Friday, February 16, 2018

Simplify Your Life with Recurring Tasks!

It takes a lot of work to keep your building running smoothly. The Maintenance module is one of the most popular and oft-used tools in the BuildingLink platform, and the Recurring Tasks feature makes a good thing even better! If you want to change the way your team handles and tracks repeating maintenance duties, read on for a complete walkthrough of this powerful feature.

Where to Find It

The Recurring Task function is located inside the Maintenance module:

Click on the Recurring Tasks link and you’ll see two options: Recurring Tasks and Recurring Tasks Forecast. The first option is where you set up and edit recurring tasks. The second lets you choose a date range and see all the recurring tasks for that period (more on that later).

Setting Up A New Task

Let’s dive into setting up a Recurring Task! To start, click on the “Create New Task” button:

The top of this page looks just like setting up a new (one-time) Maintenance request:

Here, you can specify the unit number, leave a detailed description, assign it to a maintenance category (as well as to an equipment item or employee), and all the other usual criteria that you typically apply to a task.

Next set up the scheduling attributes, the heart of the recurring task module:

Timing intervals for tasks include every day, every weekday, specific weekdays, monthly, and much more. You can pick your weekdays, months of the year, and set start and end dates for the recurrence of the task. You can even put tasks on hold for specific parts of the year (e.g., if the pool is closed for the winter, you can set the weekly task “pool cleaning” to suspend for a few months and resume when it reopens).

How Long Can a Task Run For?

Forever, if you want! Choose “No End Date” and the task will continue to recur indefinitely. If you have an end date in mind for when a task should stop recurring, you can enter it, or a task can be programmed to recur a set number of times, then stop.

What Can I Do with a Recurring Task?

Anything you want, really! Set annual maintenance reminders for when important equipment like boilers and elevators are due to be inspected or serviced, program daily or weekly cleaning duties, and literally anything else that needs doing around your building.

Once the task is in the system, you’ll see it in your Recurring Task Forecast. Of course, on the date you’ve set for the recurrence, it’ll appear along with all other maintenance requests for your building. 

You can interact with each recurrence like any other maintenance request: leaving detailed notes, adding photos or documents, composing vendor work orders, and more.

An Important Reminder About Dates

Let’s say you have a recurring task to inspect your building’s boiler. You want it done by October 1st, so you go into BuildingLink and create a recurring task for every year to remind you. However, the system notifies you on the date you set, not the date you necessarily need to be notified by in order to get the task done by the target date you have in mind. To make sure you have the lead time you need to handle larger projects, it can be helpful to set two (or more) tasks in the system: one (or more) a few weeks beforehand to remind yourself, and then the final one at the actual due date you need the task finished by. You’ll see all these tasks listed in your Recurring Tasks Forecast.

What’s In the Forecast?

The Recurring Task Forecast is your window into the future of your upcoming tasks.

Once you have Recurring Tasks programmed in the system, you can view them in a variety of ways to suit your planning needs. Choose your date range, maintenance category, equipment item, task type, and whether or not to show the task descriptions. The system will display the recurring tasks that fit your criteria. It’s a great way to get ahead of your to-do list!

Wrapping Up

The Recurring Tasks module is a powerful tool for helping you plan your maintenance needs ahead of time and keep your building running smoothly.

If you’re already a BuildingLink customer and want more help setting up Recurring Tasks, the Support Team is standing by to serve you. Call or email today and let us help you get the most out of your subscription! 

Not a BuildingLink customer? Set up a demo and see how Recurring Tasks and our whole host of other amazing features can make your building smarter and your residents’ lives better.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Stay up-to-date on all things BuildingLink! Check out the new-and-improved releases that happened in the last month!

  • New “By Location" Building Library Setting Added: The new “by location” filter allows managers to make documents viewable only by specific residents tied to physical locations. You can customize the physical locations to suit your layout, e.g. Tower 1, Tower 2, North Tower, South Tower, etc.
  • New Special Permission Added: “Allow Staff to Update Resident Info.” Security Officers and Managers can now allow staff to edit/update resident contact information and unit information.

  • New “Welcome Pages” Enabled in Beta for Most Properties: Residents in these buildings see an updated and streamlined version of the “new user sequence” the first time they log in.
  • Exportable “Notes” Field Added to All Employee Profiles.
  • Updated Basic Login Page: Users can now add a custom image to their login pages via the Design Center.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Resident Insurance Tracking: Peace of Mind for Your Building

In this issue, we introduce you to our powerful, new resident insurance information module. Though we only released it a few months ago, users have already uploaded over 10,000 policy records! Now, we’re going public with how it works, what problems it can solve for you, and how to use its new automated email feature that we know you’ll love. Plus, a taste of the activity we're already seeing!

Resident Insurance Tracking

Are you excited about your current process for handling resident insurance policy info and compliance communications? Maybe not.

Tracking insurance policy hard copies, figuring out which units are covered, and staying on top of upcoming expiration dates can be a big time-sink.

Nevertheless, your building’s insurance information obviously must be kept current—disasters big and small can strike at any time. When a leak in 4B floods three other apartments, will you be digging through an overflowing filing cabinet, filled with paperwork, only to find that 4B’s policy expired months ago?

The Big Picture

Our new Resident Insurance module keeps your residents’ insurance info online, up-to-date, and easily accessible. It’s designed to highlight and help you quickly deal with expiring policies. It also lets your residents input their insurance info themselves - which means your staff will not be doing all of the manual data-entry.

Ready to hear how this new module can work for you? We’ve broken it down into five sections:

     1. Entering your existing insurance policy information
     2. Setting and communicating your property’s resident insurance requirements
     3. Collecting insurance information you don’t yet have
     4. Connecting residents with insurance providers
     5. Keeping policies current

Entering Your Existing Insurance Policy Information

Gather up your existing spreadsheets, notes, and scanned-in or physical copies of resident insurance policies, and put it all into BuildingLink! You can enter policy start and end dates, carrier and agent info, and coverage details and limits. Upload hardcopies of the actual policies, or certificates of insurance. Once it’s in BuildingLink, your data can be displayed, sorted, searched, filtered, and updated - plus, individual policies can be retrieved as needed.

The convenient Insurance Visualization dashboard displays your building’s complete insurance picture at a glance: (1) what percentage of residents are in compliance, (2) which units have coverage, (3) how many policies have expired, (4) what the range of coverage limits area, and (5) who has been ignoring the automated reminders they have received. The dashboard also provides graphs showing which insurance providers your residents are choosing, so you can see trends or make suggestions to residents who have not yet purchased insurance.

Setting and Communicating Your Property’s Resident Insurance Requirements

Does your building require insurance? How much coverage do residents need to have? Save yourself from repeatedly having to answer these and other resident questions by setting and posting your building’s exact coverage requirements to BuildingLink. Every building is different, so we put the power in your hands: under “Insurance Settings,” you can communicate whether homeowners and/or renters insurance is required, and specify the minimum coverage amounts for both Personal Liability and Personal Property/Contents. Your residents will appreciate knowing the details, and getting it right the first time!

Collecting the Insurance Information You Don’t Yet Have—the Easy Way!

Okay, you’ve set your building’s insurance requirements, but you have never collected this info from your residents. So, how are you going to get started? Do you need to chase down all your residents to get the policy information you are missing?

Answer: NO.

Let BuildingLink Automation help. We provide you with 5 different automated emails that you can customize for different insurance situations - each of which leads your residents to submit their information into the Resident Insurance database. With one click, you can email all of your residents who are missing coverage information, reach out before a new tenant moves in, or when a policy is about to expire. Your automated messages go out to only the relevant residents, with wording that you’ve customized to suit your needs.

Connecting Residents with Insurance Providers

Shopping for insurance can be a hassle. We’ve helped make life easier for those residents who don’t have insurance and want it, by providing links to some of the leading insurance companies inside the BuildingLink platform.

Plus, via a special relationship with Lemonade, residents in certain states can even purchase a policy entirely online, without having to speak to a human! (Apparently, millennials like this sort of thing.) Another thing millennials- and everyone- will love: thanks to our powerful API, Lemonade users can have their insurance details automatically go straight from Lemonade into your BuildingLink dashboard.

Keeping Policies Current

Getting your residents’ insurance policy information is only the beginning of how we can help. You’ve got to keep that info current, but you don’t want to spend all your time chasing after your residents to maintain your records. That’s where email automation is your friend: just set an automated message to go out whenever a resident’s policy is approaching its expiration date, and they’ll receive an email reminding them to updatetheir policy and info. (And, recording a policy renewal is a snap for you and your residents; there’s no need to reenter all of a unit’s insurance information from scratch.)

Want more information on Resident Insurance Tracking? Check out this help page for complete details and instructions, or call our awesome Support team and get the personalized service you need!

Love Automation? There’s More on the Way!

Automated emails are one your most powerful tools for creating a robust communications system for your building – a tool that gets your message out when and how you want, freeing you up to do other things. This feature in the resident insurance information module is our first attempt at shifting a task that building managers spent a lot of time doing manually over to residents. Let our automated email system free up you and your staff to focus on more vital matters. What else could you do with more free time, thanks to automated systems? You’re about to find out, as more automated communications systems are on their way!

How Are People Using This Module?

Since launching the Resident Insurance Compliance Module, managers and residents have created over 10,000 profiles! That number grows every day as more and more communities discover how powerful and useful it is. To wrap up this info-packed missive, here are two fun facts that we’re already seeing about the ways residents and managers are using it.

1. Who’s Inputting the Data?

One of this module’s most powerful features is the ability for anyone - resident or manager - to enter insurance data. So, who’s actually sitting down and doing the work? Overwhelmingly the answer is : the staff, but residents will do it. Check out this chart:

2. Are Policy Copies Being Uploaded?

Adding PDF of insurance forms is one of the most useful things you can do with this module. But, are people taking advantage of it? Yes! Overall, almost twice as many entries have attachments with them vs those that don’t:

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

January 2018 Feature Releases

Stay up-to-date on all things BuildingLink! Check out the new-and-improved releases that happened in the last month!

  • Initial launch of the “Management Company Dashboard” that displays data and analytics to senior executives on all properties they manage
  • New “Fitness Center” dashboard more clearly shows Aware-FC subscribers the current status of equipment usage in the gym
  • new public site has been released, with streamlined content and design for quicker navigation
  • Launch of our experimental “WalkMe” guided assistance button, for managers and staff
  • Universal time adjustments were applied to the Recurring Tasks generator and the nightly Shift Log Summary email, so that they are sent at midnight based on each property’s local time
  • Users can now “Clone” and further customize any of the existing Email Design Templates
  • New vaccination fields (Vaccination Information, Vaccination Date, Weight) have been added to the Pet Registry record
  • Security Officers can now review the new 'Employee Login Audit' report for key login history of their all employees’ site activity, including Date/Time, Browser Type, and IP Address
  • Updated  the “My Account” resident site header, to show the resident’s account balance

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Announcing ImageR: Your One-Step Package Solution

Fifteen years ago, BuildingLink revolutionized how buildings log and track packages, adding a powerful delivery solution to our robust suite of property-management services. Today, we’ve done it again by asking one simple question:

What if the package check-in process were one step? Who would do it any other way?

No one, that’s who! With BuildingLink’s ImageR™, your lightning-fast one-step package solution is here! You’ll never need to do it the old way again.

We named our invention ImageR because it uses Image Recognition, artificial intelligence, and Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology to make the check-in process effortless.

How effortless? Just take out your Android device (with the GEO® by BuildingLink app on it), tap the ImageR icon, and point the camera at the shipping label. When you hear the distinctive two-tone beep, that means you’ve logged the package successfully. Then, press “Save.” That’s it!

ImageR works like magic. It takes a multi-step process and reduces it to just one—snapping an image of the label. It’s fast, it’s easy, and it’s fun! Every time that app beeps, you and your staff will smile, knowing that you’re saving a ton of time. Let BuildingLink’s AI- and OCR-powered solution crush your tedious package-tracking workload.

What is ImageR?

ImageR is a new AI-powered feature within the GEO app that’ll save your building’s team tons of time by turning your Android device into a label reader, barcode scanner, data parser, and resident name matcher, all in one.

Is the package log-in process with ImageR really just one step?

Yes! Don’t take our word for it, check out this quick video and see for yourself. Go ahead, we’ll wait.

See? It’s so simple! Anytime you need to log in a package, click on the blue ImageR eye icon inside GEO and point your device’s camera at the package label. A distinctive pair of beeps tells you it’s successfully captured the information. You’ll be able to confirm that the correct resident and package info has populated into the various fields, and have the option to add a description. Hit “save”, and you’re done! The notification automatically goes to the resident and you move on to the next package, or the next task. ImageR works on dry-cleaning, florist, and pharmacy labels too!

How fast is it?

ImageR cuts your average package-handling and -entry time from 52 seconds down to about 8 seconds. Think of the hundreds of packages that your building staff checks in each week. Now think of all the time and mistakes that ImageR will save them. It brings you speed, accuracy, and friendly beeps in one package.

What data does ImageR actually capture?

ImageR uses powerful AI and OCR systems to pull in the writing on the address label, figure out who the right recipient is, find them in your building database, confirm the unit number, and create the notification that a package has arrived for them. Multiple barcodes on a label? No problem—ImageR figures out which one is the tracking number, who the carrier is, and selects the correct event type (i.e. FedEx, Amazon, etc.).

Does ImageR also speed up the step of closing out package deliveries? 

Yup. Just open up ImageR and scan the label of the package to be handed out to any resident. ImageR’s AI system automatically pulls up the right record, then the resident can enter their signature (right on the device), you click “close,” and it’s done!

Isn't this what a regular barcode scanner does?

Nope. It's much more! A barcode scanner just captures the barcode; ImageR  pulls in all the information on the label (name, unit, barcode, shipper) and matches it to your resident database and event type list at the same time.

Can I still use the full version of the site while using ImageR?

Of course! ImageR can be used in conjunction with the site or on its own.

Can I use ImageR for other purposes, like scanning visitor IDs?

Great question! Not yet. But we’re working on it!

How do I get ImageR?

If you’ve got an Android device, you’re just a click or two away from having ImageR. Download the latest GEO by BuildingLink app from the Google Play store, or update your existing GEO app to the current version (V2.0.0), then look for the ImageR icon when you open up the app.

Don't have an Android device and wondering which one you should pick up for best results with ImageR? 

We're recommending the Motorola G+, 5th Edition. Still have questions about devices? Email and we'll be happy to help.

Can I get ImageR on my iOS device?

Unfortunately, not at this time. The unique computer vision technology powering ImageR is currently available only for Android. We’re busily seeking out a toolkit for iOS, and as soon as we have an iOS version of ImageR, we will let you know!