Three Internet Trends that Could Shift Your 2013 Apartment Marketing Plans


In December, Mary Meeker, the highly respected Web and technology analyst and partner with venture capitalist firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, released her end of year 2012 report on Internet trends. The main takeaway is that mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets are driving new levels of connectivity.

But you knew that, right? That’s what I thought but after digesting more than 80 slides of data about Internet trends, I’m still trying to wrap my mind around what the new reality of mobile computing and connectivity will look like in the very near future.

The report is a must read for anybody in the multifamily industry and I’ve embedded the slides at the end of the article. In the meantime, here are three trends from the report that I believe will have a major impact on your current apartment marketing plans as well as the multifamily industry as a whole.

Sales of Mobile Devices Will Exceed Laptop/Desktop Sales

In Meeker’s presentation, she talks about how the global installed base of smartphones and tablets should exceed desktops and laptops, and that the market share of iOS and Android operating systems are expected to surpass that of the Windows desktop operating system. These are not long-term projections either: this shift from desktop to mobile is expected to happen in 2013.

Marketing Takeaway: Imagine your world with no laptop or no desktop computer. Once you get your mind around that, start planning your apartment marketing for that reality and start now.

Mobile Internet Traffic Will Eclipse Desktop Traffic

Global mobile Internet traffic is growing rapidly, reaching 13% of total Internet traffic. While that figure may not seem particularly large, that’s a global average. Usage in individual countries vary. In fact, mobile Internet traffic in India surpassed desktop Internet usage in May, 2012. Meeker predicts that other countries will follow and I suspect that the United States will encounter this shift within the next year or two.

Marketing Takeaway: Mobile is not a trend, it’s a reality. The harder you make it for renters to locate you, communicate with you, and conduct business with you on their mobile devices, the more likely they are to rent someplace else.

Generation Y and the “Asset-Light” Lifestyle

Meeker’s report points to the demise of the “asset-heavy” lifestyle, especially among 20-somethings, and the rise of “asset-light” living. The cloud allows individuals to store and stream things like music and documents, freeing up physical space that might previously have been filled by CD’s, books, televisions, and paper.

With Generation Y living lighter than previous generations, the demand for large apartment units with “spacious walk-in closets” will decline. The asset-light mindset ties perfectly into the micro unit trend: if the majority of a renter’s possessions is digital, all he or she needs is a cozy place to sleep and a high-speed Internet connection.

Marketing Takeaway: Usable space and Internet connectivity are key “amenities” for many in Generation Y. Make sure you adapt your online apartment marketing pitches and the vocabulary of your on-site staff to appeal to the “asset-light” mindset.

As promised, here’s the full deck for your perusal. Grab a beverage and have a look. Then let me know what you think in the comments.

2012 KPCB Internet Trends Year-End Update from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers

Photo: SVLuma/



Contributor, Property Management Insider

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Michael Cunningham is Content Marketing Manager at ProofHQ, and the former Managing Editor of He worked as a social media manager for RealPage, Inc., a provider of on-demand software solutions that integrate and streamline single-family and a wide variety of multifamily rental property management business functions. He is responsible for promoting the company through various media channels, including editorial, print and online advertising, and social media. Michael received his education at Indiana University where he majored in English.

4 responses to “Three Internet Trends that Could Shift Your 2013 Apartment Marketing Plans”

  1. The stats on India are misleading. Mobile traffic eclipsing desktop has more to do with the country’s poverty rate and less to do with mobile trends overall. Any predictions based on that would therefore be misguided.

    PS: I do believe mobile is the future. Just making an observation on the data. Great post! 🙂

    • Michael Cunningham says:

      Thanks for your feedback, Jason. I did not have access to the audio for the presentation so I don’t know if there was any context around the data about India. But I believe that it’s only a matter of time before the same thing happens in other countries.

  2. Mike says:

    I thought that last point was the most compelling –

    • Michael Cunningham says:

      It’s a lifestyle that escapes me at my current stage of life, but when I was in college or just moving out on my own I didn’t have many possessions. If I had at my disposal the technology available today, I could have easily embraced the “asset-light” mindset.

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