The Wall Street Journal itself is reporting a new trend in the world of apartment complexes. It seems that landlords have begun moving into the twentieth first century and are now using internet technology to create websites that are designed to meet the needs of renters who are increasingly comfortable doing everything from paying bills to choosing an apartment online. Through these sites they’re making it possible to pay your rent electronically as well as to see the actual view from an apartment unit for rent online. Apartment based social networking may be one of the most interesting developments of all, however.
Landlords see social networking tools in much the same way that a retailer with an online presence might. They create a community that is linked by an interest in a specific product-in this case a Dallas apartment complex-and generate a desired outcome as a result. For a retailer, it might be increased sales for their product. For an apartment complex though, it creates a community with ties to that complex. Members of that community are more likely to stay and even put down roots. For the landlord, this means a lower turnover rate and less time and money spent to fill units.
The social benefits for residents have the potential to be much greater, however. Knowing your neighbors by sight and having a casual relationship with them opens up a number of doors. Examples cited by the Wall Street Journal include a posting requesting a play date as well as one advertising for a dog sitter. As long as the social network is tightly confined to members of the physical community, so that potentially dangerous outsiders can’t snoop, it benefits that community by drawing it closer together. It’s just one of the benefits that a Dallas apartment can offer.