So you’ve started your property management business and now you need customers. To get customers in the age of digital, a website is a must-have. Whether you’re building your property management website yourself or soliciting the help of design professionals, it can be a daunting project; but it will be extremely valuable to the success of your business if done right. Here are a few tips when you are ready to get your website up and running.

1. Google It.

While you might be a Real Estate industry expert, you might not be as knowledgeable about website best practices, so do your research. For those of you who don’t have the luxury of a “techy” friend who’s built a personal website or two, there are a lot of technical guides out there for how to set one up. Google is your friend.

The second piece to this step is to take the time to see what keyword phrases people use when searching for properties so that you can include some of these words and phrases in your copy (known as search engine optimization). It’s also important to review your competitors’ websites. Your site is likely going to be the first thing potential new customers see, so know how to message your brand and differentiate yourself from the competition. Stand out in the crowd, but first you have to know what others are saying.

2. Choose and Register Your Property Management Website URL.

Before you commit to the first domain name ( that comes to your mind, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is your domain name too long?
  • Is it too easy to misspell or misinterpret your domain name?
  • Does it require symbols that can cause issues?
  • Does your domain name inspire trust?
  • Does someone else already have your domain name?

It’s important to pick and stick with your domain name, so make sure it’s something you love. Changing it down the road can be complicated and potentially hurt your traffic if done without the proper care. It should also be easy for someone to remember and pass along to others.

3. Design and Write It, No Big Deal.

Not everyone is a born designer, but tools like WordPress make it easier for website novices to create a beautiful property management website with libraries of pre-designed templates. With the rise of mobile, try to choose a responsive design that can seamlessly load on any device—your site visitors should have the same experience on a mobile, tablet, desktop, or laptop device.

When it comes to writing the copy for your site, you really need to know your audience. Because your site will be visited by home owners, residents, and Real Estate professionals, tailor your website content for owners and renters. Consider separate pages that speak to renters, home owners and Real Estate professionals’ unique needs. Don’t forget other important pages explaining your property management services, company overview, current listings or vacancies, and contact information.

4. Update, refresh, repeat.

In Google, preference is given to sites that are updated on a regular basis. With this in mind, make sure that you include a blog with regular postings, respond to comments, update listings, and provide site visitors with access to the latest Real Estate news. A stagnant site can leave a negative impression on your brand—that you are out of touch, outdated, or slow to respond.

As you begin to create your new property management website, remember that it’s often your first impression, which means that it’s the first (and perhaps only) chance you have to convert site visitors into customers. If this still sounds daunting, there are property management software companies that will build and maintain your website for you, so it’s worth checking into if you aren’t ready to take on the project yourself.

Once your site is up, check out this website optimization checklist to see if it is doing a good job of attracting quality residents.

AppFolio Property Management Websites are 100% integrated with AppFolio Property Manager so you can seamlessly accept rent online, post and update vacancies, and accept online maintenance requests. Select from a variety of professional and modern website designs that make it easy and intuitive to navigate your online business.

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