Introducing the new mobile calendar
By Properly / May 4, 2017
Properly’s community of users ranges from single property owners to multi-property managers. We heard from all users that they wanted to be able to use Properly from their computer – so we created the web app and we knew it would be particularly helpful for property managers. However, we noticed that many power users still use our mobile app heavily. After all, we’re an industry of people on the go. So we set ourselves a challenge: to create a mobile interface that allows you to effectively manage one to hundreds of properties from a mobile device.
Here are a few examples.
- A property manager explained the following problem to us: a guest changed their reservation at the last moment and left early on a Sunday morning (instead of two days later as originally planned). The property was set to Instant Book, and a booking came in at 1pm with the guest arriving at 4pm. The challenge was to be alerted of the change find a cleaner on Sunday afternoon, and get the property turned around by 4pm. This is a huge amount of operational complexity.
- All of your upcoming changeovers have been scheduled. One of your service providers gets sick and has to cancel a job. You need to know the job has been canceled and get someone new scheduled right away.
- You use Properly for tasks beyond just the turnover such as reminders to change a code on a lockbox, replace smoke detector batteries, key exchange, gardening projects, hot tub maintenance, and maintenance tasks…the list goes on. You want to be reminded when it’s time for those jobs to get done.
As we spoke to users, one key request stood out: a To-Do list that would concisely and simply show what needed to get done. As one user told me:
“Nothing gives me more peace of mind than to clear my To-Dos – looking at an empty To-Do list is the ultimate peace of mind.”
Introducing the To-Do list: Everything you need to do, at a glance
When you upgrade to the most recent version of Properly, you’ll find the Calendar icon replaced by a Jobs icon: this is our redesigned new Calendar, including the new To-do list.
The new design has four tabs: To-Do, Pending, Calendar, and History
Every morning, start from your To-Do list. This is where you’ll see new bookings. We automatically create two To-Dos for each new booking: one for the check-in and one for the check-out. If you do turnovers at check-outs, then use that To-Do to schedule your turnover cleaning. If you have a key exchange at check-in, use the check-in To-Do to schedule the key exchange. Once scheduled, your To-Do disappears, and the Job moves to Pending, where you can track the status. If you don’t need to schedule a job for the check-in or check-out, simply tap “Ignore” and your To-Do reminder goes away. (Of course, you can still find the booking entry in the calendar and if you change your mind, you can schedule a job from your booking.)
But there is a lot more power in this new feature: if anything happens with the booking that your job is now associated with, we’ll track it and we’ll let you know. Here are some examples:
- If the booking is edited or canceled and you have already scheduled a job, a new To-Do automatically appears on your To-Do list to edit (or cancel) the associated job.
- If your service provider cancels a job, we create a new To-Do so you know you need to schedule the job again.
- If a service provider declines a job, it will go back on your To-Do list with a prompt to ‘Send to More’ service providers.
Introducing Pending: Monitoring job acceptance status
The new “Pending” tab shows you the status of a job you have sent. This allows you to track whether a job has been accepted, and see when your service providers have already viewed it. Once a job has been accepted, it stays in the “Pending” tab for an additional 12 hours so you can easily find it and see who accepted it; of course, you can also always find all jobs in your “Calendar”. If a job has not been accepted in 24 hours, we add a “Send to More” button to remind you to take action. You can always send a job to additional service providers by simply tapping on it, and selecting the “Send to More” option. This is only available until a job has been accepted.
The Calendar and History
The Calendar and History contain all records: To-Dos, bookings, and jobs. You can also schedule jobs manually from the calendar by clicking on the + in the right hand corner. However, if you’d like to associate a job with a booking, simply tap on that booking and schedule a job from there. In that latter case, we’ll track the status of the booking and will alert you if there are any changes so you can take action accordingly.
What’s Coming Next?
We have several additional accompanying features we’ll be launching soon:
The Task Editor:
We’ll allow you to automate task reminders by property. Have a look at these examples:
- A property requires a key exchange at check-in. You’ll be able to set that up in the web app, and all of your calendars and To-Do lists will reflect those tasks. You will also be able to automate other reminders, such as changing lockbox codes, changing batteries for smoke detectors, pool cleanings, etc. Once you set up your recurring tasks, we’ll prompt you with To-Dos only for jobs and tasks you set up (e.g. you’ll get a To-Do to schedule a turnover only at check-out, not at check-in. The companion feature to this is Pre-fill. Pre-fill allows you to set up defaults by event. For example, for every check-out, you can set the default checklist to “Turnover Checklist” with a start time of noon. Or, for every check-in, you can set the default checklist to “Key exchange” with a start time of 4pm.
The Pre-fill feature is already live on the web app, and the Event Editor is currently in testing and will be released soon.
To-do list on the web app:
We’ll be adding the To-do list to the web app shortly.
By tying jobs to bookings, we’ll be able to allow you to set advanced notifications. You can be notified if a booking changes; or if a check-in is coming up and you haven’t scheduled a job yet (or if the job you scheduled is still pending). This feature is currently in the spec stage.
A suggested workflow
We have seen that some of our most successful users use the web app and our mobile apps for different aspects of their daily workflow.
They use the web app to create checklists, and for their once-a-week scheduling of all non-urgent jobs. The rest of the week, they use the mobile app for everything that is urgent.
We support this workflow by dividing jobs into urgent (within 7 days) and non-urgent (more than 7 days away). The mobile app shows you urgent jobs on top; this allows you to schedule all new bookings that come in during the week with arrivals within the next 7 days right away, from your mobile app. For non-urgent jobs, you can schedule those as they come in, or wait until a set weekly scheduling day (e.g. Monday morning). We see many larger property managers use the web app to schedule all non-urgent jobs on the web app at a designated time each week; and they deal with all urgent jobs from the mobile app whenever they come in. This allows them to keep their 7-day mobile To-Do list empty as much as possible. And who doesn’t love an empty To Do list?