Entrata’s ‘SiteTablet’: Features and Best Practices for Leasing Professionals

SiteTablet is an iPad and Android enabled tablet application that is fully integrated with Entrata’s property management software.You will find the full administrator’s guide to SiteTablet on the Entrata website. I highly recommend downloading the PDF and saving it for your reference.SiteTablet is stocked with fantastic native features and customizable to the individual needs of leasing professionals in the multifamily industry. It is intended for a user experience that is shared between prospective tenant and leasing agent. Intuitive navigation and thoughtful design reflect this key function.Leasing consultants and other members of staff can use SiteTablet to access important resources, pictures, floor plans and property maps–as easily on tour of the grounds as in the office.SiteTablet allows prospective residents to:

create a guest card

begin an application

pay booking fees

select their preferred unit from a list of available floor plans

upload necessary documentation to their accounts
and, ultimately…

sign their lease!
The application functions on the tablet differently from how Entrata functions on a desktop computer. However, important information and timelines synchronize between Entrata’s dashboard and SiteTablet immediately.All the familiar tasks exist on both computer and tablet. The property manager or leasing consultant can view availability, enter a work order, send mass emails, set up Resident Portal and more.SiteTablet also acts as a Kiosk, where residents may access community information and perform duties such as signing for packages and requesting maintenance. SiteTablet can swiftly convert to “Kiosk Mode” for functions that residents can use themselves while restricting access to Entrata for more than the specified services.It is well worth the time to look at his app if you haven’t already. It is a wealth of information and, with practice, may become an invaluable every-day tool: particularly to floating leasing consultants who visit several properties a week.In fact, the SiteTablet has all the potential to be the floater’s best friend. Because it houses all community information, the leasing process is made easy–even to someone who has never been to the property before.Necessary facts are made accessible and demonstrable at the tap of a finger. Floaters can forget fidgeting through binders and “cheat sheets” for current and upcoming availability, pricing, leasing requirements and answers to common questions about utilities, square footage and lease-break penalties.


SiteTablet can make an apartment community come alive for a prospective resident and keep the manager, leasing consultant or floater prepared at all times.Why not pull up a picture of the pool taken at the height of summer to evoke a sun-drenched afternoon with the family? Or show an amenity that was bypassed on the tour? Prospects can even enter a virtual apartment and decorate the floor plan with scalable furniture.If management does not use SiteTablet but does have an iPad enabled with the app, floaters will do well to explore it and see how it might be useful to him or her.Good luck!

How to Sell Your House Privately

To sell your house privately can be an exciting challenge for most people but can also be a daunting task especially if you’ve never done it before. While selling your house privately is never as easy as you think, it’s certainly a feasible way to avoid paying thousands of dollars in commission to a real estate agent. If you’re confident you can do it or just want to give it a go, you’ll need to know the ways in which you can market your house so that you receive a quick hassle-free sale as well as achieving the best sale price possible.

Here are several ways that you can market and sell your house privately…

Sell Your House Privately – Tip # 1: Internet
The Internet is probably the most utilised form of contact for buyers looking for a house so you should have your house listed on the Internet, but on probably no more than two websites (any more than two is unnecessary). Unfortunately the major sites realestate.com.au and domain.com.au don’t allow private sellers to list their houses for sale. However there is a loophole…several private listing real estate websites actually subscribe as members to the above websites. So if you list your house with these private listing sites they’ll automatically list your house on whichever of the major two sites that they’re subscribed to (for a price). Otherwise you can simply list your house for sale on a private sale website such as PrivateSales.com.au.

Sell Your House Privately – Tip # 2: Flyers/Leaflets
According to statistics, something like 80% of homebuyers buy a house within 5km of where they currently live. This being the case, it’s a great idea to create your own flyers using Microsoft Word or Microsoft Publisher and have them printed professionally by a printer. Flyers are usually dirt cheap so shop around for the best deal. You’ll probably need around 5000 to make a splash in the area (in metropolitan areas) and something like 15,000 flyers would create a good coverage of your local area.

You can deliver them yourself (if you have the time), or you could use a mailbox distribution company such as Salmat or PMP Distribution (These are Australia’s two largest distribution companies). Your cost of delivery will probably be a minimum of 5 cents per flyer under a certain delivery amount (say 30,000). This is quite cheap when you consider that you’d either have to deliver them yourself (you could probably only deliver a few hundred per day) or have to pay a commission to a real estate agent.

For ideas on how to design your flyers, simply copy the best ones that you receive in the mail from the larger franchised agencies such as Ray White, LJ Hooker etc. Remember to use a ‘catchy’ headline at the top of your flyers eg. ‘HUGE family house on a BIG 1200sqm block’. Expect a 1% response rate on your flyers eg. Deliver 5,000 flyers and you likely receive around 5 calls.

Sell Your House Privately – Tip # 3: Newspaper
Newspapers are the most traditional way of advertising a house for sale. There are two ways you can advertise in the newspaper. You can have a ‘display ad’ which is simply a ‘picture ad’ along with a certain amount of text allowed (these are the most expensive ads but you can specify the unit size of the display ad from a small one unit up to an entire page depending on your budget).

The other type of newspaper ad is a ‘classified ad’. A classified ad is a text-only ad that allows headings, bolding, underlining, bordering and even some coloured text to make the ad stand out. All of these features come at an additional cost but classified ads are the cheapest types of newspaper ads available. Prestigious and/or expensive houses usually work best as display ads since this is where your target buyer is looking for these types of houses.

Sell Your House Privately – Tip # 4: Magazines
Advertising your house for sale in magazines is a more niche way of advertising your house simply because magazines usually have a specific niche that they’re targeting their publication to eg. ‘Country Property Magazine’. This is not necessarily a negative; in fact it can be very positive because you have more qualified homebuyers looking in these publications for a house. Most magazines will have display ads as well as classified advertising available; again it depends on your budget as to what ad you’ll use.

Sell Your House Privately – Tip # 5: Word of mouth
Word of mouth is often overlooked as a possible way to market a house. You can spread the word through family, friends, workmates, business colleagues, schools, membership clubs that you’re involved with, sporting teams. You could create some flyers and hand them out, send out a broadcast email for friends to forward or even organise a private open house for friends and friends of friends.

Sell Your House Privately – Tip # 6: Signage
Signage is a great way to attract local interest in your house. It’ll create a stir in the neighbourhood and may even help you achieve a sale if one of your neighbours friends wants to move to the area. You can have a sign made by most printers; the material or product to ask for is a ‘corflute’ sign to advertise a house for sale. Most printers are probably involved with a local real estate agency and create them often. It may set you back a few hundred dollars but shop around and see what you can do.

Sell Your House Privately – Tip # 7: Open House
Your end goal with all of your marketing is to get potential buyers to inspect your house and one of the most common ways for buyers to inspect houses for sale is through open houses. They offer buyers a somewhat anonymous way of inspecting a house without any sales pressure. It’s a great way to screen buyers to see which ones are ready-to-buy so that you can spend the most time with those buyers. Create your own Inspection Register and get the names and contact numbers of everyone who inspects your house. This is not only good for the sales process but also for general security of your house. Have a set presentation for when you first meet potential buyers to let them know about some of the features of your house. It’s a good idea to have brochures or flyers on hand to give to buyers.

Questions to ask potential buyers are:
Have you been looking for a while or are you just getting started? (if they’ve just started looking they will need to be educated about prices in the area. They can potentially be time wasters as they don’t have any reference points to compare your house with others. In addition to this, the type of house they think they’re looking for could be completely different from the one they actually buy after they’ve completed some research.

Are there any features that you particularly like about the house?
How does this compare to other houses you’ve seen?

Sell Your House Privately – Tip # 8: Investor Groups
There are always investor groups or buying clubs that have a database of members that are constantly on the lookout for investment opportunities and could be suitable for you to approach to sell your house. A few downsides to these groups is that they’ll want to buy the house for the lowest possible price and generally won’t be emotionally driven to buy the house which can affect your end selling price or even negotiating power. If you have a particular urgency in selling your house then this option could be for you. A lot of these types of clubs promote the fact that they buy houses for cash with a quick settlement period. Several of these groups include WeBuyHouses.com.au and The Investors Club

Sell Your House Privately – Tip # 9: Postcards
Postcard marketing is a more unique and modern way of promoting your house for sale. They work the same as flyers except that your ad is printed on postcards that are then distributed to letterboxes. It’s best to have them distributed by companies such as Salmat and PMP Distribution.

Sell Your House Privately – Tip # 10: Publicity
Publicity is probably THE most underutilised way to sell a house privately (or through an agent). Publicity is great for a number of reasons; first of all, its free, and secondly and most importantly, publicity promotes your house from a third party perspective. Instead of you saying ‘my house is so great…’ you have a third party saying ‘this house is great, you should go and see it!’.

Some of the top real estate agents have connections to local newspapers and publications and use them regularly if they have a house to sell that has some unique aspect to it. To gain publicity for your house you’ll need to stick with local publications as they’re the ones looking for local news, stories, people, business info etc. Here are several points of interest that you can exploit (write a press release about) that may get you’re house into the local paper:
Unique house
Quirky
Odd colours or features
Unique street appeal
Amazing gardens (rare flowers or plants)
Famous previous owners
Well-known street
Local businessperson owns the house
Award winning house

Here are some catchy headlines to give you an idea of what to write a press release about:
‘How this house went from being an asbestos health hazard to a dream house in 37 days’
‘For Sale…the cleanest house in (suburb)’
‘Why this is the most quirky house on (Smith) Street…’
‘Why I painted one room of my house seven different colours…’

Try to think of weird and wonderful things about your house and really hone in on one specific point that makes your house newsworthy. Email, post or fax your press release into a specific person that writes about property related matters in your local paper. Include a photo as a teaser.

8 Reasons Why Investing in House Painting Is a Great Idea

Our house is one of our most treasured possessions and we often do everything possible to make sure that we have a lovely and nice-looking house. Painting is a great way to change the appearance of your house or renovate it. Both the interior and exterior walls can be painted to get a new appearance. Investing in painting is always a great idea as there are several reasons, why you should. Some of the reasons are discussed below.

Make your house attractive: When you paint with exquisite and rich colors, the house generally gets more attractive. Using good quality and trusted paint brand as well as reputable painters will go a long way to make your house attractive.

Regular maintenance: When we treasure a thing, we tend to always want to take good care of it. This will make them last longer and make them to always be at their best. Painting is a great way to regularly maintain your house. After every renovation or when it is observed that the painting of a house is looking dirty or fading, painting will be required.

Cleanliness: Living in a tidy house has a number of advantages as it gives a high level of pleasantness as well as gives a good and comfortable feeling. No matter how tidy your house is, a dirty looking wall or a wall with fading paint will deface the environment and make the house look unkempt. Painting your wall goes a long way to make your house look clean and tidy.

Protection: A house is usually at risk from attacks by insect, weather and climatic conditions. These attacks have the ability to reduce the house quality by damaging the structure of the building. Paints serve as a very effective protection for the house from all of these attacks. The interior and exterior surfaces of your house will be protected when you paint regularly.

Affordable: Painting is an investment that is very cheap. Despite its cheap nature however, it gives impressive returns. The small price you paid for painting will give the house a complete makeover.

Enhance the ambience of a building: When a house is newly painted, the general house ambience changes significantly. The feeling of warmth and affection is spread all over the house. It further promotes hygiene and refreshes the air.

Increase the value of your house: When a house is well furnished, the value of the house automatically increases, compared to the same house, without furnishing. This also applies to a house that is properly maintained. When you invest in painting, your house looks like new and, therefore, has a higher value, compared to an old looking house, due to the dirty or fading paints.

Refresh your style house: You get a new feel and look for the interior and exterior parts of your home when you paint. The change in the aesthetics of your house gives a brand new feeling to your building. Over time, the wall color gets dirty or starts to fade and it becomes imperative for the wall to be repainted. This will enhance the general condition of your house.

In conclusion, painting is a great investment as it goes a long way to make your house more attractive. Furthermore, your house will be more protected from damages, reducing how much you will spend on such damages when they arrive. They also help you stay and live in a clean environment. House painting is, therefore, a cheap investment, with great returns.

Top 8 Open House Mistakes a Seller Can Make

When you’re ready to sell your house, you will need to get it in its best possible condition, especially in today’s competitive environment. An open house presents an opportunity to showcase the best features of your home and allows the potential buyers to get a feel for the property. If you ‘re a fist time home seller, you may think of the open house as the point at which your Realtor waits until you leave, turns into a magician and with a flick of his/her wrist, completely transforms your home into something out of Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing.

But here is the truth of it

Your real estate agent is not practicing wizardry on the side. And you aren’t completely free of responsibility when it comes to the open house. In fact, although you aren’t present for the open house (and you never, ever should be, if you want to sell the home), there are still quite a few ways that you can mess it up and drive away potential buyers.

These eight things could very negatively impact your chances of having a successful open house-and, potentially, the house sale.

Leaving your pets at home/Open house mistakes

Pets bring a lot of joy into our lives. Nevertheless, they can be a real problem when you’re showing your home. This is true for several reasons. Logistically pets make things difficult because you will have to keep them separate from the potential buyers, who might not like pets and certainly cannot picture themselves living in a house that once housed cats or dogs. This means that you will have to block off areas of your home, a real no-no in an open house. Pets also behave unpredictably. The last thing you want is your pet leaving his/her “mark” on the floor right in front of the viewers or even scaring the potential buyers. Which could also prevent them from viewing rooms and prove to be a distraction overall.

Take your pets to a friend’s for the day when you’re showing your house. You should also do your best to eliminate any signs of pet habitation, including bedding, toys, smells and stains. Selling a house with pets takes extra consideration and care. There are some home buyers who will see any signs of pets as a complete turnoff. This is definitely one of the top open house mistakes you should avoid.

Ignoring your kitchen needs/Open house mistakes

You may be surprised by how many home owners ignore their kitchens when selling their house. Putting the dirty dishes in the sink doesn’t make them invisible. Even if the rest of your house is staged to perfection, a repugnant kitchen will turn off the potential buyers-and that goes for the dishwasher too. The potential buyers will most likely want to investigate the fridge and open the dishwasher during the open house, hence it’s vital that you prepare your home accordingly: Clean and store the dishes, and remove any smelly food from your fridge. You should consider removing any kitchen appliance that can be neatly stored instead of being left on counter tops. The less clutter, the more spacious and inviting your kitchen will feel. If it’s an appliance that is used daily, such as a toaster or coffeepot, be sure to wipe it clean after each use. Open house mistakes made because of the Kitchen not showing well, can kill just about any deal.

You should also ensure that you check out and clean the other rooms in your home, even those that you think the potential buyers will not bother checking out, such as the closets garage or laundry room. Because guess what? They totally will.

You aren’t selling part of your home; you are selling your entire home; hence you should ensure that everything the potential buyers will see during the open house is in showcase condition.

Not hiding your dirty bath towels/Open house mistakes

Keeping the bath towels you have used (and intend to use again) tucked away in a closet benefit’s you two-fold: Not only does it make the bathroom look well staged, but it also keeps them free of germs and dirt from the day’s parade of viewers. Instead, swap in a clean set of decorative hand and bath towels for each open house. You do not want (people) wiping their dirty hands on the bath towels you wipe your body with.

Cleaning solo/Open house mistakes

When you think about how much money a house actually costs, it’s easy to understand why people expect cleanliness in an open house. Surprisingly, not everybody meets the mark when it comes to a clean house. If you have to hire a cleaning service to get the job done, do so.

Professional cleaners will scrub all the hidden spots you may miss (think switch plates and base-boards), they can also help eliminate messes and odors that go back years. Preparing for showings is particularly important when there are potentially a large number of visitors dropping by for a look. Showing dirty, messy homes to potential buyers is by far the greatest mistake most sellers make when holding an open house.

Not getting a second opinion/Open house mistakes

After you have cleaned and staged your house, a blunt tongued neighbor can be a blessing. Over time, you can easily get used to odors and smells that may linger in your home, even after a thorough cleaning. You need a neutral third-party who’ll tell you like it’s, not what you would like to hear. So do not be offended if the third-party tells you that your place stinks- literally or figuratively. You aren’t in a position to be all ego, you are trying to sell your home – and that is what you should focus on to avoid simple open house mistakes.

Not maintaining the yard/Open house mistakes

The front yard is the first thing the guests see, so ensure it is spotless. You want the potential buyers to focus on the curb appeal of your home – not your collection of yard tools. Additionally, objects strewed every which way can also be dangerous. You should also make sure that the grass is trimmed nicely and any bushes or flowers are in good shape. And unless it’s trash day, keep your bins out of sight. Nothing turns potential buyer off faster than a pile of trash and the thought of potential yard work.

Dirty exterior/Open house mistakes

Depending on where you live, the exterior of your house may gather a significant amount of grime as the seasons turn. You might not have noticed it if it occurred gradually, but visitors to the open house are sure to see the mildew and mold on the siding, the dingy windows and the clogged gutters. Like the home’s interior, the exterior should be fresh and clean-looking if you want to impress the potential buyers. Don’t make these simple to fix, open house mistakes.

Photos, religious art, drugs and politics need to go/Open house mistakes

When the potential buyers walk into your home, they should picture their family living in the house, not yours. They do not need to see your family photos or be able to tell your religious or political views as they walk through the house. These are huge open house mistakes.

There is a reason home staggers de-personalize your house. Certainly, they want the buyers to visualize themselves living within its walls-but they also want to remove any ammunition that may be used against you during the negotiating process. One of the places to look is the medicine cabinet, which should be emptied during the open house.

The same goes for family photos and things such as canes and walkers: For instance, if you are elderly, they may consider underbid your price under the assumption that you can no longer be able to take care of your house. Keeping the potential buyers from learning your personal details is not just good staging.