Convenient smartphone cameras can be used to take photos of repair jobs, the state of a property and for marketing purposes – this we already know.
However, they also have a multitude of other uses to make a property manager’s life that much easier!
Guest author – Darren Hunter
1. Video conferencing
Whether you use Skype, Facetime or another live-video app, using your phone to video conference with tenants and landlords will add another defining, tech-savvy service to your PM arsenal. It could be used to video conference inspections for interstate tenants who are relocating and can’t apply without viewing the property first. It would also be helpful for owners who wish to view the property and don’t live in the state or nearby.
2. Making note of notes
During a routine inspection, if you leave a note for a tenant (or a tenant leaves a note for you), taking a photo of it and emailing it yourself is a great way to store the information for action back at the office. It gets rid of any scraps of paper that are easily lost and allows you to file the image for future reference if needed.
It is also a great way to provide yourself with evidential back up if a particular communication is ever in dispute. The client may say that they didn’t ‘read’ the note, but they cannot refute its existence.
Using the light/torch feature on a smartphone can illuminate corners or top shelves in the dark. A photo can then be taken to check for cleanliness and damage. It is a great way to view nooks and crannies when it is dark or a globe is blown.
Too often we can overlook the torch feature of our smartphones when it comes to video or photographs. It won’t always be your best option in every circumstance, but knowing that using these two features at once will potentially minimise some frustration when trying to provide visual documentation.
4. Landlord updates
If you are driving past a landlord’s property, you can take a photo on your smart phone of the house and garden and send it to the landlord via SMS. This shows the landlord that you are invested in the maintenance and upkeep of their property. It is a personalised touch that would be much appreciated. Good news is always a nice change for landlords too!
It is important that you do not do this to the point that it becomes creepy or invasive however. Do not take photographs if there are children playing in the yard or if other people would be in the shot and avoid photographing any registration plates of cars in the driveway or on the road.
Your tenants are entitled to peaceful enjoyment of their home as much as your landords are entitled to regular updates of the state of their investments.
5. Snapshot for the contact list
Property managers can also use their smartphone camera to quickly take a picture of a tradesperson’s car/signage while out and about – especially if they are on the lookout for a new tradies.
You can also take pictures of business cards (that might otherwise get lost in a pile of ‘junk’).