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Does your Website Suck?

I recently attended NAA’s Apartment Vendor Marketing & Sales (VMS) Conference here in San Diego. One of the highlights was a presentation I attended about great websites presented by Dana Zeff, Principal of LeaseLabs. I was sitting in the audience as she began to talk about websites that ‘sucked’.  Then, I heard her say PayLease and she put up a screenshot of our website. I was horrified for a few minutes and could not believe what I was hearing.  I wondered if I should hide my name badge and sneak out the back door. I was relieved as Dana began to describe the PayLease site as a great website that ‘sucks you in’!

Dana’s presentation walked through several different examples of websites that ‘suck you in’ thanks to their design and having information readily available to visitors. It got me thinking about property management company websites and what a useful tool they can be. Property management companies can utilize their site for everything from collecting rent, processing lease applications, receiving maintenance requests, etc.

Think about the user experience for your management company’s website. When residents or prospects visit your website, is information they are searching for readily available? When a resident is on your website, is it easy for them to find how to pay their rent online or how to submit a maintenance request? Same with prospects – can they search available properties or access online lease applications? If the answer to any of those questions is “no” your website is likely not being used to its full potential. Luckily, rectifying this doesn’t always require a complete website overhaul. Sometimes simple things like a “Pay Rent Online” or “Available Listings” graphic prominently featured on your homepage can do the trick.

On a side note, this was my first time attending this conference. I was impressed with quality of the speakers and the relevant topics as they pertain to property management vedors.

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