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Computer Illiterate? Seek Help!

Let’s face it… the internet is NOT a fad (sorry Al Gore) and the role both the internet and computers play in our business is vast and ever growing. Let’s take a look at what parts of our business are computer and/or internet based:    Communication (with Colleagues & Prospects)- Email, usually Outlook is used in our business Learning Management Systems- Does your company offer online learning? Property Management Software- On our computers and generally on the internet Social Media  Rent Payments- A good portion of us allow residents to pay online Advertising- Our biggest source of traffic, in a lot of instances is apartments.com Weekly/Monthly Reports- Excel and Word play a big role in how we relay information Performance Appraisals- Many are integrated into our HRIS systems, which are internet based Payroll Time Tracking- Does anyone use a manual system anymore? New Colleague Orientation- Unless your company is 100% local, the internet is often used Accounting- Most accounting departments use our property management software in conjunction with computer and/or internet based financial software Payroll- The majority of us rely on Direct Deposit, which uses a computer to transmit. I could go on and on… I think the writing on the wall is pretty clear, to be successful in our business you MUST have some sort of computer know-how. I’m not talking learning HTML here… I’m talking the VERY BASICS of computer understanding! Frankly, I’m blown away, nearly on a daily basis; at the lack of computer knowledge so many ......
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How Search Engines View Subdomains

We've been getting questions about the potential search engine optimization (SEO) impact of putting blogs in a subdomain (e.g. blog.mysite.com) vs. a subfolder (e.g. mysite.com/blog). We've also had questions about how search engines (Google) treat subdomains that are on different IP addresses. Unfortunately, Google doesn't have an official statement about these issues, but here are our latest thoughts on the matter.   Subdomains link additional pages on your site. Years ago, spammers figured out that they could set up subdomains and generate inbound links by linking from pages on the subdomains back to pages on the main domain. Google figured this out and plugged that hole in late 2007. Matt Cutts confirms this change in a blog post in December 2007, which also states that it's a “wash” whether you use folders or subdomains. The original post is here: www.mattcutts.com/blog/subdomains-and-subdirectories. Of course, this is information from 25 years ago in search engine years, but a modern day test confirms that this still holds true. Look at the first page search results for apartments.com—it's all subdomains. It seems reasonable to conclude those results wouldn't be there if Google thought those pages were part of another site.   It's okay if your blog subdomain is located on a server with a different IP address. The next question to tackle is, is it okay for a blog to be hosted separately from the main website. I was able to find absolutely nothing that directly addresses this from Matt Cutts or any other reliable Google......
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Will MS Dynamics Penetrate the Multifamily Market?

A few years ago, Microsoft purchased the Great Plains accounting software company and rebranded it as Microsoft Dynamics - GP. This product is not about to take on the property management software leaders like Yardi and Intuit RES (MRI), however, it does offer a solution for a much needed niche: corporate accounting, consolidations, and non-real estate related business accounting.There are excellent property management software products that manage resident traffic, rent, maintenance, etc. Where they often fall short is in handling the corporate office accounting. In the past JD Edwards has been the leader in solving this problem. However, MS Dynamics-GP is starting to gain momentum in this area. Several large multifamily companies use MS Dynamics - GP. A few months ago I helped CAS (Riverstone's parent) select MS Dynamics-GP as their corporate accounting platform. I have since assisted Aztec Systems, a Microsoft Partner, better understand the Multifamily requirements. Microsoft has placed GP in their Office division and that has enabled some powerful integration with MS Office. For example, a report can be run in GP and placed in an Outlook folder. Users can open the report and drill down to data from their Outlook and never log into GP. Therefore, they don't need to purchase a license for GP. Microsoft has taken a best of breed approach and rather than developing their own software modules they promote tight integration. This can be very good for users. For example, job cost, project accounting, project management, and project controls can be crucial to......
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