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.

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.

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?

 

FAQ: How do I add my listing photos? The buttons to Add Another Photo and Save and Upload Photos aren’t displaying.

If you’re uploading a photo to a listing, and do not see the Add Another Photo button or Save and Upload Photos button, then you’ve likely not entered text into the Description field. Enter text into the Description field, and these buttons will then appear.  The description should accurately identify the room or feature displayed in the photo, in an appealing way. E.g. enter “Large Front Yard” rather than “Yard” if it better describes the yard.  This will make your listings more attractive to prospective renters.

From the Edit Photos screen, you can also add a watermark and logo stamp to your listing photos to help increase branding and deter people from using your photos for any misdirected purposes.

 

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!

System Highlights: Owner Marketing Reports

marketingreportSMUse the owner Marketing Report (requires RP Listings system) to easily and conveniently communicate your marketing strategies to property owners. It contains the activity that’s been generated on their property, and prospective tenant interest. Emailing this report regularly provides your owners the peace of mind that you’re working hard to get their property rented fast.

The Marketing Report lists websites where the owner’s property is viewed, it includes property statistics (such as views, showings, inquiries and days on market), and notes from showings and tenant inquiries. This content is auto-populated into the report, so it’s important to keep the listing’s information updated and accurate. Be sure to clear listing statistics at the beginning of a vacancy period to ensure the stats are correct, and add office notes for any showings and inquiries (in RP Listings > Communications > Search Showings / Search Inquiries).

To view the Marketing Report and email it to your owner, go to a listing’s Master View, then click on the Flyers/Reports button > Marketing Report. Text will automatically be displayed in the template; use the editing tools to format the message, customize font, as well as insert links, images, or a table if desired. You can customize the template text in Configuration > RP Preferences > Report Template: Marketing.

To email the Marketing Report:

  • Enter or verify the owner’s name and email address at the top of the Marketing Report screen. These fields will already contain the owner’s name and email if your package includes the RP Management system, and the listing is tied to the owner’s profile.
  • Click on the “Email Report” button to send.

FAQ: I tried to delete a listing, but I’m getting the message that I can’t because there are workorders for the listing.

As a convenience to your office and owners, all workorders are stored for as long as you manage the unit, and forever if desired. To prevent accidentally deleting this history, all workorders, even completed ones, must be deleted to be able to mark a listing for deletion.

You can search for a listing’s workorders in RP Management > Workorders > Workorder Lookup. Search completed workorders by selecting “Completed” in the Status field.

After you delete all of the workorders, including the Completed workorders, you should be able to mark the listing for deletion. If you want to preserve the workorder history on a unit, don’t delete it – just mark it inactive.

Harness the Power of Mobile Marketing with HERO PM Tools.

Mobile marketing has become the new medium for reaching people on their smart phones and tablets. And it’s no wonder. For many of us, our smart phone is the first thing we reach for in the morning, and the last thing we put down at night. According to pewinternet.org, “Some 88% of U.S. adults own a cell phone of some kind as of April 2012, and more than half of these cell owners (55%) use their phone to go online”. Last year, eMarketer estimated that “the amount of time US consumers spend using mobile devices—excluding talk time—will grow 51.9% to an average 82 minutes per day, up from just 34 minutes in 2010”. As people spend more and more time on their mobile devices, it becomes vital for businesses to reach them with mobile marketing. But how do you harness the power of mobile marketing to successfully market your company and services?

Not only has HERO PM has made accessing web-based online portals for existing customers easier, but we’ve also made it easy for you to reach prospective owners and tenants by incorporating mobile marketing into your overall marketing strategy. Read on to learn what mobile marketing tools are available with your HERO PM systems, how they can benefit your business and help you reach more clients.

QR Codes

QRCodesmQR code marketing is one of the easiest ways to connect a client with your business. QR codes are a type of bar code designed for scanning by mobile devices. With a QR code scanner app (free in most app stores), any smart phone user can scan the image and be directed to relevant information, such as your company website, featured listings, a tracking webpage, an external webpage, or almost anything else you can imagine. QR codes can be included on yard and window signs, available listing reports, listing flyers, listing postcards, your business card, and more. We generally recommend having QR codes link to a page that is unique and trackable, so that you can determine the effectiveness of your QR code marketing. Create QR codes for your marketing materials in your Control Panel under Configuration > RP Preferences > List: QR Codes.

QR codes for your listings (requires RP Listings system) are automatically generated, and include tracking and mobile optimization. They can be added to yard/window signs, available listing reports, listing flyers, listing postcards, etc. Scanned QR codes will show up as a Mobile View in your listing statistics. View listing QR codes in the Listing Master View > Mobile Options.

Text Response

TextResponseThe text response system (requires RP Listings system) includes texting codes that can be placed on your print media – property flyers, yard signs, etc. for potential tenants to conveniently access listing information, company information, etc. Prospects can text a rental ID to a “short code” (313131) that is registered with all cell phone carriers, and will receive an immediate text response with the property’s full details…photos, floor plans, videos, and even a rental application. Whenever a text response is generated on a property, you receive a pending inquiry in your communication system with the prospect’s contact information, so you can follow-up with them, record notes, and include the info in the marketing report to the owner. A text inquiry is recorded as a Mobile View in the listing’s statistics.

Mobile Website

People searching for information on their smart phones are eager to get accessible information fast, which is why having a mobile optimized website is vital for your business. Mobile websites are available on PM Websites (v4 or later). The mobile site is a specifically optimized version of your website viewable on smart phones and other mobile browsers. It provides an improved visitor experience, faster download speeds to keep visitors on your site longer, sets your business apart from your competition, appeals to tech-savvy users, and more. When mobile users access your website, they are automatically directed to your mobile site. Your mobile site conveniently works off of the same URL as your traditional website, so you do not need to purchase or market a new domain. Your PM Website (v4 or later) includes mobile website functionality. If you’d like us to create mobile site pages for you, you can order a project in your Control Panel under Configuration > Order & Upgrades > Order a Project.

Mobile Listing Views and Shortcuts

MMpicsmUSEEach of your listings have an alternate view optimized for mobile browsers (requires RP Listings system). This view is specially formatted for smart phones, and displays your listing details, photos, video, etc. in a mobile view. You can track mobile listing views in the Listing Master View in your Control Panel.

Create a mobile view link by adding an M to the end of the numeric portion of your property ID on a listing shortcut link. For example, if the standard view for a listing is located at http://HERORentals.com/NY010002L, the mobile view is located at http://HERORentals.com/NY010002ML.

System Highlights: QR Code Marketing

QR (quick response) codes are one of the simplest ways to direct people to your business. With a QR code app scanner, any smart phone user can scan the QR image and be directed to relevant information, such as your available listings, a featured listing, any of your company webpages, a tracking webpage, an external webpage, or almost anything else you can imagine. Your business goals will help you determine how to best incorporate QR codes into your marketing strategy. For example, if your goal is to reach new owner clients, then place a QR code on your business card and company marketing material that links to your “owner services” webpage. If you want to drive prospective clients to your available listings, then include listing QR codes on flyers, yard and window signs, and available listing reports. You can direct them to a single featured rental, or to all of your available rentals.

QRCodesm

There are many benefits to using QR code marketing. Tech-savvy applicants will appreciate the quick and easy access to full listing details on their smart phone, and they help to pre-screen tenants without any work on your part. For example, if a prospect scans the QR code on their phone and then sees that the property is a 2 bedroom rather than a 3 bedroom, you’ve eliminated a lot of work. Owners will be impressed that you are employing the latest technology to maximize the marketability of their rental home. Scanned QR codes show up as a Mobile View in your listing statistics, so you can track how many times your QR code is scanned for each listing. And they direct traffic to your website, helping to increase your SEO.

Creating a QR Code for a website page:

You can create a QR Code for any website URL including your company site, a specific page on your site, or a specific page on a related site. The code can then be scanned by any phone with a QR code reader, and the viewer will be directed to the associated website or webpage. (QR Codes for listings are generated automatically in the system, see Creating a QR code for a listing for details.)

  • In your HERO PM Control Panel, go to Configuration > RP Preferences > List: QR Code.
  • Enter a URL to generate QR Code.
  • Click the QR Code icon, then copy/paste the QR Code to your literature and marketing materials.

Creating a QR Code for a listing:

With the RP Listings system, each listing has an automatically generated QR code associated with it. (Note: If you are reusing a listing shortcut, consider using a shortcut QR code in place of the listing’s QR code. Contact us at membersupport@heropm.com if you’d like more information on shortcut QR codes.)

  • In your Control Panel, navigate to the Listing Master View for any listing.
  • Click Mobile Options, then click View QR code.
  • The popup window displays the QR code for the listing. Right-click to copy this image, and paste it anywhere that you want to print the QR code – marketing materials/business cards/etc. You can also print an Available Listings Report with all QR codes by selecting the Display scannable QR code checkbox on the report parameters.

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.