Where is the Map of all My Listings?

You may have noticed that the map at the top of your listing page is gone.   We know that there have been quite a few changes to the Internet lately, and it can drive someone mad trying to keep up with all of it!  Google recently announced updates to their Google Maps Platform and you’ll need to make a change to accommodate it:

You’ll need a valid API key and a Google Cloud Platform billing account to access our core products. Once you enable billing, you will gain access to your $200 of free monthly usage to use for our Maps, Routes, and Places products. As your business grows or usage spikes, our pricing plan will scale with you.*

*There is also a pricing calculator that may help.

If you read the comments at the bottom of the announcement, you will see that you’re not alone with the frustration this has caused.  This change is upsetting people and developers everywhere.

In order to continue using the Google Maps service on your website, we will need you to set up a Google Cloud Platform for your organization and generate a new API Key for your website.

Why does this affect me?

Previously, HERO PM  was able to take care of this service for all client websites under our account and use our API Key to generate calls to Google Maps for your website. With these new changes however, the daily quota of API calls has been reduced, and HERO PM can no longer cover the usage of all of our members in one account.

Your website is still likely to fall under the $200 free monthly usage, but you’ll to have a separate account under your control so that your usage is isolated. Your  Google account and API Key stays with your organization no matter what changes occur in the future.

What do I need to do?

You have several options on how to proceed

Option #1  –  DO NOTHING – If the listing maps are not important to you, you can simply leave them off.

Option #2 – GENERATE YOUR OWN API KEY WITH GOOGLE – Follow the instructions below under “Generating an API Key” and enter that API key in your HERO PM Control Panel on the Configuration Tab under RP/VR Preferences > Listing Webpage Options.  Select “On, billed by Google” in the drop down under Map Option.  This will bring up a box where you can enter the Google Maps API Key that you created following the instructions below.

Option #3 – ALLOW HERO TO BILL YOU FOR MAP USAGE – If you don’t want to go through the process of setting up your own Google Maps API Key but you want to use the map on your listing page, you have the option for us to bill directly for the calls to your map.   Simply go to the Configuration tab and select Listing Webpage Options from the RP/VR Preferences drop down menu.  Select “On, billed by HERO” in the drop down under Map Option.

 

Generating an API Key:

Sign in to your Google account

If you don’t have a Google account, you will need to create one.

Google Maps Platform Walkthrough - Create a Google Account

Getting started

Once you are logged in to your Google account, navigate to https://cloud.google.com/maps-platform/#get-started.

Google Maps Platform Walkthrough Step 1

Select the services relevant to your site

Which are Maps and Places, but if you’d like, you can also add Routes – you’re only “charged” for the services you use.

Enter project name

Create a name for your project and agree to the Terms of Service and click “Next”.

Google Maps Platform Walkthrough Step 2

Create a billing account

If you do not have a billing account associated with your Google account, you will need to create one by clicking “Create Billing Account”.

Google Maps Platform Walkthrough Step 4

Name your billing account and Continue

Google Maps Platform Walkthrough Step 5

Select your Country and Currency and Continue

Google Maps Platform Walkthrough Step 6

Create your Payments Profile

Then fill in your Customer Info and Continue.

Google Maps Platform Walkthrough Step 7

Enter Payment Info

Provide either a Credit Card or a Bank Account for the Payment Method and click “Submit”.
Google Maps Platform Walkthrough Step 8

Enable your Google Maps Platform

Now you can enable your Google Maps Platform APIs by clicking “Next”.

Google Maps Platform Walkthrough Step 9

Copy your API key

You will be given Your API key –  Enter that API key in your HERO PM Control Panel on the Configuration Tab under RP/VR Preferences > Listing Webpage Options.  Select “On, billed by Google” in the drop down under Map Option.  This will bring up a field where you can enter the Google Maps API Key.

Google Maps Platform Walkthrough Step 10

You did it!

Feel free to reach out

If you have any issues or questions, feel free to reach out to our HERO PM Support Team at 1-800-770-4376, option 1 for assistance.

Introducing SSL Certificates for HERO Websites

Are you interested in adding HTTPS compatibility to your website, with the lock icon in the address bar when someone visits your website? HERO PM has your solution!

A Little Background

HTTPS means that your website is being encrypted with additional security, using a secure certificate and a secure protocol. With all HERO Websites, transactions are always secured and sent over HTTPS. This includes things like listing inquiries, applications, and portal access. However, viewing your website is not encrypted by default – unless you upgrade to the Secure Website option.

Why HTTPS?

There are two primary reasons to upgrade to a Secure Website with HTTPS:

  1. Trust. There are a growing number of internet users who are learning to have a higher degree of trust in websites that display the lock in their address bar, indicating that they are secured. As time goes on, HTTPS and secure websites will be the standard, rather than the exception.
  2. SEO. Google has been saying for quite some time that they want a more secure web, and when the time is right, they will begin weighting secure sites higher in the search results than standard sites. Google’s present position is that they “encourage all website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS to keep everyone safe on the web.” It has been the assumption of industry insiders that they will do this when the number of secure sites reaches critical mass. With the changes to security in February, 2017, this is getting close to reality. Already, Google is providing preferential display to secure websites, though not yet significant preference in ranking.

What is Required to Use HTTPS?

There are three different components in setting up a website for HTTPS. HERO Secure Websites takes care of all three for you.

  1. Website Structure. Since Websites v5, all websites have been structured for HTTPS compatibility. It’s always good to keep your version current to make sure you have all available updates.
  2. Website Protocol. The site must be accessed using the HTTPS protocol. Google detects when this is available and directs users to the most secure protocol. For visitors directly navigating to your website, they type “https” before your domain name to access your site securely. All Websites v5 support the secure protocol.
  3. Secure Certificate. Every company offering a secure version of their website must purchase a secure certificate. This is the file that is assigned to your company and must be installed to your website and domain. You may have seen secure certificates, also called SSL certificates, available online for $50 to $5000 per year. There are numerous levels of certificates for all sorts of different encryption needs. It can get pretty complicated, but HERO Secure Websites provide you with high security on a domain validated certificate, meaning that you do not have to file special paperwork or show up in person for a security audit (as required for the higher levels) – we make it super-simple. The certificates we offer are provided by industry-leader Symantec.

Why Not HTTPS?

With the February updates, most of the technical reasons from the past are no longer a factor. However, there are a few things you need to be aware of before upgrading to a Secure Website.

  • Cost. HERO PM provides the Secure Website upgrade for an initial fee of $100, then $50 per year for subsequent years. This fee covers the acquisition of your secure certificate, installation and configuration, and annual updates. Secure certificates don’t last forever, they’re only good for 365 days, after which we acquire an updated certificate and install it for you.
  • Flexibility. As security increases, there are slight reductions in flexibility. Here are two things you should be aware of:
    • Single Domain. A secure certificate can only be installed to one domain per site. If you have multiple domains on your site, you can keep them all, but only one can use HTTPS.
    • Email Switching. You cannot automatically switch between email services when you have a Secure Website. You can still use all supported HERO Websites email services (HERO Mail, Self-Hosted, Google, and Microsoft), but you’ll have to submit a request to us when you want to switch from one to another, and we’ll handle the change manually.

OK, Let’s Go!

When you’re ready to increase trust, and position yourself for the forthcoming SEO benefit, it’s easy to upgrade to a Secure Website. From your Control Panel, select Configuration – Orders & Upgrades – Order a Website Upgrade. Choose the Secure Website upgrade, and we’ll get to work on your certificate order and installation.

Big Changes Coming in April and How They Will Affect Your Business

Many of us don’t remember the day that Microsoft endedHourglass on computer keyboard support for Windows 95. We don’t remember where we were or what we were doing the day we were forced to transition from Internet Explorer 5 to IE6. This is because likely none of us had to log on daily to post fresh, exciting content on our Facebook, upload our latest video blog to YouTube, and upload a new listing to export onto the web, all before beginning our day’s work at the office. Operating systems and browsers have and will continue to come and go. But, in the day and age where technology is now so intertwined with the day-to-day functions of our business, and we find it increasingly difficult not to rely on the Web, we need to learn the basics of technology. And, with big changes coming to the world of the Internet in April, we need to know how these things affect our property management business. Here is the breakdown of what’s coming in 2014 and how to best be prepared for it.

Microsoft has announced that Windows XP’s “end of life date” is April 8th, 2014. Does this mean you won’t be able to use your Windows XP computer? Not at all, but a word of caution if you do. End of life means that there will no longer be security updates provided to the user. You will no longer have access to patches and support for your XP system. Anyone who chooses to run XP will be extremely vulnerable. There were over 30 major XP attacks in 2013, which means without XP support, there would have been 30 different zero-day vulnerabilities for users on an XP computer in 2013 . Attackers will have the advantage over users still on an XP machine that is connected to a network.

In addition, if you are one of the last holdouts still on Internet Explorer , it may be time to check which version you are using and have a back up plan. IE 7 and 8 are currently in “extended support mode.” This means you have possibly three to four more years to continue to use these browsers, however, most websites have been built to be compatible with only what can be considered “modern browsers.” Google defines this as the latest two versions of Chrome, IE, Firefox and Safari that also support HTML5 without any special back end coding or tricks. This means that when it comes to using Google apps and Google Analytics, Google is only concerned with functionality in IE 10 and 11.

This also affects the way most website designers are currently building websites as well, as catering to an older browser often times requires building a completely separate site. Websites were at one time built with an entirely different code, a different language. Technology has now transitioned away from traditional monitor sizes and needs to consider various shapes and types of devices. When you hear terms like HTML 5, CSS 3, and JQuery 2, know that these are all things that are part of the current and upcoming age. These bring some exciting new capabilities to the web, but it means that a site built with these won’t function on a browser that was built before their time. And, it just doesn’t make logical sense to build a second site for every site with an older language that works similarly to try and keep an old and unsupported browser alive. There is a bit of a catch 22 for XP users, as a logical option would be to upgrade their current browser to a newer version of IE. XP will not allow IE9 or newer to run. So, you are left with a computer open to security vulnerabilities with a browser that no longer works with current and upcoming technology.

The next logical option would be to upgrade your operating system on your computer from XP to Windows 7. And this makes some sense. In fact, a lot of companies have chosen this migration path over the last year. Mainstream support for Windows 7 also ends in January of 2015, leaving only the OS to be supported until 2020. Upgrading to Windows 7 comes at a cost, both in time and money. It is possible your current applications will require being re-written. If your business relies on custom built applications, like for an example, a database of vendors for your maintenance, you may want to take a moment to fully explore what will be affected and non functioning with the upgrade. And if you were going to go to great lengths to upgrade your XP system, it may be cheaper looking at long term costs to upgrade to brand new hardware with a new operating system and software already installed that has not already lived out over half of its support life.

There is an option here that has been left out, and not one that isn’t feasible, but is well disputed. What about Windows 8? With the release of Windows 8, the world of technology has been left in a stand off. For the first time ever, Microsoft built a User Interface entirely with touch screens in mind. The first release was not well received, and Microsoft was quick to release version 8.1 to appease some users that were strongly opposed to such a drastic change. While you may still find purchasing hardware with 8.1 challenging, the upgrade from Windows 8 to 8.1 is fairly simple, and well worth having some of the familiar features back. Here is a link to some FAQ’s about this with instructions for the next step in your migration path:

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/upgrade-to-windows-8

Here is the breakdown of changes in simplest terms. Remaining on an XP device poses certain security threats that most property managers will not have the time to troubleshoot. In the event that your computer is no longer functioning, you will be hard pressed to want to invest that amount of money into an IT person restoring an old computer. It may be time now to look into options to upgrade your hardware. Knowing also that the life of IE 6-9 is coming to a dead end soon makes it easier to consider what option fits your business best. There will always be kinks with different browser options, but you may consider having back up browsers downloaded on your computer to do additional testing with in case things don’t seem right and you have to troubleshoot whether it is your computer or a browser causing you an issue. In the event that your IE is no longer functioning, do you have access to a browser to be able to connect online to upgrade to a newer version?

These changes are costly to you in your office, however the cost of downtime may have a greater impact. In addition, it is important to make sure your devices are current and remain unaffected, as you consider the possibility of having to support your owners and tenants through this transition as well. What happens to a tenant that goes online to make a rent payment and finds his XP machine no longer functioning? What happens when an owner has corrupted data and can’t find a way to get online to download his annual statement during tax week? (Yes, this is happening one week before taxes come due.)

Most property managers did not sign up to be computer experts when they decided to manage homes. In fact, as we move more of the day-to-day functions to cloud-based providers, many property managers are finding that they need to bring in the next generation to assist with merging their established businesses with emerging technology. Having a tech savvy member of your team on standby, read up, and ready to support your owners, tenants, and staff through this transition may be a good idea.

There are endless possibilities in the way that technology changes can affect your office. It is possible you can remain on the same computer you have always used and still be able to function with little or no ill effect at all for a very short while. Many companies are willing to take this risk and won’t upgrade until they absolutely have to. But, when you go to visit a website written with the new language of the Internet, you may experience longer load times and be on a more basic version of that site written for your older browser. The typical property manager’s office has a bit of a learning curve when it comes to introducing new technology to your team. With April as a fast approaching deadline, there isn’t a whole lot of time left on the clock. In the world of property management, efficiency is key, and technology is quickly becoming the vehicle to increasing your efficiency. Is it time to opt for the new car with better gas mileage and a few new bells and whistles?

What’s Going on With Craigslist?

 

In early 2013, Craigslist started posting warnings about new posting rules. They determined that in certain categories, they would no longer permit stylized ad templates, including images. In late October, they imposed these restrictions on their real estate categories in most regions, and gave every indication this would be the new standard for all Craigslist ads.iStock_000011987584_ExtraSmall

This dealt a devastating blow to everyone who posted fancy ads to Craiglist. A lot of people asked why Craigslist would do such a thing, “uglifying” all ads equally. Some figure that since Craigslist’s original design was for locals to buy, trade, and sell, their users would have a better experience if they did not have to wade through commercial postings. Others think that this may be an initial step in preparation for Craigslist charging a fee at some point to allow fancy ads to be posted (right now there is no option to do so, all ads in a given region must conform to the same standards). Craigslist has not come out and made an official statement. What we do know is that this is now being enforced in certain regions of the country, and there’s no way around it if you want to use Craigslist.

We became aware of the change within hours of Craigslist imposing it. We knew that Craigslist was taking an additional step to make it difficult to post ads, but we also saw a way to make sure our members can still post the nicest possible Craigslist ads, in the fastest possible way. We know that many of you value your Craigslist ads, either because of the benefit in attracting tenants, or because of the importance of pleasing your owners. Rather than abandon or limit Craigslist postings, as some other companies have done, we created a way to make it simple for you to comply with the new restrictions.

Several months ago, anticipating the upcoming changes, our developers went to work to create version 5 of our Craigslist export. This set the stage for a speedy solution when Craigslist began rolling out their restrictions. Our developers used Craigslist’s new guidelines to develop a way for you to continue to post your ads directly from your Control Panel. Before most regions were even affected, we had a new solution in place. You may be in a region where this change has not yet taken place, but Craigslist says it’s coming, and we are ready! If you are already affected, or want to be sure your ads still display properly once your region is affected, simply choose one of your Unstyled template options when following the steps below:

Version 5 Craigslist Export

Begin by first logging on to your Craigslist account. Once you have logged on, you can exit to log on to your Control Panel. Select the RP Listings Tab > Listings > Find a Listing (or Show All) . Select any listing with an active status with the edit icon to the far left of the listing you wish to export. Select Export Options from the right margin of the Listing Master View, and choose the Craigslist Export. Select your region code, and select Next.

Open the Craigslist Posting Window. This will open a new window on your computer where you’ll make selections and post your ad. If you don’t see a window open when you click the button, it may already be open in the background from a previous posting.

After making your selections for region and ad type, Craigslist will display the ad entry form.
On the HERO PM Posting screen, you will see several template options for the Posting Description. If you are in a Craigslist region that does not allow fancy stylized ads, select one of the Unstyled templates (templates 4 and higher). If your region still supports the fancy ads, you can use any of the available templates. You may select the preview to determine which template you prefer.

From the HERO PM Posting screen, copy each item in sequence, and then paste it into the corresponding field on the Craigslist ad entry form. Use the copy button beside any field to make copying easier and track your progress.

Once you have entered all of your listing information, select “continue” from the Craislist ad entry form. Craigslist will then allow you to edit your mapping information; configure if current map location is not already accurate, and select “continue”.

If you selected one of the styled templates, your listing will already export with photos. (If you don’t see them on the unpublished draft, or if you see a notice on Craigslist that IMG is not supported, then you’re in a region where an Unstyled template is required.)

No matter which template you use, Craigslist will allow you to manually upload your photos. You can add up to 12 images, that are saved locally on your computer, to your ad. If you don’t already have your photos saved on your computer, you may save your photos from HERO PM’s Posting screen by right-clicking and selecting save-as. You will want to upload best image first, as it will be featured. Once you finish uploading your images, select “done with images”. Craigslist will display an unpublished draft of your post. Confirm that your ad information is correct, and select “publish”. Craigslist may send an email to you allowing you to complete/confirm the publishing process. (This step is also only by region.) Once you have following the instructions in the Craigslist email, your ad will be posted online.

We have had several of our beta testers give us some valuable feedback on this since we first released our v5 export. A common misconception has been that you can no longer post ads. Another is that HERO PM changed the way we export, and that you should try posting from another source, as it is easier. It’s important to understand that HERO PM provides the simplest, most effective Craigslist posting that Craigslist will allow. We encourage our users to do their research, and know you will be confident that we are looking out for you every step of the way. We know the value of your time. While it seems like we added additional steps to your export, this was in an effort to make sure your postings display, with your images, in the best way possible. We have a support team standing by ready to help you through this process, and appreciate you allowing HERO PM to help you achieve a High Efficiency Rental Office!

Did you know:

HERO PM gives you the fastest, most effective, way to post your Craigslist ads in all regions of the country?
HERO PM gives you a way to track which listings have been posted to Craigslist, and when?
HERO PM gives you easy-to-use photo management tools, so that after you post them once, you can continue to use the watermarked, logo stamped images in all exports,  including Craigslist, Twitter, Blogs, and Facebook?
HERO PM provides more export options, to more websites, with better placement, than any other service in the industry?
HERO PM invented Internet rental listing exports/syndication, and continues to lead the way in effectiveness and performance for your rental listings?

 

HERO PM and the 2013 NARPM National Convention

keys1

Now that things have wound down from the NARPM National Convention in San Diego, we want to take a moment to send our members the latest news. Seeing our members and partners is something we look forward to all year long. For those of you who weren’t able to attend, HERO PM announced some big-time news that had attendees buzzing!

As you may have read, HERO PM has launched our SEO-Amazing website system – Websites version 5. People at our booth had the opportunity to learn about the benefits of upgrading to a custom v5 website for only $499. A necessity for growing your business, your website should work to increase your SEO, and should be built to work with the next generation of the Internet. As HTML 5 is in full swing and big changes in the Internet world are scheduled for 2014, you will want to make sure your website is ready! We’ve watched the industry closely, and there is no better website solution for property managers. If you think it may be time for a website upgrade, visit WebsitesV5.com

HERO PM also announced the development of a brand new, web-based accounting solution! There is a need in the industry for a rock solid, web-based, all-in-one solution for your business, and that need has been heard. As we move forward in the creation of this much-needed solution, we want to hear your wish list of features for an accounting package. We have built an advisory panel, and have worked to identify a group of beta testers for this new solution. If you are interested in being a beta tester or participating on the advisory panel, or have ideas for the industry’s perfect solution, visit HEROAccounting.com and submit your request!

As a thank you from HERO PM, our members in attendance received a special gift! Members were given a lightweight, easy to carry, wide-angle lens for phones and tablets, making it even simpler to get those listing videos done! HERO PM’s listing video system syndicates to YouTube, bringing added SEO benefits to the table while filling your vacancies and keeping your owners happy. Also, congratulations to Melissa Prandi for stopping by our booth and winning our raffle – an iPad mini!

The NARPM National Convention theme, Keys Of Excellence, tied in perfectly with HERO PM’s current focus. Over the past year, HERO PM has focused primarily on providing excellent support, and striving to improve the lives of our members by being there when you need us most. Many members expressed positive feedback regarding our improved customer service. It was encouraging to hear our efforts to consistently serve you better have not gone unnoticed. We look forward to partnering with our members over the coming years to continue to build long-lasting relationships, focused on using our technology to increase efficiency and grow your business.

If you would like more information about continued education opportunities, industry events, and the benefits of being a member of the National Association of Residential Property Managers, visit NARPM.org . We look forward to connecting with you at the NARPM regional events scheduled for this coming year! That’s a wrap for our recap, however be sure to like us on Facebook (facebook.com/HEROPM ) for real-time updates on all things HERO PM, and exclusive announcements following the progress of HERO Accounting.

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: What is the difference between User and Agent accounts?

Agent accounts are for managing/leasing agents who manage their own portfolio of properties. Or, in cases where a team manages properties, the Agent can be a team. Agents and Users share similarities, in that they both have a logon and authorizations. However, only Agents can have properties and profiles assigned to them. Once a record is assigned to an Agent, only that Agent or the Master Administrator (who has full control over all assignments) can reassign it.

You can view both Users and Agents in your Control Panel under Configuration > Users & Agents. Users and Agents are differentiated by their unique icons and color codes in the User List.

Agents have two unique settings:
  1. Color swatch: Each Agent can be designated with their own color. On lists, like the Chart of Listings or Owner List, these colors will appear beside the listings and owners the Agent manages.
  2. PROMAS Manager ID: Setting this to match the Manager ID in PROMAS will automatically assign imported profiles to this Agent account.

If you have more than one portfolio of properties but have been managing it in a single account, now is the time to add Agents! Authorized Users can add additional Agent accounts from the User list, or from Configuration > Orders & Upgrades > Add an Agent.  For more information about the latest version changes including the Company, Office, & Agent accounts, view the CPL V4.8 Release document.

HERO PM Introduces New Features at NARPM® Convention


We recently attended NARPM®’s 23rd Annual Convention and Trade show in Dallas, Texas. The highlights included developing deeper relationships with many of our members, introducing some exciting new features, and of course we can’t forget…riding the bull. We were truly impressed at the event’s turnout. I guess it’s as they say…everything in Texas is bigger and better, and well, so was this year’s NARPM® convention. Hopefully you took a minute to stop by our booth and chat with us, but if you missed us, or the event for that matter, here’s a highlight of the new features that HERO PM introduced:

New Website Design Option: Pro Custom

HERO PM is now offering a new addition to the website design options lineup. In addition to the Rapid Start (free), Conversion ($249) and Full Custom Website design ($499), you can now choose the Pro Custom website design (Member Cost: $999). If you own a forward-thinking company that employs unique and creative branding, the Pro Custom website design is for you. Our design team will create a top-notch professional industry-optimized website specific to your company and your unique desires at a fraction of the cost of a typical web design. The process starts with a discussion about your preferences, and allows you to review and approve every step of the way.

HERO Payments

In today’s technology-driven world tenants want the convenience of paying their rent online, just as they pay their other bills. So as part of the HERO PM suite of products, the HERO Payments system provides property managers the convenience of scheduling pre-authorized and recurring rental payments. In addition to being convenient, the HERO Payments system is also cost effective. Each pre-authorized rent payment transaction costs only $0.50…the lowest averaged payment cost anywhere. And it doesn’t stop there! HERO Payments has the most comprehensive security and fraud protection available for the property manager, tenant, and property owner, with the utmost protection from liability. HERO Payments…convenient, cost effective, secure. Need we say more?

Hybrid Cloud

The HERO PM Hybrid Cloud provides a safer alternative to traditional cloud computing by giving you both a “private” and a “public” cloud. The “private” cloud is where certain mission critical i.e. irreplaceable data is kept. The “public” cloud is traditional cloud computing and the place where information that extends outside of your private cloud is kept. For over 10 years HERO PM has provided this hybrid functionality to our members, and we are happy to announce our next generation Hybrid Cloud. In the next generation, we’re providing even more ways to quickly and easily copy the data that you’ve stored with us to your own storage. We will also provide offline access to the most recent version of essential data, where possible. Even without an Internet connection, you’ll be able to look up much of the data that typically lives in the public cloud. HERO PM is the trusted cloud provider in residential property management…and we will continue to be.

 

Track Team Tasks and Access Them Anywhere with Virtual Boards

Picture a giant whiteboard hanging in your office.

On it, you’re tracking all phases of a new owner onboarding. Across the top of the board, there are boxes for meeting the owner, visiting the property, agreeing on a price, receipt of the signed agreement, photographing the property, and on and on. Down the left-hand side, there is a list of your new and perspective owners. You have team member names written in different colors. Some tasks are completed and crossed off. There are circles and arrows and highlights to show urgency. Due dates are smudged, but are squeezed into each box. The familiar smell of dry-erase markers hangs in the air.

Now, picture multiple whiteboards tracking the various processes your team performs on every square inch of your office walls. Agreement process, vacant rental readiness, turning a prospect into a tenant, preventative maintenance schedules, and even the office Christmas party planning.

A little much? We agree (and so would your interior decorator).

All of that tracking is good. But, what happens if you need the information on those whiteboards over the weekend, or while you’re viewing a property with a prospective tenant, or while you’re dining with an owner?

Enter HERO PM Virtual Boards. With HERO PM Virtual Boards, you have the possibility of an unlimited number of whiteboards, virtually! We’ve married a spreadsheet with a whiteboard, and we’ve given you the ability to access them online, any time. And best of all, they’re already included in your HERO PM package if you have the RP Management system.*

Virtual Boards are accessible by all users in your HERO PM account. Simply configure your boards in the Configuration – RP Preferences section of your Control Panel, then manage your boards in the RP Management tab.  The board fields are highly configurable, and can be reordered and re-sized. You can use color-coding to assign work to a team member, to show completion of a task, or to indicate urgency. You can add default values, or leave them free form. You can set due dates, which can even be calculated based on completion of a different task (i.e. a date could be 2 days from the time a contract was received). You can show completed dates, and list the team member who completed the task.

With Virtual Boards, we’ve given you the ability to track big projects the way you want to track them, and the ability to access them when and where you need them.

Your walls will thank you.

 

* If you do not have the RPM system, please contact our solutions team to discuss upgrading your package.