Are you tapping into the real power of property inspections?
MAIN IMAGE: Schalk van der Merwe, Director of WeconnectU Intelligent Property Software
Property inspections are not the most popular activity. Property professionals find them tiresome and fiddly; tenants find them inconvenient and stressful, and investors often struggle to see the value behind their expense.
Since the promulgation of the new Property Practitioners Act, which makes disclosure forms a mandatory component of all sales and rental mandates, however, inspections have taken on a whole new level of importance.
Without a comprehensive list of property defects, a property professional may neither let nor sell a property. Incomplete or inaccurate disclosure forms also place property professionals and investors at risk of disciplinary action from the Property Practitioners Regulatory Authority (PPRA). Since tenants can seldom be relied on to voluntarily risk their deposit through a truly comprehensive defects lists on exit, the exit inspection has become a critical component of regulatory compliance.
But what if inspections could be more than just time-consuming and expensive regulatory hoops to jump through? What if they could also save time, save money, and improve the rental experience for both investors and tenants?
In our experience at WeconnectU, inspections are one of the greatest untapped opportunities in the rental space. Why? Because they enable something surprisingly simple and yet unbelievably powerful: preventative maintenance.
Anyone who has ever owned property is well aware of the importance of maintenance. Without regular upkeep, even the best property’s condition can deteriorate to a point that is both difficult and costly to recover from. Of course, in a rental situation, the only person keeping an eye on the property to spot issues before they escalate is the tenant. And let us face it, tenants are not always the most reliable sources of information.
So how do you get ahead of maintenance problems before they become emergencies, even with the least observant tenants in place? One word – hopefully not too much of a surprise at this point: inspections.
Notice the ‘s’ at the end, there? That is important. The fact is: one inspection on occupation and exit significantly limits the potential benefits – particularly for long term leases. Yes, you can identify, and repair obvious damages caused by outgoing tenants, and record any remaining issues to avoid unfairly blaming new occupants. But you are very unlikely to proactively catch any issues before they become problems.
By adding interim inspections to your rental management arsenal, however, you have the chance to touch base with tenants outside the pressures of an exit inspection. Not only does this make it easier to spot undesirable tenant behaviour before it materially damages your property, but it also makes it possible to collaboratively identify emerging issues before they escalate into emergencies.
Another powerful value add of interim inspections is the opportunity for property professionals and investors to connect and strategize planned maintenance tasks. Using intelligent software, property professionals can then start saving rental income towards these projects, giving them the green light as soon as sufficient funds have been accrued. No large, budget-busting capital outlays necessary.
Used to their fullest potential, interim inspections replace unplanned maintenance shocks with planned and budgeted maintenance procedures. These, in turn, reduce expensive emergency repairs; prevent knock-on damages; protect the property’s value; improve rental appeal; encourage tenant loyalty; and limit investor liability for health and safety issues.
Sound too good to be true? It must be tricky in reality, right? Wrong. It is actually remarkably easy when you have the right tools.
Modern inspections and maintenance management software has literally supercharged the abilities of property professionals to minimise risk (and unnecessary expenses), maximise compliance, and improve overall investment returns. It takes what used to be a tangled web of communication and miscommunication and streamlines it into a nearly effortless flow. From inspection to opportunity identification, quote, approval, remediation, and quality control – each element can be expertly co-ordinated with full transparency from anywhere in the world.
The potential returns are extraordinary; the value-proposition a no-brainer. The real question (for both investors and property professionals) is: if you are not tapping into the full power of property inspections, what are you waiting for?
WeconnectU offers a truly end-to-end Property Management ecosystem that solves all the major challenges in Community Management, Rental Portfolio Management, and Inspections & Maintenance Management.
WeconnectU’s solutions have proven extremely effective at helping property managers break free of their operational limitations to create modern businesses that are compliant, manageable, scalable, and profitable.