Press Releases

Apartments.com Announces Acquisition of ApartmentHomeLiving.com

Apartment Home Living Enables Apartments.com to Broaden Its Reach to Renters Through Apartment Home Living’s Unique Audience of Renters and Social Media Expertise

Chicago - February 2, 2009

Apartments.com today announced the acquisition of Apartment Home Living, a leading social media apartment Web site distinguished by a "live for fun" community experience, proprietary lifestyle matching and local living guides to help renters find their perfect place to live. By acquiring Apartment Home Living, Apartments.com is able to deepen its footprint in the online apartment rental search category and further extend its reach to a broader audience of renters.

"The acquisition of Apartment Home Living allows Apartments.com to offer an even more desirable solution to advertisers," said Kevin Doyle, senior vice president and general manager of Apartments.com. "Through the power of two of the nation’s leading apartment search Web sites, Apartments.com will drive even more qualified renter leads to our listings through unmatched renter exposure on more than 1,000 partner Web sites, continued strides and advances in product innovation and well-positioned social media initiatives, capturing a broader audience of renters."

The casual attitude and youthful style of Apartment Home Living appeals to more than 525,000 monthly Web site visitors. By taking a pioneering lead in the social media space, Apartment Home Living is positioned as the leader in local, social search and online video for the apartment rental industry nationwide. With nearly 4,000 local neighborhood guides, Apartment Home Living provides robust local content to renters including more than 1,100 videos posted to multiple popular video-sharing Web sites.

"Every renter is different. To attract a broader audience, it’s important to be able to speak to a variety of personalities and reach new audiences by leveraging the booming trend of social media," said Larry Cotter, general manager of Apartment Home Living, "At Apartment Home Living, our #1 priority is to provide users with a fun and enjoyable living experience through an engaging and entertaining Web site that allows community residents to interact with one another. The collaboration between Apartment Home Living and Apartments.com will further solidify each Web site’s footprint in the online apartment rentals search category by offering renters more apartment search options, reaching new renters by co-existing where they spend the most time online and providing advertisers with unmatched renter exposure through national partnerships, aggressive social media initiatives and the combined monthly traffic delivered by each site."

Apartments.com and Apartment Home Living will continue to operate as two separate Web sites allowing consumers to enjoy the unique rental search features each site offers. All Apartments.com listings will appear on Apartment Home Living. There are no changes to existing listings on Apartments.com.

In addition, Apartment Home Living offers apartment communities "MyMedia"–a product that helps apartment managers increase their closing and retention rates by facilitating the communication between the leasing office, rental prospect and current residents. "MyMedia" dynamically generates professionally produced and personalized emails, forms, flyers, videos and more. A version of "MyMedia" will be available to Apartments.com customers this spring.

Both Apartments.com and Apartment Home Living will maintain separate business units. Apartments.com is headquartered in Chicago and Apartment Home Living is in Austin, Texas.

About Apartment Home Living
Based in Austin, Texas, Apartment Home Living is the leading apartment lifestyle brand. Apartment Home Living operates off the mantra that apartment living is the "funnest" way to live. With proprietary apartment lifestyle matching, 3,700+ local living guides, social networking and engaging content, Apartment Home Living helps residents find the perfect place, connect with their neighbors and neighborhood and "Live for Fun." The Apartment Home Living Premium Apartment Manager Program includes a portfolio of personalized flyers, forms, digital brochures, videos and other tools to help apartment managers increase closing and retention ratios.

About Apartments.com
Apartments.com is the most visited national apartment Internet listing subscription service with more than 50,000 unique addresses representing more than three million rental units from managed properties, newspaper classifieds and for-rent-by-owner properties. With personalized searches, highly visual ads featuring 360-degree virtual tours, professional photography, and comprehensive community listings, Apartments.com makes it possible for renters to access apartment rental inventory from across town or across the country. Leads from highly qualified ready-to-rent prospects are delivered to Apartments.com customers, increasing closure rates and decreasing the average cost of leasing an apartment. The Web site's foundation of solid partnerships with the local newspaper and television station Web sites of more than 10,000 newspaper affiliate and strategic partners across the country include Yahoo! Real Estate, AOL Real Estate, the Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times. Apartments.com is a division of Chicago-based Classified Ventures, LLC.

Media Contact:
Trey Huguley
Marketing, Content, and Video
Apartment Home Living
(512) 610-9201
thuguley[at]apartmenthomeliving.com

Apartment Home Living launches 3,612 City & Neighborhood Apartment Living Guides

Local content to help apartment residents share and discover Apartment Living.

Austin – January 27th, 2009

ApartmentHomeLiving.com, the #1 apartment lifestyle site on the web, today announced the release of 3,612 city and neighborhood specific Apartment Living Guides. With apartment listings and local hotspot reviews in 1,595 cities and 2,017 neighborhoods all over the United States and growing, the Apartment Living Guides mix user generated content, social media and technology to connect apartment residents with their city, neighborhood and neighbors.

Whether residents are looking to find an apartment in a specific neighborhood or near their favorite park, or trying to locate a great coffee shop near their current place, the Apartment Living Guides have it all in one central, fun, and easy-to-use online social community. Plus, ApartmentHomeLiving.com uses high-end video tours within each city guide to help them find the perfect place through a dynamic multi-media viewing experience.

Larry Cotter, Apartment Home Living’s C.E.O., believes "Apartment Living is way cool. However connecting with your neighborhood and neighbors can be a challenge. With local – social apartment living guides we’ve removed that challenge making apartment living even cooler."

The Apartment Living Guides also serve as a social networking outlet for apartment residents to share their favorite neighborhood hotspots with fellow residents through the online submission of their own personal reviews and experiences of places.

Apartments.com Enters Exclusive Partnership with Apartment Home Living to Provide National Apartment Listings

Apartments.com Gains Exposure on Leading Apartment Lifestyle Web site and Serves Apartment Home Living Users with More Options from More Sources Across the Country

Chicago – April 23, 2008

Apartments.com, a national Internet listing service for consumers seeking residential rental properties, today announced it has partnered with Apartment Home Living to be the exclusive apartment listing provider outside the state of Texas. Through this relationship, Apartments.com listings will now have exposure on the leading apartment lifestyle Web site, and Apartment Home Living’s national visitors will be better served with access to the Apartments.com comprehensive database of more than three million apartment listings, one of the largest databases of national rental units available online.

"This is a reciprocal partnership," said Kevin Doyle, senior vice president and general manager of Apartments.com. "Apartment Home Living is now able to offer their community of renters a variety of apartment listings refreshed daily by Apartments.com. And, Apartments.com is able to provide even more qualified leads to its customers through exposure to more than 300,000 monthly Apartment Home Living visitors who are already enthusiastic about apartment life."

Visitors to Apartment Home Living can seamlessly search the Apartments.com listings through Apartment Home Living’s proprietary lifestyle matching program or by geographic location (city, state, zip code) search. No registration is required to view complete details of Apartments.com rental listings, including photos, 360º tours, community descriptions, driving directions and "check availability" features. Apartments.com offers a variety of contact methods including toll-free telephone number and email for prospects to learn more information about a rental.

"We want to communicate a simple message—‘Apartment Living is Fun’ " said Larry Cotter, president and CEO of Apartment Home Living. "We help folks find the best place to live with our lifestyle matching search and provide extensive multimedia content on living, laughing and loving the apartment lifestyle. Our partnership with Apartments.com will produce more apartment matches with more listing options—but even more importantly—happier residents."

As a component of this new partnership with Apartments.com, Apartment Home Living will continue to provide apartment listings to apartment owners and managers but will not solicit new listings outside of Texas.

About Apartments.com
Apartments.com is the most visited national apartment Internet listing subscription service with more than 50,000 unique addresses representing more than three million rental units from managed properties, newspaper classifieds and for-rent-by-owner properties. With personalized searches, highly visual ads featuring 360-degree virtual tours, professional photography, and comprehensive community listings, Apartments.com makes it possible for renters to access apartment rental inventory from across town or across the country. Leads from highly qualified ready-to-rent prospects are delivered to Apartments.com customers, increasing closure rates and decreasing the average cost of leasing an apartment. The Web site's foundation of solid partnerships with the local newspaper and television station Web sites of more than 10,000 newspaper affiliate and strategic partners across the country include Yahoo! Real Estate, AOL Real Estate, the Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times. Apartments.com is a division of Chicago-based Classified Ventures, LLC.

Apartment Home Living Announces Contest Winner

Apartmentite Wins a Free Month’s Rent

Austin – March 26th, 2008

– Apartment Home Living announced today their second winner of the Live 4 Fun: Win 1 Month’s Free Rent Contest. Houston resident Bradvid Vaughn of AAI Century Park apartments won $750 toward his rent. His apartment community, managed by Arruth Associates Inc, will also win $250 simply because Vaughn resides there.

Vaughn won after registering at apartmenthomeliving.com and entering his "Live For". Anyone who entered what they "live for" between December 21, 2007, and March 20, 2008, was entered into the drawing. Drawings will be held three more times throughout 2008.

One out of over 30 other "Apartmentites" who wrote they "Live for Sun," Vaughn was the chosen from more than 25,000 other people who submitted what they "live for" to the website during the past 90 days.

Vaughn, a warehouse technician in Houston, found ApartmentHomeLiving.com through a Google search. He also searched for apartments using his local paper, but ended up using Apartment Home Living because it was easy. Vaughn is excited that his next month’s rent will be taken care of by his winning.

When he’s not spending his time in the warehouse or basking in the sun, Vaughn spends time living for fun by playing baseball and enjoying the occasional video game. Vaughn is really enjoying his first apartment experience noting that the management staff is very friendly and helpful.

Krista Washbourne, Director of Marketing for Apartment Home Living said, "This contest is a great way to give back to our ‘Apartmentites’ who use our site while searching for their next place. It also rewards the managers for listing their community with us."

"Our winner lives for sun, so I hope his apartment has a great patio to relax and soak up the rays," she said. The next winner of the contest will be drawn June 20, 2008. You can add your own "live for" and enter the next drawing at: www.apartmenthomeliving.com/livefor/.

Apartment Home Living Announces Contest Winner

Apartmentite Wins a Free Month’s Rent

Austin - December 20, 2007

– Apartment Home Living announced today their first winner of their Live 4 Fun: Win 1 Month’s Free Rent Contest. Houston resident Porsha Granger of Colony Oaks apartments won $750 toward her rent. Her apartment community, managed by The Finger Company, will also win $250 simply because Porsha resides there.

Granger won after registering at apartmenthomeliving.com and entering her "Live For". Anyone who enters what they "live for" between November 1st, 2007 and December 20th, 2008 is entered into the drawing. Drawings will be held four more times throughout 2008.

One out of four other "Apartmentites" who entered they "Live for Ice Cream," Porsha was the lucky selected winner out of over 24,000 total what do you "live for" entries.

Granger has lived in two apartments so far in her life, but her newest apartment will be her first off-campus. "I haven’t moved in to my apartment yet, but I’m definitely living for fun," Granger said. "It’s bigger, more spacious, and has more light—I actually painted a wall already. It’s gorgeous." Granger is excited that her first month’s rent will be free.

Krista Washbourne, Director of Marketing for Apartment Home Living said it’s a win-win for apartmentites and managers. "It’s an exciting opportunity to give back to our apartmentites …and money is certainly fun! Our winner lives for ice cream, so I hope her new apartment has a large freezer for all the extra ice cream she can buy when she moves in."

The next winner of the contest will be drawn March 20th, 2008. You can add your own "live for" and enter the next drawing at: www.apartmenthomeliving.com/livefor/.

Apartment Home Living launches "Live 4 Fun Resident Newsletter"

Austin – November 1, 2007

Apartment Home Living announces a community-specific, fun and free way for apartment managers to continue to reach out to their current residents every month: The Live 4 Fun Newsletter.

Targeted for the resident, but written with property management’s needs in mind, the one-page Live 4 Fun Resident Newsletter features the community’s own photo and logo contact information, as well as business hours. Then, engaging content is added.

Topics include keeping their place in great shape; decorating and designing with style; and community betterment tips. The newsletter also adds in funny, topical segments like its "No Vacancy" comic and Apartmentite Fun Facts.

Krista Washbourne, director of marketing for Apartment Home Living, believes the newsletter is very different from what most property management companies currently use. "First, it’s totally free and requires zero effort on the manager’s part. We’ll simply send them the link via email or fax and they print it off to distribute whenever it’s convenient for them," she said.

"Second, it presents a very different message to residents…that their apartment life is celebrated, regaled, super fun, and an awesome choice. We know how important this also is to managers who want their residents to stay in their community. We’re hoping to help them with this."

"And finally, the newsletters are customized with your photo and your logo. If you’re not a member with us, no problem. Just contact us and we’ll add your community information and photo to our database and create one for you."

Stephanie Graves, IMT Residential’s trainer, was offered a sneak peek of the newsletter. After seeing it for the first time, she wrote, "I think it's GREAT! I really do!!" The newsletter will be distributed to 7,500 communities nationwide. Look for the Live 4 Fun Newsletter’s debut in early November.

Apartment Home Living launches "Apartment Living"

Austin – September 24, 2007

Apartment Home Living announces two new fun and social sections to their website, "Apartment Living" and "Answers."

The living section of the site is hosted by Jeff, the spokesperson for the site, who celebrates apartment living with a daily blog where users can post their own comments. In addition, the section features hilarious apartment videos, links to funny or informative apartment-related sites, and discussion boards. Jeff’s personal Myspace and My Place pages are also featured.

For those with serious (or not so serious) apartment-related questions, the site hosts an "Answers" tab where anyone can pose questions to Jeff or other members of the site, like this one from Bevo13, "Do you think it would be alright to practice scuba in full-gear at my community’s pool?"

"Right now – Brad in Kansas is wondering how to throw a great party without bugging his neighbors, Angelina in Houston is wondering how to decorate her first apartment, and Jennifer in Austin is on the road trying to find the perfect place to live," said Larry Cotter, President of Apartment Home Living. "We want to help Brad, Angelina, Jennifer and 79,999,997 other apartmentites "live for fun." With the addition of Apartment Living and Answers, we are doing just that."

The Apartment Living and Answers sections can be directly accessed at www.apartmenthomeliving.com.

Lincoln Property Company signs National Agreement with Apartment Home Living

Austin – September 14, 2007

Apartment Home Living, the leading company focused on making apartment living fun, is pleased today to announce the signing of a national agreement with Lincoln Property Company. As one of the country’s largest private multifamily management companies, the agreement gives Lincoln’s apartment communities’ presence on apartmenthomeliving.com.

"Our focus is on making apartment living fun for ‘apartmentites.’ The addition of Lincoln Property Company strengthens our national presence and fulfills our vision by providing 100s of additional places where our residents can live for fun," said Larry Cotter, President and CEO of Apartment Home Living.

Jennifer Staciokas, Vice President of Marketing and Training for Lincoln Property Company, signed the national membership agreement. "We chose Apartment Home Living because of the unique product package. Along with the internet listing, we were impressed with high search engine placement, text messaging to potential residents, the dash board features, and the e-mailable brochure," she said. "It’s a very comprehensive package."

The membership also offers additional exposure. "Their leasing professionals will receive a powerful suite of tools," Dean Jenks, National Sales for Apartment Home Living, said.

Potential residents can begin a relationship with the managers even before they visit the community. The site allows the client to pose questions about the community. Then the manager can post her answers either publicly or privately back online.

This relationship is supported after the move-in with ApartmentHomeLiving.com, too. Managers post upcoming events and notices about their individual communities. "From the resident’s side, there’s also a strong emphasis on the community’s location—one of the biggest reasons people lease. The site shows them restaurants, coffee shops and more within steps of their home," Staciokas said. "We’re excited."

Visit Apartment Home Living to learn more.

Visit Lincoln Property Company’s website at www.lincolnapts.com.

Apartment Home Living Announces FREE Text Messaging Service for Property Managers Nationwide

Text Messaging Delivers Instant Information on Demand; Ideal for Capturing Drive-By Traffic. Reach Gen Y the Way they Loved to be Reached

Las Vegas, Nevada – June 27, 2007

Apartment Home Living is pleased today to announce FREE text messaging for every apartment community nationwide.

The innovative service allows properties to easily create, manage, and promote their own unique text code. When potential apartment residents use the text number, they automatically receive a text reply with starting apartment rental rates, apartment sizes, photos, contact information, and more. Best of all, it’s entirely free.

Apartment Home Living has already provided text messaging to approximately 5,893 communities nationwide and the success and buzz have been phenomenal, said President and CEO Larry Cotter. As a result, the company decided to roll out a nationwide program for free. To see free text messaging in action, text APT6 to 63641.

"Not only is our service free, it includes all of the advanced features, like contact management, text reply, text scheduling, and even video," Cotter added.

"Text messaging is the most innovative and effective service to come along for apartment communities in a long time," said Jennifer Staciokas, Vice President of Marketing and Training for Lincoln Property Company. "With text, we have been able to reach and close potential residents who would otherwise have never stepped through our doors."

Apartment Home Living research indicated text messaging is the favored method of communication among the digitally savvy Gen Y (population 100 million by 2010). In addition, 300,000 text messages are sent every minute in the United States, and a whopping 94 percent of are opened and read.*

"Our research has proven that the future of apartment leasing will be driven by Gen Y," Cotter said. "Three out of four renters today are Gen Y, and their preferred method of communication is text messaging. We are giving away free text messaging to encourage property managers to reach this valuable demographic, as well as the larger populace embracing text."

One of the most effective ways that text drives leads to apartment communities is via banners posted along thoroughfares with their text code. Potential residents drive by, see the number, text it, then receive an instant reply with the community’s information. The resident doesn’t have to wait on hold or get online. Instead, they receive actionable information, straight to their lifeline – their cell phone. What’s more, the text code can be promoted in all marketing materials. It becomes like a website address but even more powerful because it allows apartment communities to communicate with renters anytime, anywhere.

Updates can be made easily by logging into Apartment Home Living with a username and password. When a text is sent, properties can begin a two-way conversation that often ends up in a signed leased.

*According to CTIA, the wireless industry association

Apartment Home Living Identifies Six Major Trends Impacting the Apartment Industry

Economic Occupancy, Generation Y and Technology Will Drive Rental Market

Austin – June 20, 2007

After six months of instense research and market analysis, Apartment Home Living has identifiedcSix Trends` impacting the apartment industry in the Information Age. The industry briefing specifically addresses the trends that impact property managers’ ability to increase cash flow, enhance productivity increase cash flow, enhance productivity and generate "buzz" in their communities. Apartment Home Living invested more than $75,000 in the project, led by Director of Marketing and Training Krista Washbourne.

With more than a decade of experience in property management, Krista found the results fascinating and often surprising, and looks forward to sharing the information personally through a nationwide speaking tour. She said of the results, "Apartment managers take note: technology will drive our industry’s future."

The findings are based on analysis and commentary from key multifamily insiders and marketing experts. Apartment Home Living is pleased to share two of the five key findings below, and those interested in learning more and gaining access to the full report, are encouraged to contact Krista at specialist[at]apartmenthomeliving.com. She is currently available to speak at industry trade conferences and training events.

#1 Economic Occupancy is the Buzzword of the Future – Apartment Home Living’s research revealed that companies pushing rents and not vacancy end up more profitable in the long term. Too many apartment managers get caught up in occupancy numbers when what they need to focus on is REVENUE. The report details key strategies to make this happen.

#2 A New Wave of Residents is Sweeping the Nation – Gen Y – Love them and grow, ignore them at your own peril. Gen Y is 100 million strong, a huge group brought up with the Internet, cell phones and instant messaging as a given, not a cutting edge new technology. Anyone hoping to fill an apartment building had better speak to them, in their language. For every 10 people who visit an apartment community, guess how many will be members of Gen Y? It’s more than you think and the report reveals the surprising numbers and trends.

Apartment Home Living Names Larry Cotter President and CEO

Experienced Executive with Passion for Sales, Marketing and Business Development Focuses on Rapid National Growth

Austin – May 22, 2007

With ambitious goals to become the No. 1 place apartment residents visit to make apartment living fun, Apartment Home Living has named Larry Cotter President and CEO.

Cotter is the former founder, CEO and President of Sandbox.com, a fantasy sports website he helped grow to 8 million members and $20 million in online marketing revenue. At Apartment Home Living, Cotter and his creative team of developers, marketers, and apartment industry experts have their sights set on helping 80 million apartment residents "live for fun" and 100,000 property managers nationwide improve their cash flow.

"This is an opportunity of a lifetime," said Cotter, who served as a consultant to Apartment Home Living before being named the company’s COO prior to his naming as President. "How often do you come across the opportunity to help 80 million people looking for a fulfilling lifestyle, a talented team to address their needs, and the financial support to execute on a bold plan? I am thrilled and energized by the opportunity."

Apartment Home Living sets itself apart by placing its resident members first, and championing the simple, yet powerful concept that apartment living is fun. The company helps residents find an apartment through an innovative online matching service, text messaging, and offering a $100 closing reward. Then it goes a step further, serving them year-round – not just when they are looking for a place to live – by providing an online community to meet, apartment finding and living tips, and life advice geared toward always having fun.

For property managers, Apartment Home Living increases cash flow through its unique membership program. Platinum membership benefits include strong search engine marketing results, text messaging platforms, digital brochures, and a lead management dashboard.

But most of all, Apartment Home Living is all about fun, providing new residents with, for example, the option to receive two free sumo suits or an iPod rather than $100.

"I am excited about leading Apartment Home Living into its next phase of building our brand and expanding nationally," Cotter added. "I believe in rapid growth and creating a fulfilling and exciting place for our employees to build their careers."

At Sandbox, Cotter sourced, negotiated and raised more than $25 million in venture capital from Paul Allen’s Vulcan Ventures, Time Warner, Next Generation Fund, and others. At Apartment Home Living, his infectious enthusiasm and big picture thinking have already made a major impact. Since taking over, Cotter has increased traffic by more than 3,000 percent while reducing marketing costs by 67 percent. He’s also transitioned their print catalog to a national online e-catalog, innovative technologies like text messaging, and online community building.

Cotter’s professional experience also includes a role as Director of Business Development and Franchising at Moovies, Inc. where he helped transform a small, seven-store video chain into a public company with 300 stores and 1,500 team members in only 24 months. Cotter also has experience as a Senior Accountant at KPMG Peat Marwick and founder of BlinkBits.com, a Web 2.0 project reaching over 10 million unique users annually. He is a graduate of James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va.