It has been a busy beginning to the 20’s here at Anikio. As usual, we’re reaching out to try to get new landlords on board. We’ll be focusing in February on some of the smaller and most reputable property managers. Let’s take a few minutes to talk about what’s new and improved.
New Video Content
Chalk this up as a fail. Unfortunately our first ‘pro’ project didn’t go very well. Fans will remember our video with my uncle Nick as the first attempt. Amateur but definitely useable. This time, I made all sorts of rookie mistakes. I wore a collared shirt and the lighting from below – great for removing double chins – made it look like my head had been cut-and-pasted on some other body. It was kind of funny, actually, but not in a useable sort of way. The green screen was also probably more than we needed, and somehow I came out looking like a blurry blue alien (see above). Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Also, I’ve discovered that you can’t adlib a script when you talk with your hands and expect to be able to do jump cuts. And finally, I’ve learned what jump cuts are. So you can see, failure silver-lined with lessons and amusement!
The annual report on the Saskatoon rental market was released in January, but we wanted to go beyond the 2-3 page summary and try to find some insights. As this was our first deep dive, it took some time to find historical vacancy rates and outside contextual information and also to build up some nice infographics for the different looks. And then we swam in numbers from the 30 or so tables of raw data. I’m happy with the result – if you’re logged in, you can see check out the full report in the 2020 update. But I think there’s a lot of room to improve in terms of capturing the independent landlord experience (versus apartment buildings). I hope that as we sign up more independent landlords, we will be able to represent the entire rental universe.
January we were really trying to find ways to speed up Anikio; especially our home page. We have done some work with caching – having pre-loaded static content ready to go. We’ve enhanced and compressed every single photo on the site (even the ones you can’t see right now) so that they’re smaller and quicker. And it turns out that the contact forms we use are notorious for slowing things down across the website. So we’ve made adjustments to only load those forms on the pages where they’re needed. You may have noticed that the feedback form in the footer of the website is gone. That’s why. An added bonus, we’ve upgraded our reCAPTCHA to version 3. You no longer have to click a button to prove you’re not a robot, that is now automatically detected and, according to Google, more difficult to fool. So we hope to see less spam and one less click to help connect renters and properties.
Signs of the Times
We have street signs to advertise properties For Rent. So far we’re trying them out and we don’t have many people using the QR codes to go right to the listing. We’re not sure if that’s because they’re too small (so you have to either zoom in or be closer to the sign) or because people don’t know what to do with them. On the plus side, we have gotten feedback that they are being noticed and resulting in calls. So while we haven’t so far pushed the envelope of what a sign can do, at least they’re doing what signs have always done. And, if we may be a little bold, looked good while doing so!
That’s all for now. We have a new ‘staging’ server that will make it much easier to continue updating the site incrementally and with some capabilities. But no spoilers here!