MASTERKEY BLOG

Masterkey. A single point of truth.

Masterkey. A single point of truth.  As companies grow in scale and operations, the need for a central system connecting different teams, processes and software becomes more important. Large organizations need to run all operations in sync with each other, and to eliminate inefficiencies caused by transferring data between systems manually.    At Masterkey, we’ve experienced this trend with a lot of our larger customers (and some smaller ones too) who operate multiple concurrent systems to manage their real estate business.    A commonly seen example is a property manager using an accounting system to manage profit and loss reports for his numerous landlords. Masterkey handles the listing, marketing, lease and transaction processes seamlessly: a rent schedule is printed, the cheques are collected and stored, and an Ejari contract is printed and signed. All within the Masterkey system.   At this point, the cheques are physically handed over to the accounts team, which keys them one by one into their accounts software (so much data entry!). Not only that, when they are banked, the accounts team notifies (so many emails!) the front-office staff so that they can update the cheque status inside Masterkey (so much more data entry!). If a cheque bounces, accounts will notify front-office (who by this time are drowning in emails notifying them of each cheque and scurrying to update the individual status inside Masterkey!) and they will have to ask the tenant to deposit a new cheque, only for the cycle to repeat itself.   Imagine if you could eliminate all of the manual data entry and painfully large email exchange. Imagine if your accounting system and your CRM system could ‘speak’ and let each other know automatically when payments are due, when they clear out and when they bounce… Just imagine.   Masterkey is built to connect to a host of external systems. These can include everyday accounting systems for small companies (Xero, Sage, Peachtree, Tally and the like), all the way up to enterprise systems (Microsoft Dynamics Great Plains, Oracle Financials and the like), and most things in between (IP Phone and call center systems, Human Resource, Facility Management, custom websites, kiosks and self-serve portals).   We do this via an intricate and extensive api layer that helps Masterkey connect with external systems in a completely secure and robust way. Data flows are seamless, and you control how often you want updates, and in which direction.   Speak to one of our consultants today for a free evaluation of your internal systems and how we can make your processes happy and joyous!

Excuse me… Your cheque bounced!

Excuse me… Your cheque bounced!  Over the past few weeks, we’ve been busy making some improvements to our invoice and payment management features, making them more advanced. It is now easier to maintain a full audit and a reporting trail of all the changes in your invoices.   Earlier this year, we introduced a feature to mark payments as bounced, and replace bounced cheques with new ones. With this week’s release, you can now instantly send an email notification to tenants or buyers advising them that their cheque has been rejected by the bank.   As soon as you mark a cheque as bounced, inform the concerned party immediately by sending them an email notification that the cheque didn’t clear. In addition to the text email sent, a notice letter will be attached as a PDF file. These notice letters can be customized from the Communication Templates Parameter inside System Admin. We’ve added a few default templates for you so you can start using the feature immediately.   Check out our knowledge base articles here to learn how to send notifications for bounced cheques, and here to learn how to setup Communication Templates.

Templates, Templates, Templates!

Templates, Templates, Templates!      Nothing makes work processes easier or faster than templates! We all love them! No need to think of texts, descriptions, words, and most importantly, it’s the best way to avoid writing errors!   We have just released Marketing Templates, an advanced feature under the marketing description field for units. You can now make sure your company is maintaining a professional image across all marketing channels and property portals, by predefining marketing descriptions consistently.   As a manager or an agency owner, you may want to define standard marketing description templates in order to maintain the consistency of the published marketing text, and reduce the risk of typos, grammar, and other copywriting errors. Your company image will benefit incredibly from it, and you will be able to fine tune your communication!   As an agent, you would love having predefined marketing templates, because it will save you time and the hassle of coming up with marketing descriptions everytime you need to add a unit and publish it to a portal. You can now get your work done faster, and publish units seamlessly!   So, predefine your marketing communications templates, and with one click, you will be able to insert texts such as: Template which are automatic predefined unit descriptions  Property Overview  Community Overview  Agent Signature  Company’s profile     Go to the help section here, to learn more about how to use Marketing Templates. and Click here to learn more about how to add Marketing Templates from System Admin.

Sending renewal notices just got a lot easier!

Sending renewal notices just got a lot easier!In the last few months and due to popular demand, we’ve been hard at work to revamp and streamline the lease renewal process inside Masterkey. This week’s release includes the first of a series of improvements that will facilitate renewals for Property Managers.   You can now send one or multiple renewal notices via email to tenants whose leases are expiring soon, all from the Upcoming Renewals sidebar report.   By selecting a single or multiple leases and clicking ‘Send Renewal Notice’, an email composer will open with the tenant’s name and email address pre-filled and the renewal letter attached as a PDF. You can select up to 50 leases and send renewal notices as a batch at once!   “Did I send that renewal notice 90 days before the lease expires?” Stop wondering! Simply keep track of when the renewal letter was first sent for each lease. Reminders can still be sent, but the system will track the first notice sent, since it is the one that matters as per the 90-day-period notice ceiling.   Managing notices is now much easier and straightforward. Just add a “Notice Sent On” column in the field selection, and keep an eye on the date these notices were sent. You can even follow the person who initially sent these notices.   Excited to do things faster? Go to the our knowledge base here and check out the details on how to send renewal notices to your tenants.  

Marketing Agent Feature Now Released!

Marketing Agent Feature Now Released!    There may be situations where you need another agent to be the advertising and contact person for your listings. Masterkey has recently released Marketing Agent, a new feature that allows agents to advertise their listings through another colleague.   When would this feature be useful? In the UAE it is mandatory to have a RERA license to advertise listings onto property websites. Suppose you just joined the agency and your RERA license number hasn’t been issued yet. How would you advertise and publish your listings to get leads? This is not a problem anymore. Advertise your listings temporarily through one of your colleagues, by simply ticking the Marketing Agent box.   Annual leaves. Vacations. Maternity leaves... Whether you’re an agent planning to go on holiday, or a sales manager whose team members are going on leave, you don’t need to worry about losing leads anymore. With the Marketing Agent feature, the listings of the agent on leave can be assigned to another agent with a click. You can now go on vacation and actually enjoy!   Many companies are now moving towards more area specialisation, and the Marketing Agent feature comes in real handy. Say an agent got a listing for a unit located in Dubai Marina, but you would rather have another agent who is specialized in Dubai Marina area promote the listing. You can now assign it to him with Marketing Agent.   Interested? Go to the help section here to check out the step by step guide on how to market a listing on property portals with the contact details of another agent.

What’s changed with Payments?

What’s changed with Payments?A number of changes to Payments and Receipts have just been released, the most interesting of which are updates in invoices, reconciled payments and history of changes. ‘Payments’ has been renamed ‘Invoices (Payments Due)’ We had change the terminology to make sense of the new features and to keep in line with accounting standards. An Invoice is in reality a payment that is due, which will eventually be reconciled with a payment that is received. An Invoice now actually looks like an invoice, with any payment received clearly marked on the right and due totals showing below. Generate a Receipt from inside an Invoice You can still generate a single Receipt for Multiple Invoices from the main invoices page. We have added a new ‘Add a Receipt’ area within an individual Invoice too - which is where most of the magic happens. See the full history of changes made to a particular Invoice All changes to an invoice (for e.g. when it was created, what payments were received against it, when one of the payments bounced, etc.) are fully tracked and displayed in the new history section at the bottom of the invoice. This has been a popular request from users and something we’ve been meaning to add for a while. Bounced and Returned Cheques You can now mark payments as bounced, and replace previously bounced cheques with new ones, maintaining a full audit and reporting trail in the process. Reconciled / Unreconciled Status By default all receipts are marked as reconciled, meaning that the system assumes they have cleared. If you want to track the bank clearing process as well, then you can set up so that receipts get marked as unreconciled (or not yet cleared) when a cheque is received, and then later reconciled when the funds are actually received. Payments Reporting You can now also run reports on which cheques have cleared, which ones haven’t and which ones need replacement. Combine that with our Report Builder and you can build practically any payment report you can imagine.

Masterkey Evolved

Masterkey EvolvedMasterkey 4.8 rolls out a host of upgrades and the most notable is by far the evolved interface! It not only improves the way you get around the application, but has been carefully crafted to give you a whole new experience and feel. Our designers have smoothed out the rough edges and  embedded many user interface tweaks that you’ll love. Happy clicking We’ve halved the number of clicks it takes to get around, resulting in a system where you can get anywhere in one or two clicks. The new tab layout immediately indicates where you are and remembers the last module you’ve used, making sure your most frequently used tabs are right where you need them. iPad-ified Masterkey 4.8 works perfectly on your iPad. Units and Contacts open in their own tabs with easy access to information. Two finger scrolling is enabled and works just how you'd expect it to. In Property Management and Short Term Rentals, the tabs automatically adjust to accommodate all zones. Fastest gun in The East Adding information is now easier than ever with the Quick Add button. Add a Contact, Lead or Activity from any module, anytime. You’ve got message! Messages (previously called Alerts) now clears when you view them - you’ll know if there are any unread messages from a glance on any screen. The Perfect Hit In several areas across the application buttons and checkboxes have been given larger hit areas, making it easier to select with a mouse and much easier on an iPad or a tablet. An eye for consistency All actions are relocated to the top right of each page, allowing you to gain easy access. Using actions quickly becomes a learned muscle movement. Links are the consistent blue and the weight on the page has been brought down to highlight more important elements on the page. Need more space? Collapsing the sidebar can help give you more space to read data in the table view and scroll through information. The hit area has been increased and it is now possible to click on with an iPad or tablet.

How Masterkey evolved over the years

How Masterkey evolved over the yearsRemember how Google looked when it first launched? Yeah, we were better.   2001 - 2002: V1 of MasterkeyIf you’ve seen this design before it means you were in real estate before freehold property existed in Dubai. You should be a millionaire... or be an employee of Masterkey.   2002 - 2007: Feeling Blue?Pablo Picasso isn’t the only one to have had a Blue Period.   2007 - 2009: Gradients Galore!Rounded edges, gradient backgrounds, jewel-like tick boxes… this interface had an image for every pixel.   2009 - 2013: The MinimalistWe went flat before flat was in fashion. That’s right, we set the trend back in 2009. No... it had nothing to do with removing all images to speed up the application on slow connections.   2013 - Now: The RefinedMasterkey Evolved. To be unveiled on 6th Oct 2013, so stay tuned!

New responsive email template for mobile devices!

New responsive email template for mobile devices!Have you ever viewed a unit card on your mobile phone? Did you have to zoom in to read the text? We’ve release a new unit card template that is optimized for mobile and automatically resizes based on the mobile device you’re viewing it from. Mobile-ready unit cards are going to be one of the most effective marketing tools available to you.   Available now for everyone We've now enabled this for all users. You can find this templete in Masterkey under the name "Mobile Unit Card". Open the Unit File, and simply click on Send Unit > Mobile Unit Card

Release Notes (Q2 2013)

Version 4.5.45.48 (30/06/2013) Support Access upgrades have now been lived for beta testers. We now have a customization frame work to control the visibility and mandatory of fields per group in contact and lead files. Small enhancements in new add lead panel. Major improvements in report builder functionality. Improvements to new add activity panel. Bug fixes and minor enhancements to improve the speed efficiency of the system.   Version 4.5.44.33 (16/06/2013) New: You can now control the access of any user on switching ON/OFF rotation. New: Automatic Rent Calculation is now available for leasing and property management. Smart Sidebar: Portfolio name and Portfolio Manager are now available in the column selection list for property management. You can now search portfolios based on listing agent of the unit. Add lead (Beta): Action field is now available in the new add lead panel and several small enhancements. Improvements based on customer feedback in the new add activity side panel. Several bug fixes and small enhancements.   Version 4.5.43.31 (02/06/2013) New: You can now restore back the status of a leased unit if it is reserved or set upcoming for a short period of time.(Beta) New: Matches are now available for the countries that do not use rent per year budgets. Corrections have been made in the activity email notification. Corrections have been made in "Support Access Upgrades" to improve the usability and security level of data. (Beta). Several improvements to the new Add Activity, Add lead and Report Builder tool. Bug fixes and small enhancements.   Version 4.5.42.43 (19/05/2013) New: The contact files are now checking duplicates for all number fields where mobile is selected. Contact look up is faster. Location auto complete is now becomes more faster. Small improvements have been done to make the application compatible with IE 10. You can now select "Rotation List" and "Show All" for referred to list on lead side panel. Small enchantments and several bug fixes.   Version 4.5.41.31 (06/05/2013) New: Refresh link is now available in unit files to quickly search landlord/Seller. Upgrades to contact look up. Upgrades to smart side bar report. Small enhancements to Add activity and Add lead side panels. Several bug fixes.   Version 4.5.40.19 (21/04/2013) Improvements to the add lead panel. Improvements to the add activity panel. Small fixes on report builder. A new field has been added on the sold unit summary report labeled "Leased". Leads added during transaction are now showing up on mailing list. Several bug fixes and small enhancements.   Version 4.5.39.23 (07/04/2013) Modifications in Add Lead and Add Activity. Contact Look up and Add contact option is now centralized. New columns have been added in the listing magazine report. Small enhancements in the smart sidebar reports for split modules. Bug fixes and minor enhancements to improve the speed efficiency of the system.   Version 4.5.37.27 (10/03/2013) Now you can track the change made to a unit along with its appropriate module through transaction history of unit. The smart sidebar is now further optimized. Gmail/Exchange integration has now been optimized. Minor changes to the Smart Sidebar functionality. Several bug fixes and small enhancements.