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:
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
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:
- The property manager’s PMID
- Their Client ID
- 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.