Friday, September 2, 2011

Our Favorite Things

You probably know by now that BuildingLink is vast. And by vast, we mean colossal. We're constantly adding new features, and we do our best to keep you apprised of what is going on. But since there are just so many cool things you can do with the software, it's possible there are some tools you haven't yet stumbled upon. We'd hate for you to miss out on anything--so we've gotten together a list of five of our favorite features. Some are old stand-bys and some are little-known, but all of them can be described in one word--AWESOME.

The Shift Log - Sharmi's Favorite!

Still using that big black book to jot down important notes? Is it filled with illegible scrawlings and coffee stains, faded ink and torn pages? STOP!! Go to your BuildingLink Dashboard, and click on that cute little orange bar that says "Shift Log." Here, you can transform that cumbersome log into a sharp, clean, and legible record of all the important day-to-day happenings you may want to notate. You can mark notes with a priority level, link them to specific apartments, and quickly search the entire log (nothing EVER disappears) for specific text or dates. And the best part is, everything you write is automatically name-, date-, and time-stamped (a huge time-saver!), AND you can't spill coffee on it!

The Quick Search Field - Pam's Favorite!

Absolutely. The. Best. Organizational. Tool. Ever. We're sure you've tried it, but do you use it as much as we do? Type in any unit # or name in the top left-hand corner of your screen (and we mean ANY BuildingLink screen...the quick search bar will always be there, no matter where you are in BuildingLink!), hit enter, and you'll get an "online file" of everything pertaining to that unit. This includes the basics like name, contact info, etc., but it also includes any packages or open events, instructions (like permissions to enter) that are current for that unit, any maintenance requests or amenity reservations for that unit, and any apartment-specific documents (more on this in a bit!) Any custom fields you're using to keep track of things like pets, bike tags, children, etc. will also appear here. But that's not all. Because what good is looking if you can't also take action? From this same screen, you can close/expire events and instructions, add new ones, enter maintenance requests and reservations, etc. etc. etc. etc. ETC.

Recurring Tasks - Rachael's Favorite!

Maybe your building does routine elevator maintenance every six months, or maybe someone has to check the chlorine level in the pool every week. Let's face it: these are prime stress-creators. Every six months, you've got that nagging thought, "Can't forget to call elevator maintenance company!" or "It's Thursday, I hope the pool guys remembered to come yesterday because I didn't remind them!" If your building does any type of routine maintenance, whether it's every year, every January, every third Wednesday, etc., you can enter it into BuildingLink ONCE, and set it to automatically show up in your open requests at the appropriate times. You can even set it to automatically notify the elevator maintenance company--or those forgetful pool guys--that it's time for them to come. It's easy: just click on the "Recurring Tasks" section in the Maintenance module to get started.

Unit Documents - Nikki's Favorite!

Okay, so you probably know about the BuildingLink Library, where you can store building-related documents like safety information, notices, parking guidelines, and so on and so forth. But did you know that you can also store documents in specific unit profiles or even attach them to specific occupants? This includes leasing agreements, waivers, appliance manuals, floor plans, or anything else you may want to store--you can always add new document categories in the Settings tab! If it's a floor plan or appliance manual, you can choose to "associate" it with the physical unit, so that when the ownership changes, the document will still be there. Or, if it's a waiver, you can "associate" it with a specific person, so that if that person happens to switch units, the document will move with them! You can also choose who can view these documents--whether it be only management, only staff, all staff and all owners but no renters, or everybody! Everything is completely customizable by document category--power-trip anyone?

Printing PDF Copies from the "Send Email" Feature - Esther's Favorite!

This is one of our newest features, and we're pretty excited about it. As you probably know, we got electronic communication and record keeping down to a science a long time ago, and one of our primary mottos is paperless, paperless, paperless! That said, we do recognize that not everybody has an email address--or maybe they do, but you haven't gotten around to putting all your residents' addresses into the system yet. Whatever the case, our new "Generate PDF copies" option in the "Send Email" screen allows you to print hard copies of that important email blast for those units that don't yet have email addresses--and the system automatically knows which ones those are! Just select the option to generate PDF Copies for "Units that have no Email Addresses" or "Occupants that have no Email Addresses," click Preview/Print, and you're good to go!

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