Re: Cozy cohousing home near downtown Sacramento
From: Muriel Kranowski (murielkvt.edu)
Date: Thu, 9 Jan 2014 18:20:57 -0800 (PST)
I don't mean to offend, but I do think the "we don't need no stinkin'
website!" folks are looking at it from the wrong perspective - that is, if
promoting resales is important to them. The significant perspective is that
of the possible outside purchaser, one with no prior connection to the
community.

These days, people who have serious intentions typically don't just phone
and say "tell me all about your community." They expect to learn some basic
info about you before they decide to make that first contact, and they
expect to find that basic info on your website. I suspect that mindset has
been encouraged by the easy availability of on-line reviews for products,
restaurants, and just about everything that you can buy or rent or
experience - people want a preview before making any kind of commitment.

I also think that not having a website gives the impression that your
community is closed to new people. It's like saying "Move along, find
another community to check out, we're not in marketing mode here."

You can look at other communities' websites and crib heavily - no need to
be super-creative. You do need a few photos, but surely someone has a
digital camera or at least a smartphone?

You need to say how many units, their general configuration and size,
describe the common house and the site, and anything special or unusual
that you do or have - your particular "flavor" as a community - and of
course, give people a way to contact you, by phone if you have a contact
person who enjoys chatting with people, and (or only) by email. You can
link to the national website cohousing.org to provide the basic FAQs for
"What Is Cohousing." Have someone who can write well (even, or perhaps
preferably, someone who doesn't live there) review it for good English
usage and a coherent and welcoming message before it goes live - sloppily
written text will hurt your community's credibility.

It's true that someone needs to be the website manager if only to update
the Units for Sale/for Rent page, but once you've put a basic website in
place it need not take a lot of time or special know-how to keep it up.
Just don't let anyone create for you a highly technical site that only he
or she knows how to maintain; stick to basic easy-to-use website-building
software.

Plan to look at it every few years so you can update if needed. We did a
complete overhaul of our original website about 5 years ago and haven't
changed its basic layout since - added a few photos to the Photo Gallery,
and of course the sales/rentals page is kept up-to-date.

     Muriel
     Shadowlake Village Cohousing, Blacksburg, VA



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