PropertyPro Newsletter XXVI – August 2010

Hello to everybody!

Well, it rained on St Swithin's Day (15th July), and thus goes the rhyme:

St Swithin's day if thou dost rain
For forty days it will remain
St Swithin's day if thou be fair
For forty days 'twill rain na mair

Myth or no myth, in the last 40 days I have had my hair done twice and it rained both days. I've had my car cleaned 3 times and it rained as I drove away each time. I've had to walk across soggy wet sand dunes in the pouring rain and make do with indoor barbeques. And I'm pretty fed up. So who was this St Swithin and what's he got to do with meteorology?

Swithin was a bishop of Winchester in Saxon times and was famous for charitable gifts and building churches. He died on 2 July 862, but his feast day is 15 July and his emblems are rain drops and apples.

According to tradition, he had asked for a humble burial. His grave was just outside the west door of the Old Minster, so that people would walk across it and rain fall on it in accordance with his wishes. But the monks felt it wasn't a fitting resting place. So on July 15, 971, they decided to move his grave to an ornate shrine they built for him.

However, the removal was accompanied by torrential rain storms that lasted 40 days and 40 nights which were said to indicate the saint's displeasure at being moved. So that apparently is where the rhyme originated.

Now enough trivia, the 40 days are past - let's get on with Summer and bring back the sun!

Valuation Appointments

Up till now our previous newsletters have centred on marketing features, so I thought it would be a good idea to go back to the beginning and look at the valuation appointment.

The last newsletter gave some tips on reports that can be run by the Valuer prior to a valuation visit, this time we are looking at the admin side, i.e. creating a property record, booking the appointment, generating an appointment confirmation letter, printing a market appraisal form.

Do you create a new property record at the time the Vendor requests a valuation appointment?

Do you book a valuation appointment?

Do you complete a separate valuation form for the Valuer to complete at the time of the appointment?

If you do these separately, you may want to try the Market Appraisal Wizard which automates the process of doing all of the above.

Market Appraisal Wizard

The market appraisal wizard will lead you through the valuation appointment process: creating a property record automatically with the exact number of rooms, selecting a suitable date and time, creating the valuation appointment, and finally generating the market appraisal form.

The scenario is that a potential vendor requests a valuation.

You would create a new customer record and ask for contact details.

Step One:

The wizard starts and the first screen enables you to enter details of the property to be valued:

Note: This can also be used for Lettings - just change the Property Class in this first screen.

The next screen enables you to specify the number of rooms. The wizard will create a property record that is linked to the vendor with the specified number of receptions, bedrooms and bathrooms.

As soon as you click 'finish' on this screen a property record is created using the information you have entered:

Step Two:

The diary is then displayed for you to select an appropriate timeslot. You can also choose another member of staff's diary to check their availability:

Step Three:

The Appointment screen will display with all the relevant details completed. All you have to change is the member of staff attending the valuation. At this point you can generate a confirmation letter (which could be emailed) if you wish.

The valuation appointment and date will be recorded against the new property - vital if at a later stage you wish to analyse and report on your valuations.

Step Four:

You will then be prompted to choose the Market Appraisal Form template, which will pull though all relevant information about the valuation automatically. You are free to enter additional information individually as it is a Word document.

The above screen shot shows our standard template which may look very different from the valuation form you currently use. However you can see the information it pulls through and we may be able to adapt and reproduce your valuation form so that you can generate it through PropertyPro. If this is something you would like us to look at then please let us know.

Some agents generate our standard template and use it alongside their own valuation form.

Don't forget, if you generate the appointment letter and market appraisal form, these are recorded in the vendor's notes and can be accessed at any time.

Valuation Reports

By creating valuation appointments through PropertyPro, the valuation date is recorded. This enables you to run various analysis reports from the front screen menu Reports, Property Reports: These reports will only show properties that have a valuation date.

Changing the Reason Not Instructed

By default, the 'reason not instructed' for all new properties is 'Valuation Pending'. That is of course not true for all and it should be part of your valuation procedure to specify why it has not been instructed. Doing this will make the above reports far more useful as you will be able to analyse your appraisals better and follow up on unsuccessful valuations.

To do this, there is a drop down list box 'Reason not instructed' on the property's Instruction Detail tab. It would also be useful to enter a few notes in the Comments box on that screen.

I hope this has been of interest and that if not already doing any of the above you may want to give it a try.

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 latest version.

The next 2 Open Training days are:

Wednesday 8th September - New User (Admin) Entering customer data, creating property records, publishing details, sending letters

Wednesday 22nd September - 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
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