Case Study: Creating a Website for Aimco Featuring Custom Drupal Modules


In late 2011, Aimco came to Elevated Third in need of a digital agency that could develop a multi-functional website with several unique features. As one of the largest owners and operators of apartment communities across the nation, offering property listings for rentals across the United States, Aimco needed a website that not only would showcase their extensive listings and the new Aimco brand, but also help users search for rental properties in their area. In response, we created an interactive site that better allows Aimco to deliver on their mission of customer satisfaction.

Using Aimco’s new homepage design and brand palate, we created a sitemap and structured the site’s information architecture according to the needs of their customers. Using Protoshare, an online wireframing tool that allows users to build clickable page layouts, we then were able to clarify the important features and better grasp the more complex pieces to the site’s structure. After defining the site’s wireframes and use cases, we began to build out the site in Drupal 7.

The 2011 Aimco logo

Drupal CMS Development:

We created a property search featuring a completely custom Drupal module, allowing site administrators to import properties from an external feed. The main search page uses scalable vector graphics, or SVG’s, to create a map that is able to move that much faster and has a unique and interactive component. Once users search for their state, they can easily filter the results by amenity or price range.

To ensure that Aimco could edit nearly every piece of content on the site, we developed the site using smaller, custom components.  Aimco employees can manage content on a block-by-block basis, with changes moderated by designated administrators. Similarly, the map editor allows admins to move, add and remove map pins to the browser. These complex and customized permissions functions were enabled by our developers and customized during the back-end development process.

The traffic on Aimco’s property search page increased by over 400% in just three months. Since going live in late 2011, has received a very positive response to their new user experience and Elevated Third is currently working on additional features for phase two.