Posts Tagged ‘Mobile Apps’

So Many Apps, So Little Time

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

By: Nick Frantz

I have a friend who’s nuts about apps. He’s always downloading the latest and greatest. Whenever we meet, he tells me about a new one he’s found. The last time we talked, he said, “So many apps, so little time.” Now that was a comment that stuck.

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Apps… all these wonderfully creative little tools. Some are useful. Some are just fun. But for me, the best ones are the apps that save us time.

There are dozens of apps available to help property managers. But resident-specific apps would be a big help, too. So how do you cut through the clutter to find them?

Here are three primary functions that provide ample app opportunities for you and your residents:

Think “functions” first… then look for the apps.

1. Maintenance Requests. In a 2011 SatisFacts Research survey, residents reported that the quality of maintenance services is the number one factor influencing retention. Number one! You want— you need—to make maintenance requests, scheduling and follow-up easy for you and easy for your residents.

Your property management software may offer an app for residents to use to submit maintenance requests. Maintenance issues don’t always wait until you’re in your office. Use your message notification service to confirm appointments and satisfaction. Check for apps that allow you to communicate with residents and staff anytime, from anywhere. And apps that make it easy for message recipients to add appointments to their calendars.

2. Payment Processing. Online payment processing is good for your cash flow. Some property management software offer payment processing apps for residents. Use your message notification service to send automatic reminders that help keep payments coming in on time.

3. Communications. In the same 2011 SatisFacts Research survey, residents ranked the ability to easily communicate with the community staff fourth in nearly 50 items analyzed. A good message notification service helps property managers meet the challenge of timely communications with staff and residents. But managing the daily flow of incoming communications is challenging for recipients, too. Again, look for apps from your message notification service that are created specifically help recipients manage their messages and their calendars.

Time is a valuable commodity. With only so much of it in a day, it’s a struggle to keep up—to get everything done. Hassle-free time savers are always welcome. Make life easier for you and your residents with apps that shave minutes off your days and turn multiple steps into just a few taps.

For more information regarding resident communication solutions please visit www.onecallnow.com, or call (877) 698-3262 to find out how our text, email and voice messages can work for your community.

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NickFrantz2011Nick Frantz is the National Sales Manager for Property Management Solutions at One Call Now, where he has worked since March 2011. He specializes in Property Management solutions – commercial and residential – assisting in communications between property managers and staff/residents. Nick holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Miami University.

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To Tow… or Not To Tow? Seven Tips to keep that from being the Question

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

By: Nick Frantz | OneCallNow.com

tow truckI don’t know a property manager who doesn’t grapple with parking issues. At best, they’re a hassle. At worst, they threaten resident safety, satisfaction and retention. They can even send you to court.

Towing may alienate a resident… but failure to act on a parking problem could alienate many residents. The best solution is a proactive approach that maximizes compliance and minimizes your need to have to make the tough decision. Here are seven tips to help ease parking woes on your property.

1.  Understand the parking and towing laws and ordinances in your state and in your municipality.

If you don’t already know the laws, an Internet search should yield results. Illegal towing can do more than damage resident relationships. It can be costly. Some states allow the court to award loss of use damages for the illegally towed vehicle. Residents have to prove their case. But win or lose, it’s going to cost you time and money.

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2.  Have proper legal signage.

Posting parking permit and restriction signs on your property is one of the most important actions you can take to ensure and enforce compliance. With effective signage, residents, visitors, staff and vendors should never have any question about where to park.

 3.  Clearly mark the parking lots and curbs.

Sometimes signs disappear, but parking lot stripes and curb paint is permanent. Mark restricted parking areas as clearly as possible; leave nothing to question.

4.  Create, publish and distribute a clear, well-defined parking policy.

Your policy should spell out—and itemize—exactly:

    • Where residents, visitors, staff and vendors may park
    • Where residents, visitors, staff and vendors may NOT park
    • Snow plow procedures
    • Your step-by-step procedure for handling vehicles that violate the parking policy (It’s a good idea to try to notify the owner, whenever possible, before a vehicle is towed. Document your attempts to notify; it will payoff)
    • Actions to take if someone finds that their car has been towed and how much it will cost

If there are seasonal issues in your area, such as snow or flooding, send timely reminders that reiterate the parking policies and procedures.

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5.  Review your parking and towing policies with your snow removal and towing vendors.

Make sure they understand that only authorized personnel from your staff can request that a vehicle be towed.

 6.  Personally address parking issues with problem residents.

Some parking infractions aren’t as defiant as they may seem to you or to other residents. When parking issues arise, one-on-one notices are far more effective than blanket reminders. It doesn’t have to be a nasty confrontation. Stay calm, refer to your parking policies and rules, and make sure the resident has a copy. Keep a record of your resident contact with the date, time and content.

 7.  Communicate regularly and always document.

Managing your property is your job. But your residents have their own jobs, busy—often hectic—lives, and lots on their minds. Make sure your parking rules don’t slip their minds. Proper signage, marked parking spaces and curbs, a published policy, personal reminders and community-wide announcements all work together to minimize slippage.

It’s important to document all your parking compliance efforts.  Take photos of your signage, parking lot, curb markings and any instances of policy violations. Keep a record of all your communications to your residents, whether community-wide or one-on-one. Your documentation should show dates, times, and message content. It should also confirm that your residents received your communications. If a conflict or legal issue arises, all of these will work in your favor.

The name of the game here is to maximize parking compliance and minimize towing instances. It takes a proactive approach, vigilance and a commitment to regular communications with your residents.

For more information regarding resident communication solutions please visit www.onecallnow.com, or call (877) 698-3262 to find out how our text, email and voice messages can work for your community.

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NickFrantz2011Nick Frantz is the National Sales Manager for Property Management Solutions at One Call Now, where he has worked since March 2011. He specializes in Property Management solutions – commercial and residential – assisting in communications between property managers and staff/residents. Nick holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Miami University.

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Apple Newsstand App Release Announcement

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

Apartment Management Magazine Premieres Apple Newsstand Apps for Monthly Magazines

Apartment News Publications, Inc collaborates with Bluepaper LLC to develop free Apps for Apple Mobile devices!

HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA – November 6, 2012 – Apartment News Publications, Inc. has announced the release of the publication’s first free iPhone & iPad applications.  Monthly readers, consisting of Multi-Family & Commercial Property Owners and Managers, will now have the ability to access magazine articles, service vendor contact information, as well as have immediate access to web based features within the app through a WiFi or 3G cellular connection or better.

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