Balancing ILS, Websites & SEO For Apartment Marketing

Tablet with property website on it

The Canadian multifamily market remains strong, with vacancy rates hitting a historically low 2.7% according to the Q4 2023 Yardi multifamily report, creating fierce competition among renters. When searching for their future rental, 80% of Canadian renters are searching online, as stated by simplydbs. In today’s dynamic rental market, a comprehensive and integrated marketing strategy is essential for attracting and converting quality renters. This article explores three key digital strategies — internet listing services (ILS), property websites and search engine optimization (SEO) — and how to leverage their strengths for optimal results.

ILS: raise awareness & visibility

Internet Listing Services (ILS) are online platforms that aggregate and publish apartment listings. While their lead conversion rates (CR) might be lower than SEO, they are crucial for early-stage visibility. Listing on popular ILS platforms lets you reach a wider audience of renters actively searching for apartments, expanding your tenant pool. A recent Yardi study revealed a few features you can utilize to enhance your ILS listings, including:

  • Compelling visuals: Include high-quality photos and virtual tours that highlight the best aspects of your property and amenities. Listings with more than twenty photos see a ninefold increase in CR.
  • Detailed descriptions: Provide accurate and informative descriptions that highlight the unique selling points of your apartments, such as pet-friendly policies, on-site amenities and nearby attractions.
  • Tour scheduling: Enable direct scheduling within your ILS listing to make it easier for prospects to visit your property and double your CR.

Property websites: convert visits into leases

Your property website serves as your online presence and should be designed to turn quality visitors into leads and leases. A recent Yardi study show website features that boost CR include:

  • Live video tours: Live video tours allow your prospects to experience customized tours from the comfort of their own home and achieve a 36% CR.
  • Nudge marketing: Use subtle prompts and offers, such as scheduling a viewing or applying for a lease, to encourage visitors to take the next step. Nudge marketing has proven to yield a CR close to 16%.
  • Floor plan assistant: Streamline the search process by allowing users to filter based on their desired features, such as the number of bedrooms, bathrooms and square footage.
  • Floor plan availability notifications: Alert potential renters when their desired unit becomes available. These notifications exceed 11% CRs.
  • Digital leasing: Simplify the application process by offering virtual leasing and secure online screening options.

SEO: build a long-term foundation

SEO focuses on improving your website’s ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs) for relevant keywords. This involves optimizing both the content and structure of your website, as well as building backlinks from reputable websites. While SEO requires consistent effort and takes time to show results, it offers a sustainable source of low-cost leads in the long term. To optimize your website for SEO:

  • Keyword research: Update your website content to include page titles, headings and key words renters often use when searching for apartments in your area.
  • Mobile-friendly design: Ensure your website is mobile-friendly as many potential renters use their smartphones to search for apartments.
  • Online reviews:  Leverage positive reviews from your residents to significantly boost your local SEO ranking and build trust with potential renters.

Strategies for success

Each approach discussed in this article offers distinct advantages:

  • ILS: Reaches potential renters early in their search and boosts awareness.
  • Property website: Converts visitors into leads and fosters stronger brand engagement.
  • SEO: Generates consistent traffic and leads over time.

By strategically combining ILS, your website and SEO, you can create a powerful marketing force that generates consistent leads, increases brand awareness and ultimately, drives successful leases. Remember, continuously monitor and adapt your strategy based on your target audience and market dynamics to ensure you stay ahead of the curve.

To learn more about your technology options, ask for a demo of Yardi Breeze Premier.