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Choosing Property Management Software the Smart Way

Face it, you don’t need more headaches — property management is hard enough by itself. Now you have to find a good software program to get your growing business organized. Hand scribbled notes and mountains of paper are a thing of the past — hopefully.Get the important stuff first, and then sweat the detailsYou can rule out 50% of the property management software on the market if you focus first on what you ‘really’ are looking for. The two main mistakes many people make is (1) buying software that is overkill for their needs (thus wasting money and time) or (2) going for the cheapest alternative and getting software that has defects and doesn’t fit their need (thus wasting time and money). Let’s look at the differences:Overkill: Do you need software to manage your properties and your office too? Let your property management software do what it does best – manage property. For your office accounting and payroll, there are plenty of inexpensive products that are perfectly good for both large and small businesses. However, if you use another accounting software for your office expenses, you may want your rental property software to export your bank deposits and checks to your office management software. Other features that add to the cost that you may not need include budgeting, double-entry accounting, asset and liability accounting, and tenant background checking. Some features, such as tenant background checking are really done by well-known Internet companies, but the software vendor just buys the service first, and marks up the cost to you. The prices for property management software can range from $100 to $10,000 (or more), so don’t buy more than you need. However, if you do buy a version that supports a smaller number of rental units, make sure that you can easily upgrade to the larger version at a reasonable cost (hopefully the difference in cost between that smaller and larger versions) and won’t be required to re-enter any of your precious information again.Underkill: Anybody with some web software can make an impressive looking web site. But underneath may be a piece of junk software. Look at the product, make sure you can run a full demo, and better yet a ‘trial version’ that allows you to ‘try before you buy’. Make sure the software can do the basic things you need: (1) maintain a separate ledger for each Tenant and each Owner (2) write bank checks and deposits (3) maintain a vendor file (4) automatically post rent, management fees, and late fees (4) easily update your information. Make sure the software will handle a mixture of single family homes, multifamily homes, condos, and commercial without having to buy extra modules. Look for the ability to purchase add-ons, such as work order modules, online rent payment modules, or tax related modules — you may need them in the future as your business grows. Be sure to check the cost!Then, go for the detailsSome things may not be critical in your property management software, but are great to have. These are features, such as a reminder system to keep track of appointments, log conversations and interactions with your tenants, and to pop up a list of tenants and owners that owe you money. Look for the ability of the software to transfer your tenant information to an inactive file, so that you can later look up your tenant info for credit references and to log back payments. Look for features such as the ability to automatically update rent amounts, automatically post amounts to each ledger, and to update your account names. Speaking of account names, you might want to find a software that uses ‘real’ names for your accounts like ‘Rent Received’, instead of an account number, such as ’300021 – Rent Received’.Don’t take the Technical Support baitFree Support! Most tenant management software companies don’t even offer it, but even if they do, there may be big conditions. Some vendors force you to buy their expensive software updates in order to receive their technical support. Others offer free support for a short period of time then charge anywhere from a dollar per minute (with a minimum amount per call) to well over $100.00 per hour for support. You should get at least a 60 to 90 day free support plan as part of the purchase, but better yet, find an experienced vendor that offers free unlimited support. Yes, there are actually some vendors that back their products with free phone and email support.Hidden costsIf you spend a frustrating hour doing battle with your property management software, what is that worth in dollars? Difficult, unfriendly software costs you time. And, if you have employees trying to figure out how to do something, you are paying them to read the 2 inch thick manual, and paying again if they have to call for support. Make sure your software program is easy to install, easy to use, and has plenty of help. You should always receive a printed user’s guide with the program, a comprehensive built-in help file, and an online help page. Another big cost is the ‘update’. Are you forced to buy it even if you don’t need the new features? What have the last 5 updates cost the user base? Will you still receive any technical support if you have an older version? These are important questions you should always ask when shopping for property management software.Follow these simple guidelines, and your property management software will help you grow a thriving and efficient business.

An Inside Look at the Importance of a Smile in Sales

If you’re in sales, then you’ve probably heard all sorts of advice, from “don’t oversell” to “focus on solving problems.” However, one of the best pieces of advice that many forget is to smile! After all, your smile is one of the first features people notice about you, and it plays an essential role in the first impression you make. Keep reading to learn all about the importance of a smile in sales (as well as how cosmetic dentistry can help!).

Smile: Your Sale Depends on It!

Knowing your product and knowing your audience are key in sales. However, you don’t get far if your client doesn’t trust you or believe you. That’s why it’s so important to make a good first impression! Here are a few ways a smile can help:

• Smiling is more powerful than you might think – One study found that smiling has the same effect on our brain as $25,000 in cash!

• Smiling communicates your state of mind – Smiling is a non-verbal cue that you are happy to be where you are, that you are confident in your product, and that you are ready and willing to help.

• Smiling creates a ripple effect of positivity – Have you ever seen a friend yawn and done the same? Or seen someone take a sip of water and immediately realized you’re thirsty? Thanks to the mirroring neurons in our brains, we naturally mimic the behavior of those around us.

But What If You Don’t Like Your Smile?

If you don’t like your smile, don’t worry – that’s where cosmetic dentistry comes in. Whether you’re struggling with misaligned, misshapen, cracked, or otherwise imperfect teeth, your smile goals aren’t out of reach. The first step? Scheduling an appointment with a skilled cosmetic dentist. For both my father and myself, providing high-quality, personalized, and judgment-free dentistry is a passion. There’s truly nothing better than seeing someone walk out of our office with a dazzling, confident smile! So, don’t wait to make your dream smile a reality – it could make all of the difference when it comes to your personal and professional life!

The Best Job In The World?

1999 was probably the worst year of my professional life. Unsatisfying office jobs followed by long periods of unemployment and claiming benefits. I’d also missed out on an opportunity to train as a Microsoft certified programmer because I was unable to find a placement. The dream of making my way into the world of employment had turned into an absolute nightmare, at times I felt like a total failure.

Towards the end of 1999 an opportunity arose for me to work in a casino. I’d always loved card games after seeing the glitz and glamour of casinos in James Bond movies. Dissatisfied with life in Northern Ireland, at the age of just 20, I packed a couple of suitcases and ended up going to the Isle of Man to train as a croupier (casino dealer) in January 2000. 18 months later I was working on my first cruise ship, and 18 months after that I was boarding the QE2 (the most famous ship of them all) to do a world cruise.

For a young man from a housing estate in Antrim, Northern Ireland this was beyond even my wildest dreams. On a ferry from Belfast to Liverpool in 1997, I’d once seen a pontoon table and croupier and dreamt what it may be to work as a casino dealer on the high seas.

Everything aboard the QE2 was as you would expect, starting with Captain Ron Warwick, who looked exactly what the captain of the QE2 should look like (Google the name if you don’t believe me). Passenger facing crew were immaculate in their appearance. I could probably have shaved with the crease on my pressed tuxedo shirts, and on a number of occassions when I had been sunburnt in port, I could feel the creases cutting into my tender skin as I dealt the cards that evening in the casino.

The great thing for croupiers on cruise ships is that they only work when the ship is in international waters, in port, the casino must close, and casino staff are free to do pretty much whatever they want. Casino staff have a cabin steward who cleans their cabin and takes away their dirty laundry and brings it back fresh each day. We did a 103 day world cruise which included stops in places like Hong Kong, Sydney, Cape Town, Hawaii, Mauritius, Nagasaki, Tahiti and Singapore to name a few. I managed to do some amazing excursions like diving in the great barrier reef, quad biking in the Namibian desert, and dining in all sorts of fine restaurants, trying delicacies like Springbok, Kangaroo, Crocodile and Kobe beef. We made stops in 5 continents, crossed the equator and even experienced living a Tuesday in consequetive days when we crossed the world timeline. Imagine that, you go to bed on Tuesday night, wake up the following morning and its Tuesday again, but this was far from groundhog day.

The role in the casino was not about taking passengers’ money like in a land-based casino, it was about providing them with fun and entertainment. The passengers were friendly and pleasant, many of them being extremely successful people (I understand the lowest cabin cost for a world cruise on the QE2 was about $50,000 in 2003). A lot of the passengers had never played in a casino and were fascinated to learn and experience the one onboard. Just getting to know some of these people was an experience in itself, and a large part of the role in the casino was simply to entertain them whilst they were in the casino.

There were also celebrity passengers. We would finish work and go to the crew/members bar where we would have guest entertainers like the late Des O’Connor and the magician, the late Paul Daniels down to have a drink. God bless them both.

Was my job the best job in the world? Maybe not for everyone, but it was beyond even my wildest dreams and the 6 month experience, as well as the amazing people I met will be something I treasure forever. I was very lucky to have lived this experience and will always be incredibly grateful for it.

Many years have passed since then and I’ve always missed the buzz of casinos which is how Fun 21 Casino Hire was created in 2021. My celebrities now are anyone who hires the No Money Fun Casino that I provide for parties and celebrations, and I aim to give the same experience that you would expect onboard the QE2.