SPECIAL REPORT: AIM on the Mobile User Experience

At the 2012 AIM conference, Steve Taraborelli, VP of UDR, discussed the importance of making multifamily mobile sites accessible for users.

By Jessica Fiur, News Editor

Phoenix—Today’s renter (as well as everyone else) is practically connected to their smart phones, which is why it is so important for communities to advertise via mobile sites. At the 2012 Apartment Internet Marketing (AIM) conference, Steve Taraborelli, vice president, director of sales and marketing, UDR Inc., discussed why property managers need to prioritize their mobile strategy.

According to Taraborelli, PC sales, which had been growing for many years, has finally started to slow down, and sales of smart phones and tablets are threatening to overpass them. Additionally, people are relying less and less on computers for Internet access. One out of four smart phone users access the Internet solely from their phones.

Another surprising statistic is that the Android network has taken over market share in the mobile market. However, though there are more Android users, according to data, Apple users are more engaged.

When property managers design their mobile sites, they should pay particular attention to pixels. Taraborelli said that mobile sites should be designed so “the user can use their thumbs.” He explained that you need 57 pixels for a finger and 72 for a thumb.

Taraborelli said that videos might not work for well for mobile sites. Since some smart phone users have a limited number of gigabytes on their data plans, videos could inadvertently cause the mobile site to lag, which the user might attribute to the site as opposed to the gigabyte limit.

Of course, Taraborelli reminded everyone to know who the customer is before the site is built, and find out what they’re looking for in their mobile experience. He suggested conducting surveys to find out what people want.

Taraborelli concluded with his most important advice for designing a mobile site for a multifamily community: “Make the layouts simple!”

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