Inspect Safely, Minimize Risk:
Introducing Resident Inspections
When health risks put a wedge between your teams and your residents, how do you bridge the gap and gauge unit conditions in a health crisis? Inspect safely, boost visibility, and improve decision-making today — with Resident Inspections.
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Hand-shakes are off-limits during leasing tours; pool parties are a thing of the past. Since the start of the pandemic, life at multifamily communities across America has changed considerably. Operators face a range of unforeseen challenges, and the economic toll of the outbreak is only raising the stakes. HappyCo is here to help.
We’re aware that multifamily teams face this exceptionally difficult safety and operations question: how do you assess unit conditions when it may not be safe to walk through the front door? It’s why we’re introducing…Resident Inspections, a new feature of Happy Inspector.
We’ll cover how resident-led inspections pave the way for safer operations, better visibility, improved customer service and much less tension in chaotic times.
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You don’t have to wait any longer for a software tool that keeps multifamily communities safe while delivering critical visibility into unit conditions. With Resident Inspections, safer operations start now. When residents have the chance to take charge and offer a detailed view of their unit’s conditions, operators can gauge which repairs or maintenance items truly need a response — and which can be organized for a later date.
CEO of CSI Support & Development Nancy Evans offered HappyCo a window into why unit access has proven so challenging for residents and operators alike. At the senior housing co-op communities CSI oversees, gaining entry into a unit hinges on being “sure the repair in question is affecting…‘major daily life functions.’ That might mean a broken faucet, a leaking toilet, a broken fridge, a heater not working.”
However, Evans explains that the equation becomes especially tricky at a complex housing residents in the “high-risk” population. “For us, the issue has been that there is an emergency repair need, but the resident may not want someone in their apartment out of fear they’ll bring germs in.” CSI has countered this concern by having “techs wipe all surfaces before they enter a unit to protect themselves and additionally have them disinfect the same surface again after the repair to protect the resident.”
As operators of all types face an uphill battle sourcing these high-demand safety supplies, using Resident Inspections can ensure techs are only entering units when it’s critical during a high-risk period. In the meantime, with everyone’s everyday feeling much more stressful than usual, HappyCo knew a user-friendly experience was essential.
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To that end, Resident Inspections are a breeze right from the beginning. That’s why residents simply receive an email that takes them straight into the inspection through their web browser. From there, a simple camera icon allows residents to photograph any items needing attention. A notes field gives them the chance to elaborate — providing specific commentary throughout the inspection. Automatic data syncing ensures all of their diligence is worth the effort.
On the operator side of the equation, multifamily staff have ample opportunity to customize templates — ensuring they can discover exactly what they need to know about a unit. Rating options can include checkboxes for multiselect, drop downs, or radio buttons for single select. Property managers can also include an info button for residents that reveals additional context or instructions for any item included in the template. Better still, Resident Inspections provide a seamless workflow for multifamily teams with Entrata, MRI, RealPage, ResMan, Rent Manager and Yardi integrations.
Compliance concerns can also be one less worry for multifamily teams during these uncertain times when they leverage Resident Inspections. These inspections are designed to hold up in litigation by requiring residents to digitally sign, and ensuring that those digital signatures are time-stamped and attached to unit-specific reports.
Best of all, operators have the power to ensure nothing important slips through the cracks — by making certain items mandatory. The “Required” designation means residents won’t be able to complete the inspection unless the item is rated and documented in the specified way (perhaps with photos and/or commentary). As Resident Inspections was created to tighten the feedback loop between staff and residents, operators can finally enjoy some relief knowing their techs will not be on the frontlines in a crisis — unless there’s a very good reason to enter a unit.
Apartment Management Consultants Senior Vice President of Operations Jaren Bradley says the feature is “extremely beneficial,” stressing that AMC’s teams’ health “could be at risk if they enter an infected occupied unit or one very recently vacated. Our goal is to prevent them from transporting any viruses to their homes, office or other units, so having that assessment of unit conditions before our crews can safely go in helps us stay safe and on schedule.”
Jaren says he also sees another upside to the Resident Inspection feature; it allows residents to truly feel like part of the conversation around the place they call home.
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Long before the outbreak, operators always faced the potential for tension following move outs. Would residents dispute charges related to their unit? Was there rock-solid, time-stamped proof of damage? In a pandemic, how would a gap between move out and cleanup (for safety reasons) affect this dynamic?
Fortunately, Jaren feels confident that resident-led inspections can ease tension on this touchy issue. “We are not entering units for three-four days after a move out due to safety concerns, so the ability for residents to lead their own pre move-out inspections has given them peace of mind — to have a voice, to share their opinion in the process.”
Residents at AMC have also told Jaren’s teams they’re grateful for the feeling of normalcy resident inspections provide. “We always did pre-move out walks with our residents, but because of the crisis, we can’t be by their side. So, now that we’re starting to utilize resident-led inspections, it’s great to hear residents say they feel as comfortable as if they were walking the unit with us.”
But move-out walks are just the beginning. Jaren says he sees value in Resident Inspections far beyond the move-out process currently underway at AMC. He’s already envisioning using the tool for move-ins, annual unit inspections, fire safety and more.
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