“Ellipse Design helps us show potential renters and investors that we’re always on the cutting edge.”
ARES Vice President Paul Julian


Located on a bluff overlooking Newport Harbor in Southern California, AERIE is a housing community unlike any other. The ultra-luxury housing community in Corona Del Mar features breathtaking views, a private beach cove, private yacht marina, and unique, environmentally friendly architecture.

The appeal of the property is undeniable, but for Paul Julian, it posed a unique challenge. Julian is Vice President for Advanced Real Estate Services (ARES), a full-service real estate investment & development firm with over 7,000 apartment units in Southern California, and he couldn’t settle for just any website for AERIE. He needed to capture the dynamic look, feel and features of the community. That’s when he turned to Ellipse Design, On-Site’s recently acquired web design studio.

A look at the website Ellipse Design created for Artists Village, an AMC managed community located in Santa Ana, CA.

A major refresh

When asked about his day-to-day challenges, Julian responded, “Acquiring new properties in a very competitive market. We need to set ourselves apart.” More than a one-off website, ARES needed a complete brand refresh, including community and corporate websites that were state-of-the-art, user-friendly and excelled at telling the ARES story.

And what a story ARES has to tell. The company maintains a number of successful divisions, including property renovation via R3 Construction services, elevated parking lifts for space challenged properties via Vertical Parking Solutions (VPS) and—most notably—property management via Advanced Management Company (AMC).

To get the story straight, Ellipse web designers kicked things off by meeting with the ARES team. Together they set the requirements for the marketing revamp.

From the beginning Julian believed that the best way to educate people on ARES’ mission was through a series of separate, but uniformly branded and interconnected websites.

Accordingly, Ellipse designers created a series of mockups, which Julian and the ARES team was invited to review and comment on. Once ARES was happy with the general look and feel of their websites, the approved mockups were passed on to the Ellipse engineering team to be turned into actual websites.

The end result includes Exclusive Corporate Websites for all the ARES companies in addition to Exclusive Community Websites for each property in the AMC portfolio. Each website shares a unique visual language that signals to visitors that the website they are looking at is part of the ARES family or is an AMC managed community.

Of course, an Ellipse Design website is more than a pretty face.

More than just a website

Mark Bakke is portfolio director at AMC, ARES’ property management company. At AMC, residents are called VIPs, which is reflected in the company’s team vision of “making coming home the best part of the day” Bakke said.

Bakke is particularly inspired by a quote from a mentor: “It’s not the bricks and sticks. It’s the people that make the difference in our business.”

With customer service a top priority, it’s no surprise that Bakke chose Ellipse Design to streamline his marketing—and his communications—with prospective renters and residents alike.

Ellipse Design made AMC’s sites mobile-ready through responsive design—a huge benefit. According to Bakke, “Responsive design opened a new line of communication.” With the new sites, AMC can reach people on their mobile devices any time, anywhere. Integrated resident convenience dashboards, give residents total access to their management company. Now, they can pay rent, make a maintenance request, chat with management, and more.

Bakke considers the resident dashboard as a selling tool to prospects. The public facing dashboard lets any potential renter see AMC’s commitment to its residents.

For Bakke, one of the most beneficial features to Ellipse’s web design is the Apartment Toolbox™, which lets AMC employees edit or access website content from a centralized database. If team members need to review critical data like pricing, specials or availability, they can simply log in and take a look at any website in AMC’s portfolio. Perhaps most importantly, team members can also review AMC documents and forms. Bakke can rest easy knowing that his team isn’t using old, outdated information.

And the marketing refresh has been great for SEO too. SEO optimization is included, at no additional cost, with every Ellipse Exclusive Website. Moreover, with each of the corporate sites under the ARES umbrella linking back to each other—not to mention all the individual property websites—search engine rankings have gone way up, said Bakke.

A compelling site is key to making positive impressions and creating lasting relationships, something that Julian and Bakke take very seriously.

Over 35 years of operation, ARES and AMC have relied on strong relationships with investors, bankers, sellers, and countless residents to thrive. With websites and marketing solutions from Ellipse Design, the ARES family of companies are ready for 35 more successful years.

“Our websites show that we’re on the cutting edge,” said Julian. And with continued support from Ellipse Design’s digital marketing experts, ARES will remain on the cutting edge.