Helping you navigate the Westside rental market.
By Sam Catanzaro
When Westside Rentals was acquired by Apartments.com earlier this year, there was some concern that the help landlords and renters had come to rely on would no longer be available in person. With the recent opening of the Apartments.com retail store, however, not only is this help still available but is available for free for users of Apartments.com
“This is the first retail store for Apartments.com so this is very, very new. There are not any other e-commerce stores doing this,” said Retail Store Manager Keryssa Robinson. “Everything we do is online. We are here just to have that additional support and face-to-face consumer representation of experts in our store.”
Located in the same building that was home to Westside Rentals, the Apartments.com retail location is a place where small-scale property managers, landlords and renters can get support in navigating the rental market in Santa Monica. With comfortable chairs, coffee and refreshments, this modern retail location allows users of Apartments.com to post listings or find a place to live on the Westside on Apartments.com with the advice of seasoned professionals.
Aided by a touchscreen TV computer and state-of-the-art LED monitor walls, store associates provide renters and landlords with assistance to help narrow their choices with a variety of features available on Apartments.com, including 3D tours and neighborhood advice.
“Our store is once again transforming the rental experience for the local community by providing premier rental resources and a location with experts available to help renters navigate the entire apartment search process,” said Fred Saint, President of Apartments.com.
Many of the on-site staff have years of experience working for Westside Rentals and their knowledge of the Santa Monica rental market is an invaluable resource for all users of Apartments.com.
“This team is made of experts,” Robinson said. “Most individuals on the team had 5-10 years of experience with Westside Rentals before the acquisition, so they are extremely experienced and aware of the wants and needs of local landlords and renters.”
Many potential renters come in having no idea if they can find a place to live in Santa Monica within their price point. The staff at the Apartments.com retail store can tell these home hunters if something may be available and can call landlords on behalf of these renters. Likewise, with property managers and landlords, the Apartments.com staff can help get their listings on the site and connect them with potential renters.
“We have access to the renter trends, what they are looking for and what they need,” Robinson said. “We can help connect the dots of understanding the market.”
In a time when everything is done online and on smartphones, Robinson says that people appreciate the type of in-person help the Aparments.com retail store provides, especially when it comes to such an important decision like renting a new home.
“At the end of the day a lot of people just want that unique experience, especially if they are trying to find a rental home and they have had trouble looking online,” Robinson said.
The Apartments.com retail store is located at 1020 Wilshire Boulevard in Santa Monica. The hours are Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and is open to renters and landlords alike to walk in, with or without an appointment.