HOMEPAGE: Very simple, like Bing.com or Google.com. High quality imagery in the background with a basic white box that says "search for your school" underneath it. This page will be high impact and we want the photos to be very high res, like the Houzz.com app on iPad or http://www.Airbnb.com
LANDING PAGE: Once the user types their school name (e.g., Florida State University), a list of schools will populate. The top few listings will be "Featured" properties that are highlighted in some way or within a box that helps them to stand our (think Google paid searches). The content on the main part of the landing page will be very similar to http://www.ApartmentFinder.com, but a bit cleaner. The page should have a menu bar on it (down the left side) where people can filter their search results, similar to the one ApartmentFinder.com has, but cleaner. We would also like a button on the top left that offers the user to switch to a "show results on map" where they can see how far from campus the listed apartments are located. We'd somehow like to populate that via a google maps listing. Some of the options on the left menu bar will allow user to "refine" their search based on i) distance from campus; ii) number of bedrooms; iii) price range. We do not want a menu bar with ads, etc. down the right side like ApartmentFinder.com has. Priority here is a very clean, simple, user-friendly page.
PROPERTY PAGE: Once a user selects a property and wants to view more info on it, they'll come to the property page that has more info listed. The page should once again be very clean and simple. No menu on the left or right, but at the very top, a "back to search results" button that will take them back to the landing page they just left. The page will have the property name at the top along with the address and phone, a website and/or Facebook and/or Twitter link and a "request information button", a primary photo with thumbnails below that, a property description below that and then information on rental rates (e.g. 1-Bedroom, 1-Bathroom: $700 per month; 2-Bedroom, 2-Bathroom: $600 per month; 3-Bedroom, 3-Bathroom: 525 per month). Under this, we can offer "multimedia" where folks can see more photos, download a brochure, click on their "walkscore" (http://www.walkscore.com), click a button for more information (this is a second "request info" button to go along with the one at the top).
Again, a good model to reference here is ApartmentFinder.com, but one that is very simple and much cleaner, featuring very top quality photography. We believe imagery sells more than copy and so we want people to really get a great sense of the property based on the high-res photos.