Website for park - how useful is it?

Every park having it’s own website intuitively seems like a good idea.

I have trouble justifying the time and small cost of putting it together and maintaining it though.

When we have a home become available, we post ads online and get lots of calls. If we don’t have a home available, we’d rather people didn’t call the park and take up office time.

Do any other operators have thoughts on websites for each of their MHPs? Do you think it ads value to the business?

Something that has worked well for us, is having a main website for just the management company and then each location is listed on the management company website with separate available homes, maps, etc.

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The website is very useful and takes very little time (as in 5 minutes per year) to manage. Granted, our website is not superb, but it works. It automates certain functions which alleviates management burden elsewhere. Here is what is most useful:

  1. all home listings are posted there (as well as to Zillow, Rent.com, and others)
  2. we have a map of the parks so we can direct prospects to the correct meeting location
  3. we have an account login so tenants can pay their rent online, which automatically goes to their ledger, thus alleviating bookkeeping burden
  4. tenants can post maintenance requests online rather than calling the office.

While it seems that some of the above may take time to manage, it does not. All of these services are provided by our management software and are automatically integrated to the website. The website took about 3 hours to build from a template on a website as a service company.

You can create a separate website per property, but we just have one for the whole management company.

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Thanks mPark, what software are you using?

We use Buildium for now but want to switch to something more robust.

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Just curious, what else are you considering? Appfolio?

I use Buildium as well, and it’s dramatically better than spreadsheet and quickbooks, but overall seems fairly sloppy in many areas. I would switch if I knew there was a better alternative, but am worried about going through the headache and still having issues elsewhere.

We have looked at Appfolio, but I think it would be a sideways move. Rent Manager and Yardi seem to be the two that are best. Rent Manager is a bit antiquated, which I don’t like, but it has an excellent level of control with many features.

@Noel_S We have a company website with pages for each community. However we don’t really get a lot of traffic. We have a FB page for each of our communities and that is where most of the traffic goes. The other thing I would mention is having your business registered with google and staying on top of responding to reviews and questions.

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It’s imperative if you are trying to compete organically for Google search traffic. We run into parks all the time who combined all their locations on one site but are finding it hard to get search traffic since the competitors have their own site.

It becomes critical in that regard. Not to mention you can drive traffic from other sources, to a landing page and grow you email list making it easier to sell or promote future vacancies.

We focus on mobile home park websites. If you need any help feel free to email me at gary@parkitmarketing.com

I agree that a website is not a great place to sell homes, however it is an excellent place to send people who are interested, as well as, a location for your current residents. Here is a list of my top 3 reasons for having a website:

  1. A place for residents to pay online.
  2. Holds your digital applications (a great place to send prospective residents for your manager)
  3. Has digital versions of your lease, rules, and disclosure info.

I made ours in about a weekish. Take a look. Maybe it will help you decide whether it makes sense for you.

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I don’t think you need to drive traffic to your website. If we have no visitors except for the one person our sales team called and said “go to our website and click ‘apply now’”, I consider that a success. We are not running a website business and do not see things like SEO, analytics, etc. being that important. The website is simply an ancillary tool that can help address concerns from existing tenants and prospects that we identify through other marketing. Of course, if somebody stumbles upon our website and comes for a visit, that is an added bonus.

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