The buzz in the property management industry right now about the transition to mobile-based marketing, leasing and resident management, with the expectation that the pervasive tech obsession sweeping America will leave no process unturned.
The reality may be a little closer to the current standard practices of renting an apartment—with a couple of notable exceptions.
Industry insiders tell us that while things are going to change a lot for some high-end apartment communities and their tenants, many of us will still be filling out paper applications. But we may get to pay our rent and submit maintenance requests, online. And while searching for that great new place, expect to be courted with apps and mobile-friendly websites.
Here’s a step-by-step look at the apartment rental process and what’s changing—or, perhaps, staying the same.
Marketing a Vacancy
The transition to online listings from newspaper ads is one of the biggest changes in residential marketing in the last decade. Unless a property is renting to a distinctly senior, non-tech-savvy crowd, there’s no reason to place a print ad ever again. Instead, navigating the wide variety of online listing sites and choosing the best option for your property is the new challenge. Selection of a community apartment listing site should be based in part on user friendliness of the site’s mobile component.
Property management firms now need to invest in things that might not have mattered before—like professional photography that showcases their properties from the best possible angle, website development that displays well across browsers and mobile platforms, and mobile-specific apps that showcase property amenities and allow users to submit requests for more info or to be notified of a newly-vacant unit.
Property managers have no choice but to invest in all forms of mobile marketing, or risk missing out on prospective residents who have a distinct preference for seeing properties on their smartphones or for searching exclusively for listings online, or can’t travel to view an apartment in person. Additional expenditure on social media marketing and targeted online advertising replaces newspaper display ads and will be increasingly important to drive attention to an individual property in a crowded marketplace.Tags: Condo & HOA Vacation and Rental Property, Management News