Are remote inspections the new normal for Property Managers?

OurProperty Editor

With this 3rd covid variant of Omicron we’ve come to realise that things won’t be going back to the way they were, there is a whole new ‘normal’ that we all need to adjust to.


For a property manager, routine inspections have always been a slightly painful part of their lives.

Regular inspections are critical to the effective management of a property, and for a lot of landlords the inspection reports form the basis of how they view the cost effectiveness and ‘value‘ that they believe they’re getting from their property manager. So the inspection reports have become critical to the customer experience that the property manager wants to deliver.

But in 2022 our phones are continually flashing with this message from our tenants “Sorry but I’ve been asked to isolate, and I need to cancel tomorrow’s inspection”

So that nicely scheduled dozen inspections you had for tomorrow, that all flowed beautifully from one to the other, is now in chaos; half the inspections have cancelled, you’re now driving backwards and forwards all day, and you have gapping holes in your previously very well-planned day. Most importantly half your landlords now believe that they’re not getting value from their investment in your services.

You also have no idea of what condition a property is in, and if it’s a new tenant then the delay could cause havoc if things are uncovered later that show significant damage in this period – you might even be liable under the terns of your agreement for not getting the inspection done on time.

So, we know what the problem is, but how do we resolve it? the tenant has every right to keep people out of their home at this time, and you have an obligation to keep your staff safe, plus the law mandates the isolation.

But on the flip side you have a contractual obligation to professionally manage the property and you may also have a fixed number of inspections that your contractually obliged to perform.

The simple answer is you need to be able to conduct the inspection remotely, ie you or the landlord do not go to the property but you do get a proper inspection done.

The emphasis above was on the words ‘proper inspection’. There are several apps in the market but in the main they offer shallow solutions, generally it’s just a cursory walk through that is controlled by the tenant.

Well, there is at least one platform that delivers everything a Property Manager needs – control of the inspection and even the ability to invite the landlord along remotely as well.

The Our.Property platform brings together all 3 parties via the separate Property Manager, Tenant and Landlord apps. This allows the Property Manager to schedule the inspection, invite both the tenant and if required the Landlord to attend, and then at the allotted time to control the event via the tenant’s phone as it unfolds.

Even if the tenant doesn’t have the OurTenant app on their device the Property Manager can still invite them into the inspection on their phone and then use that phone to conduct the remote inspection.

Click to play the quick how-to video below

You can select more than 1 tenant to attend and you can also invite and log in multiple landlords.

When everyone is connected into the remote inspection you’ll be able to hear each other via the phones speakers, and as the Property Manager you’ll be able to see the images that the tenants camera is viewing. You can direct the tenant as to where you want the camera looking and you take can image grabs at any time that you choose.

At all times the Property Manager controls the inspection, unlike many of the apps on the market that simply ask the tenant to take a number of images and make comments – obviously if you take this route, you only ever see what the tenant wants you to see, so in no way is this a viable inspection solution.

As you direct the tenant from room to room you can review previous inspection comments and history which makes it a lot easier to address areas of concern and makes sure that you don’t miss any important details.

Summing up there are 10 important features that the Our.Property remote inspection tool delivers to you that most other ‘solutions’ don’t;

  1. You get inspection reminders: The PMInspect app reminds Property Managers about the inspection due dates and gives you a schedule and run for the day.

  2. Automated Scheduling: Property Managers and tenants can confirm their availability for the virtual inspection via their apps which is then followed by confirmation emails which both the parties can save to their calendar.

  3. You can invite owners to the remote walkthroughs: Property owners can co-inspect the property live with property manager while maintaining privacy.

  4. Send Reminders: Property managers can send an email and an SMS to the tenants and the owner reminding them about the remote inspection scheduled.

  5. Maintain control: Unlike other inspection tools, OurProperty's remote Inspection gives property managers the control to take pictures and video which is them embedded into the inspection reports automatically.
  6. Send detailed inspection reports: PMs can add the photos and notes taken into the inspection report and they are automatically distributed when the Property Manager has approved them after the remote walkthroughs.

  7. Automate communications to save time: Property Managers can use the numerous pre-written message templates to share their comments saving a huge amount of time.

  8. Create room-specific reports: Each room cues the PM to ask the tenant to point the camera to a specific part of the room for a more nuanced inspection.

  9. Cutdown on backlogs: This highly automated system helps the PM send the detailed inspection report soon after the live inspection saving them a great deal of time that is normally spent in office tidying up the data.

  10. Save time, money and your sanity; the automation embedded in the workflows will save you countless hours and reduce the stress and hassle usually associated with routine inspections.

On a more industry wide and general note we’re now seeing that the majority of property management businesses look at remote inspections as the future for ALL routine inspections.

Rather than sending people out into the field where half their time is spent driving between properties, they can now schedule the inspections back to back and do them from the office. If you get a late cancellation or problem, no problem, you can just get on with your other activity.

Remote inspections definitely seem the way of the future for the industry and while you will always want your entries and exits to be done on site there is absolutely no reason why all routines can’t be managed remotely.

For further details of the Our.Property solution there is a live webinar on Friday the 21st January 2022 at 10am AEST that will be delving onto the details and if your reading this after that date then please go to this link for a video of the event.

If you’d like a full demo of the Our.Property platform please book a personalised demo below.

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