3 Tips to Structuring a Successful Rental Website

By | November 29, 2011

Tuesday November 8th, 2011 – Contributed by Sarah Gabot

Landing on a disorganized rental website feels like walking into a cluttered house. Prospective renters viewing a disorganized website may become overwhelmed, turned off and eventually leave.

You want prospective renters to feel immediately at ease navigating through your website. Rental hunters are likely on your website to find information on available rental units. If you make it easy for them to find the rental property they’re looking for, it’ll be easier for you to close a rental deal.

Avoid the website clutter and get organized. Use these three tips to organize and structure a better real estate website for your rentals.

Tip #1: Stop and plan.

Before you start creating pages, posting listings and writing unit descriptions, take a step back for a second to plan your website’s structure. Planning the structure of your rental website will help create a natural flow to your pages, which will help prospective renters navigate your site.

Post-its, drawing on paper or Excel spreadsheets are great ways to start planning your website. The top of your flowchart is your homepage, and from there, you can branch out your ideas of your subpages. Planning this ahead will save you the pain of undoing hard work when you start actual website building.

Tip #2: Create smart subpages.

Don’t just place all your listings on one page. Strategically divide your rental properties by common characteristics and create separate pages for each. For example, divide your units by neighborhood or by broker. Put yourself in the shoes of a renter – how will they search your listings? When rental properties are organized, it makes it easier and faster for prospective tenants to find a unit they’re looking for.

Tip #3: Uniformity is important.

Plan your website’s look and feel before choosing colors and adding rental listings. Websites that have pages that look different and inconsistent come off as sloppy and unprofessional. Make sure your website portrays a professional rental real estate business that renters can take seriously.

Webpages of the same type should have the same layout. For example, the East Village listing page layout will be identical to the SoHo listing page. If each page has an introduction about the neighborhood, each neighborhood should have one.

Your website needs to stay consistent with your brokerage’s logo, color scheme and feel. For instance, Redwood Real Estate would probably not have a purple background, unless those were the company colors. Brand your website by putting your logo on every page and keep consistent theme by using your brokerage’s colors.