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The Importance of Video Inspections for Property Management

As a property manager, our ultimate goal is to make investment property ownership a stress-free and profitable experience for the property owners we work with. There are many ways we do that and we are constantly striving to find new ways to meet the needs of our property owners.

One of the many services we offer are video inspections. This includes a recorded walk through of the apartment prior to a new tenant moving in as well as a recorded work through of the apartment when the tenant moves out. Video inspections are also provided when large repairs or improvements are being recommended.

We have found the use of video inspections to be beneficial for both us and the property owners we work with. When a property owner decides to work with a property manager, there is a certain level of trust that has to grow in order for that relationship to work.

A video inspection is really efficient and beneficial for all parties involved in a lease.

For example, when a manager contacts the owner to let them know about repairs needed to the property that will cost the owner money, the owner has two options:

  1. Trust the manager is making a good and necessary repair
  2. Refuse the repair until you get verification that it was absolutely necessary. This creates an awkward situation for both the owner and the manager.

One thing we do to eliminate the potential for an awkward situation and to build that trust with the owners is to conduct video inspections. This is effective in several ways. You can see a lot more detail in a video that you can in photo, and it allows us to zoom in on areas of damage while still providing perspective on where the damage is within the property.

A video can also provide a better overall view of the property. This can be especially helpful when comparing the condition of the property when a tenant moves in compared to the condition of the property when the tenant moves out.

Limitations of video inspections

Video inspections can be limited in that it creates a sometimes long process; particularly if you have to look through an entire video just to find one area of damage. However, we mitigate that limitation by using the video inspections in conjunction with a written inspection report.

For example, if a property has exterior damage that needs to be addressed, we can provide a written report detailing the damage, repairs needed, and expected cost along with a video of the damaged area. In this respect, the video will enhance the information provided in the written report.

Interior video inspections while a tenant is living there are sometimes difficult to get due to valid privacy issues for the tenant. However, this particular limitation can be addressed on a case-by-case basis.

Benefits of Video Inspections

By providing the video inspections along with inspection reports we are building trust between us and the property owner while eliminating a possible awkward situation of the property owner feeling the need to ask for verification of property damage and repair estimates.

Videos are also helpful when a case goes to court. We have found that video is significantly more effective when a tenant needs to be evicted or taken to court and there is property damage involved. Getting a video tour of the damage has a greater emotional impact than photos. The videos can also be used to show a clearer before and after condition of the property in court.

If a deposit is withheld due to damages and the former tenant argues that they deserve all or part of their deposit back, it is the property owner’s responsibility to prove the damages were legitimate and caused by the tenant. This is when before and after videos are most useful.

Video can also be used to lease properties faster and more effectively. How to leverage the power of video to promote your properties will be covered in How to Use Video to Lease Your Property Faster.

The importance of video inspections in property management

Learn how to protect yourself and your property.

Our ultimate goal is to make investment property ownership a stress-free and profitable for the property owners. There are many ways we do that, and we are always working to find new ways to meet the needs of our property owners. This is why we strongly suggest video inspections.

One of the many services we offer are video inspections. This includes a recorded walk through of the apartment prior to a new tenant moving in. It also includes a recorded work through of the apartment when the tenant moves out. Video inspections are provided when large repairs or improvements are being recommended.

We have found the use of video inspections to be positive for both us and the property owners. When a property owner decides to work with a property manager, there is a certain level of trust needed.

For example, when a manager contacts the owner to let them know about repairs needed to the property that will cost the owner money, the owner has two options:

  1. Trust the manager is making a good and necessary repair
  2. Refuse the repair until you get proof that it was absolutely necessary. This creates an awkward situation for both the owner and the manager.

One thing we do to lessen the potential for a bad situation and to build that trust with the owners is to do video inspections. This is good in several ways. You can see a lot more detail in a video that you can in photo. It allows us to zoom in on areas of damage while still providing perspective on where the damage is.

A video provides a better overall view of the property. This is especially helpful when comparing the condition of the property when a tenant moves to when the tenant moves out.

Limitations of video inspections

Video inspections can be limited in that it creates a sometimes long process. Particularly if you have to look through an entire video just to find one area of damage. However, we lessen that limitation by using the video inspections along with a written inspection report.

For example, if a property has exterior damage that needs to be addressed. We can provide a written report detailing the damage, repairs needed, and expected cost. We send it with a video of the damaged area. In this respect, the video will enhance the information provided in the written report.

Interior video inspections while a tenant is living there are sometimes difficult to get. However, this particular limitation can be addressed on a case-by-case basis.

Benefits of Video Inspections

By providing the video inspections along with inspection reports we are building trust between us and the property owner while getting rid of a possible awkward situation of the property owner feeling the need to ask for proof of property damage and repair estimates.

Videos are also helpful when a case goes to court. We have found that video is much more effective when a tenant needs to be evicted or taken to court and there is property damage involved. Getting a video tour of the damage has a greater emotional impact than photos. The videos can also be used to show a clearer before and after condition of the property in court.

If a deposit is withheld due to damages and the former tenant argues that they deserve all or part of their deposit back, it is the property owner’s responsibility to prove the damages were legitimate and caused by the tenant. This is when before and after videos are most useful.

Video can also be used to lease properties faster and more effectively. How to use the power of video to promote your properties will be covered in How to Use Video to Lease Your Property Faster.

Our experienced investment property management team can relieve you of the burden of managing your rental property while saving you some serious money! Call us today at (440) 220-7300 to see how we can help you!

 

Do You Have Hoarders Living in Your Property?

Have you seen the show Hoarders?

It depicts people with compulsive hoarding issues that cause them to collect things…lots of things. Hoarding leads to a home filled with trash and clutter. So much so that rooms get blocked off or it becomes unsafe to navigate the apartment.

Hoarders can also lead to damage to the structure of the building. There can be issues like water leaks that go undetected due to the hoard. Hoarding can also lead to damaged floors and walls. It can lead to bugs or mold, which cause additional damage.

The bottom line is you do not want a hoarder renting one of your properties. It leads to a very expensive move out when the apartment will need emptied, cleaned, and repaired before it can be rented again.

What can you do to prevent a hoarder from damaging your properties?

This one is difficult because you do not know when meeting the perspective tenant that they are hoarders. We work hard to help our landlords avoid having a hoarder take over a property. We do that in two ways.

  1. Careful screening. Screening for hoarding is not as easy as screening for other issues. It is not something that will show up on a credit or criminal background check. What we do is get the contact information for a couple of their previous landlords. While this is not a foolproof approach, it helps in avoiding the situation altogether
  2.  Three-month inspection. Three months gives a new tenant time to get settled in their new home. If there are hoarding issues, they will likely start to show by three months. Identifying the problem early gives us the opportunity to work with the tenant to set cleanliness expectations and to follow-up to ensure the mess is handled.

Again, there is no sure-fire way to avoid having a hoarder damage your property. However, through careful screening and follow-up inspections, you can mitigate the risk and hopefully reduce or eliminate any damage to your property. We freely do this for all the property owners. It is always our goal to provide them with the most stress-free and cost-effective experience possible.

Dealing with a hoarder is a situation where before and after video inspections may become highly critical to establish the extent of the damage caused to the property. Watch for our upcoming post on the value of video inspections.

Our experienced investment property management team can relieve you of the burden of managing your rental property while saving you some serious money! Call us today at (440) 220-7300 to see how we can help you!

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