Recurring Expenses Now Supported in SimpleRent

We've just completed another update to SimpleRent - in response to some great feedback, we decided to add the ability to create recurring expenses. So now you can - here's how:

Access Expenses either from the Accounting --> Expenses Only menu or the Income & Expenses menu (these are available to users on paid plans only).

Click "New Expense Entry" - the Add New Expense Entry screen appears:

Click the new "recurring entry" button next to the Date field 

The date is now irrelevant since the item you're creating with recur, based on your settings.  Notice that a new set of fields/controls are shown on the screen:

You can choose to have your expense entry recur Monthly, Weekly, or Daily. Depending on what you choose, different options will be available - you should choose what day or day of the week the item will recur, and when it will start.  For monthly and weekly scenarios, you should choose how many weeks/months the item will repeat.  We've set a limit here to avoid recurrence iterating out of control, so if you need to extend recurrence beyond a years worth (for example), just add a second recurring item for the second year.  For daily recurring entries, you must specify specifically when the recurrence will end.

Once you've set up the recurrence pattern, everything about the entry (amount, accounting code, description, unit, vendor, etc) will be duplicated for each recurring entry and they will be created and saved.

Each recurring item will be shown with the recurrence icon:

Clicking this icon will show all the entries in the same series:

The recurring entries are loosely linked, so there's nothing stopping you from deleting a specific entry in the series, or modifying it slightly as appropriate after they are created. We view the recurring feature more as a way to quickly create a number of very similar expense entries with little effort, and the recurrence shouldn't prevent you from working with those entries any differently than any other expense record.  We believe we've struck the right balance here between feature and flexibility.

Hope this helps in your accounting efforts!

 

 

Full Data Search Now Added to SimpleRent

Happy New Year!  We've just added a new feature to SimpleRent that we hope you will love using.

Until now, you could always search for just about anything you wanted, any field from any screen - as long as you were filtering and searching the units/properties screens for unit data, or searching the work order screens for work order data, for example.

But we thought it might be nice to quickly search across tenants, units, work orders, and vendors in one place.  So, without further ado, we give you Full Data Search!

To use it, just look for the Search icon at the top of any screen:

Click it, and the search textbox appears.

Start typing a unit nickname or address, or a tenant name, email address, or phone number.  You can also search vendor names, vendor email/phone, work order #s, work order descriptions, etc.  As you type, search results will start to appear:

You can click the search result item link (the "John Wick" text in the above example), and you will be taken to that record's details:

Or, click the "pencil" icon next to the search results, and you'll be taken to the record's edit page:

We hope you enjoy using this feature to quickly jump to the data you need; as always if you have any questions or suggestions, please reach out and let us know!

 

Bulk Rent Roll Waivers & Deletes

We noticed on the Rent Roll that it was fairly time consuming to make a lot of changes to the rent roll's receivables, particularly when you're just removing/waiving late fees and other items that you want to write off or forgive.

We just added a simple update to the Rent Roll screen to enable you to waive late fees or remove items from the Rent Roll in bulk, so you can take care of much of this pruning and maintenance in one fell swoop.  Here's how to use it..

On the Rent Roll screen, just use the checkboxes to select more than one item you want to remove:

Then, at the top of the page, notice that the 'Waive/Delete Multiple Items' button has appeared:

Click it, and a confirmation screen appears:

Click 'Waive/Delete Items' and the receivables will be removed (if the item is a regular receivable like Rent, etc) or waived (if the item is a calculated/incidental item like Late Fees usually are).

A record of the change will also be stored in the Rent Roll transaction log:

That's all there is to it!

Lease Templates

We recently updated SimpleRent to add a new feature called Lease Templates.  Not to be confused with our Document Templates (where you can create document templates for leases, forms, and letters), Lease Templates are designed to be used to save you time when you're creating and setting up new lease records in the system.

In other words, it's often time consuming (when you're new to SimpleRent or are adding lots of data) to repeatedly create lease records with multiple charges, fees, and settings, especially when your leases are often the same and share common characteristics. For example, many of our customers only have a couple of different lease configurations - a 'standard lease' that is comprised of rent, security deposit, and late fees, and maybe a 'custom lease' that might have additional fees such as utility fees, garage or parking rental, etc.

Lease Templates allow you to create 'templates' of common charges and settings and label them, creating a 'lease category' or type.  These types (templates) can then be re-used as starting points to quickly create leases & associated charges later.

To use this feature, create your first Lease Template, from the Leases menu/toolbar item:

Click "Lease Templates" and the Lease Templates screen appears:

To add your first Lease Template, click "Add New Lease Template":

The "Add New Lease" template popup screen appears:

Give your lease template a name (eg. "Standard Lease") and an optional description.  Click "Save & Configure Default Charges & Fees" to continue.

In the "Rent & Other Charges" area, click "Add Charge":

Add your first charge or fee to the template (for example, standard rent):

Click Save and repeat to add more standard charges (eg. security deposit, etc) to the template - keep in mind that you only want to add common, standard charges & fees to the lease that always are part of every (or most) leases you actually write.  You don't want to add corner cases, exceptions to the rule, custom one-off charges, or anything that isn't considered typical.  Lease templates should be re-usable, and as such, broad and representative of the majority of the leases you use in practice.  You can of course add any number of lease templates to account for all sorts of different scenarios.

Once you've added one or more Lease Templates, you're ready to use them when creating new Leases.

From the People or Units screens, add a new Lease and notice the "Copy Charges from Lease Template" link:

Clicking this link will let you select the Lease Template you previously created:

Choose the the Lease Template you selected and click "Select & Add Charges".

The charges & fees from the Lease Template are copied to the lease you are creating:

You can accept these default settings from the lease template or click the 'pencil' icon to further edit them if required; the point of this feature is that the lease templates can let you add preconfigured charges & fees to a lease much more quickly than doing each item manually and repeatedly.

 

Import Tenants & Units From Excel Spreadsheet

Today we released some updates to SimpleRent to allow you to import both tenants and units/properties by copying & pasting from an Excel spreadsheet, or any tab-delimited data source or file.

To get started, hover over the Tenants toolbar icon or the Units toolbar icon:

And choose Import From Spreadsheet..

The Import from Spreadsheet screen appears:

First make sure the data in your spreadsheet matches the columns required for import (in this case for Units, it's Nickname or Unit #, Address, City, State, Zip) and also make sure the column data is in the correct order.

Then select the data to import by highlighting and copying in Excel:

Step 1: Paste your data into the textbox:

Click the "Format Data" button to format and correct the data.  If your data is correctly ordered and tab-delimited in Excel (or Libre Office, or Notepad, etc.), your data will be organized into columns on screen:

Step 2:

Next, select the owner you want the data to be imported into (if applicable) and then click the Import Units button:

A new unit (or tenant, if you're importing tenants) will be created for each row you have pasted in from your spreadsheet.  If record creation fails for any particular record, you will see the erroneous record counts.  If you're trying to import more units than your current SimpleRent plan allows for (i.e. your current unit count + the number you're importing), a warning message will appear and you'll have to trim the number of records to fit into your plan.

Note: new units will be imported into the Vacant Units tab (since they aren't assigned to any tenants yet), and newly imported tenants will be created under the Prospective Tenants & Applicants tab (since these are new people entries and aren't active tenants yet).

 

Document Template Builders for Leases, Application Forms, and Electronic Signature!

Today we are introducing a new menu item called Documents:

It has places to store three types of document templates, "Leases, "Applications", and "Letters & Forms".  Here you can add new document templates using the text/html editor.  For example, click Leases and the leases screen appears:

Click 'Add New Lease' and you'll be taken to the 'Add New Document Template' page:

It is here that you can create predefined templates and insert things like form/text fields, radio (choice) buttons, check boxes, etc.

Much like Email Templates, each Document Template can be embedded with database field tags that allow the document to be personalized with individual tenant/person/unit/lease data.

You can also insert a 'signature' line, which (when the document is viewed by a tenant/applicant) will show a space where they can digitally sign their name using the mouse or their finger (on a phone/tablet).

Once you have all the documents you need created, the next thing you'll want to do is to send them to a tenant/applicant to have them sign it online.

To do that, click the Email Document menu item:

This will display the Mailbox screen, with a "New Message" tab preloaded:

You should first select the tenants/applicants you want to send the document to in the "To:" section.  You can also type an email address manually if you haven't already added this person as a tenant or applicant in SimpleRent.  Note that if you send the document to a manual email address and not a pre-defined tenant or applicant record, SimpleRent will email you the completed/signed form, but it will not ultimately save a copy of the completed form to the tenant's profile unless you pre-selected them here.

(Again, you should at least add one property, one tenant/person, and connect them with a valid lease record first before you try this, in order to get the full effect of these new features.)

Next, select the Email Template (if applicable) you want to use - this allows you to save time by not having to enter the subject and contents of the email each time - you can change the contents of this email in the "Email Templates" menu item at the top of the main toolbar:

The email subject and the message body should be displayed:

There is just one thing missing - the link to the Document you want the tenant/applicant to sign. Notice that this screen also has an "Insert Document Template Link" section:

First click into the document to place the cursor where you want the link to be inserted:

 

Then select the "Rental Application" option and click the "Insert" button.

A link to the document template is inserted into the email body, wherever you had placed your cursor:

Now you are ready to send the document - click the "Send Message" button and the email will be sent to the tenant/applicant.

The tenant will receive an email something like this:

When they click the link, they are taken to an online editable and signable form:


Each of the text fields, radio buttons, checkboxes, etc in the form can be edited by the tenant.  Because this document has a signature placeholder in it, they can also now sign it with their mouse:

When they are ready, the tenant can submit the form using the "Submit Document Now" button at the top - the document is submitted to you: