Walkability Rocks

By on Apr 23, 2013 in Technology

Prospects love apartments in walkable neighborhoods. And more likely than not, they are checking out what neighborhood attractions they could get to on foot before they even decide to come check out a potential new apartment community.

Location-based technology has made assessing such neighborhood info as easy as can be. With a simple search on a service like Walk Score, potential residents know before they schedule a viewing appointment how far the community is from their favorite coffee shop, restaurant, or gym. And they are more likely to get excited about a new home that offers easy, convenient access to their favorite things.

“One-third (of apartment renters) are willing to pay more to easily walk to their work, to entertainment and to restaurants,” said Josh Herst, CEO of Walk Score, at Inman Connects.

Herst will be a featured speaker at the 2013 Apartment Internet Marketing conference, coming up from April 29 to May 1 in Huntington Beach. He’s slated to speak with 30Lines CEO Mike Whaling  on “the uncharted digital marketing opportunity of maps, mapping, and location-based services.”

Multifamily managers that want to harness the power of Walk Score can take advantage of the site’s walkable grading service with its built-in functionality on RentCafe marketing websites.

See how it works in the image below. Clicking on the “Neighborhood” button brings up the Walk Score information for the community’s neighborhood, including what restaurants, grocery stores, parks, shopping and more can be found nearby.



Prospects can drill down to get more detail on how the Walk Score is computed, search for other businesses they may be interested in having close by, and access easy lists in each location category that include distances, so they’ll know exactly how far the nearest bank, library or convenience store would be.

“The score is primarily based on proximity to nearby amenities—grocery stores, restaurants, schools, parks, entertainment—the things that people want to be able to access regularly as part of their regular routine and errand running and such. As you may know, an increasing number of consumers are saying that access to these things is one of the most important criteria in deciding where to live, whether that’s buying a house or renting an apartment,” Herst told Multi-Housing News.

“Location based technology like Walkscore also benefits communities that aren’t highly walkable,” says Esther Bonardi, Industry Principal of Yardi Marketing Solutions.  “Apartment shoppers use these tools to understand how close goods and services are to the community, even if they don’t plan to walk there.”  Indeed, incorporating neighborhood information in multifamily marketing strategy is a best practice for most communities, not just those in dense urban areas.

RentCafe marketing websites also offer interactive Google maps that feature bird’s eye and street level views, providing consumers with a comprehensive overview of the neighborhood in a format they’re already accustomed to. Prospects will be impressed with the convenience and easy access to such vital  neighborhood information – and they’ll be excited to rent an apartment near more than a few of their favorite things.