Reinventing Mobile for Multifamily: Responsively Designed Websites from On-Site

Campbell, Calif. – On-Site.com, the leading provider of multifamily software solutions, set a new standard for multifamily web design this week with the release of its mobile sites powered by responsive design. By building responsively, the new websites are able to automatically alter webpage layout to fit the device of each individual website visitor. Content and branding translate perfectly from desktop to mobile and every device in between. Property managers no longer need a separate, mobile-dedicated site. With responsively designed mobile sites, one fit sizes all.

On-Site’s users are now able to deliver a first-class web experience to all 6,400+ different types of web-enabled devices in the world. And it’s all made possible thanks to responsive design. Designing a responsive website allows it to reformat content, branding and functionality to fit any device. When a renter visits one of On‑Site’s responsively designed websites—whether by smart phone, tablet or laptop—the layout reshapes fluidly according to the device, without any additional work from the user.

“When considering On-Site’s approach to mobile, we determined that responsive design best fit the needs of property management companies and their renters,” said On-Site Director of Design Randy Jones. “The primary advantage of responsive design is that mobile users get the desktop experience, prioritized and packaged specifically for their individual mobile device.”

And the growth of mobile device usage shows no signs of slowing down.

For years, the majority of renters have started their apartment search on the Internet. In that time, mobile data usage has tripled with smart phones, tablets and ultra light laptops leading the way as the new devices of choice for the rising generation of millennial renters. The latest projections indicate that mobile traffic will surpass desktop traffic as early as 2014. To stay competitive, property managers need to accommodate the surge of online renters by delivering quality mobile content while taking into account the wide variety of digital devices in use. Nevertheless, a few skeptics remain.

Competing vendors offer what are known as dedicated mobile sites or “unbranded straight jackets” as Jones likes to refer to them, because of the limitations placed on customization and functionality. Instead of adjusting content to fit the device, dedicated mobile sites are built by stripping content out, which often results in an underwhelming mobile presentation.

“How many times do we land at a dedicated mobile site on our phones and immediately hunt for the ‘view full site’ link?” Jones asked. “We do this because the site is missing the functionality we expect.”

To make matters worse, dedicated mobile sites are built separately from the primary desktop site. As such, they represent a completely separate URL, code stream and content management point that needs to be maintained by the user. According to Google, the mobile-dedicated approach to web design hurts SEO.

Since dedicated mobile sites are built separately from the desktop site, property management companies are often forced to pay extra for them.

“At On-Site we feel that in the 21st century, paying extra to make your site work on a phone is like having to pay extra for wheels on your car,” said Jones. “From community websites, to online applications, to renewals and resident portals—with On-Site you get consistent branding across all devices and enhanced usability for your renters.”

About On-Site

On-Site is teaching the apartment industry something Apple and Google learned years ago: usability is king. We’re bringing the industry up to speed with what today’s consumer expects from an online experience. Conveniently and securely, we allow today’s renter to find an available apartment, qualify, pay and e-sign. Our 100% paperless listing-to-lease platform encompasses marketing, lead generation, risk mitigation, document storage, mobile solutions and cloud computing services. Founded in 1999, On-Site has been voted Best Resident Screening Service three years in a row and our paperless office platform was a finalist in the First Annual Green Initiatives Awards from Multi-Housing News.