FAQ: Our website system was upgraded over the Thanksgiving weekend. How did this change benefit my company?

We performed an upgrade to all member websites over the Thanksgiving weekend, which involved relocating websites to bigger, faster, newer and better servers.  This also moved website servers out of the hurricane region, and upgraded everyone to the latest and greatest technology. Though we continuously upgrade our software and systems, this was a special sort of upgrade that won’t need to happen again for a long time.

For the majority of users, the server migration/website upgrade went smoothly. Unfortunately, some did experience issues with their ISPs not updating in a timely manner, and some members encountered challenges arising from having weak passwords. This necessitated a period of helping them update passwords, access webmail, and update email clients with new passwords as needed.  We’re happy to say that websites were not down during the migration, and the long-term benefits of this move will greatly help your business.

The benefits of the server migration and website upgrade include:

  • Your website is now on the newest technology, with increased functionality, flexibility, security and reliability in a hurricane-proof location.
  • Your email management interface is completely new – email administration is improved, email changes are implemented faster, bigger email accounts are included, improved webmail interface, and increased email performance.
  • All v4 users have been upgraded to the newest website admin functionality, with the latest SEO tools and friendly URL rewriting.

FAQ: How do I replace an existing document or file on my website?

If you have a PM Website, you can easily replace an existing document or file on your website, such as your 2012 Resident Handbook with your new 2013 Resident Handbook:

  • Make sure the new file has the same format type (.pdf, .doc, .docx, etc.) as the outdated file on your website. (PDF files are generally recommended for ease of use by your tenants and clients.)
  • Click Save/Upload Files in the toolbar at the top of your Website Admin Panel.
  • Click the Choose File button to select the file from your computer. Locate the desired file on your computer and double-click it. You may need to select “All Files” as the file type in the search window to locate the file.
  • Name the uploaded file the exact same name as the file you wish to replace. For example, if you’re replacing your existing residenthandbook.pdf document, then name the new uploaded file “residenthandbook.pdf”. (View the name of the outdated file in the “Other Linked Files” list below the Database index on the left side of your Website Admin Panel so you know what to name the new file.)
  • Keep the box checked next to “Add this file to the hyperlink list so that it can be linked to from the website”.
  • Click Upload File. The new file will replace the old file on your website. If you created a dynmenu link, a text link, or an image link for the old file, the new file will now be the linked file.

FAQ: I’m thinking of ordering a new custom website. What can I expect after ordering it?

A custom website is a great option if you would like a highly customized, professional look for your company website. There are three website design options that are available to members with an existing PM Website:

1) Website Conversion: Select the Website Conversion option when you have either an existing website and you want to retain its design, or a new design created by your own designer that you wish to implement. We will convert the design from your source to your PM Website. (Member cost: $279 for most sites)

Example: www.mountvernonpm.com

2) Website Full Custom: Select the Website Full Custom option when you want a professionally designed website customized to your company. This option allows you to submit a sketch of your ideas for us to design from. We will create a custom design based on your input and submit it for your approval, then build your website. (Member cost: $499)

Examples: http://floridapropertymanager.com and http://cbvanguardrentals.com

3) Website Pro Custom: Select the Website Pro Custom when you want a professionally designed website fully customized to your needs, and wish to work with a designer to create the ultimate online identity. We will contact you to discuss your specific desires and customizations, design a site and submit it for your approval, then build your website. (Member cost: $999)

Example: http://oregonpropertymanagementgroup.com

The Website Creation Process

1) Complete your custom website order.  Once you order your custom website (Configuration > Orders & Upgrades > Add a Website Design), you will receive a system generated email that states what we need from you to proceed and the process for the website creation/conversion.

2) Complete the Website Creation Form/Send the designated conversion source.  If you ordered a Full Custom or Pro Custom website, we’ll need your completed website creation form and website content. Pro Custom orders also schedule a website discussion with our design team. If you ordered a Website Conversion, we’ll need your designated conversion source (the website or design you would like converted). You can email us the requested information, or send it through your Control Panel under Help > View Projects > Your updates for us. You must also make sure to transfer your domain to HERO, or register a new domain with us. (See below for Domain information.)

3) Forward website content to HERO PM.  Assemble all material that might be included on your site, or might give us a better idea of how to construct your site, and send to us. Please include everything you can think of…brochures, yellow pages ad, business card, owner packet, etc. Indicate what you actually want on your website, and what should be kept off your site. We require your website text in a computer file like Word, Wordpad (RTF), or Notepad (text). If you have any documents, images, or other content available in electronic format (a computer file) please be sure to zip those files and submit them through the project in your Control Panel (Help > View Projects).

(#3 is ongoing…once we have the content needed to create your website design, you can continue to send additional website content throughout the creation process.)

4) Receive, discuss and finalize. Approve the design preview we create.  After we receive the requested information, our website team then develops a “design preview” – a snapshot of how we think you want your website to look. We’ll notify you via email once the design preview is complete, and request your feedback and changes. We stay in the Design Preview stage until you’re absolutely happy with the design of your site.

5) We build the new website and review it together before it is live to the public.  Once we get your approval on the design, we’ll build your new website and apply all of your content. Once again, you will review everything, and anything can be changed based on your suggestions and recommendations. Your website at this time is not live; it is hidden from public view.

6) Once the site is approved, submit your Website Sign-Off Form.  After the “final review” phase, when you’re sure your website is the way you want it, we’ll send you the Website Sign-Off Form. After we receive the signed form, we’ll schedule the “go live” date.

7) Our team then schedules to replace your existing site with your new one, or for new orders, to simply make your new website live.  The go live typically occurs over a weekend. After your website is live, you have full access to add and change pages, text, images, photos and more. When your site is ready, we will send you important information about accessing your website administration panel and setting up your email.

The timeframe for a Conversion Website and Full Custom Website is approximately 30-60 days, depending on the complexity of the site. The Pro Custom Website can take up to 90 days.

Domain Transfer/Registration

You must transfer a domain to us, or register a new domain with HERO PM before your site can go live. Since this process can take some time, we suggest initiating the transfer or registering a new domain with HERO PM after ordering your new website.

Register a new domain, or request a domain transfer at http://Setup.HEROPM.com/CFG/?page=domain. A new domain registration with HERO PM can take 3-5 days, while a domain transfer (for an already registered domain) can take in excess of 2 weeks. (Note: Two domains are included in the member’s package price; additional domains may be registered at $15 per year.)

Registering a new domain with a company other than HERO PM, such as GoDaddy, will result in a 60 day delay on the domain transfer. An already registered domain, that was registered at least 60 days prior and has not had any changes to it in the past two months, can be transferred. Depending on the existing registrar, it can take up to 2 weeks to finalize the transfer.

Domains are owned by the member. They are transferred to us for administrative and support purposes, but ownership is maintained by the member.

FAQ: How do I configure my online business card, and what should it include?

The customizable online business card is configured in your Control Panel in Configuration > Company Info. HERO PM distributes your online business card to numerous websites where owners are looking for property managers, such as ResidentialPropertyManagers.com. Be sure your business card contains the following elements:

  • A stunning logo
  • Information about your company that inspires confidence
  • Specialization information that attracts the kind of business you do best, while eliminating the stuff that you want to avoid
  • Geographic information that includes a list of cities and zip codes where you manage

Did you know that each of your agents can also have their own online business card to promote themselves? In the Agent’s profile, be sure to set up their individual information and a custom name for their Agent Online Business Card.

FAQ: I’ve heard that prospective tenants can text from my yard signs, and I can capture their contact info. How does this work?

With HERO PM’s Text Response, you can add a text code to your yard signs, window displays, flyers and other printed marketing material. Then, when prospective tenants want information on the property, they text “rental” plus the code listed on your sign/flyer to 313131, and receive an immediate text response with the property’s basic details, the Leasing Agent’s contact info, and link to the mobile view of the listing. From the mobile view, prospects with a smartphone can view photos, floor plans, videos, contact information and even a rental application if configured. Better yet, partner this with a Mobile Website to give your mobile prospect the best view of your data on the go.

Each time a prospect submits a text inquiry on a listing, their contact information is captured and stored in your Control Panel (and a notification email is sent to the Leasing Agent). View the prospect’s contact information in RP Listings > Communications > View Pending Inquiries. From here you can follow up with the prospect and record notes. Text inquiries and mobile views are also recorded with the listing statistics, which can be sent to the owner in the marketing report.
For more information on the Text Response system, along with details on how to purchase text credits, see Text Response: Give Prospective Tenants Property Information, Instantly.

FAQ: How do I create a custom header for my reports?

Create a custom report header (and footer) in Configuration > RP Preferences > Custom Report Header (A, B or C). Configure up to three custom report headers (and footers) for the Available Listings and Inventory reports. Use the editing tools to customize the report by formatting your message, inserting links, adding images (like your company logo), or even adding a table. When selecting the options for the Available Listings or Inventory report output, select the custom header that you designed and then generate the report. If necessary, you may need to edit the custom header so that it displays properly on the reports.

The Available Listings report is a summary report of available listings, which you can pass out to agents and distribute to prospective residents. The Inventory report can be used for internal tracking and record keeping.

FAQ: My email box is full and emails are bouncing back. How do I resolve this?

If we manage your email, then you can view your email account usage by logging on to your Website Admin Panel and clicking on Email Accounts. If the account is full, the email meter will display a flashing red indicator bar. You can click on the red flashing bar for details on how to resolve the issue. The details are included here as well:

When dealing with email, your mailbox is a certain size. This means it can only hold as much email as fits in the mailbox, then it begins rejecting whatever comes in. The size of one of our standard boxes will hold thousands of average sized email messages.

It is often convenient to leave your email in the mailbox for a while. This allows you to check it from the office, from home, from on the road, etc. However, if you leave it in there forever, it will fill up your box and block new mail from coming in.

For this reason, it is best to set your email client (Outlook, Thunderbird, etc.) to empty the box periodically. This is usually called “removing messages from the server”. Each email client has a slightly different setting that allows you to do this. On some email clients, you set the number of days you want a message to stay on the server, then it’s automatically deleted. On others, you can set it to delete messages from the server after you delete them from your email client. In still others, you can set it to delete from the server when the message is removed from your Deleted Items or Trash mailbox. These are all triggers that clean up your server mailbox. You can read more about this in the help section of your specific email client.

Once you configure a reasonable trigger to delete messages from the server, do a Send/Receive or Check Messages to activate the trigger. Assuming the trigger activates, old messages will be deleted from your server mailbox, making room for new messages.

There are two other situations that can rapidly fill up a mailbox, possibly not giving the trigger a chance to activate to clear up space:

  • If you have a virus, you may be sending out a plethora of email messages to unsuspecting recipients, and getting a slew of bouncebacks into your email box, often with attachments. These will come in faster than you can delete them. Check for viruses to make sure this is not happening. If it’s due to a virus, it means there are bigger problems than just the email mailbox.
  • If someone sent you an excessively large email with a huge attachment, it may be plugging up your mailbox. Most ISPs will kill a large message before it reaches you, but this is up to each and every individual ISP. Some will allow extremely large email attachments through. If this is the case, you have to delete the large message from the server in order to make room. Do this by setting the trigger appropriately, as described above.

If this still does not solve your problem, we can go in and view the actual message file on the server. Sometimes this gives us an indication as to what’s happening, but it also means we have access to your email so we do not do this without your express written permission. If you’ve tried the above solutions and come up short, please send us an email to authorize us to view your message file.

You may also access your email from webmail and delete it from there by going to http://(yourdomain.com)/webmail (for v4 websites). This will only temporarily fix the issue, as noted above. You will still need to set your email client to empty the box periodically so the mailbox doesn’t get full again.

FAQ: Why do I need to avoid using special characters in the tag line and remarks fields in my listings?

Including special characters in the tag line and the remarks fields of a listing can cause feed issues with our partner sites. Some exceptions to this rule are exclamation points and parenthesis, which do not cause feed issues. However the tilde (~), dashes, dollar signs, and number signs are a few of the examples that do cause problems. If in doubt, it’s best to not use any special character in these fields so as not to cause a potential issue with exporting your listings.

FAQ: My new owner created his account and logged on, however he does not see a Statement tab to view statements. How does he access his statements?

If a client does not see an option to view their statement after successfully logging on to their online account, it can mean one of two things:

1) Their account authorizations have not been properly configured. There are three ways to configure authorizations:

  • Individually: You can edit individual profiles through your RP Management > Owner/Tenant list. Locate the client on your list and click the edit icon next to their profile. Mark the authorizations you wish to enable; only those with checkmarks will be allowed. A client must have the online access authorization enabled to successfully establish and access an online account. The authorizations you do *not* check will not be available for the client when they access their online account.
  • As a group: You can edit the authorizations for all of your clients at once through the RP Management > System Functions > Database Utilities screen. Click on the Change Auth icon, then select the authorizations you wish to enable; only those with checkmarks will be allowed. Change Auth updates all of your online profiles at once, but it does not affect the profiles you upload after the change is made. In order to access Database Utilities, you must be logged on to the HERO PM Control Panel with the Master Administrator logon (PMID as username and associated password).
  • Defaults: You can configure default profile authorizations through the Configuration > RP Preferences  > Default Profile Authorizations screen in your Control Panel. These authorizations will be applied to profiles when you upload them. Select a profile group, then mark the authorizations you wish to enable; those with checkmarks will be allowed. You can also change all current client authorizations by checking the “Change all existing accounts” box. This will apply the new authorizations to all existing clients.

2. There has never been an active statement uploaded for this client. View the client’s uploaded statements and documents in RP Management > Documents > Document Lookup. If the client does not have any published or uploaded statements or documents, then they will not yet have the Statement (or Document) tab in their online portal.