I Love Leasing Blog

"The Evolution and Future of Apartment Marketing" by Alec Berkman, Bisnow National


Tactics have changed more in the past 20 years than the 300 before them. The amenity recently receiving the most attention from developers, property managers and tenants is the one that’s most responsible for enabling this remarkable shift — the internet. How exactly has the state of apartment marketing been transformed by the web? Read on for an authoritative Bisnow inventory of its past, present and future. 

Since the first newspaper ad, an announcement seeking a buyer for an estate in Oyster Bay, Long Island, was published in 1704, all the way up to 1993, apartment marketers relied on print media to disseminate information. In this time frame, brokers used ads in local newspapers, magazines, billboards and telemarketing cold calls to sell condo units and lease apartments. The advent of the internet didn't immediately make these forms of advertising extinct. Real estate is notoriously slow to adopt new technology, and this sluggishness pervaded advertising. Despite the internet's having existed since the ‘70s, it was only afforded serious attention as a marketing tool beginning in 1993, the year Mosaic was developed, enabled by the High Performance Computing and Communication Act of 1991. 

Even after Amazon and Craigslist were founded in '94 and '95, respectively, and people acclimated to searching for goods and services online, it wasn't until Apartment Ratings was founded in 2000 that looking up building data online gained traction. Redfin, Trulia and Zillow, arriving in the mid-2000s, accelerated this, giving online apartment marketing a foothold as the general public, rather than just early adopters, started shopping online.

Even today, as ever-increasing internet speeds allow a tremendous volume of transactions online, often without the buyer needing to touch the merchandise to be swayed to purchase, housing stands apart. We still want to see, to experience, firsthand the spaces we’ll be inhabiting. Plus, word-of-mouth is still a potent influence.  READ ARTICLE