Property managers today can’t afford to wait until something breaks in their building to address it. Unfortunately, this is too often the case in situations where building inspections aren’t completed thoroughly – or worse, weren’t even planned in the first place. When your staff is left to reactively put out fires that could’ve been prevented, you end up wasting time and resources.
Most property teams would agree that doing regular inspections isn’t a ground-breaking idea, but the way some teams conduct inspections make them less impactful than they should be. So how do you optimize your inspections? It all begins with having an organized plan. But to understand how to construct this plan, let’s first understand the most common reasons why many building inspection programs fail:
1. You are using pen and paper.
One of the main reasons we find that commercial real estate (CRE) inspection programs fail is that many organizations are still using manual processes such as email, radios, and worse, paper inspection forms. There is no way that you can ensure inspections are actually being completed on time and correctly if you are tracking them on paper. Even in the off chance that an inspection round is completed properly, any information related to it will ultimately be filed away in a cabinet only to be forgotten about. Using paper to complete building inspections and rounds provides you little to no transparency into the work that must be completed. This is the most obvious reason that inspection programs fail. But investing in just any technology to manage inspections doesn’t always cut it either…
2. Your inspection information isn’t located in a centralized database.
Just because you use technology to manage your inspections doesn’t mean you are using the right technology. CRE organizations that use technology without a centralized, online database to manage their building inspections aren’t able to gain the insight they need to make data-driven decisions. A centralized dashboard for inspections will give you a snapshot of the details related to any inspection task such as progress, who is on point to complete the task, and any issues that may arise during the inspection. This will help you to always have a clear understanding of the health and effectiveness of your inspection program.
3. You can’t monitor, schedule, and complete inspections on the go.
Your team isn’t tied to their desk, especially during inspection rounds. So, it should be obvious that they need to have all information related to their inspection rounds at the tip of their fingers – digitally. Providing your engineering team with mobile technology they can use as they conduct inspections will give them the information they need to effectively complete rounds. Certain technology even provides distinct steps for complicated inspections, ensuring that they are completed effectively, and no steps are missed. Being able to complete inspections on the go also allows you to collect real-time data, meaning that critical information isn’t lost. Lastly, sometimes subsequent work orders or preventive maintenance tasks must be created after an inspection is completed and being able to schedule it on the go makes your engineers’ lives a lot easier. Not to mention, they won’t forget to do this later on if they can schedule it in real time.
4. You aren’t analyzing the data you collect.
If you do have a system in place to help your inspections, you’re ahead of the curve. But simply having a system in place doesn’t mean your inspection program is complete. Many times, organizations gather tons of data related to inspections, but it just sits in their database untouched and unanalyzed for years. As they say, “you can’t manage what you can’t measure,” and if you aren’t looking at the data you collect from inspections you aren’t improving your inspections program and, chances are, important red flags that you could be proactively addressing are falling through the cracks.
A good inspections program is truly the foundation of a strong building maintenance program. Without an effective inspection program, you are opening your organization up to unneeded risk and chaos. The good news is that this is all preventable as long as you invest in creating a concrete inspections program to ensure that rounds and tasks are completed proactively in order to spot red flags before they impact your building performance and tenant satisfaction, but this cannot be done using outdated methods.