You can create an Open Off-Campus website right now for free. To do this, you'll need to sign up for a user account if you don't already have one.
Once you have registered a subdomain and logged in, you will be directed to the Dashboard where you will find features that
will help you maintain your off-campus website. Now click the "show/hide" link next to the Site Preferences section.
In "Site Preferences", enter Latitude and Longitude values for the approximate center of campus so that Google Maps can calculate the distance from houses to campus.
Important: In "Site Preferences", turn "site status" to online. And update the homepage text so that people can contact you with questions about the site.
Within Site Preferences, you can customize the appearance of the site by duplicating and then editing one of the existing CSS files. You can also upload a new 900x94 px logo which will appear at the top of every page on your site.
2. How to add House Listings
The next tutorial shows how to put house listings online. In the first screen, you enter basic information about the house or apartment including its address,
its price per student, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms etc. In the second screen, you can upload unlimited JPG pictures of the house. As the site
owner you will be permitted to create listings for free, but all other users will be required to choose one of these three payment options:
Automatic Recurring Billing (ARB) - The homeowner is automatically charged $15 by credit card every month, and the listing stays online indefinitely.
Temporary Listing - The homeowner must log in and add money whenever he/she wants to extend the expiration date of the listing.
Pay for Bookings - The homeowner doesn't pay any monthly fee, but pays commission whenever a booking comes through the website (typically $100 for each student who signs a lease).
In order to enforce this, no contact information for the homeowner can be posted on the listing webpage.
3. How to Create a Links Section
In the OpenOC Dashboard, you can use the "External Links" section to create a list of links which will appear in the upper right corner of the homepage.
Creating a links section is helpful to students and is good for your PageRank and SEO. When you include a link to someone's site, try emailing their
webmaster and asking for a return link. To create links, go to the External Links section of the Dashboard, click "New Link" and then enter the URL and
anchor text for the link. To delete a link, simply select and delete the text in each box and then click "Save".
4. How to Create a Housing Agency
A housing agency listing appears at the top of the homepage and is like a subdirectory that contains links to many house and apartment listings.
When you create an agency, you can upload one photo representing the agency and you can enter a paragraph describing it. Once you create a housing
agency entry, you can then attach regular listings to this agency by editing the individual listings and clicking "Basic Info".
Large housing agencies are often willing to pay top dollar for this premium advertising space.
5. How to Send Invoices
It is possible for homeowners to put their homes online and enter their credit card information for automatic monthly billing without your assistance.
But many non-technical customers won't end up online unless you handle everything for them. For these customers, you can create their house listing
through your user account. Then, use the "Invoice Manager" section of the Dashboard to create and send them an invoice. When you send an invoice,
they will receive an email link that prompts them to make a credit card payment. To do this, you need to first create an Invoice Account which saves
the customer's address and contact information. Within one of these accounts, you can then create an invoice and you can add item amounts and descriptions
to this invoice. To delete an invoice item, select and delete the text and then click "Save Changes".
6. How to use the Contact List
Once you have the basic website set up, it's time to start contacting the real estate people in your area. Cold-calling is by far the most effective way
to make money and get houses online. When you call someone, you have two objectives: 1) getting the listing online and 2) getting the person to commit to
paying for the listing. Ideally, you can achieve both of these goals in a single phone call.
The following youtube video shows how to use the contact list to keep records of your interactions with potential customers.
You can edit a contact by clicking anywhere on the row, you can delete a contact by clicking the "delete" link on the right
side of the row, or you can create a new contact with the "New Contact" link in the upper right corner of the contact table.
It is very important to write a lot of info into the "Notes" section so that you don't forget anything important and miss out
on potential customers.