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Have you considered hiring a web development company to build your property management website?  If this is something you’re currently considering or have done in the past, you know that there are many costs and challenges involved with building a unique website for your business with the features you need.  In this post, we will talk about 3 reasons why going this direction may be costly and time-consuming and why this option is probably not the best route for your business’s online needs.


1. Large Time to Get Up and Running

Building a web site takes time and is highly dependent on having a well-thought out set of website requirements and screen mock-ups to ensure that the site will look and function properly for your business.  Typically, paying a web development company to build this for you requires a large of up-front time commitment in addition to back and forth discussion to design and develop the site, which you will be billed for typically at an hourly rate.  Most property managers won’t have the time nor a good understanding of the software development process to be able to take full advantage and have a good outcome and may lead to your project failing even before it gets off the ground.

2. High Costs

A custom website will be unique, however building a one-off website does not take advantage of economies of scale and will typically run into the thousands or tens of thousands of dollars by the time it is completed.  Adding extras such as mobile applications and connecting with payment processors to collect online rent payments and linking to other services your business needs will quickly cause costs to increase and become too costly for all but the largest property management companies.

3. Limited Knowledge of Best Practices

Web development firms typically build websites for many different industries and would most likely not have in-depth knowledge of property management.  Because of this, your business may miss out on tried and true designs and features and your web designer will be in many ways fully dependent on what you tell them to do instead of already knowing exactly what to do in advance.  Having someone who understands your business and knows what you need is key to getting up and running quickly and with the right tools and processes to have a strong web presence for your business.

What Should I do to Get a Great Property Management Website?

The best route to follow to get a lower cost and good looking website with the right features you need is to buy a website software package that is built specifically for the property management industry and that is easily adaptable to your needs.  Property management website software packages such as E-Rental Tools are fully-customizable with your logo, layout, and color scheme so that you can get up and running quickly and with less hassle.  Besides saving your company money, a property management software package will have the essential tools your business needs and will have baked-in best practices so that your business can fully take advantage of them without having to reinvent the wheel.


There are many free property management website and software tools available out on the web and for download that may seem like a good deal, but are they really free and safe to use?  As the saying goes, you get what you pay for.  In this post we will examine several reasons why free may or may not be good for your business.


 Will the website suddenly shut down?

There is always a risk of any company going out of business, especially in today’s economy.  For a company that is offering something for free and doesn’t have a clear path to making money to add new features and maintain the software, it’s worth your time to think if they will be around for the length of your business needs.  If they suddenly do shut down you may experience costs such as loss of data, reprinting of paper advertisements and signs that you may have printed to market your business and rental properties, and having to start the process all over again to find a new property management software provider.

How strong is security?

When using a free tool, it can be tough to know just how reputable it is and if it provides enough security to keep your business safe.  There are also different considerations that you need to be aware of for free software that you download and websites that you use.  Downloaded software can sometimes contain viruses that can infect your computer and lead to serious problems.  It is important to always have anti-virus software enabled and updated to prevent you from becoming infected, and this includes both the Windows and Mac.  If you use a free website that doesn’t maintain strong security, encrypts your data, and applies regular software patches and updates, you may risk infection by both viruses and having your password and data compromised.  For the average person understanding computer security can be a complex task so sticking with a tried and true solution can be the safer approach.

Is it really free?

Many free tools are financially supported through advertising, which can be good and bad.  If advertising is both minimal and effective a free tool can be a good choice for a new or smaller property manager to get a presence on the Internet.  This model provides an alternative for paid software by creating revenue for its owners by displaying pop up ads and sometimes selling information collected from people who use the website, for example demographics, location, and patterns of use.  Some of the more reputable advertising-supported websites do provide usable tools and we suggest that if you choose to use them that you do your homework and read reviews to get a good understanding of how they work.  Finding objective third-party reviews on the Internet can be a big help to understand what others think about the software you are considering for your business.

If you are a small property manager or just starting your business, free property management software may be the right fit, especially if you are on a tight budget.  As long as you do your research and make sure that the software is reputable, by all means go ahead and use it.  If you are growing in size and want to maintain a great customer experience and have the security of knowing that technical support will be there when you need it, a paid approach may be best.  If you are using free property management software, what has your experience been using these tools?

Does your current property management website look outdated and boring? Have you been recently thinking about updating it but don’t want to go through the hassle of finding and hiring a web developer? If your website was built 2 or more years ago, technology has greatly improved and setting up a new property management website is much easier and hassle free than in the past. In this post, we’ll go over 5 reasons why now is the perfect time to upgrade your technology and take advantage of the latest in property management website tools that will save you time and money to run your business.

Reason 1: Have a modern and professional look

When a landlord or renter goes to your website, what do they think of it? Does it look professional and is it user friendly and modern? Whether you are trying to attract new properties to manage or fill vacancies, the quality of your website and how it looks will have an impact on the decision of whether or not someone chooses to use your company. As they say, image is everything, and a bad website looks bad for your company.

Reason 2: Keep up with your competitors

How does your website stand up to competitors in your area? If you already know who your biggest competitors are, do they have better property management website than you and are they offering convenient services online? Even if they don’t have a high-quality website, this may be a great opportunity to upgrade to a more modern design and look like a premium property management company to anyone who finds you on the web.

Reason 3: Take advantage of new technology

Can you collect rent online, accept rental applications, and maintenance requests? Today’s renters are internet savvy and are increasingly demanding services to make their lives easier. From a property manager’s perspective, being able to edit the content of your property management website yourself, list rentals with pictures and videos, and have access to view when a tenant has paid their rent may make it well worthwhile to upgrade.

Reason 4: Automate to save time and money

Are there any services you currently offer that take a considerable amount of time and that you wish were automated? Online rental payments are very easy to automate and will save you time to open envelopes and make a trip to the bank. Booking maintenance requests and not having to lug around rental application forms are other great candidates for automation. Just point your tenants to your website and let it do the work for you!

Reason 5: Advertise more effectively

Do you wish that your website acted as a great advertising platform for your business out on the web? Are people able to find your company online and how is your ranking on search engines? If your website isn’t coming up in a Google search, it could be because your property management website hasn’t been optimized it is easily searchable. A new website that’s optimized for search engines will allow you to be more easily found online and may save costs that you had previously spent in traditional advertising.

As technology becomes increasingly powerful and easy to use, now is a great time to take advantage of the latest improvements to make your life as a property manager easier. With E-Rental Tools, our websites are upgraded regularly with new technology as it becomes available, saving you time and money in the long run. Why not consider 2013 your year to upgrade to a beautiful new property management website?

Much can be said for having a good looking website and its ability to attract the right renters for your business.  How much thought have you given to branding, advertising and marketing, and the overall look and feel of your company to create the right impression you want to present to the world?  In this post we will discuss website design and help you understand the importance of advertising, marketing, and branding to better see how they work hand-in-hand to affect your business.


Reason #1: Creates a Great First Impression

More than ever, renters are beginning their search for apartments on the internet.  If you don’t have a web presence yet or your website was designed years ago and is looking stale, you are probably missing out on a large pool of technology-savvy renters that are influenced by how your website looks.   As an example of how look and feel plays an important role, think of how Apple Computer has risen to dominance by building great looking and easy to use products.  You may be thinking, “I’m just a property management company, not Apple!”, but in many cases your website is the first impression your renters have of your business.  If they see an old, out of date, and unmaintained website the high-quality renters you want may look to your competitor who has that snazzy new website.  When it comes to technology, it only takes 2-3 years for a product to become obsolete so staying up to date and making use of new technology is important.

Take-away: Great property management website design plays a key role in convincing these renters to look at your company instead of your competitors. 

Reason #2:  Improves Advertising and Marketing Reach

Imagine this scenario: one of your apartments becomes available for rent, you post that is vacant to your social media enabled website, and you almost immediately have potential renters contacting you about showings.  Does this sound far-fetched?  With the increase in use of social media and the connectedness of the internet, we’ve seen many forward-thinking property managers use this strategy and rent their properties much more easily with a lot less cost.  New advertising and marketing tools like QR codes, Facebook and Twitter, and text messaging all help to spread the word about your business much faster than was possible even a few years ago.  You may have tried some of these tools or just don’t see the benefit, but believe us when we say that it is there for property managers who can use it effectively.

Take-away: Using new social media tools helps to advertise your business and market your properties much more easily that was possible before and for a lot less cost.

Reason #3: Builds Your Brand

While you may have not given much thought to developing your brand and what it stands for, branding is as important to attracting renters.   Taking the time to build your brand so that renters can relate to you and want to rent your properties is worth the effort.  To further explain why, think of a brand you admire.  What does using this brand mean to you?  How does it make you feel?  Would you recommend it to others and what would you say about it?  Think about how these questions you asked yourself relate to your business and use them to mold your brand's image.  

Take-away: Branding is important to develop the right image that you want renters to see of your company and plays a role in generating new business and referrals.

These three reasons we’ve discussed just touch on the subject of how property management website design plays a role to create the right impression of your business that impacts your advertising and marketing and helps to build your brand image.  How much though have you given to the importance of having great property management website design for your business?