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Apartments are in the vanguard among online marketplace verticals, as more apartment owners take advantage of Web and mobile features to target prospects — especially younger prospects.

Indeed, apartment owners are increasingly leveraging video to show off floor plans and surrounding communities. They’re also using social media such as MySpace to differentiate their communities and give them a “vibe,” especially for higher-end properties. And they’re using mobile-enabled sites to catch prospects as they drive by.

Organic search also comes into play. NCI, which produces ApartmentFinder, has seen the site jump 52.5 percent in the past six months, according to blog notes from Chairman Dan McCarthy. Indeed, new data from comScore for March show that among traditional apartment shopper media with print and Web sites, ApartmentFinder now has the second most used apartment site after ForRent. (Apartment pure-plays like and might have higher overall traffic.)

“We haven’t driven our growth through spending a lot of money on keywords and unqualified traffic,” says McCarthy. “We’ve focused on optimizing the long tail of organic search. We’ve focused on creating a simple product for consumers that gives them lots of ways to interact with the apartment communities we list.”

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