Property inspection apps have emerged as a much-needed alternative to paper checklists and clipboards, but they’re not all created equal.
While your basic inspection apps provide the obvious advantage of having digital records that are easier to save, share and retrieve, the benefits are minimal when compared to inspection apps that integrate with other maintenance and property management software.
In this post, we’ll show you the underlying value in having an integrated property inspection app, and which areas of the organization it can positively impact.
Looking beyond the unit inspection
Before we look at the added value of an integrated inspection app, it’s important to think about why we need inspections in the first place, and more importantly, what work needs to be done after the inspection takes place.
For example, let’s say during the make-ready process, at the pre-move out inspection you uncover the following issue - major plaster repair and new paint for entire unit is required
What happens next?
Some or all of these tasks may need to follow:
- Contact vendors for quote
- Wait for response, and then approve and generate a PO
- Update make-ready board
- Confirm date and time of when work is to be completed
- Once work is completed, update make-ready board
- Document and log plaster damage for resident chargeback
- Issue resident chargeback and append photo evidence
That’s seven additional tasks required for one item on the inspection list. Not to mention the very real possibility of having unresponsive vendors, change orders, scheduling delays, supply chain issues, etc. Now, multiply that one inspection item by five or six items, and then multiply that again for every other inspection happening in other units throughout your property/portfolio. Before you know it, there are hundreds of tasks that need to be taken care of and orchestrated in order to have vacated units ready for new residents.
I’m sure you have some sort of a system and process in place for managing such tasks. You probably wouldn’t be in your line of work if you didn’t, but the real question is, how efficient is your process and how can it be improved?
Automating the manual, repetitive tasks
As you may have guessed, the best inspection apps integrate with a work order system to automate the manual, repetitive, and time consuming tasks, while eliminating human error.
With an integrated inspection app, tasks can be automatically assigned to vendors or internal maintenance teams with scopes of work. Alerts and notifications can be triggered when changes are made or due dates are missed and attention is required. A digital version of your make-ready board can be updated automatically to reflect updates in real-time, all while providing full visibility into the status and completion percentage of tasks.
Most importantly, you can know, with confidence, when a unit is rent-ready and expected back on the market.
How property inspections apps can deliver corporate value
Beyond giving maintenance staff and property managers a better tool to work smarter and faster, integrated inspection apps give operators the visibility and insights they need to generate full corporate value from every unit turnover.
All inspection data and resulting tasks can be used to generate reports that help with better decision making. With the click of a button, operations managers can:
- Compare vendor pricing across properties or regions
- Determine the ROI of upgrades or renovations
- Identify resource and capital intensive activities or parts/labour
- Calculate average days per unit turn
- Forecast upcoming fixed asset repairs and/or replacements
- Easily compare performance between properties
As you can see, there’s an immense amount of value you can uncover from your unit inspection data and ensuing tasks, if tracked and managed with the right app and software platform. If your inspection app doesn't include these capabilities, you’re leaving money on the table.
Putting property inspection apps to work for you
The most effective inspections apps are the ones that can be configured to each organization’s unique operational workflows, requirements, and goals. More importantly, the app you use should be a part of a connected system for a faster, seamless, and reliable transfer of information.
Data has the power to transform entire industries. Imagine what it can do for multifamily operations. With the tools to collect, assess, and digitize inspection data, operators can see exactly how their resources are being used throughout the process and spot opportunities for savings and new efficiencies along the way. Managing assets to ensure that they perform optimally and provide sustained returns requires constant attention. Like all professions requiring diligent oversight and timely decision making, the right tools make all the difference.