The business landscape is undergoing rapid transformation with organisations of all sizes taking the leap from paper to digital. But while the need to digitise inspections has been more urgent for some industries, there will come a time when every industry needs to make the switch.
As technology continues to revolutionise almost every area of the economy and society, from banking to entertainment and shopping to healthcare, it is undoubtedly making people’s lives easier. We live in an on-demand world, after all. Most things are available at the click of a button, so the same should be true for property services.
Up until now, the property industry has notoriously lagged behind in technological adoption and digitisation. It takes longer than ever to buy a home, fall throughs are an ever-present threat and obtaining the necessary information about a property is a painfully slow, disjointed process.
To address these inefficiencies, forward-thinking firms across the spectrum of property have begun to leverage technology and digital tools to support their operations, increase productivity and stay competitive.
Although we’re seeing the biggest strides in construction and corporate real estate, technology is becoming a pervasive force in a handful of sectors. However, outside of the pockets of highly-innovative excellence, the industry as a whole remains siloed and stilted by outdated, paper-based processes.
If we’re ever going to make a real impact on the lives of tenants, buyers, sellers and society as a whole, then digitisation must be the next logical step in our journey towards a truly modern property industry.
The importance of data and digitising inspections
Whatever the nature of the work at hand, turning to apps and software that utilise the latest technology will fundamentally alter the way work, saving time and money, not to mention a lot of headaches down the line.
One of the biggest reasons for this is data – a crucial building block for any successful business. Using data, firms are able to make smarter decisions so they can continue to meet the demands of the modern customer while adapting to a tumultuous property market.
However, data is hard to gather and interpret from reams of paper, handwritten notes and other physical evidence. The process of digitising inspections changes that, unlocking a valuable data stream that can be integrated into other digital tools and solutions for further insights.
Paper-based inspections are notoriously time-consuming and tedious, not to mention they’re also prone to human errors and inconsistencies. Once you make the switch, not only do your inspections become faster, but they become more organised and structured, too.
What’s more, once inspections are digitised, they’re easier to share and action, as opposed to being forgotten in a filing cabinet. This allows for greater consistency between stakeholders or from department to department, leading to greater organisational efficiency.
So, if you’re still not convinced or you’re on the fence about digitising your inspection process, here are seven reasons why you should.
1. Improved productivity
When it comes to digitisation, there’s no bigger draw for an organisation than a boost in productivity. Improving your working practice with digital inspection tools boosts productivity to no end, cutting out the need to manually record evidence and information.
Wasted time and unnecessary expenditure are decreased as you’ll finish your task in fewer steps, so you can spend that free time keeping your clients happy. So, the more productive you are then the happier your clients will become, which means your profits will be higher!
2. Smarter working
Technology, tools, systems, assets and buildings are becoming more connected and more integrated. In our homes, we have smart devices that make us coffee, turn the lights off, order our shopping and suggest what movies to watch. With that in mind, there’s no reason why our workplaces shouldn’t be like that too.
Artificial intelligence (AI) might sound scary to some, but it’s not here to take away, it’s here to augment. Having systems and tools that encourage smarter ways of working, from collecting and sharing information to analysing data, makes for a much smarter working environment
3. Increased accuracy
Inspections get a bad rap for being out-of-date and inaccurate. For the people who need that information the most, trawling through pages of scrawled notes, contextless photographs and missing evidence is time wasted that could be better spent elsewhere.
Even digitising a simple checklist increases accuracy, especially in the case of health and safety inspections, which should always leave no room for doubt or interpretation. Digitising every element of an inspection significantly increases accuracy.
4. Data and integrations
As we previously mentioned, data is becoming increasingly valuable to organisations of all sizes. Readily available data gives you access to insights and information that can help you make better decisions. Some digital inspection apps also give the added advantage of real-time data so you can swiftly take action if an incident or issue occurs.
In that same vein, integrations are another superpower that cannot be overstated. Using integrations, you’ll be able to send data and information from system to system to make the entire process smarter and more efficient, whether that’s accounting software for built-in billing or email tools for speedy reporting.
5. Future-proofing operations
Being ready and able to adapt to the curve balls that our world likes to present us with now and again is crucial. Because not only do you need to make sure your business is the best it can be now, but you’ll also need to ensure that you’re going to last tomorrow as well.
Future-proofing your company by shifting over to digital inspections means that when machine learning and smart technologies are more widespread, you’ll be ready to plug into whatever innovation comes along. You can’t do that with paper!
6. Accessible and on-demand
We’ve all been there, sitting in front of a pile of paperwork, sifting through file after file looking for the one crucial piece of information you need. When your inspection process is digitised, there’ll be no reason why you should ever have to do that again.
With digital inspection software, every form, every photograph and every report is stored digitally in the cloud or on-premises, ready to be accessed in just a few clicks.
7. Fully compliant and auditable
Compliance is what keeps everything in line. Where accessibility is important for the day-to-day running of a business, being auditable is absolutely essential for long-term compliance and business success. Estate agents will know this only too well. Missing paperwork or incomplete inspections can spell disaster for the agency and its client.
Digitising your inspections now will save huge costs and severe implications in the future. Non-compliance is a slippery slope that can lead to financial ruin and reputational loss…or sometimes worse in the case of health and safety-related matters.
Everything is going digital…are you?
With so much of the world going digital, it’s now up to service providers and property professionals to continue their great work by switching to digital inspections.
Adopting new technologies in your property practice is an ambitious statement of intent – not only does it show that you’re future-proofing your organisation for long-term success, but it also establishes you as a forward-thinking organisation in an otherwise backward industry.
If you’re ready to take the next step in your digital transformation journey, get in touch with us today and we’ll show you just how powerful digital inspections can be.