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Mobile-Optimized Sites Versus Mobile Apps

Mobile-Optimized Sites Versus Mobile Apps
Let's face it: it's a mobile app world, and we're just living in it. According to eMarketer, smartphone users spend 90 percent of their time online in apps. One study showed that the total sessions in travel/navigation apps increased 50 percent worldwide between 2016 and 2018, while another one indicated that more than half of consumers (57 percent) have used a retailer's mobile app while in-store. Yet another one demonstrated that consumers are expected to download 258.2 billion mobile apps in 2022, up from 178.1 billion in 2017.These numbers provide powerful evidence that mobile apps play a fundamental, indispensable role in people's lives. And they should remain top of mind when apartment communities consider whether to offer residents a mobile app or a mobile-optimized portal.What's the Design Difference?We all know that the main difference is that apps must be downloaded by the user for use on a mobile device through an app store like Apple or Google Play. Unlike mobile-optimized sites, apps allow businesses to send out push and in-app notifications to the user. Generally speaking, apps can provide users with a more nimble and responsive experience than mobile websites can. Mobile-optimized websites are designed to easily accommodate different screen sizes. Users can access them through their phone browsers without downloading anything to their mobile devices. When contemplating whether to implement a mobile-optimized resident portal to allow residents to do things like make rent payments or file service requests, multifamily operators should bear in mind that users have different communication and......
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Meet Renter Demand, Put Mobile First

The average time spent browsing on a smartphone per month in the US is 87 hours, compared with 34 hours on desktop, and more than 70 percent of total digital minutes are spent on mobile devices. Additionally, Google reports that more than half of its search queries globally occur on mobile devices.   If that isn’t enough to convince you to put mobile first in your marketing activities, nothing is. While mobile plays a significant role in multifamily business today, that pales in comparison to its role in the lives of renters. Despite this, few property managers offer mobile apps to residents so they can pay their rent, let alone run mobile-based marketing campaigns that drive leads and leases.   The good news is that making your mark on mobile isn’t as daunting as it seems. There are three primary ways you can make mobile work for you to improve prospect and resident engagement:   1. Optimize your community websites for mobile. Google announced in 2016 that it would index sites based on their mobile versions. Optimizing for mobile can be as simple as moving the site to a platform that includes responsive web design on all websites.   Several multifamily software vendors, along with most content management platforms, offer automated responsive web design that makes it easy for you to get up and running. Custom systems may require more time and effort on your part to set up, though the ROI could make the process worthwhile.   2. Create a per......
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Responsive Design vs. Mobile-Specific for Apartment Websites

Responsive Design vs. Mobile-Specific for Apartment Websites
In recent years debate has unfolded on whether web designers should use responsive web design or build a separate, native mobile site.  Responsive sites automatically resize elements on the page to fit whatever device is being used.  Mobile-specific sites are specifically designed for mobile phones and native touch-screen functions. There are advantages to both, and strong feelings lie on each side of the ideological fight. For multifamily marketers, it's important to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each when evaluating mobile options for apartment websites, so you can provide your target audience with the best possible mobile experience, considering the intended mobile behaviors and preferences of current/prospective residents. So here's a quick compare and contrast to help equip you for your team's next mobile/responsive discussion: Mobile-Specific Sites Pros Websites designed specifically for mobile environments are known for catering site content/functions to appeal specifically to mobile users' intended actions when visiting your site. Mobile users generally want information quicker than users on a desktop. Mobile-specific takes this into consideration and is designed to get them what they need without the fuss or frills.  They also provide calls to action (CTAs) that are most opportune for a mobile user's likely stance in the sales cycle, which for apartment seekers would probably be "Call Today", "Map it", or "Submit a Guest Card." You'll also find that mobile sites generally have faster load times. Cons The biggest challenge with a mobile-specific site is that it requires a different code base from your desktop site. You're essentially creating (and maintaining) two different websites, which can get expensive to develop and tedious to update. And while the content and function of the......
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