Understanding Harmony: Play it Again, Sam

Charges and bills often recur every week or month. Harmony makes it easy to set up recurring financial transactions.

When creating a management agreement, you may have management bills to the owner that recur on a schedule. A base management fee or administrative fee may be billed every month. An annual management fee or performance bonus may be added every year. When you add these to a management agreement, they’ll automatically be set up to recur on the dates based on the agreement (which you can adjust). They’ll automatically stop at the end of the agreement.

When creating a lease agreement, the functionality for tenant charges is similar. Recurring rent is normal, but other recurring charges like parking fees are easy to add, too. Set it and forget it, and the charge will be added on the recur schedule you set.

You’re not limited to setting recurring charges and bills in agreements. Any time you add a charge or a bill, you can set it to recur and choose its recur schedule and expiration.

When a recurring charge or bill is posted, you’ll get a notice in your Updates & Alerts, so nothing happens without you knowing. When it expires, you’ll get a notice of that, too.

Harmony automates so many of your recurring tasks, making it easy to focus on what you do best. If you have other items that we can simplify for you, just drop us a line!

Understanding Harmony: My Owner has 100,000 Properties

This may be a little silly. But even sillier is the actual real-life limit of Harmony – each management agreement can have up to 390,451,572 properties on it. If you have an owner with more than 390 million properties, you either have time travel skills or access to a parallel universe, and we’d love to hear all about it!

This number underscores an important reality: HERO Harmony was designed from the ground up to handle the craziest and most complex arrangements in property management, and do it simply and smoothly.

In reality, your largest client may have a few hundred properties. But they may also own an 8-plex with their brother, and they may own a 68 unit apartment building with another partner. All of this is made simple with Harmony, where an owner is an owner, a unit is a unit, and a management agreement is a management agreement.

Unlike other property management software that uses flat, two dimensional arrays to correlate owners and tenants with their units, Harmony is structured with three dimensional arrays. We haven’t taken somebody else’s software and re-labeled “sellers” as owners, “buyers” as tenants, and “products” as units. Harmony accommodates the real-life nature of the relationships that you have with your owners, tenants, and vendors, and the relationship that each of them has with their units and money. You’ll see the power and flexibility of the third dimension as you work in Harmony – it works the way you do.

Adding one dimension doesn’t seem like much, but as you experience it, you’ll realize that it’s like living in a house instead of living on a sheet of plywood. It’s this third dimension that really brings security, comfort, simplicity, power, and flexibility to a property management business. The industry has offered plywood-sheet software for way too long; we felt it was time for someone to build a box (and then insulate it, add windows and doors with locks, shingle the roof, and tile the floor, and add some furniture…metaphorically, of course).

You may be okay managing your property management business on a sheet of plywood – right up until you hit about 40 units or 40 years of age. Then it’s simply too exhausting to do anything but upgrade – and you’ll wish you’d done it a long time ago! If you’re currently over 40 units or over 40 years old and still using two dimensional software, you’re working way too hard! HERO has more years of experience in cloud-based property management software than any company in America, and it shows in the design of Harmony. Put three dimensional software to use and bring Harmony to your company and your life!

Understanding Harmony: The Complicated Owner

Do you remember when you had your first owner, they had one rental house, and life was incredibly simple?

Growth in property management usually involves some increase in complicated situations. Your owner may have bought a four-plex. Then she may have gone in 50-50 on a duplex with her mom. Then she joined with a group of other investors to buy a 16 unit building.

Harmony makes the complicated simple. The foundation of your relationship with an owner (or a group of owners) is a management agreement. Each management agreement can have as many units as you want. Each management agreement can have multiple owners. Each owner can have as many management agreements as you want. You simply set up the owner and unit once, then set up each management agreement to reflect your actual, real-life agreement.

This is where the power of Harmony comes in. Do you want to send a birthday email to an individual owner? Just select them and send it. Do you want to send an official notice to all the owners on the agreement? Just add it to the agreement and send. Do you want to see all transactions for an owner? View them. Want to show only the transactions for one of the management agreements they’re on? Select the agreement and you’re there. Generating a financial report for everything an owner is on? Simple. Or just for the units on a single management agreement, even when the owner is involved in multiple different partnerships? Also simple. And this owner can see everything they need in their portal, too.

Perhaps one of the owner’s units needs an air conditioner replaced, but the tenant hasn’t paid the rent and the reserve doesn’t cover it. If they’ve received the rent on another one of their units, it’s no problem paying the invoice – it’s no problem in trust accounting, and it’s no problem in Harmony.

Viewing, tracking, filtering, communicating, processing…it’s all simple in Harmony no matter how complicated your owner’s arrangement is.

What makes Harmony so powerful? In simple terms, where other property management software is flat, the underlying structure of Harmony is three-dimensional. It’s not just that we offer more features, it’s that the core structure is designed for the way property management actually functions. Two dimensional, flat structures work well in retail and most other product and service businesses, but they simply don’t work for the way that a property manager transacts and communicates with owners, tenants, vendors, and units.

You’ll see this throughout Harmony. Where other software re-labels flat software with property management terms, Harmony reflects your real experience as a property manager. You won’t find us calling a unit an “owner” or calling a tenant a “lease”; in Harmony a unit is a real unit, a tenant is a real tenant, an owner is a real owner, and a lease is an actual lease.

Understanding Harmony: How’s My Growth?

Property managers like you often want to grow their business. There are a few different numbers you’ll likely want to keep an eye on to determine your company’s growth.

The simplest number, but the one that tells you the least, is the number of units managed. In Harmony, you can see this number quickly by simply looking at your listings.

A more valuable number is the net income or profit per unit, or the number of units managed per $1k in labor dollars spent. If you’ve doubled your expenses to manage 75% more units, you haven’t really grown in a healthy way, you’ve simply bloated. (Disclaimer: Any good analyst will tell you that there are scales of economy in property management, and sometimes the numbers along the way don’t tell the whole story of your growth.)

A good quick check for growth is the number of people you collect money from and remit money to – your tenants and owners. As this number increases, all other things being equal, you are growing. In Harmony, go to the Company profile and you’ll see how your people count is growing over time. However, even this number can be deceiving – you might take on a $650 townhome with 4 tenants and 3 co-owners.

For most property managers, the truest number indicating growth is the number of active agreements. Agreements are where you do business and make your money. By viewing the aggregate total of agreements over time, you see a clear indicator of your growth trend. In Harmony, do this by viewing Agreements.

As with anything, no single number tells the whole story. But by keeping an eye on the simple numbers over time, you’ll keep your finger on the pulse of your business day-by-day.

As you grow, don’t forget the value of beneficial systems and their corresponding efficiency. With Harmony, you get the most efficient platform and no per-unit fee hit as you grow. With consistent office policies and procedures, each property manager in your office should be able to easily manage 250-350 units or more. Proceduralize and systematize when possible, automate when beneficial, and always keep an eye on the numbers that are a little harder to quantify, like effective marketing, efficiency, retention, and employee satisfaction, and you’ll find yourself with a strong and growing business!

Have ideas for additional insights into your business that Harmony might provide? Or ways Harmony can further increase effectiveness and efficiency? Just drop us a line – improving your life is what we’re all about.

Understanding Harmony: What’s Going On?

It’s the first essential question of successful management.

Harmony makes it easy to see what’s going on, at a glance. All things time-related, like workorders to be done, leases to renew, appointments to keep, and even things to pick up from the store, show up on your calendar. You can click or tap any item for details, color code things for quick reference, and easily move, hold, delegate, or defer things.

For appointments and events that involve a tenant or owner, you can easily send them an appointment confirmation, which you can customize to your liking. An unconfirmed appoint will show up on your calendar as pending. Once the person confirms (or cancels, or requests rescheduling), you’ll see that as well, with details.

Need a little advance warning before that important lunch? Set yourself an alarm in Harmony, and you will be notified by your choice of method (pop-up alert, email, or text) at exactly the time you want.

What about the important things that aren’t necessarily calendar events? What if rent is late, or a vendor’s workers comp is expiring and they haven’t confirmed its renewal? Those show up, too, in dashboard panels that show items to be addressed and resolved.

Worried about missing a new item that has come in and hasn’t been scheduled or assigned yet? Perhaps a tenant has submitted a work request, or a prospect has sent a showing request or an application to rent. Those show up right along the top of your dashboard, as alert icons with a count of each item to deal with. Once you’ve processed it, the alert goes away. When a new item arrives, besides the alert icon, it will also show up as a browser alert – to be sure you never miss a thing.

If you need to do a deeper dive into things that may be going on and going wrong, run the company Concerns report. It will summarize all the things you should be concerned about – for all the people you interact with. You’ll see who is missing essential information, who has things overdue, who has a strange or mismatched status, and more details on dozens of data points.

Harmony provides numerous tools to help you quickly and easily see what’s going on in your management business. Do you have an idea for something else that would give you a view into your daily management? Drop us a line to let us know. It may already be there, but if it’s not, we want the opportunity to streamline your life and save your sanity!

Understanding Harmony: Let’s Agree

Whether you manage for yourself or others, lease to tenants, or have vendors provide service, everything you do as a property manager is governed by agreements. Every dollar that you collect and process, and every action that you take, is related to some form of agreement that you have with someone.

Agreements are the backbone of Harmony, and they’re a big part of what makes Harmony more flexible and powerful than any other property management software.

An agreement always has one or more people (a company can be a person, too), and one or more units, along with the terms and values for the agreement. Once you’ve recorded the data for the agreement (like the rent, or the management fee), you’ll create an agreement form, your template-sourced narrative of the details of the agreement for your tenant(s) or owner(s) to sign, which they can do electronically.

Each agreement then creates an accounting ledger, where you can record all the money in and out on the agreement. This provides tremendous flexibility – you can properly record all the money billed to your owner Jim McDonnell for both the unit he co-owns with his brother, and the unit he owns in a separate LLC with 5 other partners. It’s practically unlimited.

Each agreement can also have addendums and notices; you’ll find yourself using these regularly.

When creating an agreement form, if you have addendums that apply, they’ll be automatically added to the agreement form. For example, you may have a lead paint disclosure for all tenants in units built before 1978. When you create the lease agreement, it will automatically add your lead paint disclosure as an addendum to the lease.

When it’s time to send an agreement notice, let’s say a notice of renewal, the notice will be sent to all the people on the agreement. If the lease agreement has 4 tenants, each one will receive the notice, and each one can sign it with wet ink or electronic signatures, if your notice requires signatures. Each one will also have the notice in their portal documents.

When you have a lease with 4 tenants, each one of them can pay on the lease – either in person to you, or through their portal. When the payment is received, it will be recorded from the paying tenant, against the lease they’ve paid on.

If you have a management agreement with 3 owners, you can easily send their distributions proportional to their ownership – even if they own units in another agreement, with other owners.

When it’s time to view money, you can view anything from anyone. In the above Jim McDonnell example, you can see all of his money for everything he owns, and easily filter to only the agreement where he co-owns the unit with his brother. He can also easily see this in his portal.

All agreements have dates, when they start, when they end, and what happens for renewal. Harmony reminds you when these dates come due. You’ll get a dashboard indication of any agreement that’s ending or coming due for renewal, and you can easily send the corresponding notices. When you view an agreement where something needs to be done (like a termination or a move-in), you’ll be prompted to process the action and it’ll help you with the corresponding money in a wizard.

Managing your lease agreements with tenants, management agreements with owners, and services agreements with vendors may have been a time-consuming part of your management business, but you can put that in the past with Harmony. Your software will now guide you through every part, and allow you to easily keep everything organized and current.