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.

5 Ways HERO PM Makes Your Life Easier

Running a business takes a lot of effort, there are so many working parts that can make or break your success. HERO PM is dedicated to making the lives of property managers everywhere easier by offering user friendly solutions created solely with your property management business in mind. Using the right tools can make a huge impact on how your business runs and how much effort is required to run it smoothly.

Here are just a few of the ways our solutions focus on improving the lives and businesses of our members:

Efficiency:

Our solutions are unique to property managers and their needs. Rather than using tools built for a generic business model, our tools were designed around streamlining the daily tasks of a professional property management company so their time can be used more efficiently. For example, our online portals allow you to provide clients secure online access to view statements, documents, and activity; as well as, make online payments, submit online work requests, authorize work requests, and more.

Online portals serve as an online filing cabinet for all documents and interactions between your client and your business. Having 24/7 access to information related to their homes, in one convenient location, helps you eliminate many of the inquiries associated with managing their homes.

Saving Money:

Efficiency and your bottom line go hand in hand. In addition to the time savings our solutions provide, our HERO PM payment system helps simplify the payment process by mitigating delinquencies, changing collections, and saving time as well as cost on processing physical checks. As a bonus, HERO PM does not assess any initial setup or hidden fees. The payment system is included with our RP Management System.

Flexibility:

As a business owner and property manager, we understand that your job is never done. Having the freedom and flexibility to run your company from anywhere at anytime, keeping your team members and clients happy, is priceless. Whether you’re at home with your kids or you’re on vacation in Bora Bora, if an urgent matter comes up, you always have access to statements, client accounts, and your account. You can lookup client profiles, post statements, send messages, update your virtual boards, and process rent payments…essentially running your business from anywhere you might be.

Going Green:

Going paperless saves you time and money, increases your productivity, and brings awareness to your social responsibility. Sending a statement can include costs such as paper, printer/ink, envelopes, postage, time, etc. One of our members reported saving $5-$10 per month, per client by eliminating paper statements.

Our systems have made it, not only easy, but beneficial to go green! Your clients can access their online portal, from anywhere at anytime. This eliminates waste and can help attract customers based on your social responsibility.

Professionalism: 

Our systems allow your business to function like a well-oiled machine, as well as present a professional brand to your current and prospective clients.

A website portrays the image of your business and reputation of your brand to current and prospective tenants as well as owners. Our members love their HERO PM websites not only because they help them brand their business online, but because they were built from the ground up with their property management business in mind. In an era where people find you online before they ever even contact you, it is vital to have an optimized, attractive, and functional site that puts your brand first and foremost.

Have our solutions made your life easier? Let us know by visiting our Facebook page and leaving a review. We love hearing from you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

System Highlights: Setting Up Clients Online

The RP Management system provides many tools and features to make your life easier, and your rental office efficient. One such tool is Online Portals, which allows you to provide clients secure online access to view statements, documents and activity, make online payments, submit online work requests (tenants), authorize work requests (owners) and more.

There are many benefits to using the Portal, including saving major time and money each month. According to one HERO PM member, he estimates saving between $5-$10 each month, per owner, by not having to mail statements. That figure takes into account paper, printer/copier, envelopes, stamps and mailing, staff time, etc. And his time savings is equally significant! Clients can also directly access their online filing cabinet of documents and transaction history anytime, giving them answers to many of their questions without needing to contact you. And you gain a competitive advantage over other property managers who do not use Online Portals by giving your tech-savvy clients what they want…their information quickly, and the convenience of making online payments, submitting online work requests, and more.

Do you prefer pictures over words?  Our diagram guides you through the A to Z of getting your clients set up in picture format: Xplain – Setting up Clients Online.

This article walks you through the steps to setting up owners and tenants with online portal access. (Setting up vendors and associations is a similar process.) Before setting up your clients online, you must either manually add profiles to your Control Panel, or publish from PROMAS. Contact us if you need assistance with adding client profiles!

Setting up client portal access includes three parts:

  1. Control Panel Configuration
  2. Introduction to Clients
  3. Client Steps

 

Control Panel Configuration

1) Add online portal access.

  • In your Control Panel, go to Configuration > System Options
  • Check the box next to Online Portal to allow online portal access
  • Click Save Changes

(In addition to viewing statements, documents and activity, you can also allow clients to make online payments, submit online work requests (tenants), add online reservations for vacation rentals (owners) and more, which require selections not discussed in this article.)

2) Create an owner invitation letter template.

  • Go to Configuration > RP Preferences > Letter Template: Owner (or Tenant) Custom Letters
  • Select New Template in the Choose Template drop down box
  • Enter a Name and Description for the letter (i.e. Owner Invite Letter)
  • Click on View/Apply Default Template under the Merge Fields list and click Apply Template
  • The letter’s content section will populate with the default template text and merge fields; edit the content as desired
  • Preview your letter, then click Save Template

You now have a defined letter template that you will print or email for each client later on in this process.

3) Set default profile authorizations.

  • Go to Configuration > RP Preferences > Default Profile Authorizations
  • Check the boxes of the options that you wish to enable for your clients; newly added or imported profiles will default to these settings, and can be individually changed from there
  • If you want to update all current profiles, check the box for Change All Existing Accounts
  • Click Set Configuration

4) Create a portal logon intro message.  The logon intro message displays when a client logs on to their portal; the message can be updated any time.

  • Go to Configuration > RP Preferences > Owner (or Tenant) Logon Intro
  • Enter instructions on how to use the system, updates for your clients, or anything else you want them to know
  • Click Save Info

5) Set statement and document notification messages.   To receive a notification message of a newly posted statement or document, the client must have a valid email address in their profile, they must opt in for statement and/or document notifications, and you must have uploaded a statement or document to their account. The automatic notification is emailed at the end of the day that statements/documents are added.

  • Customize the statement and document notification messages in Configuration > RP Preferences  > Owner (or Tenant) Statement Notification / Owner (or Tenant) Document Notification
  • Enter the information you want clients to view if they opt in to receive a notification when a statement or document is uploaded
  • Click Save Info

 

Introduction to Clients

1) Save the invitation letter to the client’s profile, and invite the client to create their account.

  • Go to RP Management > Documents > Add a Document (for owners or tenants)
  • Select a client either by typing in the Assigned To box or using the drop-down menu
  • Click on the Create Letter/Notice radio button
  • From the drop-down box, select the invitation letter that you created
  • Customize the letter if you wish
  • Ensure that the client’s information is properly merged in the letter, and customize as desired
  • Save the letter to the client’s account by clicking Save Notice
  • Click the View/Print or Email icon beside the document to print and give it to your client or to email it (when emailing, ensure that the client’s name and email address are properly entered)

2) Verify client is set up.  Verify that the client has completed the account setup process in your Control Panel.

  • Go to RP Management > Owners (or Tenants) >  Owner (or Tenant) Lookup
  • Clients who have successfully set up their online account will display a notecard icon in the Details section to the right of their name; you can also view an client’s logon history in their profile under Online Activity
  • If the client has not yet setup their online account, send them an email reminder by clicking the email reminder icon to the right of their name on the owner or tenant lookup list; the message includes the client’s basic account set up information

 

Client Steps

There are three steps that owners and tenants take to create and link their online account. (The process for setting up and linking accounts is also documented in the Video Help of the Create Account/ Account Logon screen.)

1) Receive invite letter from property manager.  Once the client receives the invitation letter, they have the needed information to set up their online account, and link their profile. If you’ve emailed the letter to your client, but they do not receive it, have them check their spam and junk folders.

2) Create and verify their account.  The client clicks the link in the invitation letter to create their online account:

  • In the login screen, the client clicks the Create Account button; they can also watch the three-minute video to walk them through the process
  • After entering a username, password, and agreeing to the terms and conditions, an email is sent to the client with a link to verify that the email account is valid (if the client does not receive the verification email in their Inbox, they may need to look in their spam or trash folders)
  • The client clicks the verification link in the email message, and is now ready to link their profile

3) Link profile.  After the client has created and verified their account, they will link the profile that you’ve set up for them in your Control Panel. For clients to link their profile accounts, they will need the following information contained in the invitation letter that they received:

  1. The property manager’s PMID
  2. Their Client ID
  3. The email address associated with their account or the verification code

The client must enter the linking information exactly to be able to successfully link their profile. Once their profile is linked, they can view uploaded documents, statements, and activity, make a payment and more, depending on their profile authorizations and your Control Panel configurations.

 

If you would like additional information on how to help clients link their accounts, review the Xplain Owner Setup document, or consider attending a free online webinar on the RP Management system. Sign up for the webinar in your Control Panel under Help > Register for Training.

Portals v5 will include even easier setup and configuration options for your owners, tenants, vendors, and association members.  If you are ready to upgrade your website and portals, please read the article covering Websites v5.

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!

Create a High-Efficiency Rental Office with the RP Management System.

Owner “Jones” has not received her statement in the mail. “Cindy” forgot to schedule the walk-through for a property. Tenant “Smith” called in a workorder yesterday that still needs to get processed. Do any of these sound familiar? It’s situations like these that can contribute to frustration in the workplace – for you, for your team and for your clients. Often, however, they are symptoms of a larger workplace “flow” issue. And while a great deal of efficiency and productivity are a direct result of team performance, much can also be achieved with the right business tools. Having and using the right tools can make a huge impact on how your business runs, and how much work is required to make it run smoothly. Thankfully, HERO PM’s RP Management system is chock full of tools to help you run your business efficiently…keeping you, your team and your clients, happy.

The tools included in the RP Management system help you create a high-efficiency rental office and streamline office procedures. They are designed to help you manage your long-term rentals, and communicate effectively with your clients and your team. With the RP Management system, you don’t need to be in the office to upload statements and access client accounts. As long as you have an Internet connection, you can be anywhere in the world and still run your business. You can lookup client profiles, post statements, send messages, update your virtual boards, process rent payments and more, from anywhere you’re located.

Following are some of the tools included in the RP Management system:

Online Statements, Documents and Activity

It costs, on average, $5.80 to send out a paper statement. That figure takes into account paper, printer/copier, envelopes, stamps and mailing, staff time, etc. The RP Management system allows you to easily upload monthly client statements, activity and documents from PROMAS. Or you can add documents directly to your Control Panel and post them to your clients’ online accounts. Clients can opt in to receive a notification of a newly uploaded statement, and can logon to their online account anytime to view their current and past statements. Reducing real costs by dollars per owner each month adds up quickly!

Client Portals

Configure client (owner, tenant and vendor) portals with secure online access to view statements and activity, make online payments, send online work requests and more. Clients can directly access their online filing cabinet of documents and transaction history anytime, giving them answers to many of their questions without needing to contact you.

Online Applications

Create a custom online application in your Control Panel, and allow prospective tenants to conveniently submit an application through the detail view of an available listing (and pay their application fees online too). Submitted applications can be instantly screened in real-time by one of our participating screening providers. (requires RP Listings system)

Real-time Online Application Screening

We’ve partnered with TransUnion Credit Retriever, NTN, and LexisNexis to provide you with real-time online application screening. When a prospective tenant submits an online application, you can send the application to the screening provider directly from your Control Panel. The screening partner reviews the application and sends the screening results back to your Control Panel for processing and storage.

HERO Payments

The HERO Payments system includes two payment solutions: the Standard payment solution, and the Pre-Authorized payment solution. Both solutions help you reduce delinquencies and collection challenges, as well as paper check processing time and cost!

The Standard payment solution allows tenants to setup automatic recurring payments for the entirety of their lease, without needing to log in to their account each month to process their payments. This solution costs 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction (per PayPal; payable by the property manager). With the Standard payment system, you can also allow tenants and guests to make one-time rent payments of their amount due, owners to pay one-time payments of any amount, and applicants to pay their online application fees. You can add a convenience fee for the use of the Standard payment solution, which is added to the tenant’s, owner’s or applicant’s amount due.

The Pre-Authorized payment solution allows tenants to setup pre-authorized payments for the entirety of their lease, for only $0.50 per transaction (per PayPal; payable by the property manager). Tenants will log in to their online account each month to quickly and easily process their payment. Or, with tenant’s permission, you can process their payment in your Control Panel directly, in RP Management > Payments > Process Pre-approved Payments. You can add a convenience fee for the use of the Pre-Authorized payment solution, which is added to the tenant’s amount due.

Configure online payments in your Control Panel, lookup payments, process payments, export payments to a PROMAS lockbox file and more, all through your RP Management system.

Online Workorders

Easily process work requests in your Control Panel and track maintenance requests from start to completion with Online Workorders. Receive an online work request, view it in your Control Panel, convert it to a workorder, and email to a vendor. The vendor can view the workorder in their online account, and can send you updates as it’s completed. This tool helps streamline common office tasks, and saves you time and money!

Virtual Boards

Use Virtual Boards to track team tasks and projects online through your Control Panel, and access them when and where you need them.

Messaging

Streamline messaging for statement notifications, document notifications and owner bulk email. Every outbound email sent from anywhere in the system is recorded, and you can view, search, re-send and archive messages.

Online Team Calendar

Authorize system users to add and view events on your online team calendar. Access the calendar anywhere, and keep your team apprised of schedules and events.

 

The RP Management tools help you create a truly efficient rental office. They provide you with cost and time savings, increased mobility, ease of communication, and even a competitive advantage over those who do not have online functionality. Owners who are tech-savvy, who want their information and money quickly, prefer the online system. Many tenants want the convenience of paying their rent online, submitting online work requests and having access to their documents and statements anytime. Sell these advantages to your prospective tenants and owners, and get a leg up on your competition!

If you do not currently benefit from the RP Management system, consider upgrading your package to include it! In your Control Panel, go to Configuration > Orders & Upgrades > Company Upgrade. If your package includes the RP Management system, but you don’t utilize all the tools offered in the system, we invite you to attend an RP Management webinar to learn more about the valuable tools that are available to you. Register for a webinar for any of your HERO PM systems in your Control Panel under Help > Register for Training.

Online Workorders: Easily Track Workorders From Start to Completion

The HERO PM Online Workorders tool (included in your RP Management system) lets you easily track workorders from start to completion in your Control Panel, streamlining office procedures and helping to increase workflow efficiency. Tenants submit an online work request through their online portal, you view the work request in your Control Panel, and then generate a workorder for your vendor. Your vendor can view the workorder in their online portal, and send you updates. Your team has an organized view of all in-progress and past workorders, helping to simplify managing property maintenance issues.

 

Online Workorders: Features & Benefits

  • The work request form can be completely customized in your Control Panel.
  • Tenants can easily and conveniently generate the work request from their online portal.
  • Tenants and the maintenance contact receive confirmation that the work request was received immediately after submitting.
  • You can streamline the workorder process by easily generating a workorder from a submitted work request, and assigning it to a vendor, all within your Control Panel.
  • They save time – for the tenant, your team, and the vendor.
  • You can set a workorder to require your owner’s electronic signature to authorize the work.
  • The workorder history is permanently stored with the corresponding tenant, owner and vendor in your Control Panel.
  • Your team has an organized view of all in-progress and past workorders, which simplifies managing property maintenance issues.

 

Online Workorders: Configuration

Complete the following steps to configure Online Workorders:

  • Enable Online Work Requests in Configuration > System Options
  • Customize your work request in Configuration > RP Preferences > Tenant Work Request Definition
  • Add work request preamble and agreement templates in Configuration > RP Preferences > Tenant Work Request Template: Preamble and Tenant Work Request Template: Agreement
  • Set profile authorizations to give tenants online access and the ability to submit an online work request; give vendors online access and the ability to view online workorders

 

Online Workorders: Process

  • After configuring Online Workorders in your Control Panel, the tenant can logon to their online portal, click the Repairs tab and submit a work request.
  • Upon work request submission, your maintenance contact receives a notification email. (Note: The notification email prompts the maintenance contact to log on to the Control Panel to view the details of the submitted work request.)
  • Authorized users can view the work request in your Control Panel under RP Management > Workorders > Work Request Lookup.
  • Click Generate Workorder to assign it to the vendor and click Save Workorder. The vendor will also receive an email of the workorder if you check the “Email Workorder to Vendor” box.
  • Upon generating the workorder, the vendor can logon to their online portal, and view the workorder assigned to them. They can check in to the location, and provide your team with status updates.
  • View the completion due date in your online team calendar (workorder due dates are automatically added). You can also view and manage the workorder, and update it with internal notes if desired.
  • When the vendor has notified you of work completion, mark the work request as processed, and the workorder as completed.

 

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.