The best way to search for apartments with your smartphone is to download one or two apartment search applications. Many websites that list ads by landlords, property managers and apartment communities have developed their own smartphone applications, but there are also ones available from third party developers. Here are some ways to find those applications as well as features to look for:
Some apartment communities have their own smartphone applications for tenants who want to search for apartments. If you have a particular community in mind, check their website to see whether they have a smartphone application available for download. For example, Gables Residential Apartment Community offers its own application for prospective tenants to download, and it’s available directly on its website, at www.gables.com. That’s just one example of how apartment communities are trying to make it easier for you to see what they have to offer.
Regional Apartment Communities
If you don’t have a specific location in mind, you may want to search for apartments within a region of the country using your smartphone. There are applications available to help you do that. For example, Mid-America Apartment Communities has a smartphone application that lists apartments in 14 states. You can get pictures delivered to the phone as well directions and maps. They have at least one application for the various smartphones on the market.
Applications for Your Specific Smartphone
Another approach that you can take when using your smartphone to search for apartments is to find a free application for your specific phone. Go to your favorite search engine and conduct a general search using the keyword phrase “(name of phone) and apartment search application” to find one. You can also find many applications in the iTunes App Store. General apartment search applications are often not restricted to one or a few apartment communities. They offer more general apartment ads, by searching major websites, such as Craigslist.com.
Feature to Look for in Smartphone Application
Many smartphone applications offer benefits that can make your search for apartments easier and faster. When you’re comparing applications, make sure that they include these features:
- Driving directions and maps to each apartment
- Floor plans
- Photos of the exterior and interior of apartments
- Apartment availability
- Ability to send landlord or property manager email
- Details of apartment amenities
If you have limited options for features, but the application you choose works well for the specific apartment community that you’re interested in, then it’s fine to forgo some of these features. Otherwise, it’s best to get as many features as possible on any application that you download.
Using your smartphone to search for apartments is a convenient way to identity prospects, but after that, traditional rules for checking out the apartments apply. For example, you should contact the landlord immediately when you find something you like, especially if you’re searching in an area where vacant apartments disappear fast. You should also drive by, and not just rely on the photos on your smartphone.