iLS Network's Founding Story

Posted By: Sydney Jamieson

As ApartmentsFor continues its journey of revolutionizing the apartment search experience, we don't want to lose track of where we got our start.  Founder Pete Zimek and Technology Advisor Geoff Wilson set the stage, and with input from industry experts and users, the platform has grown into what it is today. Here's an article from the history vault:

"In 2010, we set out to solve a need for Gainesville; this local market had a near 50/50 split student housing to conventional housing, and both apartment leasing professionals and renters were frustrated. This exact challenge still exists today, renters just use our search technology to solve it."

Sydney Jamieson, Managing Director

Founder Pete Zimek's passion for apartments and Technology Advisor Geoff Wilson's website savvy kicked off the first website in the suite of iLS network platforms when they created to meet an unrealized need in Gainesville.

Despite its notorious reputation for being one of the most competitive apartment markets in the country, the Gainesville, Florida area was significantly underserved by national ILS brands.  This created the need for a new platform to serve the market.

Pete had roughly a decade of experience working with apartment communities on their print advertising in traditional apartment guides, hotel maps, and monthly entertainment magazines.  Geoff had built a web development company whose client list included name brands like Microsoft and Wells Fargo.  The intersection of Pete's experience marketing apartment communities and Geoff's cutting edge web development created the foundation for what would become the iLS network.

Instead of benchmarking their technology off of major ILS brands, Pete and Geoff looked to other websites that specialized in creating the perfect match for their visitors.  Websites like Kayak, Expedia, Sprint, Apple, and a host of others all provided inspiration.

Beyond that, roughly fifteen apartment community managers collectively representing over 200 years of industry experience poured scores of ideas into the project.  Once complete, over 100 leasing consultants and actual renters helped them fine tune the technology.

Their work paid off. was successful from day one, and the technology born to service the Gainesville market now helps renters find the perfect apartment to match their lifestyle and budget in six major metropolitan areas across the state of Florida. The websites include, and

Individual iLS network websites stay connected to their local industry by actively participating in local apartment associations.  Members serve on boards & committees, volunteer at events, and donate to charity drives. 

iLS network remains vigilant in its pursuit of forward-thinking opportunities, and they are steadfast in their belief that the best ideas come from their clients.  One example of this type of innovation is the ability to search for green apartment features, as recognized by MultiHousingNews.  Others include the incorporation of apartments' Facebook feeds directly into their listings and the platform's integration with WalkScore's dynamic neighborhood guide.