I updated the Property Center website this weekend. I worked with the Action Finale guys and they did an awesome job. The result is super clean xhtml markup and css. Hell, even the print view looks good. Take a look at the new design, and let me know what you think.
One minor change I made was to use MooTools instead of Prototype. While I do like Prototype, I couldn’t justify the 70k+ download for the functionality that I wanted to use. I was able to use a slightly modified slimbox for the tour previews. Moo, slimbox, and one other script all come in at less than 40k, which is fine for the few pages that require them. I am still using prototype for the software portion of Property Center.
I got Property Center running on .net 3.5 tonight. Honestly, it wasn’t a lot of work. There were some minor conflicts with the internal timezone class that I use, and I had to enable asp.net 2.0 web server extension with the vs.net 2008 virtual pc image. Other than that, things compile without any major problems and the site comes up as I expected. It was interesting to note that as far as IIS is concerned, it still uses asp.net 2.0.
I’m really looking forward to doing some performance tweaking with linq and some of the 3.5 features. I’m guessing that the site will begin a slow transition away from nHibernate as I get more comfortable with linq and linq for _____. nHibernate has been great for me, but it has also made me lazy as far as performance tweaking. It’s not nHibernate’s fault, since it does support performance tweaks quite nicely. I’ll post my trials and tribulations as I work with the new version of the .net framework.
This last week, I pushed live a pretty significant update for Property Center. This update has been a long time in the making… damn near 9 months actually. I’d wager that I refactored about 70% of the code for Property Center. Let that be a lesson, if you think you may want to support localization at some point, it’s better to do it early than go back and add it later. But anyway, the update is out there and the response has been excellent.
I wanted to thank OrcsWeb for the amazing job they do. I have never been so satisfied with a hosting company that i am with OrcsWeb. They will definitely get all of my future Asp.net business. I was updating the database and thought something went wrong. So, I tried and failed to restore to a backed up version. At that point, I started to get worried and called their tech support. Within three minutes, they had my database restored and everything was happy again. Again, I tip my hat to that kind of support (especially when they have that kind of response level at 11pm).
Overall the update went really smoothly. I’m completely satisfied with the current version of Property Center and look forward to adding additional features to the platform.
Tonight I added support for Oodle to Property Center. This allows all listed units in Property Center to be automatically advertised on Oodle. This is all transparent to people using Property Center, so they don’t have to configure anything.
Property Center now allows tenants to make payments online! The payment automatically gets deposited into your account and is instantly applied to the tenant’s lease, reducing the possibility of user entry error associated with manually adding payments. There is no fee from Property Center to use this service and it is available to all account plans.
I just completed updating Property Center with a couple new features. This update most notably allows tenants to request user accounts. Tenant user accounts allow tenants to log in to your website to add maintenance requests, view their maintenance request history, check their current balance, and view their lease history (including payments/fees).
By default, Property Center turns on anonymous maintenance requests and tenant user account requests. As always, Property Center is very configurable and allows you to turn off tenant user account requests and/or anonymous maintenance requests. So it’s simple to facilitate these additional cases:
- You can set up Property Center so that tenants have to log in to request maintenance.
- You can configure Property Center so that tenants cannot log in, but anyone can request maintenance.
- You can set up Property Center so that tenants cannot request user accounts and anonymous maintenance requests are disabled.
These are all of the changes made with this update:
- Tenants can be assigned to user accounts. This allows tenants to
log in to perform certain tasks not available to anonymous users. You
can assign roles to these accounts just like any other user account.
They also have special permissions:
- They’re able to view lease information and lease transactions only for leases assigned to them.
- They cannot view other users in the system.
- Maintenance requests can be requested anonymously or with a tenant user account.
- Email addresses are validated properly throughout the system.
- Added additional name templates for generated units (add a new property page)
- Export as pdf menu item added to the account invoices action menu
- Vacant unit counts on the map where changed slightly. Red unit
counts were hard to see on the orange background, so they were changed
- Fixed the vacant unit count color on the property details window
in the map view. It used to show a green count if there were vacant
units. Now it correctly shows the count as red.
- Fixed custom appearance render bug with IE 6
It’s like a weight has been lifted now that Property Center has been publicly announced. Up till now, I haven’t really told anyone other than immediate family and the landlords that I’ve been working with. Developing this software has really sparked an excitement inside of me and I found (and still find) myself working many long hours because I was having fun.
Being a landlord myself, I was handling all of my financial information with Excel files. It feels so good to be able to “dogfood” Property Center and use it to manage my own real estate information. A nice little bonus is that I qualify for the free account plan 🙂
I am extremely happy to announce Property Center, an online real estate management service. To compliment the Property Center site, there is a blog setup at Bia Creations. I began working on Property Center shortly after leaving Edstrom and couldn’t be happier. The Property Center service uses prototype and script.aculo.us to enrich the user experience throughout many parts of the site. So please, have a look and let me know what you think!
Also, I want to thank Aeron Glemann for getting me started with portions of the site theme.