Learn about the best ways to get the attention of prospects. Find ways to efficiently satisfy current tenants. Protect yourself from legal challenges or charges of discrimination. If you don’t put much thought in the way you present your value proposition on your website, it can affect the business. On the other hand, if you build a landlord website that serves prospects and tenants well, it benefits and protects your business and helps you grow.
In order to build and effective landlord website, follow these steps:
Use Photos to Market your Property
A properly written description of your property and its amenities is a key component of a landlord website. At the same time, having photos can have a greater impact than just mere text. A picture is worth a thousand words. It will give the potential tenants an idea of how the property looks like. Photos on the website should be clear and taken at the right angles. Other requirements for photos are:
- Photos should be of good quality. Include scenes that will make the prospective tenants to want to live in your property. Caption each photo.
- Photos should portray your property in a positive and accurate light. The accurate depiction of your property should be the only way to advertise your property properly. Do not Photoshop cracks in the pavement or other flaws that you think might harm the image of your property. Do not try to mislead people in how your facility looks like and what it can offer.
Use Text that Promotes your Property
Use language that is not offensive and will not be construed as discriminatory. Make your commitment to fair housing clear. Some specifics you should avoid are as follows:
- Don’t describe your ideal tenant. Do not try to imply certain groups of people are the “perfect” kind that is best suited to live on your property. “Ideal” and “perfect” may not be the best words to use when trying to attract potential tenants as it may come as showing some preferences for certain groups of people
- Go out of your way to emphasize the culture of inclusion that is welcoming to all
- It is perfectly fine to mention that all prospects need to go through an application process that may include a credit check and a background check. However, these policies must be applied uniformly to all prospects
Keep Apartment Availability Up-to-date
Update your website whenever a unit is not available, so as to avoid a misunderstanding or a perception that it might have been available for the “right type” of tenant.
Make Your Commitment to Fair Housing Known
The fair housing logo and a statement of non-discrimination used to be required in marketing materials as part of the HUD regulations. Presently this is no longer required, but having this on your website is highly advisable. It is one way to show your prospective tenants that you embrace diversity and are taking the fair housing laws seriously.
User Friendly Features
Here are some features to consider adding to your website:
- Downloadable forms: Forms can make applying for an apartment easier on your prospects. Post the application forms on your website for easy access, and they can print it right away on their computer. Include other helpful information like your tenant selection map, your property map, floor plans of each apartment and other forms. Convert the downloadable forms from word to PDF format to avoid the documents from being altered.
- Maintenance requests: These are online forms for request of repairs and other maintenance by the tenants.
- Community bulletin board: Include a tenants-only bulletin board to make your tenants feel they are a part of a close knit community.
- Helpful resources: Post important resources regarding the weather, local news, local schedules of garbage and street cleaning and other features of your community that your tenants may find useful.
- Online rent payment: Online billing can be one of the amenities that your tenant may find convenient on their part. Accepting credit cards will require a small fee but it can be worth
Respond Promptly to Web Inquiries
Keep track of your website and be on the lookout for request or queries regarding your property. Delays can mean loss of prospects. Not replying to queries may give the impression that you are ignoring his or her query. Be responsible when accepting queries online to avoid misunderstandings. If your website can feature a confirmation page that thank them for their query would be much better than provide no reply at all.
Source: 1-2-Law: www.12law.com