Who are you and what is your role within the company?
Steve Rad, Managing Director
What is ‘company name’ and what does it do?
InventoryBase - We are the UK’s leading and award-winning software supplier for property reporting.
What services do you offer and in what ways do you work with estate and letting agents?
InventoryBase is celebrating its 8th year providing the property industry with a sophisticated platform for managing and producing property professional reports, maintaining compliance and streamlining property visits end-to-end.
Our customers are inventory providers, property service agencies, letting agents and property managers in residential, commercial and short term rental sectors.
Our new CPD Accredited Training Academy aims to raise the standards in professional property reporting and endorse best practices for all including practical and online courses.
We have recently launched a connected network built within our software which enables Suppliers and Property Managers to network and work together. Property managers or landlords can post job offers around the UK to be bid on by vetted local suppliers.
What makes your product different and how does it benefit agents?
InventoryBase is constantly in development - We understand that the needs of our customers can adapt and change just as much as the property market, so we’re constantly working on improvements and new tools to make the life of a property manager or service provider easier and maintain healthy profit margins.
As with some other products in the market that take an ‘off the shelf’ approach, we understand this also comes with a limited shelf life which is not what our customers need. We, therefore, endorse the ability to improve, scale, add and fine-tune our software consistently.
What is next on the horizon for InventoryBase?
With many product and feature launches planned over 2020, we will certainly be busy this year!
First, we’ll be rolling out Phase 2 of Workstreams. The next phase will open up Workstreams to the general public, allowing landlords, organisations and property managers anywhere in the UK to submit a job directly via the InventoryBase website into the Workstreams network.
Next, we’re expanding our training provision throughout the UK, to offer a superior and effective classroom-based training to independent and employed inventory providers around the country and continue to build up a unified, standards-based approach to property reporting.
And when it comes to the software, while many updates are planned to benefit all of our users, we’re particularly excited about the Franchise management tools we’re currently building for Franchises to manage multiple InventoryBase accounts, as we work with some of the largest companies in the industry.
What is your InventoryBase’s greatest achievement and what made it so special?
We really can’t put our finger on one single achievement, as we’re proud of them all. We’ve built a user base of over 40,000 people; we’ve been shortlisted numerous times at The Negotiator Awards, receiving Highly Commended in Supplier of the Year categories in 2019; we’ve been voted the top supplier and ‘Exceptional’ in EA Masters Best Estate Agent Supplier Guide 2019; we’ve trained over 350 delegates with our CPD accredited professional inventory course through InventoryBase Academy; and we’ve agreed several partnerships with online agents, hybrid agents and third party software providers to integrate Workstreams into their business for outsourcing reports on demand… but the biggest thing we’re proud of is our product - our customers truly love using InventoryBase and continue to tell us how much they have come to rely on it every day.
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing estate and letting agents at the moment?
The onslaught of legislative changes has been one of the biggest challenges during 2019 and looks set to continue in 2020. The ban on tenant fees, for example, raised the cost to landlords which are now starting to be realised and felt by the very people that they were introduced to protect, the tenants.
With InventoryBase, running effective property management, safeguarding rental properties and reducing maintenance issues and tenancy disputes is one of the many reasons why InventoryBase is a favourite in the lettings industry.
What is your property industry prediction for 2020?
We feel that important change is coming and needed to the industry with regards to legislation, improved standards with inspection reporting becoming more important. As it stands, anyone can become an inventory clerk with potential access to properties with no required background checks on either the company or the individual or level of expertise.
We believe and would like to see inventory reports, interim visits and check out reports made a mandatory requirement in tenancy agreements, carried out by competent, vetted professionals. As a result, there needs to be a workable framework that can guide and instruct providers on robust report writing, evidence gathering and information dissemination that has, at its core, the clear goal for all reports to be factual, evidence based, impartial and beyond reproach.
When InventoryBase Academy was developed; we set ourselves a very clear mission to:
· educate, inform, support and
· help guide the industry for the benefit of all inventory providers
We firmly believe that inventory, interim and check out reports are a vital component of the lettings process but should not be just about protecting the deposit; they should be as equally concerned with managing and protecting the rights and Health & Safety of all tenants throughout the life of the tenancy.
Metcalfe, Sian (2019). InventoryBase Academy Manifesto Inventory Providers in 2020 [online]. (Last updated 20 November 2019). Available at: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/inventorybase-academy-inventory-providers-2020-si%C8%83n-hemming/ [Accesseed 15 January 2020]