Today is election day and we just got back in from a nice stroll through one of the linear parks in Evergreen to our voting station at the Sylvia Fedoruk school. If you haven’t yet, stop reading this and go vote! We’ll still be here when you get back.
In the spirit of election giveaways (or maybe as an early Halloween treat), we have some exciting updates and new features on the site that we want to share with you. Maybe you’ve noticed them already? Either way, we’re always looking at ways to improve so keep that feedback coming!
1) Recently Rented Property – Starting more or less now, we’re recording the date that property is marked as rented. That way, we can show you what properties have recently gone off the market and are no longer available (in case you’re wondering where that beautiful 4-bedroom house you were looking at has gone). Once there’s been enough time passed to populate the recently rented properties page (i.e. new and current property has been rented out) then you’ll see this appear on the home page next to the For You section. Don’t worry landlords, once the property is rented, anyone looking at the listing will see a big red banner letting them know that this listing is no longer available… and we take off the contact section (just don’t put the contact info in your listing description).
2) Apply Preferred Search Filters – You may have noticed that the main page search box allows you to instantly enable your preferred search filters so you can see the places that match your criteria on the map. If you haven’t done so yet, go ahead and Register and then, under your Profile, you can modify your Preferred Search to only show properties that would meet your needs. Still too many? Maybe not yet, but when there are, then go ahead and start adding your wants in, too. Once you’ve done that, then number three on this list gets a lot more useful:
3) Improved “For You” Section – On the main page there is a section where you can see our Featured listings, the Newest listings, and a section called “For You.” Up until now, it wasn’t all that helpful but if you’ve created a Preferred Search in your profile, this will show you the best matches based on what you’re looking for. Eventually we will be applying some algorithms to make even better recommendations for places that we think you’ll like based on your criteria.
4) Photo Sorting – It’s now possible to rearrange your photos and caption them from mobile. We’re still working out a few kinks with the way the ordering is saving, but this is really close to completion.
5) Improved Renewal Emails – Our basic email notifying landlords that their property has expired has been beefed up! First, we send a preliminary notice 5 days before the listing expires with an option to early renew and maintain continuity right from the email. Don’t worry, we’ll add another month past your previous expiry date so renewing early doesn’t cost you any time. If the property has been rented, you can also mark it as rented right from your inbox. Nice! If you missed the chance to renew your listing then we’ll still send a second email after the listing has expired. Again, you’ll be able to renew or mark the property rented right from the email.
1) Photo Sorting – While the functionality has improved from a month ago, there’s still more work to do making this as seamless as possible. A few more bugs to squish, if we’re being totally upfront about it. But hopefully that will be finished soon.
2) Virtual Tour Link – The way that we’re including virtual tours with our listings is changing. Previously, when a landlord made an edit to change a property, we would have to go and add the virtual tour back in to the property again. Once this is done, that issue will go away and landlords will be able to edit their property without fear of losing their virtual tour.
3) Standardized Introduction Form – While we have several levels of spam prevention built in to our contact forms, our goal is to help make the rental process better for everyone. With that in mind, we will be working towards a standardized ‘greeting’ or introduction form. This will allow our tenants to send some key basic information about who they are and what they’re looking for to landlords instead of writing and re-writing. A standardized introduction will help everyone save time, tenants don’t need to write and re-write introductions, and landlords get a better first impression of potential tenants than a message saying “Is this available?” So much time is wasted waiting between a basic message like that and a reply saying, “Yes, can you tell me about yourself? Question question?” and then the tenant writing another reply. Tip to tenants – if the property is listed, assume it’s available even though we know that landlords and property managers sometimes miss taking properties down. And if you DO contact a landlord that says the property isn’t available, let us know so we can get it taken down!