Keys to a Successful Website: A Checklist for Property Managers (eBook)


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Is your website giving you the professional online presence that you need or holding you back? Property managers we work with use their website as one of the primary tools to deliver information to existing and future customers. But the thought of creating a new website on top of everything else.....can seem overwhelming.

We've created this helpful checklist of important criteria to consider when you're evaluating your current website and planning for the future.

Published in: Real Estate, Technology, Business
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Keys to a Successful Website: A Checklist for Property Managers (eBook)

  1. 1. © 2013 AppFolio, Inc. | Keys To A Successful Website: A Checklist For Property Managers | 1www.appfolio.comDESIGN & BRANDINGq Modern & Professional DesignWill the website look professional?Is it going to work on all browsers, and on both Macs and PCs?Are the images and graphics appropriate and rendering properly?Is the design clean and simple, not cluttered and busy?Is the text easily readable?q UsabilityCan visitors easily search properties using the criteria that are important to them?Is the navigation organized in a logical, thoughtful way?Will it be easy for visitors to get in touch with me, using a form or contact information?Is it, or can it be, integrated with the software I use to manage my residents and properties?q Your Company BrandingIs my logo prominently featured?Does the site design match my company colors / branding?Does the site use my company URL/domain name?Company websites are vital in today’s businessworld, and it’s rare for a company to overlookthis essential tool to provide information tocurrent and potential customers. But, as withmost things, some companies create greatwebsites, and others miss the mark completely.When creating a website for your property managementcompany you have two primary options:1. Hire a web developer to design your website from scratch2. Utilize property management software that integrates with or includes a website package withintheir comprehensive list of services.To help with your decision process, here’s a checklist of important criteria to consider during theplanning stages, no matter which road you decide to take:Keys To A Successful Website:A Checklist For Property Managers
  2. 2. © 2013 AppFolio, Inc. | Keys To A Successful Website: A Checklist For Property Managers | 2www.appfolio.comAFFORDABILITYq Monthly CostsWhat is included in the monthly costs?What is included in the set-up fees?Are there any additional consulting / hidden fees?ADVERTISING VACANCIESq Easy to Update / Post VacanciesCan I easily post vacancies?Can I easily update, delete and add property or unit information?Will I get training on how to use and update my site?Will my listings be updated in real-time?Can I add floorplans and video tours for my properties?q Social Sharing FeaturesIs it easy for visitors to find a way to connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and othersocial media?Is it easy for visitors to share properties information they find on my site on their own socialmedia channels?Is the blog set up to take comments, and can I approve them first?FEATURES FOR RESIDENTS AND OWNERSq Features For ResidentsWill prospective tenants be able to apply for vacant units and pay their application fee onlinethrough the website?Will my residents be able to use the site to contact me about maintenance or other residentissues?Will my residents be able to pay rent online, and safely?q Features For OwnersIs my content interesting to the owners and does it showcase the company as professional?Are there calls to action to get visitors to contact me?ANALYTICS & TRACKINGq TrackingWill I have to create a Google Analytics account to track my visitors?Will the developer install Google Analytics?Will there be any tutorials on how to read the analytics reports?MOBILEq MobileWill potential residents be able to navigate the site easily on a smartphone and tablet?Will it be compatible across all types of smartphones and tablets?Will the mobile site be updated when the main site is updated?
  3. 3. © 2013 AppFolio, Inc. | Keys To A Successful Website: A Checklist For Property Managers | 3www.appfolio.comHow Do I Get Started?Before choosing which track you’d like to take in building your website, consider these pros andcons below:Hiring A Web DeveloperIf you decide to hire a website designer, they are easy to find on the Internet—but it’s not easy to findone that’s reputable. It’s a sad fact that many companies have been swindled by unscrupulous orunskilled web designers, which can lead to the loss of valuable resources, namely time and money.The best way to find a reputable web development company is to ask for referrals. Don’t restrictyourself to colleagues—find peer websites that you like and check the bottom of the site (also knowas the Footer). Often the web developer who designed the site will identify themselves in the Footer,even provide a link to their own website. If not, give the site’s business owner a call and ask them fora referral and the contact information of their web developer.Integrated With Your Property Management SoftwarePros• Fixed cost of the website• High quality design and features• Functionality designed specifically forthe Property Management industry• Extra benefits to easily and quicklyoffer your residents• Faster timeline to get your website live.• You can easily manage it on your own.Cons• Fewer design options than when using adeveloper• You’ll only be able to add features that areoffered by the companyPros• Complete creative control• Add all the features you desire• Professional developer who cancontinue to help manage your siteCons• More expensive• Manage your developer and make sure theycreate the site you want• You have to learn how to use your websiteand upload property information yourselfExamples Of Great Property Management WebsitesVisit SiteVisit SiteVisit Site
  4. 4. © 2013 AppFolio, Inc. | Keys To A Successful Website: A Checklist For Property Managers | 4www.appfolio.comAbout The AuthorNat Kunes is the Director of Product Management at AppFolio and is tasked with ensuring the effectivedevelopment, communication, and execution of the AppFolio Property Manager product line.About AppFolioAppFolio provides web-based property management software that helps you grow your business. Our customersfind and retain better residents faster, increase profitability and love the ability to work from anywhere. AppFolio alsoprovides educational resources for property managers including free webinars and articles on our online magazine. You can learn more about AppFolio at management software providers (like AppFolio, web-based property managementsoftware with website) are a great place to start – it’s often very cost-effective and quick to build aprofessional website that is totally integrated with your property management business operations. Ifyou’re already using a property management software you should investigate their website offeringsand see if it will work for your business.ConclusionA great website can do more than just improve your online presence, it can boost your businessproductivity and profit. By doing some due diligence before you start the project, you’ll save yourselftime and money, and have a website that fulfills both your needs and the needs of your customers.