An effective rental property management website can help to combat the increasing vacancy rates in Saskatoon and throughout the province of Saskatchewan. With poorer economic conditions–think, slowing employment growth and net migration, coupled with an increase in newly built rentals– moderating rental demand, local property managers really need to think outside the box, do more with less, and make a remarkable digital first impression.
Here are just five results you may see from a successful rental property management website:
- Decrease vacancy rate and make more money by attracting and maintaining qualified tenants
- Grow network, increase credibility and raise awareness of the company
- Boost the number of managed properties and condominiums
- Build and nurture potential tenant base
- Increase in rental demand
In addition to the Top 13 must-haves for every website, property management and/or rental websites must include the following twelve features to maximize effectiveness:
1. Specialized Property search
Creating an interactive property search adds a great layer of user engagement on your website. This type of element will influence website visitors to stick around longer on your site, as there is something for them to do and control. You could have a classic checklist type property search or a more engaging interactive slider, say to adjust the price range, to narrow down properties by location, or to select the type of dwelling.
Posting customer testimonials on your rental or property management site will help add more credibility to your business. Testimonials from clients provide social proof to people that your business is legit and offers the best quality of service to customers. Showcasing client and tenant endorsements on your website always helps to strengthen business reputation. When prospective customers read these testimonials from your previous clients, their trust in your business will increase. This enables your business to get endorsed easily and quickly amongst all property seekers in the market.
3. Service or Maintenance Request Forms
In the case of your property or rental website, having an online service or maintenance request form on the site will allow prospective tenants to easily submit requests for repairs. You could also allow prospective tenants to apply for tenancy through an online application form. This is much more effective and time saving than having meetings with prospective tenants that would never be approved.
4. Staff profiles
Every customer would like to know more about the company they are doing business with, and this goes for companies across all verticals. Customers and prospects are genuinely interested in the people running the organisation, like the CEO, Board of Directors, etc. Moreover, customers feel more secure about a company when they know the people on the team. Hence, it is important to include your staff’s profiles on the website, so that visitors can get to know the faces behind the brand name.
5. News Blog
In the property rental industry, there will always be some new property or the other available for rent. Property rental companies are always aware of such new rentals that come up. So as the owner of a property website, you can use it to share any recent building and community announcements or new rentals that are now available for rent. In this way, your website visitors will always be informed about the latest properties that are vacant. You never know, maybe some of those available properties might just be what a prospect was looking for.
The best thing about having a website is its ability to reach people beyond the borders of your own country. The only thing is that some of those people are used to viewing websites in their own regional language. Having a bilingual feature on your website allows it to be viewable in multiple languages. So when you update your website with this feature, you give visitors the chance to view your website in their own language, thereby helping reach a wider target audience.
A growing company is always on the lookout for new talent in the industry. When you have your own website, you can even use it to attract the right people to apply by opening a career page. Sometimes website visitors are job seekers at the same time. If they like your company and seem interested in applying, then they can directly do so via your website’s career page. You can list all of the positions that you have available in your organisation by just posting them on your page. Then wait and see the range of talent from around the world applying to your company.
8. Tenant Login
Having a special login for your tenants is another great feature that you can add to a property website. This feature offers tenants a place where they can quickly log in and directly make payments for rent. They can even enter any maintenance requests they have about the property they have rented. What’s more, with a tenant’s login you can easily communicate with them about any service requirements they may have, or even directly contact them if their rent payments are due.
9. RFP – to manage a building for you
RFP or Request For Proposal is a quotation form filled out by prospects to request a quote from the property management company to manage a building for them. Since a property management company has a more streamlined process for the management of property, people sometimes ask them for their proposals by submitting certain details. The property management company then replies with a proposal. So instead of having visitors download a RFP form and fill it, it would be wiser to just include it on your property or rental website. Thus, prospects do not have to waste time downloading any forms but instead, they can directly fill in their details on the RFP page of the site.
10. Online Viewings / Request a Viewing
Sometimes people interested in renting property would like to view the place and rooms before they rent it. However, some people have tight schedules, so are unable to personally visit the property they intend to take on rent. By organising virtual property showings on your website, prospects can view places that are available for rent directly online. All they need to do is submit a request to view a certain property online and select the one they want. This feature helps improve both user experience as well as property management flow. Another similar option allows visitors to simply book or request a viewing with a rental professional that fits in both of their schedules. This option is available by presenting available time slots on the website and allowing prospective tenants to book a time directly.
A property renting website is one of the first touchpoints that potential customers have with your company. Also, there might be thousands of internet users who visit your site on an everyday basis, so you stand to gain more business even if you engage with just half of those website visitors. This is where having a chat feature on your website comes in handy. By using chat, your live agents can speak to prospective tenants as soon as they come to visit the site. Website visitors can ask any question and have all theirs queries resolved, thus immediately getting converted into your tenants.
People who need a place to stay or rent will first look for new rental listings. You can make their search easier by posting all the available rentals in your company’s newsletter. This is also a great way to find potential leads of new tenants. When anyone wants information about the latest property rentals, they would just need to subscribe to the newsletter on your website and then they will receive all of the info they need. When they find a place on the list that they want, they will contact your company.
For a great example of a rental and property management website, please check out the website design and development project that we recently launched for Saskatoon-based Elite Property Management / EliteSuite.ca.
Do you have a property management or rental website? Can you think of any additional features that a property website needs that we may have missed? Please let us know by leaving a comment below.
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