We are becoming a fully digital world. Gone are the days of paper applications, paper inspections and paper diaries. Everywhere you turn there seems to be a new app or product to make the lives of real estate agents easier, how lucky are we?
We are seeing the rise of virtual options for real estate agents and property managers. Whilst a lot of the responsibilities of Property Managers has remained similar over the last few years, what has changed is the service expected from agents.
We live in a world where everyone wants something yesterday, expectations are high. A personalised, boutique service is what landlords are growing to expect consistently. This leaves little time during the week for property managers to complete all of their tasks, after all there are only 38 hours in a week.
The other issue that Property Managers and Directors of real estate agencies are facing is the mental well-being of their staff. Employers are faced with striking the right balance between meeting financial business needs such as number of properties managed by their staff, whilst looking after their staff ensuring they are not overloaded with work.
The demands on Property Managers has steadily increased over the last few years, they are expected to wear many hats and juggle lots of different tasks at once. Whilst being the middle man between tenants and landlords. Conflict and stressful situations are becoming a daily occurrence in the life of a Property Manager.
You only have to look at various facebook groups and forums online to see that industry burn-outs and stress related work issues are fairly common. Property managers are feeling the brunt of our societies expectations.
However we have an opportunity here to make the change and embrace new technology such as remote inspections. This gives us, real estate agents the chance to get back some of our precious time. Focusing our attention to giving our best service to our clients.
We can then address the issues of burn outs in our industry and start looking after our Property Managers. After all happy Property Managers means happy clients, clients that stay and in-turn growth and wealth for you as a business owner.
Rockend recently discussed the use of remote inspections here https://www.rockend.com/blog/how-to-run-virtual-property-inspections
With change though naturally we become fearful, some of the biggest concerns we hear from agents is “We don’t want remote inspections replacing physical inspections.” “What about the risk?” “Surely remote inspections are not covered by insurers?”
Technology such as remote inspections has not been created to replace agents or replace the importance of conducting physical inspections. Most insurers recommend inspecting the property once a year. However in states such as WA and QLD we have to conduct four inspections a year, plus conduct the property condition report, final bond inspection and viewings. If you add all of this up you could be visiting just one property 10 or more times a year.
Now just for fun say “John” manages 100 properties that’s 1000 out of office trips a year, or 19 a week!
If you did just two remote inspections for each property a year, that cuts down trips out of the office considerably.
The other issue we are often faced with is staff who are off sick, or take holidays or resign with little notice. Most routine inspections are booked at least two weeks in advance, so the typical scenario is the inspections are rescheduled which is a huge inconvenience to the tenant. Or someone else in the office has to race out and complete them, who already has a full day of work planned.
In this situation remote inspections offer a fantastic solution, no rescheduled inspections. Someone in the office can simply conduct them from the comfort of their desk.
So how about risk? As long as you are physically inspecting the property during the year incorporating remote inspections represents very little if no risk at all. Insurance companies suggest utilising remote inspections on their websites during the current pandemic to assist with claims.
We spoke with one insurance company who said “We only need photographic evidence.” “This can be from the ingoing report or inspections, as long as photos are provided that’s what we use.” As long as your agency can fully back up your claims with photographs then it doesn’t appear that remote inspections would be any different. Check out this article by EBM https://www.rentcover.com.au/info-centre/technology-and-property-moving-the-industry-online
What about drugs at a property? Most Property Managers are not trained to spot the use of drugs at a property. Even if there were drugs or a drug lab at a property would you really want your property manager in that situation, surely that represents greater risk.
Of course if there is a property that needs inspecting regularly or that you are concerned about then inspect it physically but most tenants and properties are presented well and don’t represent any issues.
Lets look at this new technology as a tool that can be used to assist us, not replace us.
As with everything as agents we need to strike the right balance. Our time is precious and our Property Managers are so valuable let’s make their lives a little easier with the amazing technology we have available in our industry.
If you are interested in finding out more about remote inspections, or you would like our complimentary remote inspection guide to email to your clients or share in your office email [email protected]