7 Renter Pain Points Apartment Marketers Should Target

Alex Middel
December 23, 2016

Whether you’re writing website copy, drafting ad copy or trying to come up with blog topics, knowing common renter pain points will come in handy.

Identifying and providing solutions for these pain points can help you convert prospects into leads, and be the difference between someone choosing you over a competitor.

We’ve outlined some of the top pain points renters have throughout the rental process, and how you can turn them into opportunities for your community.

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1. Outdated Technology

Despite the fact that digital payments are easier than ever to process, there are still property management companies that don’t accept online rental payments. Instead, they require tenants to pay by checks or money orders.

This is a big turn-off for potential renters that’s fairly easy to fix. Most modern property management systems have solutions for accepting online rental payments. Plus, there are online payment systems that you can easily integrate into your website.

Aside from just paying rent, highlight any other technology updates your community has such as a card operated laundromat, electronic keys or built-in security.

Renters associate technology with convenience. Even if your property isn’t ahead of the times, it should at least be current.

2. Leasing Process

Picking up from the previous pain point, renters don’t want a long and tedious leasing process. And neither do property managers. Luckily you can use technology to your advantage to make leasing more convenient for everyone.

Whether it’s offering online forms, performing quicker background checks or letting people start the process before visiting your property, there are plenty of steps you can take to ease the process.

The first step you can take is to allow apartment hunters to apply online. While there are plenty of people that will want to call and schedule an apartment tour first, some will be willing to get started before they step through the door.

 apartment application

Include a clear call to action somewhere on your site for people to apply like Tree Top Apartments does in their header here.

 apply button

The easier you make it for prospects to apply, the more likely they’ll be to convert.

3. Location

Location is a priority for every renter. Apartment hunters, particularly people new to the area, want to know where your community is and what’s around it.

Highlighting nearby restaurants, shopping centers, and other landmarks can help attract renters that want to be close to a particular school or hotspots.

Listing nearby businesses is also helpful for SEO. Google uses your location’s proximity to other local businesses to help determine where you show up in local search results. By making it clear that you’re near certain areas, it helps Google better understand where to rank your apartments.

The more specific you can be the better. Take a look at this paragraph on the homepage of Lincoln on University Apartments.

 Lincoln University Apartments

They do a great job of describing where they’re located, which makes it ideal for people looking for an apartment near a grocery store, SMU or the other places nearby.

4. Spending Time Apartment Hunting

Apartment hunting can be extremely time consuming. Anything you can do to speed things up and help renters make a decision quicker will help.

One thing you can do is make sure you’re listed on as many apartment listing sites as possible. Apartment hunters typically use multiple sites to look for apartments, so the last thing you want to happen is to miss an opportunity because you’re not listed on the site they’re looking at.

Also, when they land on your site you need to capture their attention and get them to either apply or get their contact information. As we mentioned in the previous tip, including a strong CTA can help encourage people to apply. But you also want to make sure you collect the information of anyone that doesn’t apply right now. That’s when a lead generation form comes in handy.

We wrote an entire post on how to optimize your contact form, so be sure to check that out. Some quick takeaways are:

  • Keep your forms short and concise
  • Use a descriptive CTA button
  • Make sure your forms stand out
  • Split test

You should also read through our guide to conversion rate optimization to learn some helpful tips to turn traffic into leads.

5. Fear of Getting Scammed

While the internet has helped apartment marketers and renters tremendously, it has also made it a lot easier for scammers to take advantage of people. As a result, apartment hunters are always on edge and wary of rental scams.

Make sure your website and company appear trustworthy to potential renters. One of the first things renters do when looking at different communities is check for reviews. If nothing surfaces for your community, it’s usually a red flag for potential tenants.

Fix this by providing social proof. Social proof is essentially a way of showing people your company is trustworthy because other people have given you their approval. It’s extremely powerful. In fact, 70% of Americans seek the opinion of others before making buying decisions. So when people can’t find any information about your property, it immediately turns them off.

Build your social proof by getting tenants to leave a review on Yelp, Google or other review sites. Seeing a ton of five star reviews gives renters confidence in your property. You should also include social proof on your site, such as testimonials or badges from review sites.

Bell Apartment Living shares their overall resident review score, and links to a page on their site where prospective renters can read testimonials.

 Apartment Reviews

Notice that the company didn’t only include their best reviews. There’s a mix of positive and negative feedback, which is what you’d expect for any company. This shows that they’re honest and proves they’re not posting a bunch of fake feedback to fool people.

6. Lack of Communication

Up to this point, we’ve talked about some of the most common pain points people have with the apartment hunting process. But one of the biggest issues for renters overall is communicating with their property management company after they’ve signed the lease.

Difficulties getting repairs done, not getting responses to complaints and other communication issues are all hurdles renters experience. Here’s an actual horror story of a renter that had communication issues with his landlord, and how it ended up costing the landlord to lose a significant amount of revenue.

 If your properties have systems in place to make communication easier, mention them as much as possible. For instance, River Run Apartments puts its resident portal right on the homepage. Prospective renters can see that there’s a system in place for submitting maintenance issues and getting in contact with the property manager, which is reassuring.

 Apartment Resident Portal

If you offer a 24-hour concierge service, online support or other convenient means of communication, use it to set your community apart.

7. Missing Out on Available Units

Depending on your location, apartment availability can be a major challenge for renters. A unit that was supposed to be available yesterday could be gone today. While some of this falls on the shoulders of the apartment hunter, there are steps you can take to help them out and avoid losing a future tenant.

If you can, use a system that shows people how many of each unit you currently have available. It’ll encourage prospects to take action sooner rather than later if they see spots are limited.

But in addition, add the ability for people to get an alert when a certain floorplan becomes available. For instance, Del Ray Central has a form prospects can fill out if the floorplan they’re interested in is currently unavailable.

 Apartment Availability notification

With this information, they’re able to follow up with people who have shown they’re interested in renting, which makes them warm leads. You can have your sales team call these people to see if there’s an alternative such as a different floorplan or one of your other properties.

You never want to completely lose a lead just because the particular unit they’re after isn’t available at the moment.

Offer Solutions, Not Just Features

In addition to the pain points we’ve outline here, listen to your current tenants and find out what their biggest issues are. You might uncover some issues you can fix, and use the information to create more compelling copy for your site or ads.

Speaking to specific pain points allows you to tap into the emotions of prospects and speak directly to their needs. If your website just lists features, start mixing in content that targets specific pain points your community addresses. You might be surprised by the difference it can make.


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