Budgeting for Compliance:
Take the Stress out of Budget Season with Mobile Inspections
Budget season is the ideal time to double-down on inspection workflows for critical compliance requirements. With item-level analytics, you can now calculate the expenses associated with safety and compliance and forecast accurately.
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Budget season is the best time to talk about inspections because it’s the best opportunity to solidify your strategy for success in the coming year. Between shedding light on the expenses and assets that will define your budgetary possibilities next year and making sure your property is protected from compliance-related lawsuits, the steps that multifamily property operators need to take to improve their inspections in the coming year can lead to big rewards down the road.
Not paying attention to these concerns can be painfully expensive — from high replacement costs that could have been avoided with a superb preventative maintenance program, to the high cost of premise liability lawsuits, to the very worst case scenario, like the deadly Berkeley balcony collapse.
Because the lack of a rigorous compliance program is both expensive and high-risk, property professionals should take advantage of this year’s budget season to double-down on their inspection workflows. With the advent of mobile inspection technologies, you can now calculate the expenses associated with safety and compliance and analyze them from an item, property and portfolio-level lens. This not only allows the most cost-effective strategies for compliance and increased NOI from better preventative maintenance, it also means you can accurately forecast what you’ll spend on compliance-related issues, empowering you to invest more in your revenue-generating programs.
“HappyCo helps us prevent neglected items from deteriorating — allowing us to reduce liability, drive down replacement costs, and raise NOI by 1.2%, or $1.5 million dollars.”
Senior VP of Operations, Apartment Management Consultants (AMC)
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The safety of residents is the property operator’s foremost duty. That’s why housing regulations are so strict and expenses associated with compliance and negligence claims so extreme. Yet many owners and managers still use paper-and-pen inspections, unaware of how ambiguous or missing inspection data can lead to tragic consequences and lawsuits.
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"The key is to document every day in case something happens. Before HappyCo, if an accident happened and the resident reported it to us a few months later, I’d have to go through all the papers and hope we had that date recorded. Now, in the Happy app, the snow log is documented every day."
Property Manager, Park Edge Apartments, Maxus Properties
If the seemingly endless wave of highly-visible payouts from managers to residents is anything to go by, today’s legal climate leaves no room for any compliance missteps. Unfortunately, pen-and-paper inspections have always made reacting to new regulations difficult. Every time a change is made at the local, state, or federal level it needs to be distributed to every building impacted. Changes need to be made to every inspection sheet, new copies need to be printed and old supplies need to be discarded. This is a process primed for human error, and any mistake could be costly to the legally-liable manager. Mobile inspection platforms drastically reduce human error and make it easy to update and distribute new forms across your portfolio. Additionally, they make all the essential data about your communities available instantly to managers, who can show it to auditors should they need to.
For property owners’ insurers, mobile inspections also provide an invaluable defense by automatically organizing and time-stamping all photos. If someone slips and falls on a property, these inspections can be used to prove whether or not the owner was negligent. If a plaintiff claims that he or she slipped on a patch of floor wet from a leak, the defendant might have a photo of that floor (time-stamped a day prior to the fall) showing no leak at all.
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“That’s really the difference between a payout of a few thousand dollars and a few million. Mobile inspections can give insurers the evidence they need to prove that they take safety seriously — and dramatically reduce their settlements.”
San Francisco Attorney, representing property owners
Even in a case of he-said/she-said, simply producing a record of regular, diligent inspections and maintenance shows that even if the conditions for the fall did exist on the premises, these conditions are due to factors other than negligence. “That’s really the difference between a payout of a few thousand dollars and a few million,” says San Francisco attorney Matthew Whatley, who represents a number of property owners. “Mobile inspections can give insurers the evidence they need to prove that they take safety seriously — and dramatically reduce their settlements.”
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Budget for compliance. Budget for real-time property operations.
Double-down on your inspection workflows this budget season for best-in-breed property compliance, cost-effective maintenance, and accurate forecasting across your portfolio.