Take control of the tasks and to-do’s that fill your day—from talking with tenants to fixing leaky faucets.
In this section, you’ll learn how to:
- Streamline communication with residents
- Streamline communication with property owners
- Manage tasks
- Create work orders
1. Streamline communication with residents
Buildium gives you four ways to communicate with residents:
- Text messages
- The resident site
At it’s core, a mailing is a document. Buildium has mailing templates for eviction notices, welcome letters, and policy violations—but you can also create your own mailing templates.
To view all mailing templates:
- Navigate to Communication > Mailing templates.
- To create your own mailing template, select Add template.
- Choose the recipient type, and give your template a name and description.
- Draft the contents of your mailing below. If you click the yellow [T] icon on the editor, you will be able to add tokens, or custom fields.
When you use a token, it will autofill with the appropriate information based on the recipients you’ve selected once the mailing is created.
Now that the template is done, you can create a mailing.
- Navigate to Communication > Mailings.
- Click Create a mailing, and choose the template you’d like to use.
- Add recipients and a Mailing sender.
- Click Save.
- The mailing will take a few seconds to generate, and once it does you will see options to Print manually, Email PDF, or send via EZMail.
With EZMail, we’ll print, stuff, and mail statements, letters, and notices from a state-of-the-art printing facility for just $0.80 per one-page mailer (including printing, postage, paper, and envelope).
You can email residents directly by navigating to Communication > Emails and clicking Compose email.
Buildium will also send emails out automatically based on different triggers.
To view these emails:
- Navigate to Communication > Email templates.
- Some of these emails are editable while others are not.
- Click the arrows on the right to easily View, Edit, Enable, or Disable each email.
Before you can send a text message to a resident in Buildium, you will have to invite them to opt-in to the service.
To send an opt-in request:
- Navigate to Communication > SMS accounts.
- Then, click Add SMS users.
- Select all of the residents you’d like to be able to text, and click Send request via email. Residents will receive an email asking them to opt-in, and from there they will have to verify their phone number.
We recommend including the opt-in as part of your lease. If you receive consent from a tenant during lease signing, you can check off Received verbal consent. By checking off Received verbal consent, you will be able to send a request to your tenant via text message where they will just have to confirm their phone number.
The resident site
Every Buildium account comes with a free resident site.
The resident site lets tenants or association owners view their financial transactions, submit maintenance requests, and make payments online.
To set up your resident site:
Navigate to Communication > Resident site. From this page, you can configure your resident site settings.
To give your tenants or association owners access to the resident site,
- Navigate to Communication > Resident site users, and click Create website accounts.
- Select the residents who you’d like to create an account for, and click Create accounts.
- The system will send an email out to the residents you’ve selected that includes their login information and instructions. A valid email is required in order to give a resident access to the resident site.
You can post important messages and announcements to the resident site by navigating to Communication > Resident site announcements, and clicking Add announcement. You’ll have the option to send an email copy of the announcement to your residents, too.
Residents will be able to view your message on the resident site, or submit their own message to you by navigating to Messages > Contact us.
When tenants or association owners submit a request this way, it will automatically appear as a task within your Buildium account.
The resident site also includes an optional community board where residents can share updates with one another. And if you have ePay enabled, residents can make payments online.
Before you continue, give your tenants and association owners access to the resident site.
It’s also important to make sure you’re comfortable with these key concepts:
2. Streamline communication with property owners
You can use mailings and emails to communicate with your owners, too.
You can also streamline communication with property owners by giving them access to their very own rental owner site. Property owners can login to their rental owner site to view all aspects of their properties and submit requests.
To see what kind of information will be visible to owners:
- Navigate to Settings > User roles.
- Then, click Rental Owner. You can edit the permissions of this user role however you’d like.
Once everything looks good, you can give your property owners access to the portal.
- Navigate to Settings > Users.
- Then, click over to the Rental owner tab.
- Click Create website accounts.
- Select the rental owners you’d like to grant access to, and click Create accounts.
- The system will send an email out to the owners you’ve selected that includes their login information and instructions. A valid email is required in order to give an owner access to the owner site.
Before you continue, give your property owners access to the owner site.
3. Manage tasks
Now that you know how to streamline communications with residents and owners, you can effectively use Buildium to manage your tasks.
In Buildium, tasks are anything that you or a team member have to do. Adding a task is like adding another item to your to-do list. Some tasks, like maintenance work, are requested by residents or owners. Other tasks, like a walk-through inspection or an apartment showing, are going to be created by you or a team member.
There are four kinds of tasks:
To create a task:
- Click Add task on the homepage of your Buildium account.
- Select the type of task you’d like to create.
- Fill out the form. Include as much information as possible, including the category, property, and who the task should be assigned to.
- Click Create task. The staff member who you’ve assigned to complete the task will be notified.
When you create a task, or make updates to an existing task, Buildium gives you 5 minutes to make any changes before the task is actually posted.
Don’t forget that tasks can also be created by residents (via the resident site) or by owners (via the owner site).
To view incoming requests:
- Navigate to Tasks > Incoming requests.
- Click into an incoming task to update and assign it.
- For both Resident requests and Rental owner requests, you will be able to share updates to the task with the tenant or rental owner.
- Once an incoming task is assigned, it’s removed from the Incoming requests page.
Tasks can really help you streamline communication with your team, your residents, and your owners—but all of the notifications can also become overwhelming.
Before you move on, take some time to check out your email notification settings. Navigate to Settings > My Settings, and scroll down to the Task notifications section. Adjust your settings as needed.
You might also want to spend some time editing the emails that the system sends out around task updates. Navigate to Communication > Email Templates. For each recipient type, there are three email templates related to the creation, progress, and completion of tasks.
4. Create work orders
If a task requires work from a vendor:
Click into the task and select the Work order tab.
- Click Add work order.
- Select the vendor (remember, the vendor can also be your own management company if you charge extra for services like landscaping or maintenance).
- You can enter an invoice number if you have one, as well as who to charge the work to.
- Mark whether or not entry is allowed, and chose an entry contact person.
- Write a description of the work that needs to be done.
- If you have the vendor’s email address, you’ll have the option to email the work order to that vendor.
- Click Save work order.
You can edit a work order at any time, especially as you hear back about parts and labor costs. Once you’re ready, you can also create a bill for this work order by clicking Enter bill. Buildium will pull all relevant information from the work order to create the bill.
To pay the bill, navigate to Accounting > Bills and select Pay bill.
Now that you’ve completed Part 3: Streamline your to-do list, take some time to familiarize yourself with creating and managing tasks. Once you’ve got your to-do list under control, you’ll be ready for Part 4: Market and Fill Vacancies.
Check out other videos in the Getting Started with Buildium series
Getting Started with Buildium Part 1 - Set up your Buildium account
Getting Started with Buildium part 2 - Collect payments and make payments
Getting Started with Buildium part 4 - Market and fill vacancies