10 ways for Inventory Clerks and Property Inspectors to improve your Property Inventories - and win more business
Posted on 3rd November 2021 at 14:22
10 ways for Inventory Clerks & Property Inspectors to improve on your Property Inventories
1) Investing in training to use a good property inspection software can be key to any Inventory Clerk's success, especially if you’re just starting out in your property inspection business. Producing good quality, accurate reports which reduce end of tenancy disputes for your agents and landlords is key to keeping happy customers! Using a specialist software will help to keep you on track with your reports and save you heaps of time in the long run.
2) If you're an Inventory Clerk, remember, you should ask the letting agent or Landlord for full property details when you take the booking or before you visit the property so that this information can be checked during your inspection and then included in your report. Key information may include:
• Has the property been recently decorated?
• Are there any new items in the house? ie. Washing machine, new carpets etc
• Has the cooker been professionally cleaned?
Landlords who’ve just paid for new items or specialist cleaning in their rental property will not be happy if this isn’t noted on your inventory report. This is because it may not be possible to take this into consideration at the end of the tenancy as the information has not been included by the Inventory Clerk in their report. You may need to consider how the Property Inspector / Inventory Clerk completing the check-out (it may not be you) will know if the oven was professionally cleaned at the check-in and should have therefore been professionally cleaned by the tenant at the end of the tenancy?
3) As an Inventory Clerk in training, you should establish if a property is furnished/unfurnished when you schedule in the booking. There’s nothing worse than arriving at a property, assuming it is unfurnished, only to find out that it is full of furniture and you have to rush through your property inspection, missing out vital information, or furnishings from your inventory report.
4) It may be a good idea to invest in a decent camera phone. Photographs are an important part of your inventory report. Whilst they cannot replace the written word in your reports, you should master the art of which items to photograph. To start with, I’ve no doubt that you’ll photograph everything. Yes I’ve seen reports which are 170 pages long, and they are full of lovely photographs, but there are just too many, accompanied by very few written descriptions. I’ll let you into a secret, there is no need to photograph every single item. You should take some good overview photographs of each room. Then, you should photograph specific defects on items. For example, if you have described a light switch as cracked, then photograph the cracked light switch, and not all of the other light switches as well. Learning all about which items to photograph will also save you lots of time at the property, as well as saving reams of paper when printing off the inventory report. (We like to look after our planet!)
5) Learning about why an Inventory Clerk / Property Inspector should produce quality reports is key to making improvements in your reports. Once you fully understand the tenancy deposit process, you’ll be well on your way to producing better quality reports, knowing that a robust report is key to a Landlord making an end of tenancy dispute claim.
6) We always train our Inventory Clerks to get key information about the tenancy from the letting agent or Landlord before they visit a property to conduct a check-out. Information such as how many occupants should be residing at the property? A property occupied with 2 adults and 3 children will have a lot more wear and tear than the same property occupied by just 2 adults.
7) Producing good quality, detailed reports with well written descriptions is key to making improvements in your reports, especially when you’re an Inventory Clerk Training. For example, you’re asked to attend a check-out of a two bedroom apartment. The Landlord sends a copy of the original check-in inventory. However, you can’t find any mention of the cleanliness of the items in the property. The door frames don’t mention their condition. When you inspect the property, you find the bathroom is dirty and the door frames in 3 rooms are badly chipped and scuffed. It will be difficult for you to comment on these items, as you don’t know what the condition and cleanliness of these items was like at the start of the tenancy.
8) Don’t use jargon or terminology in your reports. For example, some Inventory Clerks use abbreviations such as BOGM – translation means - Burnt on Grease Marks!! Or ODU – translation means - Old Defects Under. If your report is full of abbreviations, firstly it’ll take you for ever to learn all of the terms if you are training as an Inventory Clerk, and secondly, whoever reads your report in the event of a dispute (usually the letting agent you’re working for, or an arbitrator in one of the tenancy deposit schemes) will have to continually refer back to your abbreviation key when reading your report.
9) Use a consistent structure to your reports. Letting agents like to see a clear and concise layout, which saves them time. Using a tabular format is fine, but you must ensure that all of your photographs are cross referenced with the items they refer to.
10) Go to a property well prepared. Make sure you have your meter keys, a measure, step stool, anything else you need to do the job. If you can’t reach the tops of wardrobes to inspect them, then the chances are that you’ll miss something off your inventory report.
Want to learn more about setting up your own business as a Property Inspector? We’ll teach you everything you need to know – and more. All you need to do is learn with the best Inventory Clerk Training Academy in town and
Start Your Own Property Inspection Business in just 30 days course here.
Share this post: