The Entrepreneur Forum | Startups | Entrepreneurship | Starting a Business | Motivation | Success

It's finally up!

Leigh Farrell

Contributor
Nov 27, 2017
39
36
44
33
Adelaide, South Australia
After hundreds of hours of planning, research, and website construction, my website is now up and running!
It's a website that allows landlords and property managers to review their tenants and read reviews on prospective tenants written by others.
It's current form is the minimum viable product, so it doesn't have all the bells and whistles yet, but those will come if the market decides that the site is useful for them.
It's completely free to use.
I'd love to hear some feedback from fastlane forum members, and for those of you who are landlords, it'd be great if you could take some time to review some of your own tenants. The more reviews in the database, the more helpful it is to everybody.
Checkout thetenantreview.com

Thanks for all of your help getting to this point.
Leigh
 
Last edited:

Become a Fastlane INSIDER to view the forum ad free.

PizzaOnTheRoof

1% Better Every Day
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Jul 30, 2018
479
1,026
362
Texas
Not gonna critique the website design. I’m sure you know what you need.

Just want to say congrats!
 

amp0193

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
May 27, 2013
2,631
11,303
2,454
United States
Why do I need an account just to look at the reviews?

That's the first thing I would do, to see if the website was for real or not.

If I can't see them right now, I'm not going to make an account to find out.

Having an account to leave a review makes sense, of course.


Ok, I'm a landlord and I just made an account.

And I find that there aren't any reviews on the website. Zero.

Well, I'm not going to be the first one.

I guess this site isn't for real.

I'm out... never to return.



Anything content related like this, you're going to have to "seed" the content. You're going to need to put in hundreds of reviews, by whatever means necessary (including fake ones) in there to make it seem like people are really using this thing. Without reviews, I don't consider this website minimally viable. You need reviews on the home page too so people instantly "get it".


You've got a picture of a kitchen on the home page that doesn't seem to have anything to do with anything.

The home page has way too much text in a big block in super tiny font. The about us page is even worse.


What's the strategy for launching this? One city at a time? The whole country? If I live in Kansas City, MO, and I don't see a single review from Kansas City, MO... I'm out, because the website is not at all relevant for me.

But if you launch in Casper, Wyoming, and there are a thousand reviews from real or fake Casper landlords already on the site... I'm WAY more intrigued. Every damn landlord in Casper must be on this site, so I need to be too.


You say you've put hundreds of hours into this... hundreds of hours doing what exactly? What does "research and planning" mean?


Also, do you know if it's legal to call tenants out by name like this? If I had a bad tenant, I'd want to wash my hands and move on from them. I don't know that I'd want to post their name and what they did on a public website, so that they could trace it back to me and sue me for slander or something.
 
Last edited:
OP
OP
L

Leigh Farrell

Contributor
Nov 27, 2017
39
36
44
33
Adelaide, South Australia
Why do I need an account just to look at the reviews?

That's the first thing I would do, to see if the website was for real or not.

If I can't see them right now, I'm not going to make an account to find out.

Having an account to leave a review makes sense, of course.


Ok, I'm a landlord and I just made an account.

And I find that there aren't any reviews on the website. Zero.

Well, I'm not going to be the first one.

I guess this site isn't for real.

I'm out... never to return.



Anything content related like this, you're going to have to "seed" the content. You're going to need to put in hundreds of reviews, by whatever means necessary (including fake ones) in there to make it seem like people are really using this thing. Without reviews, I don't consider this website minimally viable. You need reviews on the home page too so people instantly "get it".


You've got a picture of a kitchen on the home page that doesn't seem to have anything to do with anything.

The home page has way too much text in a big block in super tiny font. The about us page is even worse.


What's the strategy for launching this? One city at a time? The whole country? If I live in Kansas City, MO, and I don't see a single review from Kansas City, MO... I'm out, because the website is not at all relevant for me.

But if you launch in Casper, Wyoming, and there are a thousand reviews from real or fake Casper landlords already on the site... I'm WAY more intrigued. Every damn landlord in Casper must be on this site, so I need to be too.


You say you've put hundreds of hours into this... hundreds of hours doing what exactly? What does "research and planning" mean?


Also, do you know if it's legal to call tenants out by name like this? If I had a bad tenant, I'd want to wash my hands and move on from them. I don't know that I'd want to post their name and what they did on a public website, so that they could trace it back to me and sue me for slander or something.
Ok, let's handle these comments one by one.
Existing reviews:
I'm not sure where you got the idea that there are no reviews on the website. The only way you can find the reviews is by searching by name so unless you've typed in every single name in the world that's not possible. I've put a few reviews into the database myself.
At no point have I made the claim that this is a comprehensive list of tenant reviews. I will be adding more reviews every day and will be offering property managers free advertising on the site in exchange for tenant reviews.

Account:
This one should be obvious... I'm collecting contact details of my customers.

Fonts and sizing:
Design will be updated as we go along.

Where has the time gone?:
I've spent a hell of a lot of time researching the legal aspects of a site like this. My original plan was to make a tenant blacklist based on negative reviews from landlords and property managers. As it turns out, that's illegal in the US and Australia. So i changed (everybody seems to love the word "pivot") my plan slightly to include all kinds of reviews.
Next came opportunity analysis. Who would use this? why would they use it? what features would they want? How many people would use it? How would i monitize it in the future?
Next came competitive analysis. Who's already doing it? Who's doing something similar? What are they doing? How are they doing it? What seems to be working for them? What have they done that seems to have flopped and gone nowhere.
Next was building the website itself. I've made a couple of basic pages over the past few years, but nothing that interacts with a database, and nothing that has user accounts. I basic html from mucking around with it as a teenager, but I don't know java or API, and despite my best efforts a number of elements had to be cut from the site because I simply don't have the coding ability to make it work (these elements will be put back in when I have the funds to pay a coder).
Could I have done the whole thing in 20 or 30 hours if i'd hired professionals like lawyers, accountants, web developers, etc? Probably. Do I have an extra 20k to pay to get proof of concept? no.

Despite the very negative tone, I appreciate the time you've taken to look at my website and provide some honest feedback.
Thank you.
Leigh.
 

FierceRacoon

Contributor
Jun 1, 2019
71
97
105
I'm not sure where you got the idea that there are no reviews on the website.
Hmm, that was my perception as well, so it makes two of us :smile2:
IMHO, make it look like https://streeteasy.com/
Otherwise, people come, see no stuff and leave.

You should really have a button "How It Works", where it explains everything 3-4 steps. I have no idea how it works (e.g. do I search for a tenant and send them an invite? What if they aren't interested in moving??? Alternatively, do I review applications? Then why would I search?)

Also what is "search tenant reviews"? Are those reviews of tenants or by tenants? And why would I search them?

Also, are you helping investors or landlords?

Also, you need to actively impress on tenants that they need good reviews. (Where do the tenants create their profile, btw? Or how do they claim their profile if it was created by a landlord?) Without it you won't get over the chicken&egg problem. Tell your tenants how they will easily get into that next apartment several years down the line (if you are still in business). Which means, you want the landlords to write reviews for their current tenants.

Consider linking it to a Tenant's Instagram/Facebook/... they can be a way to seed it. Otherwise it is an uphill battle.

Also, it's unclear when the tenants can get reviewed and how you ensure a fair process. What if the landlord is mean and nasty? I guess, you can have a smart formula taking that into account, that that landlord's scores matter less?
 

Jon @ HostMamba

New Contributor
Jul 10, 2019
5
5
12
United Kingdom
Hi Leigh,

Congratulations on getting this far with your concept!

I'd be inclined to agree with the 2 previous posts, but this will all come once you have finished your web design. A key point will be to show a selection of something like "Latest Reviews" or "Most Useful Reviews" immediately upon site entry in order to engage your visitors from the moment they enter the site, along with some good calls to action.

Again, congratulations on all of your work so far, and good luck with the rest of your development!
 

Walter Hay

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Speedway Pass
Sep 13, 2014
2,164
8,785
1,953
World citizen
I've spent a hell of a lot of time researching the legal aspects of a site like this. My original plan was to make a tenant blacklist based on negative reviews from landlords and property managers. As it turns out, that's illegal in the US and Australia.
I suggest you also consider the laws regarding defamation. Australian law seems to allow anyone with the slightest cause to sue for defamation.

Having been a landlord and experiencing a shocking tenant damaging and stealing from our property I would like to see such a site for reviewing property managers. The RE agent disregarded my selection criteria, and could have hardly chosen a worse tenant.

I have seen both sides of the coin, and while many tenants are a liability, property managers need to smarten up too. Most that I have encountered are oxygen thieves.

The juniors they employ are so ignorant of general knowledge they can't even provide a true or reasonable description of the features or amenities of the property. They are too lazy to take more than a couple of photos, and they rarely make an effort to "sell" the rental.

Walter
P.S. In your site's second line you use "chose" which should be "choose".
 

YoungPadawan

Miles to go before I sleep
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Nov 7, 2015
399
986
349
26
"It's Finally Up!"

25702

Sorry, I could resist. But in all seriousness, I think this could have defamation lawsuit all over it. Also, I concur about the previous suggestions about not having to create an account in order to view anything
 
Last edited:

YoungPadawan

Miles to go before I sleep
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Nov 7, 2015
399
986
349
26
.
 

Become a Fastlane INSIDER to view the forum ad free.

amp0193

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
May 27, 2013
2,631
11,303
2,454
United States
I would like to see such a site for reviewing property managers.
I like this idea better :thumbsup:

Works towards the same goal... but is more effective than trying to squash every cockroach.
 

amp0193

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
May 27, 2013
2,631
11,303
2,454
United States
I'm not sure where you got the idea that there are no reviews on the website.
Ah ok, well that makes a bit more sense.

When I clicked on the reviews page, nothing showed up. Then I typed in some names and nothing happened. At that point I start wondering if there's even anything here or if the thing even works.

Maybe a message that pops up saying "Awesome! no negative reviews for so and so!" whenever you search a name, instead of nothing happening would clear up that confusion.

If it wasn't clear to me how the site worked, it won't be clear to others.

Account:
This one should be obvious... I'm collecting contact details of my customers.
It's not about what you want, it's about what the customers want.

Until this is a proven thing, that everyone is talking about, and a landlord would jump through every hoop to get on your site... every additional step someone has to complete is more people leaving your website.

Does airbnb make you create an account to see the homes for rent?

Do you have to be logged in with an account to see product reviews on amazon?

If your site is useful and beneficial and easy to use, you'll get the customers.


My original plan was to make a tenant blacklist based on negative reviews from landlords and property managers.
Isn't that what this is? Or do you mean this will have good reviews too, so it's ok?


Despite the very negative tone
Not negative. Direct.
 
Last edited:
OP
OP
L

Leigh Farrell

Contributor
Nov 27, 2017
39
36
44
33
Adelaide, South Australia
Thanks everyone for your feedback! This is exactly what I need!
I'd assumed that how it works would be self explanatory, but it seems that most didn't get it (hugely helpful feedback). I'll make a "how it works" page to describe it.
Also, I haven't done the mobile site yet (HUGELY important, I know) and I will have this finished by Tuesday night.
The point of the website is for landlords and property managers to review their tenants. The main purpose of this is to allow property managers and Landlords to search the database for existing reviews on prospective tenants. If you've had a shitty tenant, chances are they've been a shitty tenant to some other landlord in the past.
As for the danger of law suits, I've asked reviewers to be honest and fair with their reviews, and all reviews are required to have the reviewers name and phone number of the review (partially to keep them honest, partly so that anyone reading the review who would like further information can call them to get it (much like you would have on a tenants application), and partly because it'll help to uncover if a tenant has lied about their previous landlords\property managers name and number on their rental application).
I also plan on adding a landlord and property manager review element to the page in the future but I'm not sure if i should be making that part of this site or making sister sites with different domains. I would love to hear your thoughts on this too.

Thanks again for your feedback. I really appreciate it all.
Kind regards,
Leigh
 

loop101

Silver Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Mar 3, 2013
623
963
363
If you suffer from lack of initial customers, you may need to offer a sepearte service that is independent of the first. Something free/cheap that landlords would want regardless of the primary service. Like sub-pages of links on how to deal with bad tenants, lawyers, legal forms, amazon books on landlording etc. Something to get people to go to your page, and while they are there, enter some info on bad tenants.
 

Ernman

Silver Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Feb 8, 2019
326
560
242
59
Florida, USA
Leigh - Congrats on putting yourself out there and for taking the feedback and criticism as opportunities for improvement. Far too many people ask for feedback then either don't take it or search for excuses to defend themselves. Having been on both sides of the landlord gig, I applaud what you're doing. I hope you don't find yourself in a legal mess from sidewalkers and their enabling lawyers looking for a handout.
 
OP
OP
L

Leigh Farrell

Contributor
Nov 27, 2017
39
36
44
33
Adelaide, South Australia
If you suffer from lack of initial customers, you may need to offer a sepearte service that is independent of the first. Something free/cheap that landlords would want regardless of the primary service. Like sub-pages of links on how to deal with bad tenants, lawyers, legal forms, amazon books on landlording etc. Something to get people to go to your page, and while they are there, enter some info on bad tenants.
Yes, I'm adding a feature that will allow landlords to do credit checks and criminal history checks from my site.
 

Champion

Contributor
Apr 12, 2019
67
39
48
Germany
Hey, interesting idea.

Idk how it is in the US, but I feel that in Germany you would definitely be facing some problems with data protection and privacy regarding this. Have you done research on this topic yet?

Not trying to stop you from carrying on with your idea, just challenging it a bit. Looking forward to reply.

Best,
Champion
 

Become a Fastlane INSIDER to view the forum ad free.

Create an account or login to comment

You must be a member in order to leave a comment

Create account

Create an account on our community. It's easy!

Log in

Already have an account? Log in here.

Post New Topic

Please SEARCH before posting.
Please select the BEST category.

Post new topic

New Topics

Fastlane Insiders

View the forum AD FREE.
Private, unindexed content
Detailed process/execution threads
Monthly conference calls with doers
Ideas needing execution, more!

Join Fastlane Insiders.

Top Bottom