Mike Whaling, Josh Herst, and Wes Gillis discuss the impact of digital mapping to online apartment marketing at AIM 2013.

Mike Whaling, Josh Herst, and Wes Gillis discuss the impact of digital mapping to online apartment marketing at AIM 2013.

Even as Millennial generation renters reshape the trends of multifamily digital marketing, some things about apartment real estate stay irrevocably the same: location matters. “79 percent of Millenials rank walkability as very important in their search criteria,” explained Walk Score CEO Josh Herst at AIM 2013 during the session Maps: The Gateway to Mobile. “In fact, walkability and neighborhood features are the number one criteria for Millennial apartment searchers.”

Indeed, providing rental prospects with great information via maps has grown into a compelling proposition for apartment marketers, according to the panel that included mapping expert Wesley Gillis and 30Lines CEO Mike Whaling. “Craigslist has turned to map-based display for apartments and I think you’ll see that happen with all of the communities themselves,” Gillis observed. “We will see people move more and more that way, especially with mobile. Consumers are asking ‘What do I see on my phone when I’m standing in front of your property, both physically and virtually.”

One of the more recent opportunities for apartment marketers has been to become integrated into Google Map-powered displays and online, interactive map services from Yelp, Yahoo, Mapquest, Apple and others. According to Gillis, those service providers are only too happy to include multifamily community information. “Having worked for geo data companies, that is the info they love to get. There are lot of data partners out there that will work to get that data into map systems and add that information.”

Citing the success of Panjo, Air BnB, and of course Walk Score itself the panel prognosticated that location specific social content and real-time neighborhood content data will increasingly impact consumer interaction and decision-making, with maps offering a primary means to access content and data about neighborhood lifestyle and living opportunities. “Apartment marketing is about helping prospects find the communities that suit them best. If every place was the same, what difference would it make what we chose?” questioned Herst. “Location thus remains super important in the decision making process, because where we live is shorthand for who we are.”

Session Twitter Feed:

‏@MatrixRes What does your map look like on a mobile platform? If you don’t know the answer, find out. Now. #AIMconf

‏@scoobyjava Interactive mapping is a must have in our mobile world! #AIMconf

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