We sat down with Steve Rad, Managing Director at InventoryBase, a unique cloud and mobile application for scheduling, producing and managing professional property inventory and inspection reports.
Steve shares insights into the technology behind InventoryBase, how they are continuing to develop their tools and technology and how the InventoryBase Academy is a voice for the property reporting industry.
Q: Can you share insights into the technology behind this and how it simplifies the property inventory and inspection process?
A: InventoryBase was an early adopter of single-page web applications that worked just like Desktop software but in the web browser. Our fast, speedy, intuitive web dashboard was complimented by an app-based report editor that allowed our customers the full end-to-end service of scheduling, producing, editing and sharing property reports.
Our technology was a major factor in on-boarding larger clients. As a result of the technologies we selected, it gave us a unique edge over our competitors for the rapid development of new features and updates to continue to evolve with the needs of our customers.
As a result of this, we’ve retained over 80% of our customer base for as long as 7 years.
Q: How do you see technology developing at InventoryBase?
A: Customers that joined us at the beginning now have new challenges with growing and scaling their business. Thankfully, by making the choice to use InventoryBase, we have the ability to scale and evolve with them via our Enterprise service.
We’ve seen a rise in Franchising, requiring administration over multiple InventoryBase accounts with shared templates and settings, as well as the need for more collaboration between accounts, such as property management teams working with outsourced inventory clerks.
We’ve focused on making collaboration easier by building features to make landlords/managers aware of maintenance, safety and cleaning issues with tenants who are agreeing liability for the property.
We see the future as renting becoming more transactional, with each service in the chain capable of being provided by multiple external suppliers, and InventoryBase is at the forefront of rental transactions being most popularly used for new tenant check-ins and check outs.
With an evolving, transactional world, we aim to continue to develop the tools and technology to make field operations, customer service and collaboration more streamlined and accessible for all.
Q: What features do you offer that separates you from competitors?
A: InventoryBase is both proactive and reactive to industry needs and provides a facility to build unlimited templates for any type of report. Using these templates, you can schedule property visits to do yourself or assign to a colleague or contractor, then use our mobile/tablet app in the field to complete the report, embed photos and videos, to upload back for review or instant delivery to your clients/tenants.
Tenants can comment on the report to request changes or sign in person or remotely. A detailed audit trail is provided of every recorded event throughout the tenancy and property lifecycle, and reports are automatically compared between visits to highlight issues.
Suppliers or property managers charging for reports can automate invoicing and connect to third-party accounting software to keep financial records current and in sync.
If an original or third party report is received that wasn’t originally produced within InventoryBase, the document can be imported for automatic insertion, allowing the user to copy and compare to the original report with no re-typing required.
When at the property, large and especially furnished properties can sometimes take too long to complete on-site. Using our built-in audio recorder, users can dictate reports for automated transcription once uploaded or can make use of speech-to-text options already on their device giving vaulable time back to the clerk.
If resources are thin, InventoryBase Workstreams is there to provide a concierge service to advertise jobs and receive bids directly from suppliers local to your property.
We are the only company to offer a full, extensive and public API for integrations with third-party software vendors and apps. As such, we have numerous integrations with property management CRMs and solution-based products, and customers can benefit from enhancing their existing software with the features provided by InventoryBase.
Q: Could you tell us more about the InventoryBase Academy?
A: InventoryBase Academy was born out of necessity to provide a voice for the property reporting industry. Primarily aimed at inventory providers and property managers, the Academy sets out to endorse best practices, useful guidelines, ongoing advice and industry compliance.
Helmed by Sian Hemming-Metcalfe, an experienced outsourced inventory provider for more than 10 years, InventoryBase Academy offers the most comprehensive training course for new and novice inventory providers, plus ongoing training for both startup and experienced providers and property managers.
We’ve recently launched classroom-based practical training to compliment our online course “Professional Inventory Reporting”, both of which are CPD-accredited.
In addition to property reporting, we offer courses on Fitness for Human Habitation, Legionella Assessments, COVID-19 Safety, GDPR and more.
Having created a large following of inventory providers and entrepreneurial property professionals we’ve now launched regular Podcasts and Webinars to continue to engage with the industry and invite guests on to discuss topics relevant to this industry.
Having now provided training for over 500 delegates with great feedback we aim to expand coverage nationally and will continue to be both a voice and an innovator in the industry.
Q: Lastly, where do you see the industry heading in 2-5 years?
A: We know that the future of renting will evolve to be more and more systemised. We’ve been pretty ambitious over the last year building InventoryBase Workstreams, which is a marketplace connecting property managers and landlords with outsourced service providers around the whole of the UK.
Technology will drive transactions, and InventoryBase Workstreams will be at the forefront, providing an easy, streamlined way of outsourcing individual or multiple property visits to third party suppliers to carry out one or more services.
With InventoryBase Academy vetting all applications for quality and competency, Workstreams is a tried and trusted medium for outsourcing property reports, and this will allow the industry to grow and scale in a way it couldn’t before, with highly competent sole providers being on a level playing field with their counterparts / peers to access contracts and jobs that would otherwise be reserved for nationwide providers.
With tech always being at the heart of what we do, it’s a welcomed directive for us to push and promote even better technology through the property industry whilst we continue to offer the support and substance that’s required to provide the best services we can to all.
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