Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Apartment Searching Goes Digital: 5 Trends that Impact Your Decision

As anyone who has searched for an apartment knows, choosing one is a big decision that involves time spent searching and re-searching an overwhelming amount of options. As I just went through this stressful process is one of the biggest cities in the world, New York City, I understand that apartment hunters want as much information as they can get to help them locate their ideal place. Luckily, today’s technology gives them more ways than ever to find it. In fact, here are five disruptive tech trends shaping the way renters find apartments in the digital age.

Deeper Research
With more information available at their fingertips than ever before, renters are looking closer at apartments before making a decision.  Renters consult many sources to get a complete picture of the apartments they are considering and compare options to find the best fit. In fact, by the time they visit one in person, many already know about everything about the apartment. This trend will cause only apartments marketed across different media to stand out.

Social Media
Social sites like Facebook and Twitter are powerful sources of information. Renter friends’ referrals online carry more influence than any other single factor when it comes to making a decision. Tech Crunch recently reported that people use Twitter to share referrals as often as email, and Facebook is used to share referrals as much as Twitter and email combined. Turns out, apartments that get people talking online will easily find interested renters.

Image via Lifehacker.com

Online Ratings
From Amazon to Yelp, reviews and ratings on all types of products have become part of the online shopping experience and are becoming a huge force in the offline world too. Authentic reviews help renters verify the information they’ve found and commit to their choice; renters will actually take longer to commit to apartments that don’t have online reviews.

Renters are interested in video information about a location because it is relevant to the quality of life. Reading that an apartment is a sunny and friendly place to live doesn’t carry as much weight as seeing a video that confirms it. In the future, videos may become as common as photographs for apartments listed online.

Though most apartment hunters still browse the Web on a desktop, their phones let them access information anytime, anywhere. Mobile information accessed during the later stages of a search helps renters make a decision more quickly. Soon, apartments with mobile optimized websites will be able to quickly convince renters that they are a good fit.

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1 comment:

kris_ said...

I agree and I think it's great because it means the search for a new home is faster and easier to do. However, I still think that it's better to pay a visit to prospective rentals. After all, you will have to decide on your own no matter the number likes or recommendations you get from people in your social network. It's how I decided about my downtown minneapolis apartments .

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