How can you make light work of property reporting and inspections?
Property management companies and letting agents, like everyone, have had to adapt and change to the effects of lockdowns, changes in tiers and rules. There are vital tasks that still need to take place and those tasks include essential property maintenance and repairs – emergency or routine. And people have still been on the move during the last year – which also requires processes and procedures – particularly for letting agents. Now more than ever, property managers and letting agents need to look at ways that will make light work of carrying out reporting and inspections. To get them completely safely, quickly and transparently.
Last year, we published an article about making changes in the business and how it can be daunting. The process of change in a business is not easy and can often be long and fraught with potential mistakes. If your business is used to doing things a certain way, resistance to change can also be a barrier to making improvements. However, fortune favours the brave. And if there is anything we should have learned from 2020, it’s that we must be proactive and implement positive changes that could help future proof our business.
If the thought of improving your reporting mechanisms sends you running for your trusted old spreadsheet, pen and paper, or indeed your old and unreliable software package, this 10 step plan might just ease your change management woes. So that you can be comfortable making the changes you need and ultimately improve how you conduct reports and inspections.
1. Write a plan
I’m not going to regale you with well worn phrases about planning – we all know them. In the case of implementing change, a plan is vital. The size of your business will most likely dictate the size of your plan. What will the plan need to contain? Read on…
2. List number 1 – Inspections, checks, surveys, audits
Pull together a list of the inspections, checks, surveys or audits that you or your team currently report on. This might also help you prioritise which reports to upload first.
3. List number 2 – who carries out reporting?
Your second list that needs to be compiled will be everyone in the business who needs access to the reporting. Those who do the reports and those who need to see the results. You need to do this so that those people can be set up on the reporting system(s) that you choose to test out.
4. Prioritise your lists
Some businesses will do this by department, bringing on a small department first so that it can be trialled and tested by a few users. Some businesses may need to do it by report type, choosing a report that’s easy to transfer and use – one that’s used frequently perhaps. And some businesses build all of their reports on their new platform and switch everything over at once.
5. Research suitable online platforms
There’s so many on the market, you need to get the right reporting platform that suits your specific business needs. Do your research and take advantage of free trials by making sure you have planned the above in advance of starting the free trial! That way you’re ready to get moving with your chosen software partner as soon as you hit that Sign Me Up button.
6. Build your reports
You’ve chosen a few reporting platforms and now it’s time to make use of the free trial period. Login and build a report or two. Depending on how many reports you decide to trial, it might be useful to allocate one person, or a small team to be accountable for doing this. And remember to set a deadline for doing so. You don’t want to waste precious ‘free trial’ time building reports and then not getting a chance to use them. Use templates on the platform, or start from scratch if what you need is a bit more complex or niche.
Whilst the reports are being built, it would be a good idea to communicate the planned changes to everyone who needs to know (if you haven’t done so already). Depending on the size of your business you may need to organise training, you might need to introduce the changes incrementally and you will need to advise of go live dates. You will also need to provide the app download links and login details for the desktop account management.
8. Set up accounts for test users
Set up accounts for the test users. Grab your list of employees who report and choose a handful to be involved in the testing phase. It might be useful to check the number of users you’re allowed to have during the trial period as this will affect your trial and potentially the quality of your outcomes.
9. Begin user testing
When your chosen reports are ready to use, it’s time for your test users to get started with the testing. Send out all the information they need to get started. We have an email template that you can use to make this simple.
10. Test, test, test!
By now you should be ready to test each platform. We recommend planning and preparing as much as you can before you sign up to a trial period. When you register for an INSPCT free trial, we send you a Planner, and you can choose to pause your free trial for up to 3 weeks to get organised before it begins.
Our planning list was put together by Crawford Burns, Commercial Manager for INSPCT. Crawford has a wealth of experience in project management.
If you would like to chat to our UK based team about making the change to a new reporting system, contact us today for a chat or to book an appointment at a time that suits.
Catch up with us on social