Interview with Carefree Property Management: Attracting New Customers With AppFolio Websites

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This is an interview with Shea McGrath, Real Estate Broker with Carefree Property Management and customer of AppFolio Property Manager. Carefree Property Management Inc. was founded in 1982 and the principals have many years of experience in Real Estate, Property Management, Construction and related fields. They provide services in the Greater Portland Metropolitan Area.

“We used to manually
post vacancies to our website and to Craigslist – every day! Without AppFolio it took almost a full day to post 30 Craigslist ads…now it takes just 10 minutes.”

~ Shea McGrath

Tell me about your website before?

We knew that our website needed to be updated – it was not modern by any means. So when we heard about AppFolio’s newest offer to include websites with the purchase of AppFolio Property Manager we really liked what we saw.

The examples looked easy to navigate, directed people to where we wanted them to go and it really looked more modern with the photographs, etc. We’ve always had a simple website and people liked that. We wanted to keep that simplicity but make it more modern and the one from AppFolio really did this well.

What are the biggest improvements with your new website created by AppFolio?

I would say there are three main things that really stand out:
1. Photographs – they really reflect our company well...especially the hammock!
2. Vacancies layout and appearance – it is so easy to see our vacancies which is important – this is the first thing people want to know.
3. The integrated map makes it easy to find our office.

How would you describe the experience working with AppFolio to build your new website?

The process was really easy. We took some content from our old website and revised and modernized it so it matched more with where our company is now and our vision for the future.

It was great that we were able to customize the look. For Carefree we chose someone in a hammock to reflect the feeling of being “carefree.” We told Jim we wanted a Portland skyline and you produced it! I really feel that this new website opens up doors for us.

Can you tell me about the process before using AppFolio Property Manager to post / unpost vacancies to your site? How does it compare with your process today?

We used to manually post vacancies to our website and to Craigslist – every day! Without AppFolio it took almost a full day to post 30 Craigslist ads…now it takes just 10 minutes. We had the same issue with posting vacancies to our old website – it took forever. We are saving lots and lots of time by integrating with AppFolio.

“When I’m talking to potential new clients, I’ll ask them to look
at our website. They are more inclined to go with us because we don’t have an older website
that looks out-dated. The new look has even attracted a lot of owners.”

~ Shea McGrath

Can you tell me about the process to switch from Yardi to AppFolio?

We attended an educational presentation by Albert and we know a lot of property management firms around the Portland area so we talked to others that were switching and it became an obvious choice. It just simplified our life and the price was reasonable.

Switching from Yardi to AppFolio took a little time to get used to but now we have so many more options. We love the search feature – we type in the start of an address and it just pops up which is real convenient.

We couldn’t have done any of this integration with Yardi.

What about impact to your business - are you getting more interest from Tenants and Owners? Do you believe you’re filling vacancies any faster?

Yes we are getting more calls about properties – it seems like all of the marketing is working well. We have more ads out on Craigslist (we’re getting them out there quickly) and we do believe the new website has helped.

Have you used the new website to attract new owners? Did it work?

Yes – definitely. When I’m talking to potential new clients, I’ll ask them to look at our website. They are more inclined to go with us because we don’t have an older website that looks out-dated. The new look has even attracted a lot of owners.

Would you recommend AppFolio to a colleague?

Yes – and I already have many times! We’re able to take on a lot more properties without having to add more employees to do it. That’s not good for the unemployment rate but good for our business! I think in the future it will continue to be easier to manage more properties – it is just less work to manage more properties in AppFolio.




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