CHALLENGE #1 – Ensuring Complete, Consistent Inspection Data
Companies in the Single Family Rental space report that one of their biggest operational bottlenecks is the inability to easily get complete inspection forms with organized photos and information. Forms that can be accessed instantly during and after a property inspection.
To tackle this, using a mobile and cloud-based inspection platform is often the best bet. Whether you are small or large, the right platform lets you standardize your inspection formats, easily collect property data digitally using mobile devices, and store it in the cloud. For best results, find a mobile inspection application that allows you to customize your own inspection forms, input all your inspection data through an app, efficiently add high quality photos and ensure the photos are easy to identify and categorize. Bonus points if the platform is simple to use, can get inspection orders out to a network of different vendors, and allows your field inspectors to work online or offline.
CHALLENGE #2 – Handling Large Volumes of Inspections Efficiently
As your company grows and you start adding hundreds – or even thousands – of new properties, the volume of inspections will grow exponentially. That growth will be a real challenge without the right partners, processes and tools.
So if you’re in growth mode, it is always a good idea to work with providers who deeply understand the SFR industry. At the same time, it is important to leverage technology to keep your critical data, documents and photos in a 24/7 accessible location in the cloud. The system you choose must also be able to scale quickly and affordably as you grow. Additionally, providers who offer documented processes and information flow will help ease growing pains.
CHALLENGE #3 – Finding The Right People to Perform Inspections
At the foundation of every great company are great people. Finding the right team members, vendors and contractors to do inspections in a detailed, organized and efficient manner is tough. Reliability is always key – especially when it comes to local vendors. Property inspectors need to be highly organized and comfortable operating in a standardized format, as inspection form standardization is a must-have for efficient growth.
With the right technology solution and forms that are easy to complete, inspections can be done by almost anyone: real estate brokers, contractors, tenants and property managers – which substantially broadens your “pool” of potential local inspectors. No matter who is doing the inspection, it should be easy for them to report information directly and accurately from the field to your internal team..
CHALLENGE #4 – Integrating Your Inspection Data into Other Systems
A major difficulty for many SFR companies is managing information in multiple different systems. You may have a product for managing your rentals, a program for maintenance, another that is used during the initial pre-purchase evaluation, and so on. Often, you need to do manual data entry or import and export processes to ensure the right information is housed in each different system. When you add a mobile inspection platform, you add another tool that might require a manual process. This poses a challenge, but can be eliminated by connecting your systems.
For property inspections, ensure that you have this integration capability in place. The best mobile and cloud platforms have standard REST based APIs which will allow you to push data out into your inspections for the benefit of the field workers, and to pull data back into other systems – even allowing you to automatically move the inspection photos or full reports. For an even more seamless implementation process, see if your property inspection tech vendor works with an app integration service like Zapier.
CHALLENGE #5 – Capturing High Quality Property Photos
Many organizations don’t take the time to train their inspection teams to document property conditions with accurate photos. So finding a mobile application that makes photo taking dead-simple is important.
An intuitive mobile app should allow your field staff to know what photos to take and where they should be taken. The product should easily categorize the photos, optimize them, and store GPS coordinates, date and time stamp information on each photo. A secure cloud storage system is also high on your checklist to maintain and manage all the property photos. Pro Tip: Train your field staff to capture high quality photos in the field for marketing the property and avoid the need for costly professional photographers.