How to Increase Your Visibility on Apartment Search Sites

By Edward Jiang, Business Development Manager at PadMapper

A successful marketing strategy for every multifamily community recognizes how renters in your area look for new places to live, and being available and visible in the right locations.

With 27-million monthly unique visitors to the top 6 apartment search websites according to ComScore (and that’s in January, the middle of slow season), you can’t ignore the fact that many people start their hunt for a new place online.

Websites like Google and Amazon train users to expect easy access to information about products or services: reviews, photos, open hours, etc. However, searching for a new apartment online sucks. Apartment hunters spend copious amounts of time sorting through multiple websites and blurry or missing photos to find the most complete information. And even after finding a great rental, not every property manager is coordinated enough to respond to emails or return calls promptly!

As a property manager, how can you fix this?

Publish your rentals online

Only using Craigslist and your own website? It’s time to do more. Although some apartment search sites charge for the privilege, almost all of the major apartment search sites allow you to list your rentals for free.

Many of the bigger property management software companies like Yardi will have a service to publish your listings as an add-on to their software, so you don’t even have to do any work! If you’re managing things manually or with your own tools, use RentLinx or RealBird—they’re free, and send your listings to apartment search sites on a daily basis.

Make residents envision living there

While photos of your beautiful community center and pool draw in potential residents, make sure you seal the deal with pictures of the apartments themselves! A picture is worth a thousand words, and it’s much more appealing to see your granite countertops and hardwood floors in a picture rather than in a bulleted list. If you don’t have pictures of the units, people may wonder if you have something to hide, and look to other listings.

Be specific with your pricing

After finding a nice apartment, a potential resident may wonder: What does “Price: $1,200-2,200″ mean? They’re probably not going to stick around to find out; it’s easier to click on the next listing with more transparent pricing. List the price for your apartment, and change the price when the unit is rented out. It makes things a lot easier for everyone.

Pick up the phone

Even though your listings are online, potential residents still need to interact with you in person. However, who likes playing phone tag? If a resident calls you and gets to your voicemail, it’s easier to call the next apartment on the list than leaving a message. Make sure that the phone number that you’re listing is the correct local office, and that your system can route the phone to an available leasing agent.

With these tips, you’ll be sure to attract more renters and stay busy as we approach summer season!

Edward Jiang is the Business Development Manager for PadMapper, an apartment search site serving millions of users on a monthly basis. If you need help navigating the landscape of online apartment search sites, he can be reached at: