7:48 am
Mr. Ace Lessor, an employee of the Mount Ogden Property Management Company, arrives at his office, attempts to fire up his desktop computer and discovers that the computer is in a state of rigor mortis due to a failed power supply. No other office computers are apparently free that day, so Ace leaves a note on his manager s desk and runs home to get his laptop computer. On the way home he receives a text message alert on his mobile phone that a prospect has submitted an application from a vacancy posting on Craigslist.

As Ace drives back into the parking lot of his office, an owner-client calls him to request online account access for his CPA. Ace promises to set it up within the hour and then enters his office. He pushes his dead desktop computer aside, turns on his laptop computer, connects to the internet and logs into his online property management service. He scans his messages and reminders and then reviews the application from Craigslist and submits it to a background and credit screening service.

Ace creates a user account for the owner-client s CPA, restricting access to the appropriate portfolio financials and then emails login information to the CPA and a  Done  email to the owner-client.

After making a cup of peppermint tea, Ace returns to his desk, trips over the power cord and promptly spills tea all over his laptop computer. The  On Power  light fizzles out as the screen displays erratic lines and bizarre characters before blanking out.

An employee has just called in sick, so Ace mops the tea from his desk and then sits down at the desk computer of the employee who has called in sick. He fires it up, logs back into his online property management account, and receives the results of the background and credit screening report and then accepts electronic payment of the application fee.

Realizing that he now needs to cover for the employee who is out sick, he checks the team s consolidated online calendar to see what commitments the sick employee has for that day. In addition to his own scheduled move-in appointments and move-out inspections that morning, he discovers additional appointments that he will need to handle for his coworker before noon. So he schedules a property tour with the applicant for 1pm.

After a morning of appointments in the field, Ace meets for lunch with a prospective owner client who is considering Mount Ogden Property Management Company to handle his apartment building.

The prospect s current property management company never seems to be responsive enough to maintenance requests, the retention rate is lower and the vacancy rate is higher than average for their local market. The prospect recounts how, one time, his property management company sent him his monthly check and it never arrived in his mailbox, so he had to request that they cut him another check.

Ace listens carefully to the prospect s frustrations and needs before describing what Mount Ogden Property Management Company can do for him because of their online property management software product subscription. When Ace describes his ability to post online brochures and applications to dozens of rental websites, the prospect realizes out loud that he can probably now ditch paying for classifieds in the local newspaper.

By the time Ace has finished describing the benefits of tenant portals that receive recurring electronic rental payments and maintenance requests, and owner portals that provide access to reports according to owner preferences (plus the fact that he can pay the owner electronically), Ace shakes hands with a new owner-client.

Back in the office after lunch and the 1pm property tour, Ace notices that his dead desktop computer has now been removed but not yet replaced, so he returns to the office of his sick co-worker and logs back into the online property management system. He converts the applicant to renter status in the system and then  unposts  the online vacancy web flyers for that listing from a dozen rental websites.

He then reviews his messages and sees that a vendor has just submitted a work order estimate to repair a broken switch on a Jacuzzi tub. The system has flagged the estimate as being above the threshold of Mount Ogden Property Management s spending authority. He sends the estimate to the owner for approval.

While he is in the tenant account, he sees that the tenant has electronically paid the late fees that he owes. So Ace clicks to allow the late fees to pass through to Mount Ogden Property Management since the owner-client has agreed that the management company can keep 100 percent of late fees collected.

After making another cup of peppermint tea, Aces returns and carefully puts the cup down twelve inches away from the keyboard.

He checks an alert that has been set up to remind him to change furnace filters within one week of each new season. He posts a community message to the tenant portal for an apartment building to alert them to the fact that their furnace filters will be replaced between 10am and 2pm on Wednesday of the following week and then assigns the project to a vendor via the vendor portal.

Another alert shows him that a lease is coming up for renewal, so he sends a message to the tenant to arrange a lease renewal.

He then looks at an online log of telephone inquiries to see which ones still need responses from team members. The co-worker who is out sick is responsible for a big new marketing campaign, so Ace looks at the messages assigned to the sick co-worker and returns calls and logs notes into the shared online system so that when he returns, the co-worker can see which calls were responded to along with conversation details.

Feeling on top of the tactical chores for the day, Ace now turns to strategic marketing concerns. He analyzes the marketing portal to understand the ratio of page views to inquiries. For the vacancy listings that are receiving many views but few inquiries or applications, he wonders whether they might be priced too high. Upon further online research, he discovers a cluster of listings in a neighborhood where rents are declining. He makes some adjustments to the prices to bring them in line with the current market and then automatically updates them on multiple rental websites in a single operation.

Ace s manager sticks his head in the door and says that Ace s desktop computer will be out for repair for four days. The manager asks Ace if he would not mind bringing his personal laptop in for the next four days until the desktop computer can be repaired. Ace tells him that he already brought his own laptop in but that he spilled tea on it so it is also dead.

Ace asks his manager to pay to repair his personal laptop because of the accident. The manager refuses to repair Ace s personal laptop, but says that there is an old computer in the janitor s closet that can at least bring up a browser and Ace is welcome to use it to access the online property management system until his desktop is repaired.

Ace Lessor takes a few deep breaths, counts to ten, and slips out of the office early that day.

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