A Foundation to Grow On
The backend is clean and it works. We can now truly own our site and, as a result, make better updates on the fly and respond to our markets on an individual basis—keeping us ahead of our competitors. The new site was a critical factor in our best lease-up to date last year. Justin Jaksha, VP of New Business Development
A Peek at the Results
Founded in 2006, Aspen Heights was created with the vision of revolutionizing student living. By 2013, their website was no longer revolutionary. Students had become digital natives—even mobile natives—and had come to expect more out of a housing website aimed at them.
To figure out exactly what students want, we went to school.
We partnered with Aspen Heights’ on-campus teams to craft research questionnaires to learn what students nationwide want in student housing. As a result, we built an online experience centered around living in a house (not an apartment), local activities, and world-class customer service.
While the competition focused on flash-bang graphics and bad SEO tactics, we focused on ease of use and a fresh and fun aesthetic. Videos give students a sense of being on the properties, while custom Google maps with neighborhood attractions let them see where they’ll be doing their grocery shopping and socializing. Each property has its own section on the site—featuring unique illustrations, floor plans, amenities, and photos.
Potential tenants feel like they’ve toured the property before ever stepping foot on it.
A New Logo
Aspen Heights’ old logo felt a little heavy and dated, almost like a retirement home logo. By thinning out the font, selecting brighter colors, and turning the leaf up and streamlining it, we were able to give Aspen Heights a new feel while maintaining their brand recognition.
A World at Their Fingertips
An astounding 43% of students use their smartphone for all of their Web browsing. We couldn’t lose half our audience by not offering a mobile-optimized website.
In fact, we approached the website design with a "mobile first" mindset. A housing company website demands large, beautiful photos, detailed floor plans, and video tours. With our mobile-first approach, we had to marry these considerations with requirements for site speed, content options, and functional navigation options.
Fully mobile-responsive websites are future-proof. Years from now, the Aspen Heights website will still look great on any new phone (or smart watch or pair of glasses) that younger users employ.
A dynamic, content-rich website like this one should be easy to manage.
That’s why we crafted a user-friendly content management system (CMS) that allows staff to add an entirely new property to the site in less than an hour. Once a location is up, the backend allows Aspen Heights to make edits on the fly. Anything can be added or edited. For example, if Aspen Heights wants to run a one-day rental special, that’s an option. And the minute a rental unit becomes available, they can put it online for potential tenants to see.
Property pages that used to take days or weeks to design and develop now took minutes. It changed how Aspen Heights did business online.
Not only is our new site mobile-optimized, it achieves this without compromising on aesthetic or engagement, which is critical for us, as a lot of research shows many of our student customers will lease with the first company they can reach once they find the information they need.”
Justin Jaksha, VP of New Business Development