Using on-board Dictation Software for Reports

Time consuming though they are, inventories and reports are an essential component of today’s lettings environment. They need to be done and as accurately as possible. The overhead is such that often when many properties are involved the only solutions possible are either to outsource reports to a professional inventory clerk or to use existing personnel from the team to the task. If it is a member of the team, invariably it will mean doing reports in and amongst other responsibilities. If outsourcing, look out for qualifications and affiliations with entities such as propertymark or the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks. They maintain standards through codes-of-practice and some require indemnity insurance cover.

As Chris Hamer, Propertymark Executive Chairman, says, “Everyone agrees on the importance of the inventory, but quality of inventory provision varies greatly across the industry. Success in deposit disputes is usually dependent on the quality of the inventory and the schedule of condition.”

It is quite true that inventory can vary considerably according to the knowledge, or lack of it, of the clerk undertaking it. This can be one of the chief reasons that many disputes prolong unnecessarily and need arbitration under the Tenancy Deposit Scheme.

An accurate inventory, including photographs, can ensure that many of these unnecessary disputes are avoided and are fair to both landlord and tenant. This is why we invented our app at Reports2Go in order to help inventory clerks and others – even landlords who only have one or two properties and manage them themselves – to produce inventory, or schedules of condition that are as accurate and complete as they should be.

Anybody can download and use our app for free to any type of mobile device from Google Play or The App Store. The app helps speed up the process of taking inventory considerably, and at the same time ensures that the clerk or other individual taking the inventory doesn’t miss things out.

It can be used in text mode where you type the descriptions as you go along or using on-board dictation software . Device speech recognition has come a long way and if you have a good connection at the property you can used it quite effectively to produce description. It will make the occasional error which is easily corrected or edited out later on. As you work through each room, the app will give you prompts to check such items as light fittings, condition of skirting boards, doors, and windows, carpets, etc. Add pictures and tag pictures as necessary. When you have finished you simply upload it to the R2G portal and in a few minutes the report will be ready to download.

The app can also be used in audio mode. This makes taking inventory even faster while you are on premises because instead of typing your notes you simply dictate audio into your mobile in the same way that you would talk to a Dictaphone. You then upload the media to the portal, and you have the choice of downloading and transcribing yourself, or for a small fee our staff will do it for you. Inventory done and dusted!

Panos, 11 September 2020

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