I had been unemployed for more than eight (8) months, job searching left me with nothing but an empty gas tank and a few shattered prospects. Thinking that a higher education should land me a top paying job, I was reluctant to accept the fact that the job I felt most suited for was non-existent. What I had not counted on was how tough the competition would be for those very same jobs. I had heard the warnings about owning your own business but one of the warnings had escaped me. I did not know that a business owner would not be able to collect unemployment. Even after lowering my expectations, I was still faced with trying to understand that even entry leveled position were positions were those which I was “over-qualified”. While still searching for gainful employment, I encounter several individuals and companies who had property for rent but from my experience I knew that some may not be ideal and the homes that were offered left a lot to be desired. It was then that I was lead to having a conversation with my brother and fiancée about a place where I could go to find a good landlord and not one who say one thing and do another. My research revealed no such place on the internet.
It was then suggested to me that I should create my own website where people could go and check out their potential landlords before committing to a signed contract. I was able to shop around and since there was nothing like this that exists could see the huge benefit it could bring. At that time www.freelandlordreviews.com was born. Because I could not afford a high priced web designer to put this together for me, it had to be something that I could do myself. Not having a real clue how to do it, it also had to be something that did not take a rocket scientist degree to figure out.
I picked Go Daddy because the prices were more than right for not only getting a website but getting them to host it as well. Their customer service people were outstanding and guided me through every pitfall that I encountered. The website itself was easy to create because of Joomla which a website building software and its free. By using its templates; I was able to get this site together in less than a week. The only major adjustment that I had to include later was insuring the protection of personal information from those doing the reviews from fear of retaliation from past or present landlords.
This site is now available nationally and one day soon we look to take it internationally as well. It offers a place for those landlords and management companies to list all of their available properties in every state and a dispute resolution service aimed at reducing court costs and attorney fees for both management and tenants. This site is also equipped with a blog to help us pass on pertinent new laws and regulations which may be needed by tenants to stay informed of what their rights are. Before today many renters were subjected to careful consideration from potential landlords/management companies and lacked the opportunity to check out those from whom they may rent. Today the tide has turned and the playing field is a little more leveled thanks to this site.