You Can Talk the Talk, But Can You Walk the Walk?
Everybody loves talking up the transit orientation of new communities these days, and sure, TOD development is great from both an environmental standpoint and from a marketing standpoint for multifamily developers and operators eager to tap into still-employed young urbanites. But how to compare, say, a community with an escalator to a metro station and a Whole Foods on the ground floor fronting a public park next to a concert venue with another community that has a bus stop and a McDonald's across the street, which, by the way, just happens to be a four-lane highway with a lot of trucker usage?
Seattle-based Walkscore.com has gone a long way to help consumers better understand the walkability and urban amenities of their neighborhoods, but until now there's been little if any multifamily apartment presence included in their service offering. This week Walk Score announced a partnership with San Francisco-based multifamily ILS MyNewPlace.com designed to improve the user experience of both sites by sharing content, links and services between the two companies.
“A recent MyNewPlace survey indicated 79 percent of renters believe neighborhood information is an important factor when deciding on a particular apartment over another,” MyNewPlace vice president of marketing Mark Moran said in a statement announcing the partnership. “Utilizing leading-edge walkability technology available from Walk Score allows us to provide prospects with an in-depth feel for a neighborhood thereby making them a more qualified lead for landlords.”
Walk Score walkability ratings will accompany all rental listings found on MyNewPlace, providing users with access to information about their targeted neighborhoods including stores, transportation and schools. If a Walk Score user has identified a neighborhood they are interested in, they can likewise find available apartments by linking from Walk Score to MyNewPlace.
According to Walk Score and MyNewPlace, the online partnership creates a prospect who is more informed about where they want to live and why they want to live there, thus increasing the likelihood of a turning that prospect into a resident.
What do you think? Are prospects shopping your neighborhood amenities as much as they are shopping you? Email me and let me know.