New in Technology for Multifamily: Phone Applications Make Online Apartment Hunting Easier

By Anuradha Kher, Online News EditorChicago, Norfolk, Va.–Apartments.com launched its new application for the iPhone on the Apple App Store. Renters can use their iPhone or iPod touch to look for apartments. The application delivers access to millions of apartments through location-based searches in a visually enhanced media format including walk through videos, photos, floorplans and integrated mapping.  “Unique features like walk through videos, photos, floorplans and integrated mapping allow us to offer a superior apartment search experience for iPhone and iPod touch users,” says Chris Brown, vice president of product management at Apartments.com. “Apartments.com has provided access to its listings from all web-enabled phones including the iPhone since 2008. This app for iPhone and iPod touch is an extension of our mobile strategy that enables us to deliver our listings in a multimedia format that will change the way users discover and rent property.” The Apartments.com application includes features like GPS technology for on-the-go renters looking for an apartment, saved search functionality providing renters with easy access to saved apartment searches and customized searches that allow renters to search by number of bedrooms, bathrooms, rent, pet policies, parking etc.The application is free of charge.Meanwhile, ForRent.com launched a ForRent.com T-Mobile G1 (GPhone) application. Similar to the Apartments.com application, ForRent.com’s free GPhone application allows apartment seekers to browse through apartment listings nationwide. Users can also view apartment descriptions, videos, pictures, and floor plans, save their results, and contact the property. Consumers can use touchable map pins to click on a pin representing a property and go directly to the property’s page. From the map, apartment seekers can zoom in and out to get a clearer view of the property and its proximity to surrounding apartment communities. The GPhone runs on the new Google Android operating system and applications are distributed in the Android Market. The company launched its iPhone application earlier this year.“Mobile marketing is quickly spreading as a leading method of communication used to engage consumers,” says Terry Slattery, president of For Rent Media Solutions. “According to comScore Media Metrix, consumers downloaded 83 percent more mobile applications in March 2009 than in March 2008. We understand how much mobile Web impacts our consumers’ daily lives and will continue to explore opportunities with other mobile devices in the future.”