RentHQ is Moving

RentHQ is moving to new servers.

The new server is up and running already at https://www.RentHQ.co. A few test accounts and the demo account is already using it.

The new server should offer increased stability and reliability.  The new server is the Microsoft Windows Azure server, which means it is run and managed by one of the largest IT companies in the world.

For the most part you wont even notice the move.  You will still be able to log in from either the old RentHQ.net or the new RentHQ.co web sites.  The software has been redesigned to automatically determine which server your account is on, and will talk to the appropriate server behind the scenes.  This includes existing logins for landlords, tenants and contractors.  The exception is the mobile managers login.  After your account has been moved, when you try to log in from the wrong server, you will be given instructions to go to the appropriate web site to continue logging in.

To minimise disruption, accounts will be moved across one at a time over the coming weeks.  Smaller accounts with no attachments or who use dropbox for their attachments will be moved first.

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New Report – Vacancy Days

RentHQ has a new report called Vacancy Days, which lists each property, and prints the number of days it has been vacant as well as a total vacancy days percentage.  You get to choose the date range to analyse.  This report is found under Analysis Reports on the reports screen.

This is great for finding out which properties are under or over performing.

The report automatically excludes any property which has never had a tenant.  It also ignores the time prior to the first tenant moving in.  For example you may choose to run the report for the last 10 years, but one property was only acquired 1 year ago.  The report is not going to say that property has been vacant for 9 years.

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Import photos directly off your camera

You can now import photos and videos directly off your camera into RentHQ as attachments.

Note – This only applies to the Windows 10 app version of RentHQ. The browser version does not have access to your camera.

This applies to digital cameras and phone cameras as well as digital card readers and even USB flash drives.

To import photos directly into RentHQ…

  1. Go to the Attachments tab on the tenant, owner, property or inspection screens and press the Camera button.
  2. Choose which device you want to import your photos from. This device needs to be connected prior to pressing the Camera button.
  3. Press the Find Files button. This will scan your camera or device looking for photos. A list of photos with a small thumbprint image will be listed on the screen.
  4. Use the checkbox next to each image to select which files you want to import.
  5. Press the Import button. For each selected photo, you will be presented with the standard RentHQ Attachment screen, where you get to give the photo a description before the final upload.
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Google Maps Address Lookup

Google maps is great for looking up property addresses. RentHQ already uses Google maps for displaying the location of a property on a map.  However the accuracy of the map is dependent on the accuracy of the address information entered into RentHQ.

Now RentHQ will do an automatic google maps address lookup when entering or changing property addresses.  RentHQ will show a list of address lookup matches, and you can choose to select one of those addresses to help populate the rest of the address information.

You can choose to ignore the google maps address if a match can not be found, for example if this is a new property address that google maps does not know about.

Note – this works better and faster with the Windows 10 app version of RentHQ.  The app version would therefore be better of doing a lot of data entry.

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Scan documents directly into RentHQ

You can now use your scanner to scan documents directly into RentHQ and add them as attachments to tenants or owners or properties or property inspections.

Note – This only applies to the Windows 10 app version of RentHQ.  The browser version does not have access to your scanner.  This also may not work with older scanners.

To scan documents directly into RentHQ…

  1. Go to the Attachments tab on the tenant, owner, property or inspections screens and press the new Scanner button.
  2. Choose your scanner preferences using the selection of dropdown boxes.
  3. Next just press the Scan button.  This will scan the document(s) that are sitting in the scanner.
  4. You will be provided with a Preview link to view the file you have just scanned.
  5. If you are happy with the preview, just Save it.  This will upload the scanned file to RentHQ and save it as an attachment.
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Windows 10 App Updates

A new update has been released which only affects the Windows 10 app version of RentHQ.  A number of people have provided feedback on the Windows 10 app usability, so this update is to address those issues.

  • The scrolling tabs used in windows 10 have been replaced with something that now looks a lot more like the Silverlight browser version of the tabs.
  • The scrolling date picker has been replaced with a date picker that again looks a lot more like the browser version.  This is the old school calendar date picker.
  • The drop down combo box now behaves more like the browser version as well.  You can start typing the first few characters of the thing you want to select and it will find the closest match.

As a windows 10 user, I think you will find these changes are easier to use.  The scrolling behaviour found in Windows 10 is better suited to touch screens, however RentHQ is more likely to be used with a mouse than a touch screen.

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Adding photos to work orders via mobile phone

Using the Contractors login, you can now add attachments to a work order via your mobile phone.  This could be a photo taken from the phone, or another file already on the phone.

This enables contractors to take photos of the work completed, and have these automatically uploaded to RentHQ for the manager to see.  The contractor can also see the files uploaded for their records as well.

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RentHQ customers worldwide spread

Have you ever wondered where in the world RentHQ is being used?  Strangely enough, so did I.  So I decided to find out.

You can now view a world map showing where currently managed properties are located by going to
www.RentHQ.net/mapdata.aspx

There is some important information regarding this map.
Not all properties are represented.  Actually only a small proportion can be represented.  This is because we can only show properties which have complete addresses.  For example a property with a street address but no suburb or city is not specific enough to establish where in the world that property is located.  You can check if one of your properties has a specific enough address by clicking the ‘pin’ button to the right of the property address on the property details screen in RentHQ.
We have also hidden the exact location of a property.  Each pin on the map is accurate to within approximately 11km or 6.8 miles of the actual location of the property.  As a result some pins have ended up in the ocean, and multiple properties in similar locations could be shown as a single pin or number.

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Work Orders on the Mobile Phone

The RentHQ mobile companion software has been enhanced to include Work Orders.

This means when you are using the mobile phone or tablet, and viewing property details, you can now view the work orders associated with that property as well.

Not only that, but you can also create new work orders while on the go.  These work orders will appear back in the main RentHQ software just like any other work order.

This is ideal for anyone who uses the mobile software when doing property inspections.  If you notice something that needs repairing, you can now log it straight away so it does not get forgotten about.

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Issue with blank report screens

Over the last week or so a number of customers have had an issue when printing reports.  What they are seeing is a blank grey screen where the report output should be.

The issue seems to be an issue with Adobe Acrobat in Internet Explorer 11.  Adobe say they are looking into it and should have a fix shortly.  If you read the following web page, you will see a lot of other people are having the same issue with different software products.  A staff comment on October 28 suggests they have a fix, and will be sending it out shortly.

https://forums.adobe.com/thread/2221850

As a temporary workaround, when the blank screen opens, copy the web page URL and past it into a different browser such as Chrome or Firefox or Safari or the Edge browser.

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