Rent Manager Tips and Tricks

November 23, 2020

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Sam Fangman

Person looking at their Rent Manager dashboard on a Mac computer.

Rent Manager is a fully customizable software that’s designed to fit your company’s specific needs. We want to make sure you’re getting the most of the program, so be sure to follow along each month as we share insights that will take your Rent Manager knowledge and experience to new heights!

Tip #1- External Calendar Integration

Do you use Rent Manager to organize appointments and tasks? But do you also rely on a calendar outside of the software (e.g., Outlook or Google Calendar)?  To save time and effort, connect Rent Manager to your external calendar by:

  • Go to Admin -> System Preferences -> Calendar Integration
  • Check the “Integrate” option
  • Select the appropriate export method, and click Save

If your external calendar is associated with an email address other than the one associated with your Rent Manager Users information, be sure to supply that alternate address under Admin-> Setup -> Users.

Tip #2- Expediting Privilege Assignments

Do you find yourself having to do the same steps every time you set up a Rent Manager user for a new employee? Are you overwhelmed by the multitude of privileges you need to assign? To expedite the process, create User Roles by following these steps:

  • Go to Admin -> Setup -> User Roles
  • Click the plus sign at the top of the list
  • Give the role a name (ex: Leasing Agent)
  • Click Save
  • Select the appropriate options in each of the tabs
  • Click Save

Whether in the Users screen or the User Roles screen, you may now assign this role so the selected user receives all associated privileges.

Tip #3- Report Customization Options

From the Balance Sheet and Charge Detail, to Unit Turnover and Aged Payables reports, Rent Manager has a robust library of more than 400 comprehensive reports that provide managers and owners with vital business and financial information. Are there certain report columns that are more relevant to your operation that you’d like to add, remove, or rename? Follow these steps for report customization:

  •   Go to Reports -> Choose a system generated report in the database -> Select the appropriate Report Options (Properties to Include, Date Range, Sort Options, etc.)
  • Click View Grid
  • Click Setup Columns in the righthand corner 
  • You can add any column from the Available Columns list to your report by clicking the column name and moving it to the Selected Columns list by clicking >
  • Click Ok
  • To remove columns from a report, click Setup Columns, then select the columns you want to eliminate in the Selected Columns list, and then click <
  • Click Ok
  • To change any column name, identify the column to rename in the Selected Columns list and enter the new name in the Custom Name field
  •  Click Ok
  • If you’d like this new column setup to be the default layout for this report, click Save 
  • To view the Grid as a Report, click Print 

Tip #4- Editing Data Filters on Dashboard Tiles

The Rent Manager Dashboard displays tiles of vital business information like vacancies, move ins/outs, bank balances, security deposits due, and beyond. With the Dashboard being the first page you see when you open Rent Manager, it offers a great opportunity to get an immediate glance at your operational health and your essential management to-do’s.

Would you like to change the information that displays in those tiles? Perhaps change the number of days delinquent on the Delinquency List tile? Using the Delinquency List tile as an example, follow the steps below to customize your Dashboard tiles:
On the dashboard:

  • Choose the Delinquency List tile (If it’s not on your Dashboard already, you can add it by right clicking on any free grey space, select Dashboard Designer, locate Delinquency List in the tile selection, and drag it to your dashboard. Once placed and finished, select Back to Dashboard
  • Select the gear icon in the upper right-hand corner of the tile.
  • In the Delinquency List Tile Data Filters window, users can change the following:
  • Days to Include – This number defaults to 10. Enter the number of days you consider delinquent.
  • Property Filter – This filter defaults to All Properties. By clicking the pencil icon, users can edit which properties’ tenants are included in the Delinquency List tile results
  • Tenants to Include – Users can choose P (past) C (current), and F (future) to determine which tenants are shown on the tile
  • Default Sort Column– This determines how the tenants in the Delinquency List tile will display by default
  • Click Save

 

Tip #5- Memorized Journal Entries

At its core, Rent Manager is an accounting software that’s equipped to handle everything from financial basics to your highest-level accounting processes. Journal Entries can be used to correct accounting mistakes, perform money transfers between bank accounts or properties, and record the appreciation or depreciation of assets.

Does the accountant on your team find themselves performing the same journal entries every month—perhaps to transfer security deposit funds from your operating bank to your escrow account? In order to reduce redundant data entry and eliminate the possibility of error, memorize your journal entries when possible. This helpful feature saves the entry as a template, enabling you to easily create new journal entries in the future. Memorize your journal entries in just a few clicks.
Memorize a Journal Entry from an Existing Journal Entry

  • Go to Accounting -> Journals
  • From the Journals register, double-click or select the desired journal entry and click Details
  • Click Memorize in the bottom right-hand corner. The New Memorized Item pop-up will display
  • Enter the Name for the new memorized journal entry
  • Enter an optional Description to explain the template in more detail
  • Click The journal entry is memorized and ready to be used as a template

To view the full register of your Memorized Journals, head to Accounting -> Memorized Journals.

Tip #6- Email All your Tenants at Once

Communication is a cornerstone of property management, and it’s been particularly important during the COVID-19 pandemic. As the U.S. begins to transition from varying degrees of lockdown to reopening the economy, you likely have a lot to communicate to your tenants. Between pool openings, the status of shared community areas, and lease renewal reminders, information is flowing from your office. One of Rent Manager’s greatest features is the ability to send mass emails from the software. To send an email to all your tenants or an entire property at once, follow the steps below.

  • Go to Rental Info > Tenants
  • Scroll to the bottom of your tenant list
  • Select the last name on the list
  • Click CTRL A on your keyboard – this will highlight every tenant’s name in orange
  • Right-click on any name on the list and select Compose Email from the list of options
  • The Compose Email tab will open. To ensure that each tenant does not see other recipients’ email addresses, check Send Individually in the bottom left-hand corner
  • If you need to add an attachment to your message, click on the Paperclip Icon and select the document you want to send
  • Add a subject line, compose the body of the email, and then click Send in the bottom right-hand corner

If you would like to distribute an email to one property rather your entire tenant list, filter by property on your tenant list before composing the email and follow the same steps as above.

Tip #7- Memorize Service Issues

As your team transitions back into the office, your maintenance staff is likely sifting through dozens or even hundreds of backlogged service issues. Tracking the process is vital, but entering the same service issues into Rent Manager time and time again can become tedious and time-consuming.  By Memorizing Service Issues, you can avoid redundant data entry. When you memorize service issues, the program will save the name, description, and other issue details so that in the future, you can simply click Load Memorized, and you’ll have a new issue filled out.

To create a Memorized Issue template from an existing service issue:

  • Go to Services > Issues
  • From the register, select the issue you would like to memorize and click Details
  • On the issue, click Memorize in the bottom right-hand corner
  • Enter a name or an optional description for the new memorized issue
  • Click Save and Ok on the Memorized Issue popup

These steps will add the issue to the Memorized Issues Register and is ready to use as a template.

Tip #8 – Send Rent Reminders Through Accounts Receivable Automation

Your daily task list is colossal. Keeping track of habitual late-payers and sending payment reminders can be a full-time job on its own. Reduce your stress and workload by automating the time-consuming process of accounts receivable reminders. Rent Manager’s extensive AR automation capabilities allow you to send notices via email, text, phone broadcast, and Virtual Post Office (VPO), to tenants with open and upcoming charges.

AR automation removes human error and deadline stress from the equation. The messaging of each payment alert is entirely tailored by you. This freedom allows you to change the tone of each message based on the level of delinquency. The best part? Once the automations are created and the schedule is in place, you never have to remember to send them. Rent Manager will scan your database, and if it finds that someone has not paid based on your predetermined protocol, it will send them a timely, personalized alert.

Once a notice is sent, a record of it will be attached in the tenant’s History/Notes. If your properties have differing delinquency and late payment schedules, you can easily create several different AR automation schedules.

While AR automation schedules can be created immediately, these alerts will not be automated until Task Automation is enabled for Accounts Receivable in Rent Manager.

Create a new AR Automation Schedule:

  • Go to Admin > Task Automation > Accounts Receivable
  • Click the Add button in the top-left corner of the window
  • Enter a Name for this automation schedule
  • Check Active if this schedule should be enabled after it is created
  • Optionally, select one of your previously created automation schedules to use as a Template. By default, <No Template> is selected
  • Click Save

Once the schedule has been created, you’ll need to include some details before the notice will be sent:

  • From the AR Automation Schedules window, select an AR Automation schedule from the list on the left.
  • In the Schedules Section header, click Add.Screenshot from Rent Manager
  • Check Enable to make the schedule details active. Alerts will be sent to tenants who meet the conditions you set below.
  • Enter the exact number of Days Late that at least one open charge must be delinquent in order to perform the specified Action.
  • The Balance Filter allows you to determine how much the delinquent payment amount must reach before the alert is sent. The notice can also be configured to send when a balance is Less than, Greater than, or Equal to the specified amount.
  • Select the Charge Types that you would like the system to examine for delinquency. By default, the system will run for All Charge Types. If you would like to alter that and only send the notice for delinquent rent, select the pencil icon, and choose RC or whichever charge type you have designated as rent.
  • In the Action dropdown, select how you would like the notice to be delivered to tenants (Email, Text, Phone Broadcast, or VPO). You can use scripting to personalize the message, or simply write out the message.
  • Select OK.

The initial time investment required to set up the AR Automation schedule will be well-worth the effort once the schedule operates entirely on its own.

 

Tip #9 – Security Deposit Section Added to Prospect’s General Tab

Our team works diligently to evolve and grow Rent Manager to meet your needs and the shifting trends of the industry. In the 12.620 release, a Security Deposit section was added to the Prospect General Tab.

In the past, if you needed to refund or transfer a prospect’s security deposit in Rent Manager, you had to temporarily move them into a vacant unit and convert them into a tenant in order to access the Security Deposit feature on the tenant’s General Tab. Now, this process is streamlined and straightforward, no work-around necessary.

To access this new function, navigate to Rental Info > Prospects > Select a prospect > General tab > Security Deposit

From the prospect’s Security Deposit feature, you’re able to:

  • Add/receive a prospect’s security deposit and assign it to their desired unit by clicking the Add button.  Once the funds have been received, they will show as Held.
  • Transfer the prospect’s held security deposit to another prospect in your database.
  • Refund the prospect’s security deposit via a Tenant Check directly from the General tab.

Tip #10 – Capture the Reason Behind Lost Prospects

Sometimes with prospects, it just doesn’t work out. There are many reasons why a prospective tenant might choose to rent with another company. Or perhaps after reviewing their application, it’s your team that decides not to move forward. Whether it be missing amenities, a failed screening, or pets that don’t fit your policy—you’ll want to track the reasons why a prospect wasn’t converted to a tenant in your Rent Manager database. The program gives you the ability to customize these reasons and keep accurate, historical records of your leasing process. When a prospect is Lost or Lost-Rejected, this will display on the prospect’s General Tab. The reason for their lost status resides just below. To add and tailor these lost reasons, follow these quick action steps.

In the Lost Reasons Register, you can create, delete, and edit your lost reasons. Once they’re saved, you can designate lost reasons for unsuccessful prospects moving forward. Navigate to Admin > Setup > Rental Info > Lost Reasons

  • From the Lost Reasons register, click Add.
  • In the Status drop-down list, select whether this reason is associated with the Lost or Lost – Rejected status.
  • Enter a unique Name for this reason.
  • Optionally, enter a short Description, which will display in the register.
  • Ensure Active is checked, making this designation available for immediate use.
  • Optionally, check Continuous Add to include more reasons without closing the pop-up.
  • Click Save.

Tip #11 – Generate the New Form 1099-NEC Through Rent Manager

Tax season is taxing enough without keeping up with all the IRS changes. We strive to simplify the filing process by keeping you informed of any significant changes instituted by the IRS. A substantial mandate made by the IRS for 2020 is the breakout of nonemployee compensation (NEC) from Box 7 of Form 1099-MISC, onto its own separate form: Form 1099-NEC.

NEC still includes payments of $600 or more for services of independent contractors, but these types of payments will now be reported in Box 1 of the new 2020 Form 1099-NEC.

Despite this change, generating 1099s and 1096s through Rent Manager 12 is still as streamlined and straightforward as ever. After double checking that all of your vendor information is correct and up to date, you’re ready to run this report. The process is nearly identical to years past, just be sure to check the Nonemployee Compensation box in the Associated 1099 Categories dropdown list to run the report independently and remain compliant.

Here’s How:

  • Reports > Payables > Vendor 1099
  • Select the necessary Properties to Include
  • Check whether you would like to Run Properties Separately or not
  • Check whether you would like to show Social Security Numbers or not
  • You can choose to Consolidate Properties to combine all payments made from the selected properties to this vendor into a single entry in the report. If you choose to do so, you will need to fill out your management company contact information.
  • Check the Nonemployee Compensation box in the Associated 1099 Categories dropdown list
  • Select 2020 as the year
  • Decide whether to exclude values below $600
  • Choose the Vendor Name Source
  • Click View Report

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