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Paper vs. PropTech: the evolution of property inspections

Property Inspect Featured Article # 1

Inspections are an emerging opportunity within the property industry encompassing a wide range of potential services from rental inspections, technical inspections, transactional inspections, compliance inspections and even health and safety inspections. Essentially, inspections are the capturing of information to compile a specific compliance report for distribution.

Pre-Covid-19, traditional paper-based inspections were often tedious and time consuming, requiring a physical site visit, taking endless notes, and collating multiple photos and videos. However, the global pandemic has forced the property industry, like every other industry, to look at ways to reduce human contact and in turn, this has brought about the need for digital solutions which heighten simplicity and efficiency. 

David Hutchison Sales Director of internationally developed, award-winning inspections software Property Inspect says that businesses have had to adapt by becoming more streamlined, rethinking their functions and reorganizing staff responsibilities.

With having to cut costs and transacting remotely, a sudden surge for an outsourced model in the property industry has been created with the real need for inspection reports to be automated, standardized and to be conducted and distributed effectively. This has led to the birth in specialist inspection companies offering a wide range of services based on this model and this is all possible through PropTech”.

While the pandemic has also brought about the necessity to look to innovative software to execute everyday processes, Property Inspect has not only thrived, but it has accelerated digital transformation.

Property Inspect is a leading inspection software that reduces the time traditionally taken to perform inspections for small rental portfolios to complex inspection processes required for tens of thousands of properties. Through ‘self-service’ capabilities, inspections can be sent to a third party who is already ‘on-site’ and only requires a mobile phone. Reports are automatically compiled and instantly available at a click of the ‘complete’ button. Important features to help alleviate dispute management include scheduling, communication, invoicing and pricelists, pre-set templates, digital signatures and auto-embedded time and date stamped photographs.

The Cloud based platform has also launched Live Inspections where users can instruct a third party on site, via the app, on what photos or videos to take and what items to report on in real time.

Property Inspect makes the process so much easier because it is paperless” says David. “While people still struggle with storing info in the Cloud, our system is safe, and it reduces the risk of having paper in a cabinet in the corner of your office. Cloud-based SAAS (Software as a Service) is now considered much safer and less risky than traditional paper-based storage”.

Besides the time savings and efficiency opportunities offered when investing in a robust, simple to use inspection platform like Property Inspect, a well compiled report can be a good sales tool for potential clients too.

Some of the biggest benefits of the digitization of reports include complete audit and communication trails, easier dispute resolution and the centralised storage of reports and data. This addresses many issues traditionally faced by businesses such as reports going missing, for example.

Do not get left behind. You need to consider your inspection requirements and the function this plays within your business” cautions David.

“Are you keeping inspections inhouse for a particular reason or, do you want to outsource your inspections? If PropTech is the answer to your questions, look at powerful software with good Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) such as Property Inspect. Test this and make the switch. By doing so, you are provided with the opportunity to save money while reducing inspection headaches”.  

The technology does not stand still, with Property Inspect now having the ability to embed video and 360 images into reports.

It is also crucial for the property industry to start working smart and not necessarily hard and with what digital transformation has done internationally for other industries including EduTech and FinTech, evolving from paper inspections to digital inspections is the obvious choice says Brian Sango, Sales Manager for Property Inspect.

Our system is suitable and easy to navigate for a young tech-savvy individual or a retired one-man business who is not too well-versed on technology. PropTech does not change your workflow process as a business, it simply and seamlessly migrates what you have been doing on pen and paper to the digital realm”.

The inspection industry has grown into a stand-alone sector internationally and there are endless growth opportunities in South Africa where we face high unemployment rates and job creation challenges. Entrepreneurial platforms like Property Inspect can grow these opportunities that lie within the outsourced inspection arena.

Professionals are looking at alternative ways to solve their inspection problems or to start a business in the inspection industry. What better way to position yourself as a start-up, within a start-up industry, or as an existing company, and to be equipped with the right tools to make you stand out?” asks Brian.

Think of what Uber has done for the global cab industry in terms of introducing a trusted mode of transport or what Sweep South has done locally by providing a much-needed service. Both products are powerful applications that safeguard all parties involved.

Prioritize integration within your business. Too many functionalities on your platform are not the future. Rather make room for integration with other systems to create a powerful PropTech ecosystem. There is power in collaboration and integration in the PropTech space.”