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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.

Sunday, 27 January 2013 18:02

3 Ways to Retain Your Tenants

If you have been a landlord for any significant period of time, you are well aware of the effort and costs involved with tenant turnover.  So what makes a tenant more likely to want to stay in your rental?  In this post we will discuss 3 ways that will make your tenant more likely to stick around come the next lease renewal.



1. Be Responsive, Address Problems Quickly, and don’t “Cheap Out”

When a tenant calls about a problem do you respond in a timely manner?  When something breaks do you fix it right away or let it go for a few weeks without an explanation?  When you do fix a problem such as a broken refrigerator, do you put in the cheapest one you can find in a color that doesn’t match the décor of the kitchen?  Besides buying matching appliances, most people want to be proud of where they live and having a home that looks presentable to friends and family is important.  Find and resolve issues before they become actual problems, for example by scheduling time for a yearly maintenance checkup.  When a tenant calls or sends a maintenance request through your property management website, acknowledge that you got the message and fix problems quickly.  An unhappy tenant is one who has to call several times to get something fixed, and if your tenants are constantly having their lives disrupted by leaking faucets, broken toilet, and other maintenance problems you may find that it costs more in turnover that for the actual repairs.

2. Make Tenants Feel Special

Do you hand your tenant the keys and never follow up with them unless there is some sort of problem?  We suggest that you periodically reach out to them once in a while and keep in touch.  This can be as simple as saying hello the next time you’re out at the unit, by including a short note along with their monthly rental invoice, or even a quick email asking how things are going.  Many of these simple gestures can be done quickly and easily if you have a property management website that offers these features.  You can be as creative as you like, such as sending a Christmas card or a small gift during the holidays or a gift basket with a new lease or lease renewal.  Do all that you can to give them a reason to stay and to tell others about how great of a landlord you are.

3. Have an Easy to Use Online Tools

If you’re reading this blog post you most likely either have a property management website or are looking to get one.  In today’s internet-connected world, having convenient online property management tools are in many ways expected of a property manager, especially with the younger generations of renters.  If your renters are inconvenienced by mailing in paper checks and having to call your office when something breaks instead of simply filling a form out online, you may be causing extra headaches that will make them think twice when comparing your rental to that of another company who does offer these services.  A great property management website can easily pay for itself through reducing turnover and decreasing the time when you have an empty rental not generating revenue.

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?