12C — May 11 - 24, 2012 — NJAA Conference & Expo — Mid Atlantic Real Estate Journal


NJAA C onference & E xpo

hat’s the biggest initiative your firmis rolling out President of Apartment Guide and NewHomeGuide.com Questions & Answers with PRIMEDIA’s senior VP, Arlene Mayfield W

How is your firm lever- aging the move toward smart phone applications to deliver your systems and services? Are your clients embracing mobile apps? I would say we aren’t just leveraging smart phone ap- plications, we’re leveraging smart mobile. Our data shows that, while apps are an impor- tant component of reaching today’s consumer, mobile web sites are even more important. Apartment Guide was first- to-market with iPhone, iPad, Android and, most recently, Kindle Fire apps – and we’ve seen over 1.6 million down-

technology needs in the current environment? Given the challenging eco- nomic client, prioritizing tech- nology investments is a must: 1. Look for ways to use tech- nology to simplify, not com- plicate, your processes. This doesn’t have to mean a large investment - there are many viable open source technolo- gies and applications that can be leveraged. 2. Concentrate on technol- ogy that helps you retain your current customers, and therefore your costs. Are there technologies that can help you do this? 3. Finally, casting a wide net to increase your occupancy is paramount. Are you where your customers are? Do you have a defined social strategy? What about mobile - are you there? If not, look to partner with someone who is utilizing the right technologies to help you capture new residents cost-efficiently. Are there particular ben- efits to investing in tech- nology that are commonly underestimated? The effectiveness of technol- ogy is often tied to an ROI; factors such as whether the implementation saved money or generated more revenue. While these are no doubt im- portant, one of the greatest benefits of technology in recent times is that it helps define work as what we do, not where we do it. The advent of mobile applications and devices al- lows us to accomplish tasks from a variety of locations, not just the place we call ‘our office’. Used correctly, this can be a tremendous source of pro- ductivity for both employees and customers. As senior vice president, PRIMEDIA, Arlene May- field plays a key role in the strategic direction of PRIMEDIA and its sub- sidiaries. As president of Apartment Guide and Ne- wHomeGuide.com, she is responsible for oversee- ing all apartment publica- tions, ApartmentGuide. com, homes publications and NewHomeGuide.com. Corporate headquarters is located in Norcross, GA . n

be huge areas of emphasis, as we are focused on maintaining an ongoing relationship with consumers through our multi- channel strategy. And while we have quadrupled lead quantity over the last several years, we’re always looking for ways to enhance online renter experience and increase the quality of leads, which pushes our team to innovate and le- verage new technologies every day. In short, it would be fair to say that our biggest initia- tive is, quite simply, constantly thinking about how to deliver bigger, better results for our consumer and our customer.

loads to-date. Our entire fam- ily of sites are also optimized for mobile, making it very easy for the consumer to search with their smart phone in an environment that compares in ease of experience to the tra- ditional website. In both app and mobile site environments, it’s critical to test and update continuously to stay on top of consumer preferences, and we do. Mobile leads are now far outpacing print leads, and mobile accounts for 20% of our total lead production. What advice would you give owners/operators on how to prioritize their

for 2012?

It’s a chal- lenge to iden- tify a single “ b i g g e s t ” i n i t i a t i v e f o r Apa r t - ment Guide in 2012. We tend to “think

Arlene Mayfield

big” in general around here and therefore have quite a few exciting initiatives under way in 2012 that are both inter- nally and externally focused. Mobile and social continue to

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