By Amy Belasen
Mobile devices are changing the way we do just about everything. We can use our mobile phones to get directions, post reviews, play music, get weather updates – and yes, find apartments. So how should multifamily communities respond to this powerful new marketing opportunity?
For some, mobile websites are nothing new. The buzz began several years ago as Smartphone technology began to change the way we communicate. But in the last quarter of 2010, Smartphones outsold PCs, and the message was loud and clear: 2011 is the year of mobile. Today, multifamily communities are realizing the importance of adding a mobile website.
units Magazine’s Apartment Trends predictions for 2011 predicts a major shift to mobile platforms this year. The meaning behind the adage “Location, Location, Location,” has changed a bit. Yes, you still want potential residents to find you. But with mobile, you also can find them and be where they are. Mobile searches are more locally focused than desktop searches – so mobile creates a new opportunity to target a huge local audience and drive them to your properties.
Marketing on mobile is different. You’re dealing with a smaller screen, so the focus in on who is searching for you. Are you primarily targeting residents or prospects? If you’re after new residents, make sure your mobile site has clear calls to action and pricing. If you’re creating this site for existing clients, you may want to offer pay-by-phone and community updates. For more strategies for creating a mobile website, read Multifamily Executive’s Top 10 Strategies for Deploying a Multifamily Mobile Platform.
Want your mobile site to target both clients and prospects? Sarah Greenough, VP of Corporate Sales and Media for Princeton Properties Management Inc., offers some advice: hone in on what’s important, and include contact information, separate calls to action for clients and prospects, and a map or photo of the location. There is limited space to make an impression so make words and images count.
A mobile site makes it easier for prospects to find your location when they’re on the go, and allows them to call you with the touch of a screen. Mobile is convenient and immediate - for best results make sure that someone is on the other end to take the call. As units Magazine points out, call centers are in; call waiting is out.
Once you’re satisfied with your mobile site, it’s time to promote the site to prospects and existing clients. You may consider press releases, email blasts, social media posts or other forms of advertising to get a conversation started and attract more business.