A new survey indicates that if you want to attract older home buyers to your active adult communities, you’d better have a great, easy-to-navigate website. The nationwide survey found that one-third of respondents over age 40 who moved during the past two years rejected a community based solely based on its website.

“Senior living and active adult communities have always recognized the economic potential of baby boomers and seniors, but until this study, it was hard to judge the potential of various digital marketing channels,” said Todd Harff, president of strategic marketing firm Creating Results and co-director of the national study, in a statement.

The 2013 national survey of the Web and online marketing preferences included more than 800 respondents over age 40. Creating Results also conducted the same study in 2010.

“We felt it was important to track how attitudes had changed—or in some notable cases, really hadn’t—over time,” said Erin Read, director of strategic planning at Creating Results and co-author of the report, in a press release. “This year’s data shows increasing unhappiness with housing community websites, as more mature movers said they didn’t find what they were looking for, or expressed frustration with requirements to register to get basic information.”

Other highlights of the survey include:

  • Nearly half of all respondents who moved recently said the Internet was the first place they turned for information when looking for a new home. This Web-first approach was most common among respondents less than 55 years old. (60% of 40 to 44 year olds and 71% of 45 to 54 year olds.)
  • Fees and pricing are what older buyers most want to know about when visiting a community website.
  • 39% of the respondents who recently moved visited a community website more than six times before making the decision to buy there.
  • Respondents 75 years and older said they would reject a senior living or active adult community based solely on its website.