Property Inspections using app
Quinovic is New Zealand’s largest independent property management company that’s purely focused on the residential sector. Founded in 1988, it now has 33 franchised offices around New Zealand, managing thousands of homes on behalf of owners.
Key to its success is the bespoke IT system developed by Quinovic founder Ross Davey. The Quinovic Property Management System (QPMS) is a central repository for all data on the houses and apartments under its management, including rent payments, legal compliance and inspection records. It’s a great tool for day-to-day management, providing a reliable and comprehensive source of information along with the ability to generate detailed reports for Quinovic managers and clients alike.
However there are tasks that can only be completed in person, by property managers on the spot. Each house or apartment on the books must be physically inspected at least four times each year, resulting in hundreds of reports per manager each month. With a generic form it was all too easy for harried property managers to take short cuts, ticking the ‘Yes’ box to say that all rooms were indeed clean and tidy.
Quinovic’s Franchise Services Manager, Tamsin Watson, thought owners deserved a better level of reporting. The solution was simple in theory. If each property manager had a mobile app that could pull down live data from QPMS, a unique inspection form could be created for each property.
Accommodating the needs of the business.
Working with the Tabral platform, Tamsin and her team built a customised property inspection app for Quinovic property managers.
“We wanted to force property managers into every room in that particular property to check specific items, using an inspection form specific to that property,” says Tamsin.
“If the kitchen includes whiteware belonging to the property, we want to make sure property managers check the fridge and freezer is clean and free from damage. If there are two bathrooms, we want to make sure they check both bathrooms for cleanliness and any maintenance such as leaks under the basin, rather than just checking one bathroom.”
Every room generated specific questions that had to be answered. No more ‘tick the box’ generic inspections.
Tamsin appreciates the way an app can create accountability.
“Tabral pulled every detail and created a form that’s tailored to the property. The system won’t let managers complete the inspection until they have physically checked each individual item,” she says.
Less paperwork - more productivity using App
The new app did away for the need to fill in paper forms at the property and then take the forms back to the office and input the information into QPMS. Instead, each inspection generated live data that was sent back to the office via the mobile phone network.
This freed up property managers to conduct more inspections, as they no longer had to manually update records.
It’s also vital to keep clients in the loop, and Tamsin says the Quinovic app makes this easy.
“Some owners just want a summary of maintenance or any tenant issues, plus a few photos, so we email them a professional, summary version report. Within that report is a link to the full inspection report that shows every item that was checked at the inspection and every comment that was written. There is also a link for them to login to our website to view the rest of the photos we’ve taken.”
Helping franchisees deliver better results
The Tabral app was trialled with two Quinovic franchises that had been using the old property inspection protocol. Without exception they preferred the app.
“It puts more power in their hands,” says Tamsin. “They can access tenant, owner and rent details as well as a complete list of chattel locations. There’s no need to write anything down - just open the app and update your information. It’s a real time-saver.”
The app also allows property managers to easily verify any maintenance that has been scheduled. A list of all work orders for any scheduled maintenance forms part of the inspection, prompting the property manager to check the work and make sure it has been completed to a satisfactory standard. Then they can have any necessary discussions with the supplier and report the outcome back to the owner.
The app works equally well on tablets or phones. In practice, property managers prefer to input data into the smartphones they carry everywhere, so the Quinovic inspection app now lives on property managers’ devices. They also have the ability to snap photos on their phones, which will be added to their reports.
Since that first trial in 2012, the Tabral app has been rolled out to all users in the Quinovic group. “Now it’s just part of our business,” says Tamsin.
- Quinovic is New Zealand’s largest independent residential property management company, with 33 franchised offices nationwide.
- An early adopter of IT in the highly competitive property management sector, the company developed its own Quinovic Property Management System (QPMS).
- Working with Tabral, Quinovic developed a unique property inspection app to provide a tool for property managers in the field.
- The app uses live data from QPMS to populate customised forms in the app, with information on all rooms in each property.
- Forcing property managers to engage with property-specific questions on each room ensures accurate reporting during inspections.
- The app also details any recent maintenance and requires the property manager to verify it.
- Inspection data is sent from the user’s phone to the QPMS central system where it is integrated into detailed reports for clients and tenants.
- By streamlining the inspection process, the app enables Quinovic property managers to conduct more inspections in less time, while generating more useful information.