What Apartment Marketers Want from ILS Partners

In case you haven’t noticed, there’s a renewed arms race rapidly taking shape between the major apartment advertising sites (typically called ILSs).

Zillow consumed Trulia. CoStar relaunched Apartments.com with a bang (and a Goldblum). Others are launching apps, acquiring sites and growing their distribution network, while up-and-coming sites like ApartmentList are testing completely new business models.

Not everyone is on board, though. More than a few people think the “traditional” ILS model is dying, or at least in need of a drastic overhaul. (Examples here and here.)

We decided to bring the debate to you with this week’s Apartment Chat. How are you using ILSs to advertise your properties? What can those sites be doing to better serve the consumer (and their advertisers)? You didn’t disappoint … here are just a few of the highlights from the discussion.

(Hit the links to jump straight to a specific question.)

Are you using any ILSs to promote your properties? If so, what percent of your advertising budget goes to these sites?


How do you decide when to bring on an ILS for a property? How do you decide which sites to use?


Provide some constructive thoughts about the performance of ILSs like Zillow, ApartmentList, and Apartments.com.



How do you manage data quality across your ILSs (and their distribution partners)? Do your ILSs do enough to tie into your property management software?


ILSs are attacking each other about things like site traffic claims. What are your thoughts on this practice? Does this affect who you work with?

RentPath Traffic Claims

What suggestions would you make for your ILS partners?

This is clearly a topic that generates a lot of strong opinions — we’ll have to revisit it again throughout the year. How much of your advertising goes toward ILSs vs. other lead sources? What else would you add to the discussion? Leave your thoughts for us in the comments.

Our next #AptChat will be Tuesday, March 10th at 12pm Eastern … we’ll see you then. In the meantime, be sure to sign up for #AptChat updates to get these recaps and more delivered straight to your inbox!