Understanding Harmony: The Ducks are Disordered

Keeping your ducks in a row is easy with Harmony. One powerful tool to help is the Concerns Report.

You can run a concerns report on any owner, tenant, or vendor, or run it on all of them at once. The concerns report will show you everything that you might be concerned about for a person. Here are some examples of things that will show up on your Concerns Report:

  • A person is missing important contact information, like phone numbers and email addresses.
  • A person is on an agreement that is overdue or coming due for renewal, expired or expiring, etc.
  • An owner is missing required tax documents, tax ID, or distribution information.
  • An owner has a balance less than their reserve.
  • A person has overdue bills, charges, work orders, or tasks/activities.
  • A vendor is missing or has expired Workers Comp.
  • A vendor has overdue invoices.
  • And more…

Most of these items are also alerted in other places, and your staff will see them in real time and respond to them. As the business owner or manager, the Concerns Report gives you a great way to get a snapshot on anything that was missed or improperly deferred. You might consider requiring your staff to view and resolve concerns on a regular basis, and email you, as the business manager, the report with outstanding issues at the end of each work week.

The report groups concerns by priority A, B, or C. Priority A concerns should be resolved immediately. Priority B require resolution, but with less urgency. And priority C concerns ought to be resolved to keep things moving forward smoothly.

If there are other things that concern you but are not yet on the report, drop us a line so we can consider them for inclusion. It’s our goal to make things clear, clean, and easy to resolve wherever possible.

Understanding Harmony: Compliant Vendors

Working with vendors is one of the most important components of property management.

Harmony provides a ton of tools to effectively manage vendors and their work. One of these tools gives you a simple way to ensure vendors are compliant with your requirements, which may be laws or simply policies.

For any vendor, you can assign them to a services agreement. In the services agreement, you can record all of the information to ensure vendor compliance with licenses, insurance, and certifications.

Whenever a vendor’s license, insurance, or certification is due to expire, you’ll receive an alert to contact them for updated information. You can easily save their proof documents or their emails in their account for later reference. Contacting them is easy, too, with free-form or template-based messages.

If you have a project that requires a specific level of insurance or a specific license or certification, you can find this in your vendors’ services agreements.

Harmony gives you the tools you need to make your work life easy, without the need for post-it notes or multiple systems to track and remind you of important things – it’s all built right in. If you have other ideas for how we can help you track and organize even better, just let us know!

Understanding Harmony: By the Numbers

When entering financial transactions, you’ll choose account codes for the transaction. Some people like to use numbers for these codes, while others prefer account descriptions.

Harmony makes it easy to use either or both. You can either enter an account’s code, or its description, and it will pull up that account. If you usually use numeric codes, set your preference to make it a little faster to select by code, in Settings, Money, Preferences.

There are numerous settings and preferences that speed things up for your data entry, making it fast to zoom through Harmony no matter what system or method you’re used to. Harmony is designed with the goal of making it simple to use for everyone, and setting your preferences will tell the system what makes it simple for you.

Understanding Harmony: Play it Again, Sam

Charges and bills often recur every week or month. Harmony makes it easy to set up recurring financial transactions.

When creating a management agreement, you may have management bills to the owner that recur on a schedule. A base management fee or administrative fee may be billed every month. An annual management fee or performance bonus may be added every year. When you add these to a management agreement, they’ll automatically be set up to recur on the dates based on the agreement (which you can adjust). They’ll automatically stop at the end of the agreement.

When creating a lease agreement, the functionality for tenant charges is similar. Recurring rent is normal, but other recurring charges like parking fees are easy to add, too. Set it and forget it, and the charge will be added on the recur schedule you set.

You’re not limited to setting recurring charges and bills in agreements. Any time you add a charge or a bill, you can set it to recur and choose its recur schedule and expiration.

When a recurring charge or bill is posted, you’ll get a notice in your Updates & Alerts, so nothing happens without you knowing. When it expires, you’ll get a notice of that, too.

Harmony automates so many of your recurring tasks, making it easy to focus on what you do best. If you have other items that we can simplify for you, just drop us a line!

Understanding Harmony: Don’t Discard the Dishwasher, Desmond

All of your units have appliances, and you’re often responsible for maintaining many of them. Some of them have warranties. It’s often your job to keep all of this straight.

Harmony provides a simple solution for appliance maintenance.

Start by recording your appliances in the listing’s Maintenance view, in Appliances & Routine Maintenance. You can record any appliance you’re responsible for, whether it’s a dishwasher or an AC unit. Indicate the location and model, description, and serial number.

For each appliance, set the purchase date (or the install date or date put into service, if appropriate) to indicate when the warranty starts. Then select the warranty period, from 1 week to 10 years. Note the warranty info – what’s covered, how to get warranty replacement, repair, or compensation, and anything else related to this appliance’s warranty.

When a problem is reported, it’s time to create a workorder for the repair or replacement. All of the selected unit’s appliances show up in the Appliances section of the workorder. Each one shows the appliance information, and warranty status – before you assign the work. Click or tap the checkbox for an appliance to connect the work to the appliance and have a permanent record of all work done on each appliance.

Do you have a preferred vendor for appliance repairs on this unit? Select them in the listing’s Maintenance view, in Preferred Vendors. When you create a workorder for appliances, this vendor will show up in the Preferred Vendors list, and you can click or tap their name to assign this work to them.

Is this unit covered by a home warranty? Create a vendor for the home warranty, and make a services agreement for them that includes all the units they provide the home warranty on. Whenever you create a workorder for a covered unit, you’ll be alerted and prompted to assign it to the home warranty vendor. You can still assign it to someone else if the work to be done falls outside of the home warranty. You can also use services agreements anytime you have a preferred vendor for all standard work on the unit. Some companies use this when they have maintenance triaged by their in-house maintenance company, or when they want a handyperson (aka handyman) check out all repairs before escalating to a trade as necessary.

Do you have an idea on how Harmony could make your maintenance even easier? We’re all ears! While we feel that maintenance in HERO Harmony is borderline magic, it’s our mission to improve your life as much as possible when it comes to maintenance of the units you manage.

Understanding Harmony: Do It Again (and again, and again)

Many of your units have recurring maintenance needs.

If you manage an apartment complex, you may find yourself replacing AC filters every 1-3 months. Condo managers may find themselves testing the fire suppression system quarterly. Managers of single-family homes may need to dispatch pool service each week.

No matter what your need for routine maintenance, Harmony has your solution.

For each listing, add routine maintenance items in the Maintenance view, in Appliances & Routine Maintenance. There are a number of pre-defined routine maintenance groups, like Safety Detector/Alarm or Lock/Access Control. There’s also a section for Other Items, where any routine maintenance can be added. Describe the item that needs routine maintenance, with its location. Indicate the last check/service, and the service interval. Service intervals can be any time period, from 1 week to 10 years.

When routine maintenance comes due, a work request is automatically added, and you’ll get an alert on your dashboard. Click or tap to assign the work and set the due date, and notify your vendor as necessary. When the work is complete, the last check/service date will automatically update, and you can relax until the next routine maintenance comes due.

Do you need to know when your vendor shows up to do the maintenance and when they’re done? As with all maintenance, routine maintenance offers the Job Log feature, so a vendor can indicate their arrival and departure by clicking or tapping the check-in/check-out of maintenance from the job site. This is logged in the workorder’s job log, which you can compare to the invoice if and when the vendor invoices for work. This also gives you the insight to answer the tenant call asking about the strange lady who’s knocking on their door asking to check their smoke alarm.

Do you have a multi-unit property that requires the same service interval on an item in all units? In the property’s Maintenance view, add the routine maintenance items and service intervals. Then, for each listing you add in the property, the maintenance items will be automatically added.

Do you have an idea on how Harmony could make your maintenance even easier? We’re all ears! While we feel that maintenance in HERO Harmony is borderline magic, it’s our mission to improve your life as much as possible when it comes to maintenance of the units you manage.

Understanding Harmony: My Owner has 100,000 Properties

This may be a little silly. But even sillier is the actual real-life limit of Harmony – each management agreement can have up to 390,451,572 properties on it. If you have an owner with more than 390 million properties, you either have time travel skills or access to a parallel universe, and we’d love to hear all about it!

This number underscores an important reality: HERO Harmony was designed from the ground up to handle the craziest and most complex arrangements in property management, and do it simply and smoothly.

In reality, your largest client may have a few hundred properties. But they may also own an 8-plex with their brother, and they may own a 68 unit apartment building with another partner. All of this is made simple with Harmony, where an owner is an owner, a unit is a unit, and a management agreement is a management agreement.

Unlike other property management software that uses flat, two dimensional arrays to correlate owners and tenants with their units, Harmony is structured with three dimensional arrays. We haven’t taken somebody else’s software and re-labeled “sellers” as owners, “buyers” as tenants, and “products” as units. Harmony accommodates the real-life nature of the relationships that you have with your owners, tenants, and vendors, and the relationship that each of them has with their units and money. You’ll see the power and flexibility of the third dimension as you work in Harmony – it works the way you do.

Adding one dimension doesn’t seem like much, but as you experience it, you’ll realize that it’s like living in a house instead of living on a sheet of plywood. It’s this third dimension that really brings security, comfort, simplicity, power, and flexibility to a property management business. The industry has offered plywood-sheet software for way too long; we felt it was time for someone to build a box (and then insulate it, add windows and doors with locks, shingle the roof, and tile the floor, and add some furniture…metaphorically, of course).

You may be okay managing your property management business on a sheet of plywood – right up until you hit about 40 units or 40 years of age. Then it’s simply too exhausting to do anything but upgrade – and you’ll wish you’d done it a long time ago! If you’re currently over 40 units or over 40 years old and still using two dimensional software, you’re working way too hard! HERO has more years of experience in cloud-based property management software than any company in America, and it shows in the design of Harmony. Put three dimensional software to use and bring Harmony to your company and your life!

Understanding Harmony: Atrocious Estimates?

Accurate vendor repair estimates are essential for property management. Which vendor you select, what you say to owners, and when the work is done are all affected by the estimate.

So how close are invoices/totals to estimates? Harmony makes it easy to see, at a glance.

Simply run your Completed Maintenance report with detail. You can run it for an individual vendor, or for all vendors. A visual graph shows how close each repair total is to its estimate. You can easily see if the total exceeded the estimate, or if the estimate came in higher than the total. You can also see the percentage of workorders where the total was more than the estimate, and by how much.

This handy report also tells you how many workorders have been completed on each of your units in the selected date range, and how much you’ve spent on each unit. You can also easily see how your vendors are performing in workorder completion time, by percent, hours, and individual workorder time to resolution.

With this and all the other maintenance tools built in to HERO Harmony, managing your maintenance is smooth and simple. If you have other ideas for how we can make your maintenance headache-free, please drop us a line.

Understanding Harmony: The Complicated Owner

Do you remember when you had your first owner, they had one rental house, and life was incredibly simple?

Growth in property management usually involves some increase in complicated situations. Your owner may have bought a four-plex. Then she may have gone in 50-50 on a duplex with her mom. Then she joined with a group of other investors to buy a 16 unit building.

Harmony makes the complicated simple. The foundation of your relationship with an owner (or a group of owners) is a management agreement. Each management agreement can have as many units as you want. Each management agreement can have multiple owners. Each owner can have as many management agreements as you want. You simply set up the owner and unit once, then set up each management agreement to reflect your actual, real-life agreement.

This is where the power of Harmony comes in. Do you want to send a birthday email to an individual owner? Just select them and send it. Do you want to send an official notice to all the owners on the agreement? Just add it to the agreement and send. Do you want to see all transactions for an owner? View them. Want to show only the transactions for one of the management agreements they’re on? Select the agreement and you’re there. Generating a financial report for everything an owner is on? Simple. Or just for the units on a single management agreement, even when the owner is involved in multiple different partnerships? Also simple. And this owner can see everything they need in their portal, too.

Perhaps one of the owner’s units needs an air conditioner replaced, but the tenant hasn’t paid the rent and the reserve doesn’t cover it. If they’ve received the rent on another one of their units, it’s no problem paying the invoice – it’s no problem in trust accounting, and it’s no problem in Harmony.

Viewing, tracking, filtering, communicating, processing…it’s all simple in Harmony no matter how complicated your owner’s arrangement is.

What makes Harmony so powerful? In simple terms, where other property management software is flat, the underlying structure of Harmony is three-dimensional. It’s not just that we offer more features, it’s that the core structure is designed for the way property management actually functions. Two dimensional, flat structures work well in retail and most other product and service businesses, but they simply don’t work for the way that a property manager transacts and communicates with owners, tenants, vendors, and units.

You’ll see this throughout Harmony. Where other software re-labels flat software with property management terms, Harmony reflects your real experience as a property manager. You won’t find us calling a unit an “owner” or calling a tenant a “lease”; in Harmony a unit is a real unit, a tenant is a real tenant, an owner is a real owner, and a lease is an actual lease.

Understanding Harmony: Who Dunnit?

In your property management business, some things go exceptionally right and some things go exceptionally wrong.

In Harmony, it’s easy to find out who did the right thing, and who did the wrong thing. Every action taken by every user is tracked and logged. From any item (like an invoice, a bill, a receipt, a workorder, or an activity), simply select the history/change log icon and the entire history of changes to the item are displayed – the time it happened, who made the change, what it used to be, and what it is now. For a person, listing, or property, select their Notes view for the change history.

It’s also important to give everyone exactly the authorizations they’re qualified for. Not only does this keep an untrained person from doing something they shouldn’t, it gives them more confidence to do the things they should – knowing the system won’t let them make a mess they don’t understand.

For each user, you select their authorization level and role. When they log in, they’ll only have access at the level you’ve specified. For your power users, you can give them administrator privileges for the functions they’re responsible for. For example, allow your maintenance administrator to uncomplete a completed workorder. Or allow your financial administrator to disburse money on a management agreement that’s complete when the tenant pays off their judgement two years later. (Sorry, there’s no provision in Harmony to prevent heart attacks, you’ll have to learn another way to keep your ticker from stopping when this occurs.)

Do you have other ideas on how we can help you track everything in HERO Harmony, and keep everything on track? Send them over!