Back to your weekly scheduled program: a dose of web excitement… and, as always, we’re featuring K.C. and Chris G. on the Rent Manager® tip, the dynamic duo devoted to helping you customize Rent Manager and improve your operation’s productivity.
The December 12th webinar focused on Rent Manager’s Metered Utility module, which is a super way to track utility consumption and charge customers based on various rates and consumption levels. If you track utilities at your properties, you need to watch this webinar!
Chris started out by showing us the steps involved in entering each utility we want to track’water, gas, electric, trash, etc.’into Rent Manager:
- Go to Metered Utilities > Utility Information
- Click the New Utility button
- Name the utility, then enter the appropriate info in the Add Utility form, then click Next
- Complete the form by selecting:
- The Charge Type to use for the specified utility (previously set up in the Rent Manager Charge Types)
- The appropriate Properties
- The appropriate Readings Source
- Click Finish
Next, Chris took us through the process of creating meter types, which tell the program how to charge residents for their utility consumption:
- Go to Metered Utilities > Meter Types
- Click the New Meter Type button to open the Add Meter Type Wizard
- Enter the appropriate information on the first page of the Add Meter Type form, then click Next
- On the second page of the wizard:
- Enter the required data in the Special Charges fields
- Then select the Utility Charge Calculation Method’Standard or Graduated’and click Next
- The third page of the form is where Calculation Options and Reading Conversion are entered. When finished, click Next
- Finally, on the fourth page, you’ll set up your Consumption Levels and Rates
- Click Finish
Setting up these calculations and rates can be tricky, so be sure to use the Test Calculation feature to check the foundation of your meter types. Entering the readings from a past bill is an easy way to test your computations.
Mr. G. kindly shared some examples and explanations for how to approach the data and calculations necessary to create a new meter type in Rent Manager. For all the specifics, check out the webinar video here.
Now that the meter types have been established and tested, Chris showed us how to enter utility readings for each resident:
- Go to Metered Utilities > Meter Readings
- Choose Utility Type, Property, Default Meter Type, and enable the Display Columns
- In the Meter Readings fields, enter the current consumption and date
He also shared how to use Rent Manager-compatible utility scanners to enter readings for our properties. A brand new entry method is mobileRM, which enables you to utility readings using a smart phone. Again, be sure to watch the webinar video to catch all of his great tips and suggestions.
Last, but certainly not least, Chris showed us the different ways we can post our gathered meter readings. Because what’s the sense in doing all this stuff if we don’t know how to charge customers for their utility use?
- Activities > Batch Operations > Post Recurring Charges
- Enable the Post Utilities box
When the Post Utilities option is activated, Rent Manager will automatically post the entered utility charges when it processes the rest of your regular recurring charges.
Another way to post your readings is to:
- Go to Metered Utilities > Post Utilities
- Then select/enter the appropriate information in the Post Utilities form
- Click the Post Utilities button
Finally, you also have the option to post utilities for a single customer. This option is most-often used when a resident moves out mid-month.
- Open the customer’s record
- Click the MU Hist button on the Transaction tab
- Adjust the reading data as necessary
- Click Update Reading
- Click Post
It’s as simple as that! Chris wrapped up the webinar by sharing that Resident Web Access now allows residents to see their utility consumption data online. We also have the ability to generate customer statements that include metered utility information. To learn how, watch the webinar at RentManager.com>Support>Training Videos.
And if you haven’t already, get with the program! Participate in our weekly webinars and make Rent Manager work harder for you!