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Apartments.com brings 3M rental listings to mobile

Apartments.com has made its 3 million apartment listings available to renters through any Web-enabled mobile device to help alleviate the often stressful and emotional process of moving.

According to an Apartments.com national survey, 90 percent of renters said they will move this year. Given the recent implosion of Wall Street felt around the country, this figure may increase as both renters and homeowners look for more affordable living options.

"In my opinion rental listings is the type of content suited well for a mobile environment," said Chris Brown, vice president of product management at Apartments.com, Chicago, IL. "Our goal is to make our database of listings available anywhere that apartment hunters need to access the information."

Today almost 40 million people browse the mobile Web, which is projected to grow 19 percent annually and reach more than 90 million by 2012.

To enhance a renter's Web browsing experience, the Apartments.com Web site has been optimized for browsing on a mobile device, using WAP technology.

Renters will be able to conduct a fully customizable search of all apartment listings on Apartments.com through a mobile phone.

"In the mobile search environment, access to information is key," Mr. Brown said. "After taking into consideration multiple operating systems, mobile devices and carriers, Apartments.com has created a user-friendly experience for renters on the mobile Web, delivering apartment listings, photos and detailed information through a rich data format conveniently accessible from any Web-enabled mobile phone and carrier."

In addition to the mobile site Apartments.com also offers renters a send-to-phone feature.

Renters can send information about an apartment listing from the Apartments.com Web site to their mobile phones as a text message.

Information on specific properties is sent to interested renters who click the "Send2Phone" link on the "Property Details" page of Apartments.com.

On-the-move renters looking for a new apartment can access the Apartments.com Web site on their mobile phone by typing http://www.apartments.com into their Web browser.

Apartments.com plans to be ad-supported eventually.

"I think mobile has tremendous benefits for apartment hunting," Mr. Brown said. "You are not tethered to the desktop and you don't have to do things in advance, it could be on the fly.

"We do plan for ad-support in the future," he said. "But right now we are concentrating primarily on the experience for users."