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Get the Most Out of Your Software’s Help Content

Get the Most Out of Your Software’s Help Content
Has the company you work for ever disrupted your routine by introducing a new software platform? They promised it would make your job easier and the company more profitable, but here you are struggling to learn a new system. A software solution is supposed to provide an organized structure to work in, usually based on research about best practices and user experiences surrounding a set of tasks. But no matter how perfect any software solution is, when it’s new to you, there is a steep learning curve. Take, for example, Entrata®, the complete property management solution. It has been designed to help leasing agents and property managers do their jobs as quickly and easily as possible. But for it to make your life easier, you have to learn how to use it. That’s why software solutions often come with Help Centers full of support and training resources. You may not be aware of this, but as you read this article, there is a team of millennial hipsters throwing nerf balls over cubicle walls and eagerly developing help and support content for the software your boss just told you to start using. These folks want you to get your job done without tripping too much over a new software platform. Their own jobs depend on it. So what can you do to get on board with a new software solution and become the expert around the office? Get the most out of the help content already built in to your property management software. The web ......
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Five Things to Ask Before Taking on Cloud Technology

Five Things to Ask Before Taking on Cloud Technology
Cloud-based applications can offer your property management company numerous user and cost benefits such as streamlined business operations, ease of collaboration and more efficient application development. However, choosing the wrong vendor can have unforeseen consequences. When choosing a technology provider it is important to consider these five questions in order to avoid the most common pitfalls of adopting cloud-based technology: How much control will you have over your data and software services? Your software vendor should offer you protection and the ability to own your software and data and run it from anywhere. In many cases, software providers have a tendency to stockpile data, making it incredibly difficult for a property management company to access and utilize their data. Make sure your vendor allows you unlimited access to all of your data regardless of the circumstance. What will it take to integrate?Many property management software companies will pile on the fees and charges for integrations to discourage you from using competing products and services. Find a software company that allows you to build your own, custom suite according to your company’s unique needs. Don’t let one provider bully you into using their inferior products or keep you from using your current system because they lack the ability to support the integrations you need. When choosing a provider, find out exactly what level of customizability your provider will allow you to have and how much it will cost you to modify it to fit your needs before you sign on the dotted line. How secure is the......
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RHI: Resident Happiness Index

RHI: Resident Happiness Index
The more and more I think about apartment communities and SaaS companies, the more I realize how alike they actually are. In essence, apartments and SaaS companies provide a subscription service to their residents or clients. We are also focused on defining and improving the Resident Experience1 (RX) or the Customer Experience. There is also a little event that happens every year that we are both (or should be) keenly aware of - renewal time! Everything we do should be focused on making residents' experience so good that they don’t even have to think about signing another lease. How do you effectively track and monitor how happy your residents are leading up to the renewal? One of the tools that SaaS companies are building and using is something called the Customer Happiness Index or CHI. The CHI is a data-driven tool that allows you to take an objective look at your customers and determine how happy they are with the service(s) that you are providing them. It is a tremendously helpful tool that provides you a snapshot into how healthy your relationship is with a client at that point in time. CHI is certainly a tool or principle that apartment communities can borrow and tweak to make their own... so how about a Resident Happiness Index (RHI)? Now the tough part begins - deciding on what metrics and data you want to include in your RHI. If you've already defined your RX, then that's the best place to start. If you have not yet defined your RX, now is the time to s......
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What to Expect When You’re Expecting Software Support

What to Expect When You’re Expecting Software Support
Like any other multifamily professional, you have dreams and aspirations. You have places to go and things to see. But before you “go and see,” you have a job, and to complete your job, it's not uncommon that you're calling for software support with multifamily tech providers. It shouldn’t take long, right?  You don’t need to plan your day around this interaction, do you?...  Do you? Well, much like your teenage daughter's long-standing Facebook relationship status, it’s complicated. It all depends on how you look at it. Expectations change by contact type and by level of urgency. Just as you can expect to hear back from someone quicker when you are talking face to face than when you send them a postcard, you can also expect a quicker response from 911 than from the Better Business Bureau. So when evaluating the aptitude of your property management software's support department, it's important to first evaluate the nature of your support needs in terms of (1) Contact Method and (2) Urgency.   Contact Method: According to recent surveys, about 75% of clients expect their service provider to offer at least four different methods of contact. The primary methods are listed in the table below, along with the expected wait times:   Contact Method Industry-leading Average Expected Wait Maximum Expected Wait Phone <30 seconds 60 seconds 5 minutes Chat <30 seconds 60 seconds 15 minutes In person/ Storefront <30 seconds 5 minutes 15 minutes Social Media <30 minutes 4 hours 8 hours Task or Ticket System <30 minutes 4 hours 24 h......
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