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Structure of the Storage Industry

April 27, 2017 Leave a comment

This is a bit of a primer for those of you not familiar with the storage industry.

Organization – This is the head honcho, the top of the pile, the guy that controls it all, also known as the company. Within our Store application, rules can be set that apply to all sites within the organization. Set up of promotions, taxes, sites, insurance and customization occurs at this level. All of this will affect the sites and how accounts and rentals are handled.

Sites – These are the little guys and the foundation of the organization. The units are created here and site hours, website, contact information and even directions can be set. You will also be able to indicate what fees, deposits, insurance and retail, created at the organization level, that will be available at the site.

Account – This is the base for the customer information. The account level can contain multiple rentals, multiple contacts, any reservations and all the data applicable to said items. If a business has a group of rentals they may have a different primary contact for each storage space. The account name would be the business name, but it would have several primary contacts. Each contact would have access only to the units to which they are assigned.

Rentals – This can sometimes be confused with a unit, but they are different. A rental is the contract to use a specified unit for the duration of the rental contract. The rental information will only be maintained for the duration of one tenant in that unit. The rental information will contain the letters, ledger, unit information and rental information. Rates can be changed and delinquency applies to each rental individually.

Unit – The storage, the bedrock of the storage industry. A unit will be assigned a number when it is created by an admin, at that time there is also a UnitID created. Unit number and UnitID are two different things.  A unit ID is the primary key for any unit. While there could be multiple unit 1’s there will only be one UnitID 100000001. At the unit level rates can be set, dimensions of the unit, the attributes of the unit, unit settings can be customized and the walk thru order number assigned. This level will not maintain any rental information, that is all housed at the rental level.

Categories: Articles

Helpful Articles for Using SWS

April 21, 2017 Leave a comment
Categories: API General, Articles

Terms and Acronyms

January 31, 2017 Leave a comment

Anniversary – Allows the rental cycle to start on any day of a month.

Cash Credit/Escrow – The amount overpaid by the customer for a unit using any form of payment except cash. Cash will always be returned as change.

Conversion – The process of moving an organization from one software product to another.

Del – Delinquency schedule – The set of rules applicable to the revenue class that determines when late fees, gate lock-outs, overlocks, liens and any other delinquency steps should occur and how much they will be.

eStore – Yardi’s storage web pages. These allow customers for an organization to access their account and pay bills online without the added cost of creating the pages themselves or the necessity to maintain PCI compliance. EStore is maintained as PCI compliant.

FIU – Financial Integration Utility – Utility to export data from the Store application to multiple formats that can then be imported to finance software. (I.e., QuickBooks, Xero, ZipBooks, etc.)

FOM – First of Month – Requires the rental cycle of a unit to start on the first day of the month.

Gates  The system used by the site to maintain security. This could be an actual gate or a system of specific doors or areas at the site. Store does not integrate with all gate software but the list includes some of the top brands for gate software.

GL – General Ledger – A list of the organization’s accounts that include assets, liabilities, revenue and expenses.

Hard Reservation – A reservation that will set aside a specific unit for the customer. The site will determine if a reservation fee will apply and how much it will be. This is set up in the site rules.

LTD – Lease Through Date – The date the tenant has been assessed rent through.

LOS – Length of Stay – The amount of time the tenant was or has currently been in the unit.

Lost Demand – A reservation or quote that was not rented. This list allows the site to contact the customer to find out why they didn’t rent.

Manager’s Credit – A credit granted by the site, usually issued for customer service reasons.

Nightly Processing – Our roll up which includes but is not limited to moving moneys through the GLs, processing steps in the delinquency schedule, generating required letters, and processing mass rate changes. Steps are also in place to help prevent out-of-balance events and correct data base errors that may have occurred.

Org – Organization – The name of the entire organization within the Store application. This may include multiple locations (sites) or they may be a single site.

Overlock – The act of locking the customers unit out. This requires a lock put in place to prevent a customer from accessing the storage unit. This prevents them moving out the unit if money is due or is in lien.

PCD – Promotion, Credit, Discount – Promotions and discounts are the only options that can be created through the SWS/API. Credits are reserved for users of the application only but can be used towards payment of items through the SWS/API.

PCI – Payment Card Industry – A global council that maintains and updates the security requirements for payment processing.

Pivot date – The pivot date is only applicable if your site uses first of month billing. Day of the month that determines what payment is required for move-in. The pivot date is established by your company. If a customer moves in prior to the pivot date, they will pay only for the days they will be renting that month. If they move in after the pivot date, they will pay for the days in the current month and the entire following month.

  • If the current date is before the pivot date, the customer will be charged rent for the days in the current month. For example, if the pivot date is the 15th, and today is the 12th, the Amount Due will be for 18 days (assuming there are 30 days in the month) and the next payment will be due on the first of the next month. So if a customer rents on the 12th day of April, they will pay for the rest of April and their next payment will be due on May 1st.
  • If the current date is after the pivot date, the Amount Due will be for the days remaining in the current Month and the next month. For example if the pivot date is the 15th, and today is the 18th, the Amount Due will be for 12 days plus the next month. The next payment will not be due until the first of the following month. So if the customer rents on the 18th of April, they will pay for the rest of April, all of May, and their next payment will be due June 1st.

POS – Point of Sale – The point where a transaction has occurred.

Proforma Rate – This is a flexible rate. It can be used as a goal rate for a unit to reach or any other purpose.

Proration – Charge for partial rental period. Example: If a site is FOM and a customer moves in 2 days before the first of the month they would usually be charged a prorated amount for the 2 days rather than a full rental period. This is based on the site rules.

PTD – Paid Through Date – The date the tenant has paid through.

Push Rate – The lowest rate for which the unit should be rented. This is usually used to increase the performance of a unit type that has high vacancy.

Quote – A quote will only guarantee a rate if there is a unit available. If no unit is available they will not be able to rent at the quoted amount.

Rack Rate – This is the highest rate at which a unit should be rented. This is usually used to increase the income for a unit size that is frequently unavailable.

Rent Rate – The rate at which the unit is either currently rented or, if it is vacant, the rate at which it will be rented.

Reversal (payment) – Request for funds to be removed from the customer’s account in Store. This usually will also request the funds be returned to the card or will request a refund. If funds from a credit/debit card are disputed, a reversal would be done where a request was made to reverse the transaction in the Store application but not refund the funds to the card.

Rollback – Reverse an “In-Process” transaction. If a customer changes their mind after requesting a transfer you would rollback that transfer request if a payment isn’t already taken on the new rental.

Site – The location/s within the organization.

Soft Reservation – A reservation that will set aside a unit of a type. This does not allow the customer to choose a specific unit until they rent the unit. If there is only one left they may have no choice. Usually a soft reservation will not have a fee but the site has the option to charge one. This is set up in the site rules.

SSAE 16 – Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements No. 16 – An attestation standard put forth by the Auditing Standards Board (ASB) of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) that addresses engagements undertaken by a service auditor for reporting on controls at organizations (i.e., service organizations) that provide services to user entities, for which a service organization’s controls are likely to be relevant to a user entities internal control over financial reporting (ICFR).

Street Rate – The rate that the unit will default to when it is vacated or that it will be rented at if it is already vacant.

SWH – Store WareHouse – While Store is not an accounting software, we do maintain some accounting information. SWH is the account portion of the software.

SWS – Store Web Services – The API to the Store application. This allows third party integraters to access Store methods which allows them to customer an application or website for the mutual customer.

Transfer – The process of transferring a customer from one unit into another. This does not allow a transfer between accounts or to a different customer.

UOM – Unit of measure – Tells the system how long a rental cycle is for a revenue class. Currently this will be a number of months. For example, if a unit is set to UOM of 2, the rental period will be 2 months.

Void – Undo an action as if it hasn’t happened. If a payment is voided a  message is sent to the processor to not collect the funds. A void of a rental will void the payment as well as the move-in. Voiding a fee will not show that it was charged in the ledger and will not count towards their waive limit. Voiding an end rental will void any move out payment made and put the customer back in the unit.

Void vs. Reversal – A void can only be done the same day the transaction occurred. Once nightly processing takes place a reversal will be required.

Waive – Allows the removal of a fee that a customer has been charged. This will count towards the sites waive limit either in dollar amount or number depending on the site rule.

Categories: API General, Articles