More reliable than ever, Internet listing services (ILSs) are the best aggregators of data. Even as some property management firms question the true worth of ILSs and often seek out alternatives, Internet listing services (ILSs) continue to advance into the modern digital space and provide a great amount of value.
There are a variety of reasons for their continued success and relevancy. Those key factors start with their effectiveness. Internet listing service (ILSs) sites are relevant because they drive a lot of traffic. An average apartment community can not afford vigorous paid search engine advertising and unfortunately don’t have the skilled staff to keep websites fully and properly optimized to compete with the big brands.
Nonetheless, through a mixture of reliable ILS sites, your apartment and multi family communities can get found online and receive leads and leases at a manageable cost as a result.
Ultimately, dependable Internet listing services (ILSs) offer multifamily marketers compelling channels to help:
- Generate search traffic
- Lower marketing costs
- And still provide meaningful levels of demand and prospect interest at leasing offices
Know the Offerings
ILSs are differentiating in a various amount of ways, including:
- How they price their services
- The add-ons and ancillary services provided
- As well as their mobile offerings
In terms of pricing, some Internet listing services (ILSs) sites offer a subscription pricing model, while others price per lead, or per signed lease agreement.
With a rising growth of Gen-X consumers entering the market, ILS functionality advancements and attention to slicker design seem to now be catering to younger residents and prospects on the go.
At For Rent Media Solutions in Norfolk, Va., senior vice president of national sales and development Brock MacLean says ILSs all tend to have different strategies when it comes to their business models.
“Consumers access us from multiple forms of media, [which include] social media, video distribution, traditional print and mobile. Once there, they are gathering data about their decision-making in their next apartment home and reaching into other forms of media to validate what they’ve found. Or they may be seeking additional information.
Mobility is an increasingly important selling point. ILS sites have evolved to offer mobile sites and mobile apps, responding to the growing number of local searches performed over smartphones. Additionally, the ILS sites are starting to provide more detailed location information
- Interactive maps with location details about schools.
- And area retail centers and restaurants which enable renters to gain a better feel for the areas surrounding apartment communities they are considering.
Upstarts in the Space
The steady growth of Gen-Y [members] into the apartment prospect pool and their demonstrated desire to interact with cool, web-driven marketing provides a fantastic opportunity for companies with both new and proven ideas to help connect searchers with communities looking for residents.
The market is already swarmed with opportunity to advertise online, but the newest ILS sites are bringing something new and innovative to the table. That new feature might be a complete integration with a core operating software, with online applications built right in, or it might be a new and different approach to attract leads through reviews and ratings, making the apartment search more social and interactive.
ILS sites are evolving and will continue to evolve. One example of that change is in the provision of services to people both before and after they are renters. Combining ForRent.com with its sister site, Homes.com, For Rent Media Solutions is providing a life cycle of consumer real estate search.
That extends “from their search for student housing to their choice of a retirement home,” MacLean says.
As well, there’s a genuine trend toward incorporating ratings and reviews into ILS frameworks. “[It] is captivating both the property management firms and their ILS partners to take an in depth look at how we can best communicate what it’s like to live at any particular apartment community,” Kobs says.
“Honesty and transparency will probably assist a lot of firms in those efforts. If you’ve got a chic and stylish apartment community ran by incredible people, that experience is ultimately going to be communicated by brand advocates online.”
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