New and Improved HERO Help Sessions

Do you wish that there was a training class for HERO PM that would let you get help with the parts of the system that are troubling you? Would you like to interact with other HERO PM users in the industry so that you could share best practices?

You are in luck!! We are switching up our HERO Help sessions to be more in line with the support you are looking for.

When will the sessions be held?

We will schedule several different times per month so that you can choose the one that best fits your schedule. The dates and times will be included in the invite

What types of topics will be discussed?

  • Online Applications
  • Online Payments
  • Setting Owners Up Online
  • Inspections
  • Listing Reports
  • Online Work Orders from Configuration to Completion

We will also be looking at the most commonly asked questions coming into our Support Team and making sure that we are addressing them during the sessions.

How Do I Get An Invite?

Go to https://heropm.com/register-for-a-hero-pm-event and click on HERO Help Online and sign up.

Invites will be sent out at the beginning of the month so that you can get them added to your calendar.

We look forward to meeting online with you as we help you to get the most out of your HERO PM software.

7 Simple Tips to Becoming a “Less-Paper” Rental Office

greendartsmOver 13 years ago, HERO PM introduced the concept of the “Less-Paper Property Management Office”. We realized that part of becoming a High Efficiency Rental Office involved reducing excess paper and creating a collaborative online environment for sharing information. Nowadays, everyone is talking about sustainability and doing our part to reduce waste and conserve resources – it is in the news, politics, and even fashion. And it involves more than saving trees and reducing your carbon footprint, as important as they are. But did you realize that incorporating eco-friendly practices can positively affect your team morale, make your business more attractive to clients, trim operating costs and increase your bottom line? In fact, adopting ecologically sustainable business practices has a multitude of benefits, and can take a variety of forms.

Besides positively impacting the environment, increasing your bottom line and reducing waste, you may be surprised that incorporating ecologically sustainable practices can also help attract and retain clients. According to a recent study conducted by Harris Interactive, consumers are seeking out these businesses. “61 percent of American adults are more likely to patronize a company or business that follows green practices”.

Becoming an ecologically sustainable business, and encouraging team participation in eco-efforts also sets a positive example for employees, which can boost morale and company loyalty. According to a MonsterTRAK poll on green employment, eco-conscious business practices help attract and retain the best employees by increasing employee satisfaction and pride in the workplace. “80 percent of those surveyed said they are interested in a job that has a positive impact on the environment and a whopping 92 percent would choose working for an environmentally friendly company”.

As a comprehensive web-based property management solution, HERO PM offers many tools and features to help you run an eco-friendly business, while increasing your business efficiency. So if you are looking for ways to reduce your consumption and increase your bottom line, all while growing your client base and retaining great employees, then consider incorporating these 7 simple “Less Paper” tips today:

1.  Use the cloud. Upload statements to owner/tenant portals, rather than printing and mailing statements each month. One HERO PM member estimates that he saves between $5-$10 each month, per owner, by not having to mail statements. He not only saves a tremendous amount of time and money (with 1,800 owners!), but he has significantly reduced his paper usage and eliminated waste.

2.  Encourage (offer incentives) for team members to telecommute, bike, take the bus, or carpool to work. Reduced office space and fuel is a potential win-win-win for your business, your team, and the environment.

3. Go digital. Email marketing reports to your owners, use HERO PM’s Online Applications and screen your applications online with our Integrated Screening Partners. Use Online Workorders, HERO Payments and Virtual Boards to lower your paper usage, printing materials and processing time.

4. Save energy. Set the thermostat a few degrees lower in the winter and a few degrees higher in the summer. Install compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) when your old conventional incandescent light bulbs burn out. Be sure to turn off lights in vacant offices, and turn off your equipment, including monitors and copiers. Besides saving energy, you’ll also save on utility costs.

5. Do virtual showings. Adding a marketing video to your listings lets you spend less time driving back and forth to show homes in person, which helps to reduce emissions and fuel consumption. In addition, many of our members who utilize video walkthroughs report renting some properties without any physical showings, and it helps weed out prospects who may not be seriously interested in the property. Did you know you can syndicate your listing videos to YouTube?

6. Recycle. Place a recycling bin anywhere you have a trash can. According to the National Recycling Coalition, every ton of paper that is recycled saves 17 trees, the energy we save when we recycle one glass bottle is enough to light a light bulb for four hours, and manufacturing with recycled materials, with very few exceptions, saves energy and water and produces less air and water pollution than manufacturing with virgin materials. (http://www.recycling-revolution.com/recycling-benefits.html)

7. Use eco-friendly cleaning supplies in the office. Eco-friendly cleaning products contain fewer chemicals, which creates a healthier work environment. It can also help employees who suffer from respiratory and other health-related conditions.

Becoming ecologically sustainable doesn’t necessarily require major changes in how your business runs. A number of small steps, some of which cost little to no money to implement, can make a significant impact on the environment, and your business. HERO PM makes it easy for you to incorporate eco-friendly practices, and offers many solutions to help you run an eco-friendly business. Contact us today if you have any questions about incorporating our tools and features into your business practices!

Tips and Tools to Help You Reach Your 2013 Business Goals

As we approach 2013, many of us have already considered the goals (dare we say resolutions!) we’d like to accomplish in the New Year. Of course many of our goals are personal (lose those last 10 pounds, take an underwater basket weaving course, sail around the world, etc.). Many of us also set professional goals. Because of this, we’ve put together a list of common goals that may be on your list as property managers. And we’ve outlined some tips, tools and ideas to help you reach those goals. Of course this list isn’t comprehensive, so if you have other goals not on our list, please let us know. We’d be happy to send you some specific ideas and tools we have available to help you accomplish them.

 

Goal: Fill Vacancies Quicker

Consider the following tools and tips to help you market your listings more effectively, and fill your vacancies quicker:

  • Confirm a competitive monthly rent for the listing – use the Comparable Rents report in your Control Panel (RP Listings > Reports > Comparable Rents) to view comparable rents in a zip code region. (requires RP Listings system)
  • Most people conduct their rental search online, so give them a good feel of the property by including at least six photos, plus a video walkthrough or virtual tour in the listing.
  • Make sure the property is appealing in photos, videos, and in person, and pay attention to details. Pick the right angles that best highlight the property (i.e. avoid taking a photo of the master bedroom with the full laundry basket in view).
  • Place a QR and/or text code on your print media – property flyers, yard signs, etc. for potential tenants to conveniently access listing information.
  • Determine your listing’s market effectiveness by running a Marketing Audit report in your Control Panel. This report rates your listing’s marketing effectiveness and provides suggestions for making your listing more market ready. (requires RP Listings system)
  • Write effective property descriptions – since many Internet users glance through text instead of reading it, use short bullet points to highlight the property details. List the most important “selling points” in the beginning to get their attention quick.
  • Get maximum Internet exposure…HERO PM has the largest syndication/distribution list in the industry. This means your listings will get viewed on more sites by more people with our Listings systems. (requires RP Listings system)
  • Market your listings on social media.
  • Offer an online application for prospects to quickly and conveniently submit their applications and pay their application fee online. (Submitted online applications can be instantly screened in real time by one of our Integrated Screening Providers.) (requires RP Listings and RP Management systems)

 

Goal: Improve client satisfaction and retention

At the very core of every successful business is the relationship that it has with its clients, so connecting with your clients and improving client satisfaction is important! Consider the following tools and tips to help you improve client satisfaction and retention:

  • Start at the top! Your team will follow your lead…so make client satisfaction your top priority and it will work its way down through your business.
  • Many times client dissatisfaction is due to a lack of communication. So, communicate with your clients regularly through multiple medias and venues. Consider sending a regular newsletter to clients with updates on industry news, opportunities, interesting articles, etc. or adding a blog to your website.
  • Use the owner marketing report to keep owners updated on activity generated on their property. The marketing report displays the number of times the property has been viewed, the number of online inquiries that you’ve received, the number of days the property has been advertised online and more. (Email the report to your owner directly from your Control Panel in the Listing Master View > Flyers/Reports > Marketing Report.) (requires RP Listings system)
  • Create an online website feedback form and request candid feedback from clients on what your company and team does well, and ways you could improve. Then use their responses to make positive changes.
  • Be tech savvy…and advertise it. Make sure clients understand what tools you use to market their listing and maintain their property through the course of the rental period.
    • Give your owners the most online exposure for their listings by using the RP Listings system. The HERO PM RP Listings system exports (syndicates) listings to the nation’s largest network of rental and housing related websites. (requires RP Listings system)
    • Promote your listings with social media – post your listing to Craigslist and Twitter from the Listing Master View in your Control Panel.
    • Create a customizable online application that allows prospects to fill out the application through your listing; the application data displays in your Control Panel for quick and easy processing. (requires RP Listings and RP Management systems)
    • Use one of our Integrated Screening Partners to screen submitted online applications in real time and quickly determine whether applicants are qualified. (requires RP Listings and RP Management systems)
    • Utilize Online Workorders to make it easy for tenants to submit structured maintenance requests from their phone or computer, ensuring repairs don’t go ignored. The workorder is sent to the vendors quickly so they can respond and react quickly and accurately. (requires RP Management system)
    • Accept rent payments online via the HERO Payments system to increase on-time rent payments. (requires RP Management system)
  • In today’s world, most clients want to be able to access information, make payments and execute other routine processes online, so offer useful and convenient tools and options to your owners.
    • Allow online account access, so owners can view activity and monthly statements. Give owners access to see all current income and expenses pertaining to their property as well as monthly statements online. (requires RP Management system)
    • Give owners the convenience of making online payments through their account. (requires RP Management system)
    • Order a mobile website, and give owners access to their online account from their mobile phone to access their information anywhere. (requires PM Website)
  • Set client satisfaction guidelines and make sure your entire team is on board with them. It will take an effort from your entire company to boost client satisfaction levels, but it’s worth it!

 

Goal: Streamline processes in my office procedures

Streamlining processes in your office involves reducing duplications and automating office procedures where possible. This increases productivity and efficiency, minimizes unnecessary costs, and promotes a better working environment for your team. A win-win-win!

  • Research all of your company’s procedures, and determine redundancies. If there are duplicate processes that occur, such as the review of a document by several different people when only one reviewer is necessary, then eliminate the duplication.
  • Request input from your team about how to improve efficiency. (Be sure your team knows the goal is not to improve their efficiency, but rather work-flow procedure efficiency…there’s a difference!)
  • Make marketing your listings work for you…rather than posting rental listings to multiple sites, post your listing once to your Control Panel, make it active, and it’s exported to your website (with the integrated listings page), our company websites, our partner sites and more. (requires RP Listings system)
  • Instead of mailing online statements each month to owners and tenants, consider posting statements online. With the HERO PM RP Management system and PROMAS (and even without PROMAS!), you can easily publish activity, documents and monthly statements to your clients’ accounts. (requires RP Management system)
  • Utilize the Online Workorders tool that allows tenants to submit an online work request to you. View the work request in your Control Panel, and generate a workorder, which can be emailed directly to your vendor, and posted to their online account. (requires RP Management system)
  • Create a customizable online application that allows prospects to submit an application from your active listing. The data is posted to your Control Panel, and from there can be submitted to one of our Integrated Screening Partners. (requires RP Listings and RP Management systems)
  • Offer online rental payments to your tenants via the HERO Payments system, which saves you time and money processing their checks each month. (requires RP Management system)

 


Goal: Increase company revenue by growing my client base

Consider the following tools and tips to help you increase company revenue by growing your client base:

  • Make sure your current clients are happy! Word of mouth from satisfied clients is the most powerful tool in your arsenal, and can save significant money spent on other forms of marketing.
  • Give your PM website a facelift to improve your marketing efforts – most new clients will visit your website before contacting you, so be sure your website makes a good first impression…and makes them want to work with you.
  • Ask current clients for their referrals and consider providing an incentive for the referring client.
  • Include client testimonials on your website…they help to add credibility and trust in your business, and may be the needed “push” a prospective client needs to work with you.
  • Reach out to other successful professionals – both within the property management field (i.e. NARPM®) and outside it – for ideas on how they grow and develop their client base. Meet with them regularly to share ideas and get input and feedback.
  • Connect and network with clients via social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), which enables them to easily share your message with others.

 

Goal: Improve communication within my team

Effective communication is an important part of any successful team. It helps to boost team morale and improves efficiency and productivity. Consider the following tools and tips to help improve communication within your team.

  • Encourage an open work environment, and be available to meet with team members. Keeping the communication channel open encourages your team to come forward with any problems they may be experiencing before they become too big, as well as helping to establish two-way trust.
  • Part of good communication involves conducting meaningful meetings. Regular team meetings help keep everybody in the loop, but many of us spend time in meetings that are unproductive and often unnecessary. Have an agenda for your company meetings, be sure the necessary people attend, and keep to the appointed start and end times.
  • Utilize the Calendar tool to keep your team organized and on the same page with activities and events. Your team can schedule projects, tasks and appointments, and easily access and view the events in their Control Panel > RP Management > Calendar. (requires RP Management system)
  • Connect with your team outside the office – through community service activities, sports activities, company picnics, etc. Sometimes interacting in a different setting with your team helps to open the doors of communication.
  • Communication breakdown is often caused by ambiguity, so be clear in your objectives, expected outcomes and deadlines. Consider using Virtual Boards to easily track and manage team tasks such as new owner onboarding, move-outs, marketing campaigns and more. You can set deadlines, assign tasks, and track progress all in one location. Everyone can see who’s responsible for each task, its priority level and when it’s due. (requires RP Management system)
  • Empower your team and involve them in company goals. Put together a task force and ask them to help you create the plan. Or hold brainstorming sessions to deal with issues that arise.

HERO Payments System: Pre-Authorized Payment Solution

The HERO Payments system includes two payment solutions: the Standard payment solution, and the Pre-Authorized payment solution. This article specifically highlights the Pre-Authorized payment solution, its features, benefits and configuration.

The Pre-Authorized payment solution allows tenants to authorize rental payments for the entirety of their lease for only $0.50 per transaction. Once tenants have pre-authorized their payments in their online accounts, they simply logon to their account each month, click the Payments tab, and initiate their one-click rental payment. Or, if they’ve authorized you to collect their rent, you can conveniently process the payment in your Control Panel on or after the due date. The Pre-Authorized payment solution is the most convenient, cost effective, time saving rental payment option available. And best of all…it’s already included in your RP Management system!

 

Pre-Authorized Payments: Features

  • The tenant can schedule pre-authorized rental payments (via ACH) for the entirety of their lease. (Application fees, owner charges and credit card payments can be made using the Standard payment system.)
  • The cost per transaction is only $0.50…the lowest averaged payment cost anywhere. (Property management company is charged the $0.50 fee.)
  • You may charge a convenience fee for the clients’ use of the electronic payment system, either as a percentage of the payment or a set dollar amount.
  • Once tenants have pre-authorized their payments, they logon to their account each month, click the Payments tab and initiate their one-click rental payment.
  • With the tenant’s authorization, you can process the tenant’s pre-authorized payments on or after the lease payment due date. Process the payment in your Control Panel under RP Management > Tenants > Process Pre-approved Payments.
  • The Pre-Authorized payment solution is fully integrated into your RP Management system. You can configure online payments in your Control Panel, lookup payments, process payments, export payments to a lockbox file and more, all through your RP Management system.
  • You can enable or disable online payments at any time.

 

Pre-Authorized Payments: Benefits

  • It’s cost-effective!
    • The Pre-Authorized payment solution via ACH costs only $0.50 per transaction (fee charged to property management company by PayPal), which is the lowest averaged payment cost anywhere.
    • There are no setup fees, no monthly fees and no hidden fees associated with the Pre-Authorized Payment Solution.
    • You can reduce delinquencies and collection challenges, and reduce paper check processing time and cost…saving you (and your tenant!) time and money.
  • It’s convenient!
    • The HERO Payments system is seamlessly integrated into the RP Management system. One logon, all the tools you need in one place, integrated with each other. You can configure the online payments in your Control Panel, lookup payments, process payments, export payments to a rent payment report or a PROMAS lockbox file and more, all through your RP Management system.
    • Tenants can conveniently pay online from anywhere, or authorize you to process their payments.
    • You can free your staff from chasing rent payments each month.
    • You can instantly turn payments off or on manually at any time, freeing yourself from the headaches related to terminations or evictions.
  • It’s Secure!
    • The HERO Payments system offers the most comprehensive security and fraud protection you can find for your company and your tenant, and protects you from liability.
    • Online payments are made through PayPal as the payment processor. This results in the most comprehensive security and fraud protection available for you and your tenant, with the utmost protection from liability.
    • It protects the privacy of its users. When tenants make payments through their online account, you never see their bank account or credit card information.
  • It’s Trust Accounting Compliant!
    • Fully qualified trust accounting ensures all transactions are properly handled. You and your tenants can be assured that financial transactions and records will always be accurate, always detail each transaction fully, and provide a complete audit trail.
    • Trust account funds can be tracked separately from other funds in accordance with the Real Estate Commissions rules prohibiting “co-mingling” of funds.

 

Pre-Authorized Payments: Configuration

Before a tenant can setup and make pre-authorized rental payments, you must first configure the Pre-Authorized payment option in your Control Panel:

  • Go to Configuration > System Preferences
    • Link your PayPal account to your Control Panel (once linked, it cannot be changed)
    • Add Tenant ACH Convenience Fee if desired (should not exceed $1)
    • Add an ACH Pre-Approval Buffer up to 10% of the lease amount (adding the ACH Pre-Approval buffer will allow you to add late charges, maintenance fees, etc. to the total amount due)
    • Click Save Info
  • Go to Configuration > System Options
    • Check the Online Portal box to allow online account access for your clients
    • Check the Online Payments box to allow online payments
    • Check the Online Payments – Pre-Approved box to allow pre-approved ACH rent payments on a lease
    • Click Save Info
  • Go to Configuration > RP Preferences > Default Profile Authorizations
    • In the Tenant section, check Online Access and Online Payments
    • Check the box next to “o customize profile authorizations on an individual basis, edit individual client profiles through the RP Management tenant profile list

 

After you configure the Pre-Authorized payment option in your Control Panel, add a lease for your tenant:

(The lease must be added before the tenant can setup and make their pre-authorized payments. The amount due on the lease indicates what the tenant must pay each month.)

  • Go to the list of tenants in your Control Panel (RP Management > Tenants > Tenant Lookup > Find Tenant)
  • Click the View/Edit Tenant’s Lease option
  • Click Add Lease, and enter the Rent amount, Lease terms, Scheduled Payments, etc.
    • Add Scheduled Payments to be able to add late fees to the amount due if necessary, and to process tenant payments with the tenant’s authorization
  • Click Save Lease
  • Add a lease for each tenant who will make Pre-Authorized payments

 

Once the lease is added, the tenant logs in to their online account to setup pre-approved payments and make payments:

  • The tenant logs into their online account, clicks the Payments tab and goes through the setup steps for Pre-Authorized payments:
    • Step 1 is connecting their PayPal account
    • Step 2 is approving their payment arrangement
    • Step 3 is adding their bank account (if the tenant has already linked their bank account to their PayPal account, this step is complete)
  • The tenant then logs into their online account each month, clicks the Payment tab, clicks Go to Pre-Approved Payments and clicks Pay Now to make their lease payment

 

With the tenant’s authorization, you (the property management company) can process the tenant’s Pre-Authorized rental payment in your Control Panel on or after the lease due date:

  • Your User or Agent profile must be configured with authorization to process rental payments: logon to your Control Panel as the Master Administrator; in your User or Agent profile, check the Initiate ACH Payments box in the Special Authorization section and click Save User
  • Process the rental payment in RP Management > Payments > Process Pre-Approved Payments
  • Click Process payment

 

View and export the payment in your Control Panel:

  • When a Pre-Authorized rental payment is made, the payment record is immediately posted in your Control Panel and you will simultaneously receive a notification email in your business PayPal email account
  • View the payment in RP Management > Payments > Lookup a Pre-Approved Payment
  • Export the payment to a rent payment report or a PROMAS lockbox file in RP Management > Payments > Export Rent Payments (first transfer payments to the appropriate trust account before creating the payment export file)

 

The HERO Payments system is seamlessly integrated into the HERO PM RP Management system. If you do not currently utilize the RP Management system, please contact us for information. Or, you can upgrade your HERO PM account to include the RP Management system by clicking on Configuration > Orders & Upgrades > Company Upgrade in your Control Panel.

 

HERO PM: Power in Partnerships

We’ve all seen that companies who try to do everything, rarely do anything with excellence. HERO PM serves its members by partnering with companies who provide excellence in their area of focus – and integrates them into one easy-to-use package. Our strategic partnerships enable us to offer more features, tools and solutions that help our members focus their time and energy on what they do best. Over the last few years HERO PM has teamed up with many great companies and we continue to develop new partnerships that bring value to our members.

Power in Partnerships 

In the 1990’s, HERO PM invented the Internet distribution of rental listings. We continue to lead the way by integrating with the most extensive list of partners, whether it’s integrating with our export listing partners, partnering with PROMAS accounting software, TransUnion, NTN, and LexisNexis for screening, PayPal for online payments, YouTube to syndicate your listing videos, or Twitter and Facebook to post your listings.

Through HERO PM’s powerful partnerships, you have the best solutions in the industry:

  • Export listing partners: HERO PM has the largest syndication/distribution system in the industry, which means with HERO PM, your listings will be viewed on more sites by more people. Make your listing active in your Control Panel, and it’s exported to our extensive list of export partners, such as Trulia, Zillow and Oodle.
  • PROMAS accounting software: The HERO PM RP Management system/PROMAS integration (called PROMAS Central) allows you to publish periodic statements, documents and activity from PROMAS to your HERO PM Control Panel and to client accounts if configured. This integration saves you time, energy and valuable resources.
  • YouTube: Syndicate your listings videos to YouTube, directly from your Control Panel. This syndication helps increase your SEO, and get your listing videos found online.
  • NTN/LexisNexis/TransUnion: Our integrated screening partnerships streamline your online application process…potential residents submit an online application, and from your Control Panel you can submit these applications to your integrated screening partner of choice. The screening partner reviews the application and sends the results directly to your Control Panel for processing.
  • PayPal: Receive online one-time and recurring rental payments with the HERO Payment system utilizing PayPal as the payment processor. Tenants and owners can conveniently pay online, and you can track payments in your Control Panel. The Pre-Authorized payment solution costs only $0.50 per transaction…the lowest averaged payment cost anywhere. Our solution with PayPal is the only solution to be verified trust accounting compliant.
  • Twitter: Tweet your listing on Twitter, directly from the listing in your Control Panel.
  • Craigslist: Post your listing to Craigslist, directly from the listing in your Control Panel.

New Partnerships with NTN and LexisNexis

We’re excited to introduce new partnerships with NTN and LexisNexis! HERO PM has teamed up with these companies to provide our members more integrated screening options. Members configure their integrated screening partner of choice in their Control Panel (Configuration > RP Preferences > Integrated Screening Provider). When a prospective tenant submits an online application, our member sends the application to the screening provider directly from their Control Panel. The screening partner then reviews the application and sends the results directly to the Control Panel for processing.

Did You Know? HERO PM Features that Will Change Your Business.

While talking to some of our members at the NARPM® convention, we found that a few people were unaware of all the features and tools available in their system package. So we thought we’d bring to light some handy features that you also may not know about…but will make you happy when you do! Many of these are already included in your system package. For instance, did you know that a free mobile site is already built into your PM Website? Did you know that HERO PM is the only company in the industry that utilizes the Hybrid Cloud? (The Hybrid Cloud is the only proven way to safeguard data and provide cloud access.) Did you know that vendors can view and manage their workorders from their online accounts? Since the list could go on, we decided to put it on paper, so to speak.

Please take some time to review the following list to make sure you’re benefiting from all the tools and features that are included in your system package. If you’re not the one who uses your HERO PM account on a daily basis, then grab the person who does, and go through the list over a cup of joe. And if you’d like more information on any of the following features, please contact us.

  • A free mobile site is already built into my PM Website.
  • Prospective tenants can text from my yard signs, and I capture their contact info.
  • My listing videos are automatically syndicated to YouTube with SEO tags.
  • All of my scanned documents can be synced to each owner and tenant in the cloud.
  • My listings are automatically exported to hundreds of rental websites.
  • The Hybrid Cloud is the only proven way to safeguard my data and provide cloud access.
  • Each of my agents can have their listings, owners, and tenants associated to their log in.
  • All of my whiteboards can be converted to online collaborative virtual boards.
  • I can set a workorder to require my owner’s electronic signature to authorize the work.
  • A report tells me when I last exported a listing to Craigslist.

 

We’ve recently added a new series of Did You Know? webinars that walk you through these features. View the webinar schedule and register in your Control Panel under Help > Register for Training!

  • Did You Know? Series: RP Listings: Highlighted Features of the RP Listings system
  • Did You Know? Series: Mobile Website: How to create your own mobile website
  • Did You Know? Series: Control Panel: Highlighted Features of the Control Panel
  • Did You Know? Series: Online Tenant Management: Online Applications, Screening, and Payments
  • Did You Know? Series: RP Management: Highlighted Features of the RP Management System

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.

Closing the Deal: The Owner Listing Appointment

Tools and recommendations for taking your leads and converting them to clients. 

At the listing appointment, the goal is to show owner prospects why you’re the best choice for their property management needs. Owners want to know how you’re going to help preserve their investment, maximize their cash flow, and communicate effectively with them. The property manager they choose is going to do the best job of presenting these benefits convincingly. Consider the following recommendations as you fine-tune your strategy and approach to the listing appointment presentation.

Before the listing appointment, we recommend using a response form on your website to obtain information from prospective owner clients. By gathering their contact information along with the property address, you can prepare specific pricing, expected vacancy time, and desirability by property size and type using HERO PM reports. Gathering this information prior to the listing appointment and preparing it in a concise, easy-to-understand format will give owners the peace of mind that you are well-organized and utilize the tools you need to get your job done right.

We also recommend reviewing the following benefits, and incorporating them into your listing appointment presentation. Even seasoned property managers, who may have already figured out what works best for their market, can benefit from using this list to ensure the presentation is most effective. When it comes time to sit down with your owner prospect, you can highlight the following HERO PM benefits that are part of the package you use, in addition to your existing company offering:

How do you find good tenants?

  • We export (syndicate) all active rentals to the nation’s largest network of rental and housing related websites to give your rental the most online exposure.
  • We use the best listing and video SEO system to ensure your property is found in an online search.
  • We add a large number of property photos to effectively display the features of your property.
  • We add video walk-throughs so prospective tenants can get a good feel for the property from the beginning.
  • We offer a text-response system for prospective tenants to request and receive immediate listing information from a text code included on yard signs and other marketing materials.
  • We also print QR codes so anyone with a smart phone can scan the code to view the listing from their phone, as well as link to a mobile view from a text response.
  • We have a lead management and notification system that ensures every inquiry is logged and responded to quickly.
  • We make it easy for tenants to apply with our custom online application, and directly screen these applications through our integrated system. This helps to filter out bad tenants quickly and accept the best tenant in the shortest possible time frame.

How do you maintain the property?

  • We make it easy for tenants to submit structured maintenance requests from their phone or computer, ensuring repairs don’t go ignored.
  • We notify vendors quickly with full workorder information, making it easy for them to respond and react quickly and accurately.
  • We maintain repair information, limits, and restrictions on each property individually.
  • When maintenance exceeds limits, we provide a way for you to easily view and approve the work from your computer or smart phone.
  • We track and record all work and keep the history forever.

How will you communicate with me about vacancy issues, send statements, etc?

  • During a vacancy, we record all inquiry in detail and can provide you an emailed report on what we’re doing to get your property rented.
  • We allow you to see all current income and expenses pertaining to your property from your computer or other mobile device, so you are never wondering what’s happening.
  • We provide monthly statements online for easy lookup and archiving, and give you the tools to effectively organize and retrieve all statements and documents from us.

How do you obtain rent payments, and send me my money?

  • We accept payments online via the HERO Payments system to increase on-time rent payments.
  • We direct-deposit your proceeds to your bank account via ACH so you’re not waiting for the check in the mail.

How do you price my rental?

  • We have up-to-the-minute internal reports on the market prices of rentals in your area.
  • We track days on market so that properties taking a long time to rent can have their price adjusted if necessary.
  • We track and aggregate all inquiry and showing notes so we know why prospective tenants are not renting, and can adjust the price (or recommend improvements) accordingly.

 

We’re confident that presenting the applicable benefits to your prospective owners, combined with a discussion of your management experience and expertise, will help you obtain a greater number of new listings and will help give your new owners every reason to value you and your company. Good luck as you take your leads and convert them into new clients.

If you’d like additional information about any of these benefits, please email

 

 

Building Owner Accounts with HERO PM

Filling the Pipeline…Getting Owner Leads. 

The Online Business Card
HERO PM distributes your online business card to numerous websites where owners are looking for property managers, such as ResidentialPropertyManagers.com. Be sure your online business card, which can be edited from the Configuration tab in your Control Panel under Company Info, contains all of 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

 

Your Company Website

Your website can be the most valuable tool you have in your marketing and information delivery arsenal, if used correctly. We suggest focusing on these three elements:

1.  The Content.  Your website content must clearly communicate the value you bring to an owner or investor. Remember that your prospect isn’t always just comparing you against other property managers, but is often working to determine the value of professional management as opposed to personal management. To be most effective, address both segments by answering the following questions on your site:

  • What are the biggest pain points of personal management; what is the value of professional management?
  • Where and how will my company help reduce or eliminate your pain?
  • What is unique about my company and why are we the best choice for your needs?
Remember to write in terms of benefits, rather than features. Put yourself in an owner’s shoes; which of the following communicates most powerfully to you?
  • Feature: “We’ve been in business over 20 years.”
  • Benefit: “With over 20 years of property management experience, we’ve seen it all and can help you avoid problems that someone else would never think of.”
  • Feature: “We offer online applications.”
  • Benefit: “With our online application offering, we receive more applications per property, and can get your home rented faster – choosing the best tenant from a larger pool of applicants.”
2.  The Call to Action.  One of the biggest mistakes when trying to woo prospects is the failure to call them to action. We often deliver compelling information, which is great for the education of our prospects. But to build a business, our prospects must do something with the information they just read. While offering a phone number or email address for prospects to call is a good step, the “Request Management Proposal” seems to work even better in many cases. With your website, you can make this simple and effective.
  • Create a form page in your website, asking for information like the owner’s property address and contact information. Ask for the least amount of information you need; long forms can be perceived as scary and are more likely to be abandoned.
  • In the intro, be sure to communicate how you’re going to use this information, and that it does not create an obligation on the part of the owner.
  • In the Success Response (the page that an owner sees after successfully completing and submitting the form), consider offering the owner more detailed information, a link to your listing packet, a video of your offering, and what to expect next.
  • Track submissions with the Form Results for this page, and be sure to follow through quickly and thoroughly.
3.  The Circulation.  Like a store needs a road leading to it, you need to make sure prospects are reaching your website so you can explore doing business with them. Your website must be where people are looking.

Focus on two areas:
a)  Direct navigation traffic. Be sure your website address is short, memorable, and everywhere. Put your website, as well as scannable QR code that directs traffic to your site, on your yard signs, on envelopes you mail, letterhead, business cards, on your car, on park benches, on Super Bowl ads (well, maybe not that one). When someone is thinking about property management in your area or in your market, you want them to run across your website address in their memory or their field of vision, somewhere.

b)  Search Engine Traffic. If someone is going to Google and specifically searching for property management, you want to be found. While the science and art of this is outside the scope of this article, here are a few pointers:
    • Be sure you have at least version 4 of the HERO PM Website System. Version 4 complies with all of Google’s advice for effective ranking, and adds a bunch of automated processes and industry-specific user tools to maximize ranking.
    • Use the version 4 SEO Tools found in your Site Administration.
    • Be sure you have the keywords in your website that you want to be found on. Be specific; don’t try to fight for a top position for “property management”, instead, try to get the position for “residential property management,” or “property management in Des Moines”.