Use Speech Recognition tools to reduce time doing Reports

One of the biggest problems that you have when you are a managing agent looking after properties on behalf of multiple landlords is that of carrying out inspections of their properties.

There are two separate issues, one of which is the actual amount of detail that is involved. Even if a landlord lets their premises empty without any furniture or white goods, there are still plenty of things that you need to check. If they let their property fully furnished, then there is a whole load of things that need checking, and the problem is that it is very easy to miss something. This is the case even if you are an experienced inventory clerk.

It is so easy to miss a scratch on a door or window frame, forget to check under the sink, look at the light fittings on the ceiling and not realise that there is a glass drop missing or that the lampshade is off skew because of a fault, and so on. So that is the first thing that can go wrong – simply missing things out.

The other thing is the significant amount of time that carrying out property inspections takes. If you have, say, a couple of hundred properties on your books and they all need not only check-in and check-out reports, but all the interim inspections, it takes time. Check-in and check-out reports are only needed at those times. So, two inspections cover it. The real problem is all the interim inspections that you have to do.

If you carry out interim inspections on a quarterly basis, as many letting agents do, then with two hundred properties you are looking at 800 inspections a year, and this is where there is another problem. That is over three inspections every day of the year, based on a five-day week, without allowing for holidays.

The Properties you manage can be almost anywhere

There is also another issue and that is that the properties that you manage can be almost anywhere. OK, by and large they will be on your patch, but then again you may have some which are not. A landlord may have several properties, one or two of which are further afield. Let’s face it, landlords who are in business letting BTLs as a business don’t really care where their properties are. They invest in the best for them and their portfolio.

You have to book an inspection at least 24 hours in advance and advise the tenant in writing. Sure, that can be done by email but the tenant may not have internet access. Now, not all tenants will be available at home at the time that suits you, so you have to carry out the inspection at a time which suits them.

The result of this is that you can be hopping about from one side of your patch to another which can mean driving a distance of many miles from one property to another. And in the worst instance, then driving back again to inspect a property in the next street from the one that you did first! It is the time involved which is so difficult.

You have to carry out each inspection making your notes as you go and ensuring that you don’t miss anything. Some letting agents still do this using a notepad and biro, but the smart ones today are using the Reports2Go app for carrying out inventory.

Our app brings you into the 21st century with a bang, and speeds up the process of carrying out inspections, at the same time making sure you don’t miss things. Not only that, it’s free to use!

You download it to your mobile or tablet and you can use it in text mode or audio mode. Using the dictation software is what many letting agents prefer because it is so much faster.

When you use the dictation software you simply dictate your notes into the app as you go from room to room. Using the onboard tools such as Siri or Google Assistant can make entering descriptions really quick. One technique, for example, describing fittings, is to look through the room and speak to describe the entire collection in one go, then take pictures and add tags to back up the description. Be sure to check and edit the text once done as onboard speech recognition is not 100% accurate and also it does need internet connectivity to work.

Another option with our app is to use Audio mode. Here you simply speak and use the app as a dictation device, then upload the media to your portal on our server when you have completed the inspection. You can then arrange to type up when you get back to the office, or, if you prefer, for a small fee our team will type it up for you.

Panos, 12 November 2021

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