By design Property Vista requires a unit to be present before an application can be submitted. However, there is a workaround to allow applicants to submit an application without a specific unit in mind. This approach can be used for e.g. student housing.
To make this work a few placeholder units are set up as available for online leasing. Applicants apply to these units, and are then moved to the final unit by staff immediately before application approval. As a result the lease application document will have a placeholder unit on it, but lease agreement document will have the final unit.
Please note that Property Vista pulls new data from Yardi on a daily basis. If you want your changes to appear in Property Vista immediately - you need to press Actions -> Update From Yardi on a relevant building when you want to see the latest changes.
Lets say you need applicants to be able to apply to specific floorplan but not specific unit. Add a new unit to your building in Yardi and name it 1Bedroom. Create more units to represent other floorplans as necessary. Make sure the units are available and rent ready.
Now we need to make sure that those are the only units which are available. You can achieve this by unchecking Rent Ready checkbox on all other units in this building in Yardi. This makes sure that applicants are unable to apply to these units, as Property Vista will not show them as available.
Normally Property Vista takes money once an application is approved. If you want to take money on submission instead, then you need to set up an Application Fee. Depending on jurisdiction an application fee may not be allowed, but if this is your approach to taking e.g. deposit payment then you can name the fee a Deposit Charge and apply it to a deposit after application approval. The fees can be set up and renamed in Administration -> Policies -> Finance -> Application Charges, Fee tab. You can also link the AR Code for this fee to a suitable Yardi Charge Code if you wish.
Please note that application fee is per-building. You cannot have separate fees for each unit type.
Blocking further applications
You have received hundreds of applications, now it's time to assign the units. For this you need to make all your available units Rent Ready again, so it's useful to make sure no new applications can be created at this time. Otherwise new applicants will be able to apply to any unit as they choose.
To accomplish this you can go to Administration -> Policies -> Application/Leasing -> Online Availability and set Unit Availability Span to 0. This will make it impossible to apply to any properties this policy is applied to, so unless your organization is entirely student housing and you're doing this for all buildings at once - you may want to create a separate policy just for relevant buildings before making this change. Don't forget to revert this setting when you want to allow online applications again.
Once further applications are blocked you can make the units Rent Ready again. Please make sure to synchronize Property Vista with Yardi manually, or wait for a day for the changes to apply.
You should also have a good number of Submitted applications in the system. It's time to assign the units to these applications, and approve the applications.
- Find the submitted application in Property Vista, press Edit and choose a different unit. Note that the application picks up the price from the newly assigned unit, if different from the original.
- Repeat the process in Yardi, make sure the same unit is selected. This step may not be necessary for some versions of Yardi
- Go back to Property Vista, Complete and Approve the application.
At this point the tenant receives a welcome email, which allows the tenant to log in and sign the lease for this specific unit.
To go back to the original state you can now mark any remaining units as not Rent Ready again, synchronize with Yardi and change the Online Availability policy settings to a non-zero number. Applicants can now once again apply to the placeholder units.