The pandemic has caused a shifting renter trend that is greatly impacting the real estate market. With COVID-19 forcing many to work remotely, renters now have more flexibility with where they choose to settle down. And while population density plays a role in decision-making, the recent migration appears to be price-based.
With housing prices going up and rental prices going down, paying month-to-month in a more suburban or rural area is now an attractive option. Brokers and agents are facing more competition as this demand trend continues into 2021.
As real estate professionals strategize on how to do business in 2021’s competitive, fast-paced housing market, they’ll discover the need for better tools to market their listings. Apartments.com provides a solution by helping brokers and agents grow listing visibility among rental properties, attracting more clients in the new year.
Who is Apartments.com?
Apartments.com is the leading online rental listing website, offering renters access to information on more than one million available units. Besides apartment complexes, this platform displays available condos, single-family houses and townhomes.
“Many brokers and agents may not realize that Apartments.com is more than just apartments,” stated Simon Law, Senior VP of Apartments.com Operations. “It’s actually the leading rental marketplace for all types of residential rental properties, and millions of renters come to the site searching for exactly these types of homes.
“That allows us to deliver millions of leads for free to brokers and agents that use an MLS to list their rental vacancies,” he continued. “And unlike other companies, we never sell or share those leads with competing brokers.”
Apartments.com works directly with roughly 250 MLSs across the country to provide brokers and agents maximum visibility for their listings. If their MLS is a data-sharing partner of Apartments.com, brokers and agents can easily “opt-in” to have their rental listings shared automatically across the Apartments.com Network of sites. This increased reach requires no duplicative efforts but can lead to valuable, efficient exposure to a new network of potential leads.
Solutions in an Unusual Housing Market
With businesses adopting a mobile workforce, employees no longer have to live close to their office building. This has opened the door for residents to relocate to less densely populated and inexpensive areas, particularly in the suburbs.
Apartments.com found that 38% of renters searching the site are looking for apartments outside their markets. In fact, suburban market search impressions are up 63%. With demand up in suburban markets, brokers and agents need to stand out from the competition, especially as supply gets scarcer and renters move further from the urban core.
Real estate professionals can also help renters learn about the neighborhood and gain advanced insights about available properties. This is especially helpful for renters relocating to a new market and reinforces that an agent’s knowledge is invaluable to the consumer, further building their pipeline of potential clients as their rental connections evolve into clients looking to buy. Now more than ever, agents and brokers have to be visible in outside markets as well. When a broker’s MLS is partnered with Apartments.com, their listings can be seen by a wider audience without duplicating their efforts of uploading listings across multiple sites.
Apartments.com has over 320,000 active listings of houses, townhomes, condos and duplexes across its network which includes: Apartments.com, ForRent.com, ApartmentFinder.com, ApartmentHomeLiving.com, WestsideRentals.com, Apartamentos.com, ForRentUniveristy.com.
The listing website relies heavily on national advertising and reaches over 100 million renters across TV, video on demand, and social media. Once the MLS partnership is established, listings are automatically placed on the Apartments.com network, where the broker’s phone number and email associated with their MLS listing are used to directly receive leads that come in from those listings on Apartments.com.
How technology supports agents
Apartments.com leads the industry in providing advanced tools and the most innovative rental technology available. This is especially beneficial for those looking to rent during COVID-19. With map drawing tools, high resolution photos and video, and online applications, potential tenants can make housing decisions from the comfort of their own home. This makes it easier, and quicker, for brokers and agents to close deals, providing all the details needed to make a decision in one platform.
“Our technology helps both sides of the coin. We provide renters with the largest selection of available rentals along with powerful search tools, which attracts more renters that in turn provides maximum exposure to the listings on our site,” Law said. “For brokers and agents, we set up data feeds with hundreds of MLSs around the country, so it’s easy for them to list with their MLS and automatically get their listings across our entire network. Our platform provides this robust exchange that helps both parties close the deal faster and easier than anyone else in the industry.”
The rise in remote work will continue to shift the housing market, and brokers need to be prepared. Apartments.com can help agents gain additional visibility and new leads. Visit www.apartments.com/mls-listings to check if your MLS is a data-feed partner. If not, ask your MLS to set up a data-feed with Apartments.com.