PropertyPro Newsletter XXXII – April 2011

Hello to Everybody.

Spring is here at last, and the mood is so infectious. Waking up to the hum of lawnmowers on a sunny Saturday morning is for me better than any alarm clock, and I am far more keen to get up and about. I've been itching for months to get out into the garden. And now I can, and miraculously after such a harsh winter the plants and trees are actually sprouting and flowering. It's definitely been worth the wait!

We've been busy here at PropertyPro too, and we are bursting with good news, freebies, and more, which is why this newsletter is a little early.

* Property Professional Show *
* Newsletters Online *
* Free Licences - Last Chance *
* 1000 Free SMS - Hints / Tips for SMS *
* Failed Emails and Bouncebacks *
* Free Training Days *

Property Professional Show 10th/11th May

We are exhibiting this year at London's Olympia on the 10th and 11th May, so if you are planning a visit we do hope you will pop in to see us at stand D55-56.

We will be demonstrating our new iPhone App and mobile websites - we will let you have details of this very soon as we know this is of interest to many of you.

Newsletters On-Line

Yes, you can now access back issues of our newsletter from our website so, if you missed one, you can read/download it. If you wish you can search for a particular topic to save trawling through all of them. Visit Newsletters

You will still receive newsletters by email, and so will be the first to hear any news.

Free Licences

Don't forget, the last day for ordering free licences is Thursday 31st March. From the 1st April there will be a cost for each extra licence if you require more.

1000 Free SMS for Everybody!

As you've heard already, we are giving away 1000 text messages to everybody to use in April or May - what an opportunity! This means even if you haven't been set up for SMS and you want to try it out, we will set up your system for a month together with 1000 SMS.

For those of you who already have this facility, we will be adding 1000 on to your limit and you pay nothing for the first 1000 - you just let us know whether you want this for April or May.

This is of course my cue to remind you of how to use SMS and for you to decide what works for you.

The Individual SMS

You can send a text message from the customer screen - they must have a valid mobile number entered and have 'allow sms' ticked.

It is possible if you wish, for us to set all customers with a mobile number to 'allow sms'. Our Support team can do this for you.

Appointment Confirmation

SMS messages can be sent automaticaly at the point of creating an appointment, confirming date time and address of the viewing. You can choose to text the vendor, applicant, and/or member of staff (or none).

This is particularly useful to notify a vendor who doesn't intend to be present at the viewing, or maybe confirm the time with the applicant and/or vendor after rearranging the appointment time. If the member of staff is already at the property or maybe on the road, how useful would it be to notify them of the new appointment by text.

When you have completed the appointment screen and click OK, the SMS screen pops up automatically. It will include everybody involved who is SMS enabled.

In the example below, the vendor and applicant both have valid mobile numbers and are 'sms allowed'. The member of staff has their mobile number stored in the Staff table in the Telephone2 field.

The message is automatically created but you can edit it if you want.

SMS Reminder

In Version 21 there is an option to send the appointment confirmation 24 hours before the appointment time. Note that this is only available in the latest version and you may have to be upgraded if you want to use this SMS reminder.

Marketing SMS

When a new property has been instructed, you have the facility to SMS a notification to matching customers through the Mail menu. This presents the obvious benefits of instant marketing.

Because you have now effectively mailed matching customers, we would recommend you reset the property mailing, so that you can go back to Mail, Matching Customers, and email the details. This means that a customer could receive an SMS and email details. Such efficiency!

Multiple SMS Messages

You can also use the Customer Search screen to filter a group of customers and send an SMS to all those 'SMS enabled'.

Here's an idea for alerting all customers who fall just below the 'Matching Customers' range when a hot property has been reduced in price:

The records will open together and you can use the blue arrows in the top left of the screen to scroll through them, and close them individually:

When you close all records, you are returned to the original list in Customer Search, where you could create a report listing these customers - right click the list and choose With Selected, Report, Summary.

SMS Signature

It is important to remember that the message has a limit of 160 characters, and this includes the signature. Also, if the recipient replies to your SMS, the reply will arrive in email format in your mail box as an email.

In version 20, all replies are sent to one email address (which you specify on set up). Version 21 however allows you to specify individual signatures and individual reply email addresses.

In either version it is necessary to set up the SMS signature, which is done through the front screen Edit, SMS signature.

View SMS Messages

To view SMS Messages, on the Front Screen choose View, SMS Messages.

From this screen Sent and Outbox Messages can be viewed and deleted.

View SMS Credits

To view remaining SMS Messages, on the Front Screen choose View, SMS Credits.

Failed Emails

How often after a mass mailing do you receive 'bouncebacks' in your inbox?

Email is an efficient means of marketing, however it only works if your data is accurate.

If a percentage of customers are not receiving your mailings, then this will dilute your marketing, so it is a worthwhile exercise to follow through by checking out those emails that didn't send and correcting the email addresses.

It may be that the address is incorrect, or the format invalid, or that the customer’s mailbox is full. The email will be recorded in the customer notes whether or not the email has been received by the customer.

However, there are 2 places you should check out after an e-mailout:

Your mail box. Messages ‘bounceback’ because they cannot be delivered - the recipient’s server does not recognise the username or maybe the customer’s mailbox is full. The bounceback message states the reason so it is worth reading the message and look for an obvious spelling mistake which you can correct – or you may have to contact the customer.

The other place to look is in PropertyPro. From the front screen of PropertyPro, you can view your email messages by selecting View, Email Messages . All messages that cannot be sent are shown in Drafts. These are messages that never even reached the recipient's server because the domain name is incorrect or the format is invalid – for instance the @ sign may be missing or the domain name is spelt incorrectly.

Take a look, I think you'll be surprised!

Did you know that you can search and find a customer by their email address? When you open a customer record, there is a search link in the bottom left corner of the box:

Free Training Days

The training is totally tailored to those who attend the day, and we really encourage everyone to take advantage of these free training days.

We are still running 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 a refresher for those who want to use the system more efficiently. It's an opportunity to see any new features, be reminded of old forgotten features, and update existing skills.

The next Open Training days:

Wednesday 6th April - New User (Negotiator) Focusing on Property Search, Matching and Mailing properties, Customer Contact, Appointments, Offers and Chain.

Wednesday 20th April - Ad Hoc Topics by request - Good Practice, Tasks and the Diary, Floorplans, Templates, Newspaper Advert, a general overview, and looking at new and improved features of Version 21.

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!

And finally, if there is anybody else in your office who might also want to receive our newsletter, 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