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3 Steps to Quality Property Inspections

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Posted By Devanshi Shah

Keeping your buildings healthy is key to having happy tenants. Over time, lack of routine inspections can add up to wasted time and money, along with deteriorating assets. Proactive maintenance will help reduce surprise emergencies, frequent equipment breakage, and tenant complaints. One way a number of building owners handle proactive maintenance is through inspections. 

But where do you start? There are so many different types of inspections, from exterior to interior, from equipment to grounds. Whether it is a single property OR a portfolio of thousands – the best solution is conducting regular standard inspections on your investment(s).

How do you make a plan that covers all important areas without losing valuable time?

Step 1: Compile an Inspections List 

Gather information about your properties by going through previous records and talking to your staff members.

Create a list of repetitive maintenance needs that your employees work on every year – whether they are state-required, building-specific, corporate-mandated, etc.

Be specific about what the inspection is for, such as:

Tangible Assets

  • Equipment: elevators, boiler, washers and dryers, HVAC, plumbing, structural (roof, walls, beams)
  • Amenities: gym, pool, laundry room, community center, media room, playground, book room
  • Units: air conditioners, radiators, dishwashers, refrigerators, closets, doors, electirc fixtures

Routines

  • State-required: water & filter system, rodent infestations, smoke & carbon monoxide detectors, weather impacted
  • Preventive: clean and dry grounds, intact windows in common spaces, working emergency exits
  • Move-in/Move-out: revamp and install new amenities before a new tenant, record proof of damages

Step 2: Capture Information

Have a simple, detailed and customizable method of documentation that can result in making smarter decisions down the line.

Figure out the frequency and average amount of time it takes to complete an inspection. Then, design and enforce a clear standard plan of action which is well communicated to all employees. Make sure each employee is properly trained and knows their assigned roles. 

Implement an automated system which will alert, update, and track progress on inspection check-ins conducted by your employees and 3rd party vendors. This will provide data that can be used to make improvements for the future.

Step 3: Perform Regularly

Routine inspections will reduce maintenance costs, ensure quality standards, and provide you with constant insights into the conditions of your properties.

Tracking performance and results by a variety of methods (by employee, by building or by type of repair/task) can lead to finding specific answers as to where time, money and resources are needed and wasted the most. For example, if the repair of a leaking faucet is performed differently by all 3 building supers there is a discrepancy in the service provided. If 1 of those faucets is repaired for the 5th time in the past 3 months the actual issue may bigger.

Inspections-In-Action:

After a snowstorm, your management team inspects your property for damages.

 During the inspection the employee checks for water damages – water bubbles and puddles and chipped paint. He/she determines that the basement ceiling and lobby floor have been damaged in the storm. The employee records the results (detailed descriptions and photos for visuals).

 The management team needs a copy of the inspections report in order to determine next steps– what parts of the properties need repairs, which vendors need to be called in, etc.  

Lack of enforcement can expose your organization to risks such as emergency repairs, tenant complaints, and much more.

But how does this directly help my team? How do I get my team on board?

People like consistency in their routines so you are likely going to face some resistance. However, you have to sell this to your team by explaining and providing examples of how exactly their work will become easier and more manageable. 

Routine inspections (i.e. 3 hours every 4th Wednesday) will keep your team up-to-date about the conditions of the properties and provide opportunities to plan for the future. Standardization will make training employees quicker and easier. Employee time and work will become more efficient and enable greater growth. Overall, they will save time, achieve more, and deal with happier tenants.

When you protect the health of your assets by using the right methods for building operations, you can grow as a company today and expand profitably tomorrow.