Property Management and Your Online Presence

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When creating an internet presence and building a new public website, the first thing you’ll want to do is identify a domain name as close as possible to your company or property name. Don’t bother searching in multiple locations for your potential site’s name — you’re too busy for that! Go straight to a search engine like namechecklist.com, knowem.com or namechk.

Create your website on a platform such as WordPress. Put in the time, effort, and money to design and plan the site. Consider paying a designer to create a logo and graphics. Add content to the site, such as (in no particular order):

  1. About Us
  2. Services Properties and/or Listings
  3. Team
  4. Executive Bios
  5. Contact Us
  6. Affiliations
  7. Blog
  8. Testimonials

After all this work is done — content is added, graphics are selected, colors are finalized, fonts, headlines, and widget boxes are chosen — you (and only you, as you spearheaded the project!) can send out an email to everyone in your contact list to say, “Look! We have a new website and blog!” Yippee!

But then, if you’re like most website owners, the site sits, and sits, and sits. From time to time you might add a blog article, or update listings. If you’re smart, you thought to add a live feed of listings from another database service provider that’s integrated into the site. When new employees come and go, maybe you’ll update the site when you get around to it.

Don’t fall into this trap! Your website should be a living, breathing, active representation of you and your company. Make time to promote on social media. Push out your blog articles to LinkedIn and to all of the LinkedIn groups you belong to (maximum of 50 per person!). Encourage your team to tell all of their contacts about your new website or blog. Ensure that the domain URL is on every single thing you publish or post. Place simple share buttons on your pages or blog posts via the admin tools. Anything less, and you’re virtually guaranteeing that no one will ever share anything about you, your firm, or your great content.

While you’re at it, let your employees have access to sites like Facebook, and encourage them to keep an up-to-date LinkedIn profile (the modern-day business card). Your people and properties will be found and links will be out there in Google, where they can be discovered or exploited by new clients. If your website is found, that means traffic! Traffic is numbers, and numbers mean increased chances that you’ll meet a new client, tenant, or even find a buyer.

And get a Twitter page. Twitter is neither complicated nor difficult to navigate. It will bring t-r-a-f-f-i-c to your firm, which is only a problem if you plan to remain under the radar. Remember, you want every client to see your name in the media or an online content stream.

“More content available at All Things Property Management by Buildium, industry leaders in Online Property Management Software.”

Photo Credit: “cursor clicking Share Button” by Master isolated FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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04 2014

Have Property and Facility Managers Hit the Change Wall?

Image courtesy of  suphakit73 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of suphakit73 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Change seems to be a dirty word in so many industries and organizations. It seems that the Property Management industry leads the charge on this front.  In this day and age of do more with less, the Property Management industry needs to start making some big changes in how it provides infrastructure to its staff.  As leaders in this movement we want to probe this powerful human condition and find out how we can motivate people to understand that change is their friend.  Remind the folks you work with that in order to have progress there must be change.

For instance, customer service. Yes, that is what I said, customer service, you know tenants, or lessees or occupants or residents or whatever your customer type, they are the customers. The other customer is the building owner, often referred to as the client. It becomes crystal clear, however, pleasing the customer, may not please the client. If you hear from your customers that they have various needs to be fulfilled or cannot understand why certain things are the way they are, it is usually attributed to a mandate or philosophy of ownership.

How do you explain a property not having a website and a domain name registered in the name of the property? Is it the PM or FM not having a website or is the building owner not wanting to pay for a website? Is the PM or FM just afraid of the additional burden of more work to do with less time? It can be a variety of reasons, but no property should be without a website. It is not a website for the sake of having a website, it is a customer service portal, for goodness sake. It can save the PM or FM time and money, which in turn can make the client happy. Will it cost something, yes, but it will remain with the property and should in fact, make the property more valuable. The customers that occupy the building can communicate or make contact with the building via the website.  It can serve as the social hub of the property and the central source of information.  By making the website the one-stop place for all things, you are freeing up your staff and yourself from the mundane and routine tasks that just take up the most valuable commodity, time.

Look at the fact that time can be put towards a well written owner report, contribution to the property’s leasing effort, attention paid to the maintenance department and their efficiency. How about time to shop prices and get bids to make further building improvements?  To me, the website can free you up. Will it take time and effort to set it up. Yes. Is it worth it, absolutely.

There are a multitude of features that the website can have, but below we have listed the key areas that can help your operation and provide the most bang for the buck.

Important Telephone Numbers – Fire, police, paramedics, management office, security desk, maintenance, etc.

Building Profile – basic information that you would consider  putting in your Customer Handbook/Tenant Manual. Hours of Operation, Neighborhood Information, Elevator Procedures, Oversize Trash, Recycling, Security, Emergency Procedures, History of the property, in other words FAQ or frequently asked questions, etc.

Location – directions to the property, maps, site plan, legal address, etc.

Announcements – calendar of events, holidays, planned building project schedules, etc.

Leasing Information – contact information

Why is change so difficult? Do companies shoot themselves in the foot when they prevent change or innovation? What frustrates those who attempt to bring new ideas or technologies to the property and facility management industry? We want to hear from you. Please share your comments about what you find yourself up against when you think there is a better or faster or more efficient way to do things, but no one wants to listen to you.

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01 2014