The 4 core pillars of Rental Asset Management are Application Management, Lease Management, Account Management and Maintenance & Inspections Management. Application Management deals with finding a Tenant for a Rental Property and covers aspects such as of Listing and Application Processing. Lease Management deals with the facilitation and finalising of the Lease Agreement, Renewal Management and Exit Management. Account Management covers all aspects associated with Billing, processing of Payments Received and Managing of Defaults.
This article specifically focuses on the 4th pillar which is Maintenance and Inspection Management.
Traditionally, agents would be responsible to conduct all inspections associated with a Lease including in-going, renewal, out-going and ad-hoc inspections. These inspections would typically involve a walk through together with the tenant during which defects are recorded on a clipboard. Since the introduction of smartphones and tablets, the clipboard inspections have been augmented by photos taken from a mobile device.
After conclusion of the inspection, the agent would then typically summarise the important aspects of the inspection in the form of an Inspection Report compiled in MS Word which would then be sent to the Landlord and Tenant for comment via Email.
After getting feedback from the Landlord, either the agent or a maintenance administrator would then task a contractor by sending an email in order to get a quote or to affect repairs. In this process, the information required to task the contractor such as the specific instructions in terms of what needs to be done, tenant address and contact details and so on would be typed in manually in the email from the available inspection report.
Normally, the contractor would provide feedback once the task has been completed after which the agent will then forward the feedback to the Landlord with comments to complete the task.
In addition to maintenance resulting from inspections, ad-hoc maintenance is typically reported via telephone or email. Once again, such an incident would set off a chain of events that involve talking to the Landlord, typing emails to task a contractor, communicating with all parties via phone and/or email to keep them informed up until the issue has finally been resolved.
The challenges associated with the traditional approaches described above are rather obvious and include the following:
- Handwritten clipboard notes might be difficult to read, takes time to decipher after the fact and might even get lost.
- Photos taken might be difficult to associate with specific items noted especially for larger properties and where many photos is taken.
- Manual compilation of Inspection Reports is very time consuming and since the data is rather un-structured, it cannot be re-used without turning into notes about notes.
- Tasking contractors can become very expensive if the information provided is not accurate and takes up a lot of time.
- Keeping all stakeholders informed is very tedious since email associated with the job are not necessarily in one email thread and to get the full picture in terms of what was said and done, the administrator typically have to scan through various emails and documents.
- When agents and administrators fall ill, go on leave or resign, information spread over many emails in a personal mailbox might not be available for the person who is trying to pick up the ball leading to huge potential inefficiencies.
- Since the Rental Property that you are managing for a Landlord is probably the single biggest investment that he has ever made and any combination of the above issues can lead to a perception of poor service delivery which can result in irepairable brand damage.
Companies who continuously strive to improve their customer service and deliver on their value promises are using some powerful strategies to overcome the challenges mentioned above. Some of these approaches have now become the new Best Practise for Maintenance and Inspections Management and includes amongst others:
- Use cloud based technology to ensure that information is kept safe and secure.
- Use smart device apps to conduct inspections and ensure that photos and conditions reported are aligned.
- Protect data integrity by ensuring that data are only captured and maintained at one point and then shared with other systems from the 4 core pillars through integration features.
- Use an integrated approach for Inspections and Maintenance to ensure that Inspection Results can easily by turned into Maintenance jobs.
- Keep track and formally manage communication with all stakeholders to conclusion of each and every inspection or maintenance incident.
Redrabbit is a typical example of an integrated software solution that has been designed specifically to solve the challenges mentioned above. RedRabbit features…
- A Cloud based solution with auto sync to any smart device. This allows you to download information to your smart device, conduct the inspection offline using the RedRabbit inspection mobile app and then upload Inspection results to the cloud once you are back at the office.
- Customisable checklist inspections on smart devices using a combination of toggles, photos and notes to document conditions of items on a checklist much faster and reliable than what would be possible with a clipboard and a camera.
- Re-use of Inspection information to create Job Cards and task contractors with the click of a button.
- Re-use of Inspection information to conduct future inspections by just documenting changes.
- Powerful comparison reports to compare and document differences between any two inspections such as ingoing and outgoing for a specific tenant.
- Keep all stakeholders informed with a powerful fully integrated inbox where all outgoing and incoming email correspondence are automatically associated with a specific job.
- A powerful story trail showing you exactly what happened to date on any job.
- Stats on how you are doing as well as comprehensive reminders for inspections and maintenance to ensure that no balls are dropped.
RedRabbit specialises in delivering innovative and disruptive software solutions to the property industry. Maintenance and Inspections management is a core part of any property management operation and RedRabbit’s trusted platform, tools and professional team makes it easy to demonstrate to your clients just how serious you are about excellent service delivery. Make sure to take your maintenance and inspection management to the next level with RedRabbit today!