Continental Realty Corporation (CRC), headquartered in Baltimore and founded in 1960, is a full-service multifamily and commercial real estate investment and management company. The privately-owned firm owns and manages a diversified portfolio of apartment communities featuring nearly 10,000 apartment homes and retail centers consisting of over 3.5 million square feet of space. Positioned throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions, the value of the portfolio exceeds $1.5 billion.
The ChallengeNo SEO Team
When CRC used RENTCafé to build new property marketing websites from scratch, it needed a way to help those sites get found by online renters. “There wasn't any SEO value to our old site,” said Belinda Torres, corporate marketing director at CRC. “Keywords and alt tags weren't being utilized. With our new websites, we finally have those options. Now we are focused on maximizing our impact, but we’re not search engine experts.”
The SolutionRENTCafé Reach
RENTCafé Reach is an advanced set of marketing services designed to attract qualified prospects to multifamily properties. It integrates with Yardi Voyager and the RENTCafé marketing, leasing and resident services platform. RENTCafé Reach offers three unique service components including search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM) and enchanced property listings on the RENTCafé ILS to give communities maximum visibility in search results. Detailed reporting and analytics show users what is working and what can be improved.
The StoryImproved SEO
CRC partnered with the RENTCafé Reach SEO team to optimize its RENTCafé-generated property websites for local search and prospect engagement. SEO services include on-page and off-page optimization techniques that are designed to drive more leads. A dedicated SEO specialist works with the CRC marketing team to perform ongoing site audits and implement built-in RENTCafé features that are proven to increase user engagement.
CRC receives monthly reports that help its team understand its online traffic and how well that traffic is converting into leads. Organic traffic is up 32% on average across all CRC’s websites and pageviews have increased by 42%. “We’ve seen a great deal of improvement over the last year,” said Torres. “We’ve substantially increased traffic while simultaneously decreasing bounce rates.” With RENTCafé Reach, CRC has increased its online visibility and built a strong, consistent and engaging brand for its properties.
CRC also uses RENTCafé Reach SEO services to make it easier for people with disabilities to access its marketing sites. The American with Disabilities Act (ADA) established standards to help disabled users navigate the internet. This includes adding image attributes and clearly identifying the purpose of a link in anchor text, among other guidelines created to make sure websites are clear and easy to navigate for every browser.
ADA compliant fixes have SEO benefits for websites. Updates that help people with disabilities read and understand content help search engine spiders too. Spiders can read, parse, cache, understand and index the ADA compliant content more easily to improve website rankings, allowing more visitors to find CRC’s properties via organic search. Torres elaborated, “We’re working through the ADA process now, and that wouldn’t have been possible before RENTCafé Reach.”
Before Yardi, CRC worked with multiple vendors to manage online marketing and property management functions. Now, with RENTCafé and Voyager, CRC has integrated solutions. As a result, team members can see all website, prospect and resident data in one place.
“The different systems we used previously did not talk to each other. Now all our departments can exchange information seamlessly,” said Torres. In addition to leveraging RENTCafé Reach services, CRC uses RENTCafé CRM to manage the prospect and resident lifecycle.