PropertyPro Newsletter XXIII – April 2010

Hello to everybody!

I do hope you all enjoyed the Easter break - what a great start to April. I was able to sport a hat at an Easter wedding; the table theme was chocolate from favours to wedding cake, and since I helped with the preparations I can honestly say that I will not look at another piece of that wicked stuff for a long time (well maybe I'll give it a month or so).

And what a fabulous weekend we've just had. Out came the cloggies and mower and the garden is now taking on some semblance of order. The geraniums I brought into the garage in the autumn are looking healthy enough to take cuttings, so I've lots to occupy me. Having lost all those frogs in the snow and ice a couple of months ago, I was amazed to see frog spawn in my pond, and hopefully I can look forward to seeing frogs again.

This time we thought it might be of interest to point out some useful features for publishing details. You may also be interested in how to organise your emails quickly and easily, and we have added some tips for Outlook - so don't miss them at the end of this newsletter.

Publishing Details

How long have you been creating details and window displays and had to re-size and maybe move or delete unwanted photos from the finished document?
  1. Did you know that you can choose what photos are included in the details, and specify the order in which they are inserted?

  2. Did you also know that the details template specifies the shape of the photo, which means that instead of resizing it might be necessary to crop a little from the top/bottom or the side of the photo to ensure it is inserted properly into the details without overlapping or pushing something else out of position.

  3. Did you know that PropertyPro optimises photos as they are inserted but if required, you can call Support and they can change resolution settings?

Selecting and Changing the Order of Photos

The Publish screen includes a tick box which will allow you to do this for generating details and display:

The next screen you see will allow you to specify which photos you want to include and in what order. So for instance if you have 3 small photos on the front page of your details, you may want to include a garden photo.

You will then be prompted to choose a template name.

Don't say NO to Cropping

When publishing details, the PropertyPro template dictates the size and shape of the photograph. The normal size ratio of photos is 4x3, however when creating the template the photo boxes often have to be a different ratio to 'fit' the design. This means that if PropertyPro recognises that a photo is a different shape from the target box in the template, it will prompt to Crop the image.

Cropping may only entail a slight adjustment, but is necessary to ensure the photo fits into position without disturbing other elements on the page.

So always say YES to crop the photograph. It really is false economy thinking that you will save time by not cropping.

The Energy Graph

Inserting the energy graph couldn't be more simple - just go to the View menu and choose 'Energy Report'. Enter the 4 figures provided by your energy assessor, and select 'create energy graph' and you will see the actual chart. When you close the Energy Report, a chart icon appears on the Checklist tab which signifies a chart has been created for this property.

When the details are created, the chart is automatically inserted, and uploads to the website and portals will also include the chart.

Import a Floorplan

Floorplans in .wmf format can be imported into the property record. Go to the File Menu, and choose Import Floorplan:

The floorplan will be inserted into the property record as a separate tab and will be recognised as a floorplan for details and for uploading to your web site and portals that you use.

Emailing Details to the Vendor

There is an option in the Mail menu to email the details to the vendor for checking. The vendor will receive the HTML details (email format) to check text and photos. The HTML details is the format in which your customers receive email details.

This has the obvious benefit of making any changes and getting the vendor's approval prior to creating full details. Some will say that they require a signature - so what is wrong with copying and pasting the vendor's reply into the customer notes and then have the full details signed when ready?

Organising your Inbox

Did you know that your mailbox has a size limit? .... and once this limit is reached you will not be able to receive or send more emails. Also if you reach this limit there is a chance of your Mailbox becoming corrupted. It is vitally important that you keep a check on your emails, attachments, create folders to organise your mail, and archive regularly to free up your mailbox.

It is incredibly easy and quick to do all of the above and you will be surprised at just how organised you will feel if you only create one folder and remove one attachment. But when you have tried it you will want to create more folders and remove more attachments!

Creating Folders within your Inbox

Why not create a folder and keep all your HIP emails in it?

You can now click and drag a message from the Inbox and 'drop' it into the new folder. You may have many of these to do in the first instance, but from now on each time a HIP email arrives, you can simply drag it into your new folder.

I'm sure that now you know how simple this is you will be able to think of many more folders that would be useful!

Saving and Removing Attachments

Even if you have created folders and moved emails out of the Inbox - even into Deleted Items, the emails and attachments are still in your Mailbox. Attachments are the biggest cause of Mailbox overload and this is not the place to store documents. Ideally they should be saved to a location on your p.c. or network drive, which you probably do anyway, but once they have been saved, there is no need to store them in the Mailbox.

The following steps show how to Save As and then Remove an attachment.

Emptying Deleted Items

Now that you have created folders and your Inbox is more organised, it is now time to empty your Deleted Items folder. Items held in this folder should only be those that you have decided to delete and if there are items that you want to keep, they can be dragged and dropped into another folder.

To permanently delete from Deleted Items, simply right click over the Deleted Items folder and choose 'Empty Deleted Items'.

PropertyPro Training

When was the last time you or your colleagues had any refresher training? And how much of what you know has been handed down by others?

Do remember that we run a new user day each month alternating between Admin and Negotiator. If you have a new starter, then please send them along for training. From their viewpoint it eases the pressure of operating a new software program whilst getting used to a new office environment and procedures.

The second session each month is generally on a theme - however, the content is dependent on the needs and questions of those who attend. Over the past months the refresher training has proved very popular. Although the content for the session is suggested, I will also ask whether there is anything in particular anybody would like to cover and also maybe skip because it is not required. This means that the session could cover anything from Newspaper Advertising to Lettings but will always ensure that everyone is up to date with the new version.

The next open training days are as follows:

Wednesday 28th April - Ad Hoc Topics by request - which can include Good Practice, Tasks and the Diary, Creating a Floorplan, Templates, Newspaper Advert, Key Management, an overview of new and improved features of Version 20.

Wednesday 5th May - New User (Admin) Entering Customer data, creating property records, publishing details, sending letters.

Wednesday 14th April - Refresher The process as a whole. A look at new and improved features of Version 20.

Don't forget that if a half day session is more convenient for you, please call. Telephone training may also be available for a small charge provided that a suitable remote connection is available

We look forward to a visit from you very soon!

Finally, is there anybody else in your office who might also want to receive our newsletter? If so, please let us have their email address and we will add them to the mailing list.

Kind regards


Kate Hoare (Training Manager)
Direct dial: 01788 862517

PropertyPro • 6 Somers Road • Rugby • Warwickshire • CV22 7DE
Tel 01788 862550 • Fax 01788 862525 • E-mail
Directors H McClean • L M McClean • Company Registration No 3450574