Apartment Guide in the News

Apartment Guide is making news with findings about the housing habits of recent post-graduates.

Apartment Guide is making news with findings about the housing habits of recent post-graduates.

Apartment Guide is making news with new findings about the housing habits of recent post-graduates. New grads are “following the money” to the top cities where opportunities are greatest in a number of fields.

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New York, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia topped the list, according to survey results, because of appealing lifestyle factors offered in those cities.

This week, our findings were recognized by ABC News and the Huffington Post, among other news outlets. Website Refinery29.com raised the reasonable question whether a bustling hub like New York City is really the best choice for every graduate.

With all that new graduates have to consider, Apartment Guide wants to make the apartment search piece a no-brainer. Check our listings to find the perfect apartment to fit your needs, regardless of which city you call home.

Primedia Launches HD Image Pack to Power a More Visual Search Experience

High-Definition Photo, Video, Floor Plan and Panoramic Imagery Augment Search; Drive Leads

New high-def images add clarity to apartment search.

ATLANTA (March 27, 2013) — PRIMEDIA, the parent company of Apartment Guide, Rent.com, and Rentals.com today launches the industry’s first HD Image Pack™, providing a more visual and comprehensive search experience.  Powered by premium high-definition media, the HD Image Pack caters to consumers’ desire for visuals and represents a sizeable investment by PRIMEDIA to ensure that its customers’ listings are optimized to engage consumers and drive leads. The introduction of this HD content enhances Apartment Guide, Rent.com and Rentals.com listings and solidifies the brand as the most complete and trusted source of information for prospective renters looking to discover the ideal place to live.

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PRIMEDIA and Kingsley Associates Launch Industry’s First Free Certified Resident Ratings & Reviews Service

New Online Reputation Management Service Provides Apartment Communities with Reliable Resident Feedback and Enhances the Consumer Search Experience

 

ATLANTA (February 27, 2013) – PRIMEDIA, the parent company of Apartment Guide, Rent.com and Rentals.com, today launches its Certified Resident Ratings & Reviews℠ service for property operators, the first free-of-charge online ratings and reviews service compiled from certified residents. Developed in partnership with Kingsley Associates, a leading real estate research and consulting firm, this new service allows for reliable feedback exclusively from active renters. With the initial introduction of this new online reputation management service on ApartmentGuide.com, PRIMEDIA’s digital platforms are further solidified as the most complete and trusted source of information for prospective renters looking to discover the ideal place to live.

“We are excited to launch PRIMEDIA’s new Certified Resident Ratings & Reviews service along with Kingsley Associates, as we recognize the importance that property operators place on renter feedback to improve the apartment living experience,” said Arlene Mayfield, senior vice president, PRIMEDIA and president, Apartment Guide, Rentals and Homes divisions. “The rental industry has evolved over the past few years and the importance placed on understanding a two-way dialogue between properties and their renters has never been more essential. Now, property operators can use content from ratings and reviews to prioritize the feedback and make ongoing improvements to customer service.”

Industry research shows that property owners and operators desire balanced, trustworthy reviews and today’s consumer trusts online reviews just as much as personal recommendations. In addition, Steve Lefkovits, President of Joshua Tree Consulting and Executive Producer of the Apartment Internet Marketing (AIM) Conference added, “Ratings and reviews represent the democratization of consumer purchasing. Residents gain confidence from reviews supporting the rental process, making it easier to find a home that fits.”

The Certified Resident Ratings & Reviews service not only helps property operators manage online reputations efficiently, but ensures authenticity of the feedback:

  • Collection of Reviews: Apartment Guide’s more than 20,000 multi-family customers (more than 5 million apartment units) will be able to opt-in to generate free market research about active residents
  • Rating Scale: Certified residents will rate properties on various attributes focused on creating a summary rating based on a 5-point scale
  • Certification Process: Reviews will be certified to ensure the resident is active and that content is not inappropriate or offensive
  • Authenticity of Certification: Posted reviews will include a badge certifying that feedback is from a current resident

The potential value of Apartment Guide’s Certified Resident Ratings & Reviews℠ service is recognized by a number of leading apartment operators across the nation, including AvalonBay Communities, Inc., Holland Residential, Pegasus Residential, ZRS Management, LLC., and Home Properties, Inc.

“I’m pleased to see that Apartment Guide and Kingsley Associates have developed this service; it’s clear that a great deal of thought has been put into the Certified Resident Ratings & Reviews program,” stated Rosemarie Cook-Manley, Vice President of Marketing with Home Properties. In addition, Holland Residential’s Director of Marketing, Josh McDonald, commented on the multifamily industry’s trend towards embracing ratings and reviews, stating, “It won’t be long before every prospect has read a rating or review prior to making a renting decision.” And Jeremy Brown, Vice President of Marketing with ZRS Management added, “ZRS embraces consumer ratings and reviews, and is delighted that Apartment Guide is adding this to their consumer experience in such a relevant and meaningful way; we look forward to the positive benefits this content will undoubtedly drive to our participating communities.”

Once ratings and reviews are collected from certified residents (by Kingsley Associates), renters will be able to search for an apartment on Apartment Guide, Rent.com and Rentals.com, based on individual preferences and robust search capabilities including relevancy, rating, and timeliness.

“We are very excited about this new partnership with PRIMEDIA as it benefits the apartment industry at large,” states Steve Kingsley, founder, Kingsley Associates. “Over the past two years, our clients have become increasingly concerned with how to best manage their online reputation and this partnership provides owners and managers with the best opportunity to engage with customers in an un-biased, solutions-oriented manner.”

The service will also include a free dashboard, allowing property operators to manage their reputation on an ongoing basis and respond to reviews. To increase efficiencies, owners and operators can optimize renter responses and property performance by viewing individual statistics, metrics and company-wide trending information, all of which can promote meaningful community reviews.

For more information about PRIMEDIA, please visit www.primedia.com. For more information about Kingsley Associates, please visit www.KingsleyAssociates.com.

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About PRIMEDIA
PRIMEDIA helps millions of consumers nationwide find apartments, houses for rent or new homes for sale through its category-leading websites and mobile applications, including ApartmentGuide.com, Rent.com, Rentals.com, RentalHouses.com and NewHomeGuide.com. PRIMEDIA continues to simplify the consumer home search and drive leads that result in occupancies for property management companies, landlords, new home builders and real estate professionals. For more information, visit www.primedia.com.

About Kingsley Associates
The most successful firms in real estate rely on Kingsley Associates for cutting-edge business intelligence solutions. Kingsley Associates’ services include annual resident satisfaction assessments as well as event-driven surveys focused on specific life cycle interactions (prospect, move in, renewal, work order and move out). In 2012, Kingsley Associates surveyed in excess of 1.5 million current and prospective renters on behalf of its clients and is home to the deepest and most sophisticated benchmarking tool, the Kingsley Index. Kingsley Associates also provides: client perception studies, strategic consulting and operations benchmarking services. To learn more, please visit our Website www.KingsleyAssociates.com or our blog www.kingsleyinsight.com.

Simplify Your Apartment Search With Our New iPhone App

With slide navigation and a sleek new look, the Apartment Guide iPhone app version 5.0 will make your apartment search easy and fun.

You have custom furniture, clothing and smartphone cases; why not customize your apartment search? It’s easy with the new Apartment Guide app for iPhone version 5.0. With support for iOS6 and iPhone 5, a fresh look and feel, slide navigation, map-based searches and a feature that allows you to easily keep track of apartments you’ve contacted, the redesigned iPhone mobile app allows you to receive customized results like never before.

As always, you can search thousands of updated-daily apartments for rent, view photos and floor plans, select amenities to help you find the ideal place to live and call or email properties you’re interested in, right from the app. Once you select one or a few places you like, your phone’s GPS feature and the app will provide driving directions for how to get there so you can check them out in person.

Here’s a quick guide to what else the Apartment Guide app for iPhone version 5.0 has to offer:

  • Slide navigation improves accessibility to apartment information
  • Map-based search allows you to quickly focus on the exact area you want to be in
  • GPS system finds apartments near your current location, or specify the city, state or ZIP code you want to search
  • Deals Nearby feature quickly identifies apartments offering special incentives and discounts
  • Advanced Search and Search Filters help you specify the number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, price range and more
  • Recent Searches lets you quickly repeat a previous search
  • My Places stores the apartments you’ve saved, called or emailed for future reference

Now that you know a little more about the Apartment Guide app for iPhone version 5.0, download it for FREE at http://www.apartmentguide.com/mobile-app/.

Cautiously Optimistic Outlook in 2012

This article was original published in the November 2011 edition of UNITS magazine, a publication of the National Apartment Association (NAAHQ.org) and written by Greg Willett

Economic indicators seem to be flashing signs of continued improvement for the apartment industry in 2012.

Cautiously optimistic may be the best phrase to describe the general mood across the apartment industry going into 2012. On the operations side of the business, substantial progress over the past two years has restored revenues to the levels seen prior to the recession in most parts of the country. Some areas are registering rents at new highs. At the same time, capital flows have improved quite a bit, leading to a sizable upturn in transactions within the existing product base as well as a modest bump in new construction starts.

But the overall economy remains very weak, raising some questions about the volume of future demand and the ability of the resident base to pay higher rents.

Occupancy Should Remain Healthy

Total employment growth isn’t where anyone wants it to be, and the options for pushing job production to higher levels without spending a lot of money the country doesn’t have are very limited. New household formation likely will remain muted in 2012. Yet, net demand for apartments seems apt to prove healthy even in that sort of environment. Young adults, who tend to be renters, are getting most of the jobs that are available, and loss of renters to housing purchase remains way below the historical norm. Furthermore, it just won’t take much demand to surpass the small number of new units that will be delivered in 2012.

MPF Research’s examination of the performances posted for 6.5 million apartments across the country showed Q3 2011 occupancy at 94.8 percent, not quite back to the highs sustained in 2005-2007 but a little bit ahead of the long-term norm established over the past decade. Overall occupancy likely will firm further—roughly half of a percentage point or so—during the coming year, assuming top-line job change that is only very slightly positive.

Look for that occupancy improvement to be focused mostly in the middle-market segment of the product spectrum. Top-tier communities already are essentially full, while bottom-end projects will be most vulnerable to further softness in the job creation volume.

Rent Growth Prospects Look Solid

Annual change in effective rents for the country as a whole stood at 4.3 percent as of Q3 2011. Helping that overall number come in at such a healthy level, there weren’t any metros that lost substantial ground. While the change in Las Vegas technically fell into negative territory at roughly -1 percent, even the nation’s most challenged market nearly broke even. At the top of the charts, San Francisco and San Jose realized double-digit annual rent growth, and the pace of increase was at 6 percent to 8 percent in the rest of the Pacific Northwest as well as spots such as Austin, Boston, Denver, Minneapolis, New York and Pittsburgh.

The healthy occupancy anticipated in 2012 points to another year of rent growth that should basically mirror 2011’s robust upturn. But actual results will be influenced by how property management personnel handle a couple of key challenges on the way.

First, the fact that 2012 is a presidential election year guarantees a deafening roar of folks screaming that the economy is near total collapse and that the country must change directions to avoid heading off the edge of a cliff. Operators who cover their ears and set rents based on the financial results they’re experiencing at their properties should boost pricing substantially. On the other hand, those who let emotion play a big part in their decisions could leave money sitting on the table, particularly when it comes to raising rents for residents with leases coming up for renewal.

Second, even the best property managers probably will have to deal with resident churn above the unusually low levels they’ve gotten used to over the past two or three years. In most locales, 2012 will be the second or third year that rents have gone up notably at the same time that incomes haven’t moved up much, if at all.

While the ratio of rent to income remains well within the historical norm in the big picture across most metros, select households are going to feel that they’ve reached their spending limits. Some will choose to downgrade product quality when making housing choices. (That’s a factor in the favorable prospects for occupancy growth in the middle-market segment of apartments.) Others will opt for smaller floor plans, or we could see a minor upturn in the number of roommate households.

Acceleration in the loss of renters to purchase could impact apartment resident churn figures in the country’s strongest local economies, primarily the Texas metros.

Capital Flow Fuels Deals, Development

The flood of distressed apartment assets anticipated by many as the country’s economy hit the wall in 2008-2009 simply never materialized. By late 2010, some who had been waiting for bargains moved on, and limited transaction activity at pricing not all that different from pre-recession levels began to emerge. Sales volumes then surged in 2011, though the total was only a little more than halfway back to its 2007 peak of roughly $90 billion, in part because lots of owners wanted to hang onto their product with so much upside potential anticipated in property performance.

Cap rates trended downward to an average of 5 percent to 5.5 percent for stabilized top-tier product in most major markets, and it wasn’t unusual to see sub-5 percent cap rates during the last half of the year for trades that involved trophy assets in gateway cities.

The economy’s general struggles don’t seem to be dampening the appetite for existing multifamily housing to any significant degree, as apartments remain the preferred choice across the real estate product types and are perceived as one of the safer options across the entire spectrum of investment alternatives.

Sales volumes appear likely to continue to rise meaningfully in 2012, with the exact figures apt to be shaped more by whether today’s owners are willing to sell than whether there will be demand for the properties that do come to market. Cap rates should come in at flat to slightly lower levels. Look for total capital deployment to be a little less concentrated on premium projects in just a handful of cities, though it’s still going to be hard to get a deal done on lesser-quality properties generally and particularly those located in secondary or tertiary markets.

On the development front, 2011 brought a slew of announcements for planned construction in the apartment sector. Yet, relatively few of those properties have started coming out of the ground so far, as it’s taking quite a while to get from the concept, financing and approval stages to physical construction. Completions in 2012 will remain very small by historical standards, no more than 150,000 units or about half the typical tally established in the decade prior to the recession.

Some developers report that cold feet began to show up among select equity sources as the general economy deteriorated in the second half of 2011, bringing into doubt whether starts in 2012 will ramp up to quite the volume anticipated previously. MPF Research expects a continued gradual upturn in building activity, rather than a sudden spurt, with starts likely to trend from about 175,000 units in 2011 to an average of some 200,000 to 250,000 units over the next couple of years.

Great, Good or Something Else?

Compared to the downright giddy expectations widespread across the apartment industry going into 2011, there’s a little bit of nervousness apparent now. Another collapse of the economy as a whole can’t be dismissed entirely. And that scenario would stall—but probably not completely derail—apartment sector momentum.

Most likely, however, is that the industry will weather a year of slow growth in the general economy without any real damage, logging a very healthy annual performance for apartment revenues and increasing velocity for transactions and development.

Wouldn’t you rather be operating in the apartment world at this point than in just about any other industry niche?

Greg Willett is Vice President, Research & Analysis for MPF Research, a division of RealPage Inc., and can be reached at greg.willett@realpage.com.

The orginal article can be read on NAA’s website.

Protect Your Reputation with Reputation Monitor from Apartment Guide

In business, there are few things more valuable than a company’s reputation, and in a world where opinions have gone viral – and mobile! – keeping a close watch on what people are saying is paramount.

When the battle for social media supremacy involves both reputation and knowledge, how does a leasing company turn all those bits of shared information into rented units?

What if you knew when a great online review was posted about your community – or a really negative one? If you followed and could address these very different situations quickly, how many potential renters could you influence – and how many units might you be able to rent?

Apartment Guide wants to connect you with a system called Reputation Monitor which helps with these and many other important online brand management tasks.

The Reputation Monitor interface allows you to call up consumer comments from a wide variety of online sources like Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, and Citysearch – all from one easy-to-use dashboard.

With the visibility monitoring provided by this product, you can easily find apartment community listings on the Web sites and social networks you choose to follow– alongside reviews and ratings– for valuable consumer insight.

And use the metrics collected by Reputation Monitor to keep a close eye on where you stand, including how often your property is mentioned compared to your competitors.

If renting success depends, in part, on popularity, then it helps to know who’s ahead – and taking a proactive stance to foster and protect your property’s brand image is the way to stay ahead.

Ensure that you know what is being said about you online with the innovative tools of Apartment Guide’s Reputation Monitor.

Apartment Guide Announces Your Picks. Your Place. Sweepstakes Grand Prize Winner

Renter from Brooklyn, New York Wins $10,000 Grand Prize

September 12, 2011

ATLANTA (Sept. 12, 2011) Apartment Guide, a leading resource for apartments for rent nationwide, announced today the $10,000 grand prize winner of the “Your Picks. Your Place. Sweepstakes” as Kate E., an apartment renter from Brooklyn, N.Y.  The announcement is the finale to the summer moving season and closes out Apartment Guide’s most successful consumer promotion to date, garnering more than 160,000 entries.

 

During the sweepstakes, which ran from June 15 through August 10, the official website, YourPicksYourPlace.com, drove 90 percent conversion of visitors to entries, and 35 percent of entrants opted-in to receive future notifications from Apartment Guide. Ongoing social media engagement on Facebook® and Twitter and from key influencers provided Apartment Guide with the most online industry coverage during peak moving months, further bolstering the impact of the sweepstakes.

“The Your Picks. Your Place. Sweepstakes proved to be a valuable way to introduce Apartment Guide to potential renters in key markets nationwide and leverage the power of social media,” said Arlene Mayfield, president, Apartment Guide. “The sweepstakes was an effective way to continue enhancing our consumer experience, resulting in maximizing leads and leases.”

The sweepstakes was designed to demonstrate multiple decorating style possibilities. Apartment Guide partnered with four featured bloggers to select items to fit various design themes, including modern, traditional, retro and French cottage. Every two weeks, a new room and the blogger’s picks were unveiled and consumers voted for their favorite designs.   To enter, consumers could visit YourPicksYourPlace.com from June 15 through August 10 and vote on their preferred room design for a chance to win the grand prize or one of eight $250 weekly prizes, which were announced on the site during the sweepstakes period.

 

The official sweepstakes rules can be found at www.yourpicksyourplace.com. The sweepstakes was not sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook Inc. or Twitter, Inc.

 

About Apartment Guide

A 36-year apartment industry expert, Apartment Guide helps millions of consumers nationwide find an apartment through innovative Internet, mobile and print solutions. A trusted brand, it is a primary apartment search resource, offering potential renters content-rich apartment listings and information. For more information visit http://www.apartmentguide.com.

PRIMEDIA, Apartment Guide and ApartmentGuide.com are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of PRIMEDIA Inc. Facebook® is a registered trademark of Facebook Inc. Twitter is a trademark of Twitter, Inc.

© PRIMEDIA Inc. 2011. All rights reserved.

Apartment Guide Launches Your Picks. Your Place. Sweepstakes

Customers Vote on YourPicksYourPlace.com for a Chance to Win a Grand Prize of $10,000

June 15, 2011

 

ATLANTA – (Jun 15, 2011) – Today, Apartment Guide, a leading resource for apartments for rent nationwide, announced the Your Picks. Your Place. Sweepstakes” to kick off the summer moving season. Eligible participants can visit www.YourPicksYourPlace.com June 15 through August 10, and vote once daily on their preferred room design for a chance to win one $10,000 grand prize, or one of eight $250 weekly prizes.

To demonstrate multiple design possibilities, Apartment Guide has partnered with four featured bloggers to select items to fit various design themes, including modern, traditional, retro and shabby chic. Every two weeks, a new room and the blogger’s picks will be unveiled and consumers can vote for their favorite designs.

“The Your Picks. Your Place. Sweepstakes is just another way Apartment Guide is bringing our valued clients innovative ways to connect with potential renters through social media,” said Arlene Mayfield, president, Apartment Guide. “Our social media efforts extend our advertisers’ reach and align with our overarching goal of driving more qualified leads to help our clients fill their vacancies faster than ever before.”

The official sweepstakes announcement and rules can be found at http://www.yourpicksyourplace.com. The sweepstakes is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook®.

About Apartment Guide
A 36-year apartment industry expert, Apartment Guide is the flagship product of Consumer Source Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of PRIMEDIA Inc. (NYSE: PRM). Apartment Guide helps millions of consumers nationwide find an apartment through innovative Internet, mobile and print solutions. A trusted brand, it is a primary apartment search resource, offering potential renters content-rich apartment listings and information. For more information visit http://www.apartmentguide.com or advertise on Apartment Guide for listing information.

PRIMEDIA, Apartment Guide and ApartmentGuide.com are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of PRIMEDIA Inc. Facebook® is a registered trademark of Facebook Inc.
© PRIMEDIA Inc. 2011. All rights reserved.

Apartment Guide Launches Facebook “Search with Friends”

Website functionality enables consumers to search for apartments along with Facebook friends

April 18, 2011

ATLANTA (April 18, 2011) – Apartment Guide, a leading resource for apartments for rent nationwide, announced that its new “Search with Friends” website functionality is now available for users. This industry first helps consumers engaged in the apartment search process as well as apartment communities looking to better leverage social media tools and reach the more than 150 million people in the United States who are currently accessing Facebook.

Consumers looking for apartments on ApartmentGuide.com will have the opportunity to invite their Facebook friends to join them in their apartment search. Once the invitation is sent, Facebook users have the ability to add friends and form a search group, look for and save favorite apartments for rent, and add apartments to their My Favorites section on ApartmentGuide.com. Once a user saves the apartment to the My Favorites section, others in the apartment search group will see it in their Facebook activity feeds and will also be able to comment on the property. The “Search with Friends” functionality also provides roommates an easy, quick method to search for apartments together.

“The majority of people who are using Facebook are ages 18 to 34 and we aim to provide them with an easier apartment search process both on our site and in social media forums,” said Arlene Mayfield, president, Apartment Guide. “By offering consumers this online community to discuss apartment options through a communication tool they are already embracing, we are enhancing the online renter experience and increasing engagement.”

In order to further reach this demographic, Apartment Guide has also entered into a custom brand integration with Apartment Therapy Media, an online destination for all things home, which has more than five million unique readers each month. The relationship includes sole sponsorship by Apartment Guide of Apartment Therapy’s popular “Before & After” content, which is geared towards inspiring readers to create their dream living spaces, no matter what the size.

About Apartment Guide

A 36-year apartment industry expert, Apartment Guide is the flagship product of Consumer Source Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of PRIMEDIA Inc. (NYSE: PRM). Apartment Guide helps millions of consumers nationwide find an apartment through innovative Internet, mobile and print solutions. A trusted brand, it is a primary apartment search resource, offering potential renters content-rich apartment listings and information. For more information visit http://www.apartmentguide.com or advertise on Apartment Guide for listing information.

PRIMEDIA, Apartment Guide and ApartmentGuide.com are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of PRIMEDIA Inc. Facebook® is a registered trademark of Facebook Inc. Apartment Therapy is a trademark of Apartment Therapy, LLC. © PRIMEDIA Inc. 2011. All rights reserved.

Contact:

Kristi Crawford
Apartment Guide
678-421-3476
kcrawford@primedia.com