Website Trends to Watch for 2017 Residential Marketing

January 18, 2017

If Threshold’s skilled residential marketing designers only cared about getting the most information to the customer, our websites would look a lot like this blog post. We’d see a whole lot of text and the sites would have very little visual appeal.

That approach works well for blog posts and articles, but websites are a sensory experience; a virtual market where people spend their time enlarging floor plans, scrolling down lists of amenities and clicking through gallery images.

Of course, many prospective residents don’t spend much time on websites at all. Marketing to Millennials is all about keeping their attention, but plenty of lost customers see the homepage and immediately click away after deciding the property isn’t for them. In today’s post, we’re going to take a look at the most important elements to keep residents interested in your property, and get them to click on those important action buttons.

Animation

Animation helps communicate messages with style, drawing the user’s eye towards moving images instead without them having to load a video or click a “play” button. Animation can be as simple as rotating sliders on a homepage or as complex as animated water in a resort-style pool. Even the most simple movement can be the difference between grabbing and losing a customer’s interest.

Material Design and Beyond

As anyone in the digital marketing industry knows, when Google makes changes, the rest of the web follows suit. Google was the first big company to take “Flat Design” and turn it into something with depth and layers. Material Design pairs geometric shapes with shadows, movement and overlays to create visually appealing websites and web apps. That’s not the say that Material Design is the only way to make websites, but it’s certainly a look that internet users are familiar with and understand intuitively, which is always a positive. Speaking of making sure users can understand your website…

Navigation

Most property sites need the same standard pages in the navigation bar: About Us, Floor Plans, Amenities, Gallery, and Apply Now. Obviously, there are some exceptions, but every property website needs to cover those basic pages before moving on to anything else. Navigation doesn’t have to only happen via Navigation Bar though. In fact, more and more websites are using the “long-scroll” look, where all pages are accessible when the user simply scrolls down from the top of the homepage.

The whole point of a website is to get the prospect to take action, so keeping the complex navigation to a minimum helps steer prospective residents toward the “Schedule a Tour” button or the “Apply Now” button without too much extra fluff. Most properties sell a lifestyle just as much as they sell an apartment, so it’s important to convey that lifestyle with big, bold images and impactful design. People will locate the amenities and floor plans if they are interested in learning more, but they won’t be interested in learning more without a simple, impactful message on the home page.

Customized Google Maps

Most of your website’s visitors will be familiar with the look, feel and functionality of a Google Maps plug-in, it’s very common in residential marketing. So much so, that they may just glaze right over it. Customizing your Google Map, however, offers prospective residents a totally new experience with a tool that they’re already familiar with. At Threshold, we often highlight certain locations around the property, such as restaurants, shopping centers, gyms and coffee shops. This gives residents an idea of what life will be like living in the neighborhood.

The best website designers know how to quickly — and beautifully—convey the lifestyle promised at every property. This is where animation, navigation tools, and customization come into play. Each element helps create a feeling within the website visitor that (hopefully) convinces them to explore the website and property further.

Is your property’s website up to date? Let Threshold’s designers come up with some creative marketing ideas for apartments in your portfolio. Our website development team will then create a responsive websites that drive traffic to your front door.