Innovation & SiteLink Features

umopapisdn Registered User

As a site administrator, I was hoping to initiate a dialogue around a. non-conventional or experimental methodology you've implemented that has become an effective tool for your day to day administration, and b. SiteLink features you've considered or requested that you think could simplify or improve overall operations. 

1. Methodology - something we've implemented at our facility is a quick, text-based authorization code for quick "oops, I forgot" payments. We use one of the text messaging services to automate past due notices every few days, and since you can edit what those automated messages say as well as automated responses, we've added a line that basically says something like ".. past due, etc.. to authorize a payment using the card you have on file, reply PAYNOW". We receive anywhere between 10 to 15 PAYNOW texts within the first few days of the day the late fee applies, and they trickle in consistently throughout the month. It's been an effectively non-invasive way to remind and process payments for tenants without direct contact. To that point, if you haven't already, adjusting your settings to allow the system to save CC payments to the tenant's account without autodrafting it every month has saved a lot of time by not needing to reenter card information every month if the tenant has already used that card. Hence, making it possible to really drive the PAYNOW system home. Even when people come in to pay, I just have them verify the last 4 digits of the card for an extra sense of confidence (especially over the phone), and they're in and out of the office in a few seconds without having to do much more than say "yes, 1234". We've also implemented a touch screen monitor to compliment the eSign process. Two monitors, one computer. When not being signed, the second monitor acts as an actively changing display for upcoming changes, events, promotions, etc, then when it's time for someone to sign, we press two keys to display their contract on the second monitor where they use their finger to initial and sign, they pay and then they're done. It's so quick, the speed still makes me feel like I forgot something sometimes. Technically speaking, if there were a way to automatically dispense the complimentary locks we offer as well as remove the site's locks, administration could largely take place remotely, save for actual maintenance like cleaning, repairs, etc. Even then, since new tenants can eSign from home, I've added an outdoor lockbox inside the gate with an adjustable combination that I can effectively remove our lock, place theirs on the unit myself and leave the keys in the box with a unique code (usually their gate code) they can pick up at their earliest convenience. We also have a ton of movies and books in the office for buy/rent/exchange that tenants really seem to enjoy.
Another simple and underutilized tool in general is color-coded locks. We have specified colors to identify the status of any units that are, say, set for auction (red) or an occupied unit that doesn't have a lock. It's a super helpful way to include more detail about a unit without having to do any extra research during simple tasks like auditing.

What are some things you've added to your site to make it more fun, unique, or effective?

2. SiteLink Features - One of SiteLink's criteria, among other things, for adding new features is the frequency in which that particular feature is made, so if 30 facilities request a feature- it's more likely to be added. I've made an effort to train myself to identify a challenge from seemingly inconvenient or inefficient circumstances as a solvable problem, but as it's understandably not everyone's mode or priority to do so, some of the features that may be added to SiteLink that could benefit all facilities may not always go as far as to take the time to type or explain a possible solution to SiteLink support. Some facilities may not even consider feature requests as a way to improve the products they use or know how to if they do have suggestions- which would make it seem as though there may be some features that are overlooked simply because of its complexity or that it's uncertain whether it would be generally beneficial with very few requests for it, if any, from other facilities, so I was hoping to list a couple suggestions I've made as well as get your feedback with suggestions you've requested, considered or your thoughts on the few I've requested while using SiteLink. Some of the features I've requested:
1. An actual app with a live UI that can interact with your site's environment to show you real-time data on tenants and units without having to go through the mobile MyHub. I've found printing maps doesn't always do the most when auditing because you can't see who, what, or why there is an inconsistency between site and map data, so to, for ex. use your phone's camera to point at a unit, recognize its number (based on your setup beforehand) and display tenant info. or options for you to go from there... I've added a picture of what I've thought it could look like. 
This is admittedly the most complex feature, as I'm not entirely lost on the amount of code, labor, and overall effort required to implement- but I think the benefit would be equally significant for smooth administration. Thoughts?

2. I love that you can add SMS forms to send to tenants, especially since it includes some of the HTML keywords for quick entries relative to site and tenant. One thing I've noticed, though, is that there isn't a keyword to add the link to the tenant's eSign contract. It's only currently generated to be sent as an e-mail, but I think everyone could agree that people are more responsive to text messages than e-mails they may not check very often ( I don't), so I thought adding a keyword to generate that link in a text message would make the signing process a lot smoother for both parties. 

3. Speaking of e-mails, how many of you get those tenants that "don't use e-mail"? It's understandable for some, but then there are those you know just don't want to get "junk" mail when all we really want to do is save wasted paper and physical stamps needed to mail a receipt. It's nearly impossible to contact some older tenants that have neither e-mail, text messages, or voicemail with the only LAN line they've provided without sending them notices in the mail- which takes days for any tangible course of action.. I thought SiteLink could add an edge to its already dominant presence in the industry by adding an option to automatically generate an email address on a server that is specific to your facility. If a tenant has their own email, great, but if not, you can select "generate email" or whatever during the move-in process, and the @ address would be, for example., eliminating the excuse of no email so the tenant can receive and view their receipts and make payments online either through the website or the email platform, which doesn't need to be complex- it's basically just a cloud drive with limited access. And their username (email) and password they can set at move-in can be displayed on their contract just like their gate code. Less paper, guaranteed option for tenants to make payments online and receive receipts. 

4. I have a few more, but this is too long already so I'll just end with the request to give sites the ability to customize the colors used on our maps. It seems there are more scenarios than just "vacant", "occupied, and "overlocked", and even then we can't add or change what each color means. For instance, as stated above, we use color coded locks (that we paint, so the keys are still universal), it'd be nice to add a color and status for units set to auction, so if I see a red lock, my map should show a red unit ('cause I've set red to mean auction and orange to mean overlocked or past due- cause how practical are scheduled move out dates for your facility, I mean REALLY). That way, I can look at the map (or the above) see a red unit and lock, and move on.

Forgive the lengthy post, but I'm curious about your ideas, requests, and thoughts on how some of the requests we've made would benefit (or not benefit) your day to day operations. Ex. How do some of you manage things like merchandise and inventory or incorporate social media into your businesses marketing..



  • teamcapitola
    teamcapitola Registered User, Daily Operations Certified, Advanced Operations Certified, Administrator Certified, myHub Certified ✭✭✭✭✭
    I've been waiting 10 Years for any sort of Spellcheck in tenants notes.
  • JulieAton
    JulieAton Registered User ✭✭✭
    I've been waiting 10 Years for any sort of Spellcheck in tenants
    And to be able to pin a note to the top!!   Spellcheck in emails would be helpful also! 

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