will not even look at a listing that does not have photos. Interior photos are one of the biggest requests from renters on MyNewPlace.
Good-quality floor plans are also a must. Some sites have introduced furniture arrangers that work in concert with floor plans; however, this technology is so new that there is little data on its ROI.
Detailed Rents and Availability
Some management companies do not like to display their actual rents. However, renters demand it. They become frustrated if all they see is a broad range or are forced to call the property. By not displaying actual rents by unit type, managers risk losing potential prospects. Today, many owner/managers use services like VaultWare or OneSites Crossfire product to display actual rents and provide a reserve-a-unit function. Feedback from renters on these products is very positive: VaultWare reports that 12 percent of renters on MyNewPlace who use the unit availability function on MyNewSite through VaultWare end up reserving a unit at the property. These are highly qualified prospects that close well above the industry average.
As the old adage goes, real estate is about location, location, location. Apartment buildings are no different. Renters want to see a buildings location on a map, and if they can get driving directions or see locations of nearby schools or bus lines, so much the better. This is especially important for the roughly 28 percent of online apartment hunters who are looking in a new city or state.
Everyone loves specials. Even a small special, such as waiving the application fee for people who contact the property via email or reserve a unit online, gets results. On MyNewSite, we have found that properties that offer a higher rebate increase their click-through rate (clicks to view that propertys detailed information) and leads by over 100 percent.
Featured Property Listings
Most ILSs also offer a way to buy your way to the top of a search result, often called a Featured Property. These positions are limited and usually sell out in popular markets as they typically increase traffic by two to three times. These promotions, which typically cost anywhere from $150 to $400 a month, can give a significant boost to leasing efforts. Featured property listings typically increase viewers and leads by two to three times.
Number of Vacancies
Property managers should evaluate the number of vacancies, turnover rate, and how much exposure/how many leads are necessary to fill vacancies. Once this is determined, property managers can decide what Best Practices should be used in order to have desired occupancy.
Submitted by MyNewPlace.com, an online marketplace for apartment rentals, featuring a free-to-use apartment finder and a database of oversix million listings. To learn more about how to optimize your Internet listing service, visit www.mynewplace.com.
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