Research reveals time it takes to arrange interim inspections
04 July 2023 2724 Views
Interim inspections are a necessity if you want to avoid property issues and tenant relationship breakdowns. They’re a no brainer – but they’re awkward. What should be a straightforward task often turns out to be a time-consuming admin drain for agents.
Surely, you just pick up the phone and arrange to visit the rental property at a time that suits everyone. Simple, right? Well, not exactly.
The mid-tenancy inspection process
There are roughly 15 steps most agents take to get to the final completion of an interim check. Each comes with its own time frame and can go in a variety of directions depending on tenant availability, tenant communications, reporting errors or missed information, maintenance arrangements and more. You can see the steps and time estimates for each in our infographic here:
Getting all the ducks lined up on the first go is rare, simply because people and their personal schedules are involved.
From that first calendar prompt or landlord request for a mid-tenancy inspection to gaining permission to access the property when the tenant is present, and then completing the report and organising any necessary maintenance off the back of that inspection can take days or even weeks.
Investigating the sticking points
We wanted to know if there was any way to speed up this process and automate aspects, to free up agents from the to-and-fro delays.
When we initially researched the process, the problem areas were instantly obvious. The sticking points centre around tenant availability and gaining permission to enter the property.
It’s no surprise. Any interim property check is going to mean a clean-up job for the tenant, at the very least. It isn’t as simple as the resident being around to open the door when the agent arrives. There will be a degree of reluctance to settle on a date from some tenants simply because they’ll need to plan in significant more time beforehand to get the property ready for inspection.
Automation and communication are key
Advance notice of mid-tenancy inspections will help here but timing is everything. Arrange the visit too far ahead and you’re likely to come up against postponements closer to the time. Leave it too late, and you’ll get caught in the communication loop where the agent spends hours trying to nail down a date with the tenant.
The answer lies in making the process transparent and giving the tenant more control of the process. By educating them on the benefits to them of an interim check (to fix problems, identify areas for improvement, etc.) rather than leaving them worrying about how their home will be scrutinised, goes a long way in building relationships, gaining buy-in and improving the process.
By keeping the communication channels open throughout tenancy, agents can also set expectations. A tenancy without surprises will always benefit all parties.
Make it transparent and give more control
Using a portal or app like Inventory Hive can help by allowing the tenant to receive prompts throughout the year, and by giving them access to a calendar where they can easily arrange calls and visits with the agent. This can drastically cut time spent emailing, texting and calling tenants to organise visits. Permission is automatically gained, as part of the process, and subsequent reminders are automatically sent in the lead up to the inspection.
The same automated prompts can be applied to the reporting itself to minimise any missed details or human error when inspecting. Similarly, the calendar access can be grated to suppliers when arranging post-check remedial work.
By making the process more transparent and giving more control to the parties involved, agents can speed up the mid-tenancy process significantly and alleviate much of the donkey work to focus on revenue-focused activities instead.
Learn more at Inventory Hive.
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