PropertyPro Newsletter XXII – March 2010

A warm hello to everybody!

What a lovely start to Spring we have had. It really is my favourite time of year, particularly after a bad winter, seeing the evenings getting lighter and those faithful bulbs showing signs of life in the garden. It's just that little bit too soon to get out there, but my cloggies are there at the ready and I can't wait to see what has survived the snow and frost.

Thinking of March Hares and Mad Hatters - did you know that contrary to what most of us think (however there is no definitive proof), it is thought that the phrase 'Mad Hatter' originated from the hat industry. The fumes from the mercury used to soften the felt often lead many hat factory workers to suffer from brain damage; hence the phrase ‘Mad as a Hatter’. Mad Hatter Syndrome is still often used to refer to the symptoms of mercury poisoning. (Lewis Carroll’s ‘Mad hatter’ in Alice in Wonderland appeared in 1865, by which time the phrase 'Mad Hatter' was well known). I hope you found this of interest - but probably not unless you were planning to make a hat this month!

Probably of far more interest and use would be to highlight some additional Version 20 features to start:

Property Portal Uploaders

  1. If you want to take more control over how the bullet points look on Rightmove, in Version 20 you can now enter the text by clicking View….Property Portal Bullets from the property screen. These will override the existing bullets. If a property does not have any bullets here the uploader will create them in the normal way. If you would like to use this please check that we have given you the latest uploaders in order for this feature to work.

  2. It is now possible to check on the status of uploads to portals from within PropertyPro. This shows when the uploader last ran, which machine it ran on and the number of properties that were uploaded. This can be accessed by going to Help… Uploader Status on the front screen.

  3. When marking for replication it now marks the attached pdfs associated with that property for re-uploading to websites.

And, what better time than now to look at your applicants and ensure you are mailing to only those whose searches are current and up-to-date.

Deleting Searches

Use the Customer Search screen to filter out old applicants and delete their searches. At the same time their customer type can be changed automatically to 'Archived Applicant' (this has to be initially set up by Support).

If not already requested (this is a one off set up), call Support and let them know what customer type you would like these past applicants changed to when deleting searches from the Customer Search Screen.

The following shows a typical filter that will list all applicants who have saved searches and who were last contacted between January 2008 and July 2009:

Click Refresh, and the list shows all customers that fall within the criteria selected. With this list, you can now select all customers, send a Delete Searches letter, delete all searches, or even open all customers so that you can contact each and read any customer notes before performing any action.

The Delete Searches letter simply informs the customer that you are deleting their search but invites them to contact you and update their requirements if they are still looking. By choosing this option, a letter is generated for every customer in the list.

Now that the letter has been generated, you have the option of choosing what customer type to change these customers to (if it is not set up) and call Support requesting an automatic change of customer type.

You are now ready to delete the searches:

Alternatively you can of course open all customer records and change the customer type manually if you wish:

All customers in the list will open, and the blue arrows at the top left of the screen allow you to scroll backwards and forwards through the customer records. You can close a customer record without closing the others, or close all which will take you back to the original list in the Customer Search screen.

The Maintenance Menu

Whilst on the subject of Spring Cleaning, don't forget about deleting old email attachments, null property records, and null customer records. Choose the following options from the Maintenance Menu on the front screen:
  1. Delete old email attachments

    - Deleting old email attachments could potentially free up a lot of disk space. Be assured that only the attachments will be deleted - not the actual emails.

  2. Null Customer Records

    - Null records are commonly created by accident when clicking Create New Customer instead of View or Change Existing Customer.

  3. Null Property Records

    - Null records are commonly created by accident when clicking Create New Property instead of View or Change Existing Property.

Office 2007

Are you using Office 2007 and if so, how are you getting on with it? Having got over the shock of its new look, I now actually quite enjoy using it.

We have recently helped with the transition to Office 2007 for a few customers by providing a couple of hours on-site training. If you feel this might be of benefit to you, do please give us a call. Here are a couple of tips that you may find useful and relate to all Office 2007 programs.

  1. The Office Button

    The Office button offers the previous File menu options. However, there is an Option button in the bottom right corner that gives customisation options relevant to the program you are working in.

  2. The Ribbon

    The most noticeable change is that the menu bar has been replaced by the Office 2007 Ribbon bar. I found this cumbersome and reduced the size of my onscreen workspace but .... did you know that you can hide it?.

  3. Quick Access Toolbar

    I really missed the old toolbar and hated having to hunt around the various ribbons for common commands. But then I found the Quick Access Toolbar at the very top of the screen which lets you choose your own frequently used and favourite commands, and they are then always within easy reach.

    When you install Office 2007, only three commands appear on the Quick Access toolbar: Save, Undo, and Redo. To add more commands to the Quick Access toolbar:

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.

Open Training Days :

The next open training days are as follows:

Wednesday 10th March - New User Admin. We will concentrate on entering data - customer and property records, property searches, publishing details, and generating letters.

Wednesday 24th March - Reports. We will look at Property Reports, Customer Reports, Management Reports, and Customer Search Reports.

Wednesday 14th April - New User (Negotiator). We will look at Property Search, Mailing properties, Appointments, Offers and the Chain.

Don't forget that if a half day session is more convenient for you, please call.

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