New Android app can now take photos as attachments

The new Android app now has the ability to take photos and add them as attachments using the phones camera.

You can also select existing photos from the Androids photo gallery and add them as attachments as well.  Although if you have a lot of existing photos to add, the Windows 10 App would still be a quicker way to add multiple photos.

The new Android app is available in the app store.

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New quick inspection comments saves you time during inspections

A new feature has been added which allows you to create a pre-defined list of inspection result comments.  For example a comment might be ‘Needs cleaning’.  As this is a comment you might use regularly, you can add it to a pre-defined list, and then just select it from a dropdown list when completing your inspections.  This saves you the need to manually type the comment each time.

The new pre-defined list of comments is found under the Functions/Setup/Inspection Comments menu option.

This feature is available in the browser version, the Windows 10 app version, and the mobile web site.  The new android app will also get this feature in future.

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New RentHQ Android App

A new Android version of RentHQ has just been released to the Android App Store. This is just in time for the holidays, as I know how much you like doing property management stuff during your holidays 🙂
This new version does about 80% of what the desktop software can do. So you can create, edit, and delete tenants, owners, properties, transactions, work orders etc.

The new version also does a few things the desktop software cant do, such as making a phone call to one of your contacts or sending SMS/TXT messages directly from the phone. RentHQ does not charge you for these SMS/TXT messages, although your phone service provider might.

Because of the restrictions of a mobile device which normally has a much small screen and less capacity, a number of functions wont be available in the App.  There are also some functions which are not available at the moment, but may get added back in later if there enough call for it.

A notable omission in this first version is Inspections. This is an important function for the mobile version so time will be taken to make sure it is designed right.  The existing mobile web site it still available for inspections and non-android devices.

You need Android version 5 or higher. Low spec devices will struggle, as RentHQ screens have a lot going on. This app has not been tested on all devices, so I would be keen to know how it works on yours.  Just search for RentHQ in the Android app store.

A quick video overview of the new app can be found here

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RentHQ and OneDrive Integration

RentHQ can now integrate with Microsoft’s OneDrive.

This works the same as the existing Dropbox integration.  All attachment files are sent to your OneDrive account automatically every time you add a new attachment. Also like Dropbox, you can set up an automatic database backup to your OneDrive account on a scheduled basis.

To set up OneDrive integration, go to the Functions => Setup => Options menu and choose the Dropbox/OneDrive tab and choose to allow RentHQ integration.

Note that you can only use Dropbox or OneDrive, but not both.  You also cant switch Dropbox or OneDrive accounts after they have been created.

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New Training Video – Scanners and Cameras

This new training video shows how to scan documents off your scanner and grab photos off your camera/phone and import them directly into RentHQ.

These are not new functions, but the video is.  Enjoy.

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New Business Entities

A new function called Business Entities has been created.

A business entity is an organisation owned by the RentHQ account owners.  For example if you are a property manager, then your property management business would be a business entity.  For a landlord who has a company or a trust or properties in their own name, each of those would be a Business Entity in RentHQ.

The purpose of creating business entities is to allow separate reporting for each business entity.  For people who only have 1 business entity, this new function has no effect on you.

With the creation of Business Entities, the previous <General> property which you find on the cashbook screen has been replaced with the business entity name.  So if you have multiple business entities, you would have multiple <General> type properties.

You can create or rename entities using the Functions/Setup/Business Entities menu option.

A video tutorial can be found here

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Attachments Gallery View

Attachments in RentHQ have been enhanced to allow you to quickly view the existing attachment images without opening each attachment one at a time.  This is done using the new Gallery View option.

At the bottom of the attachments screen below the list is 2 new options labelled ‘List View’ and ‘Gallery View’.  List view is always the default selected option.  Clicking the Gallery View option will add a small image into each row, as long as that row is in fact an image.  Other files such as PDF files will just show a blank space.

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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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