The top 10 benefits of using an independent inventory supplier
Date: 29/1/19 Category: Hinch Highlights
With the face of lettings changing with the fee ban looming over us we’ve been thinking of the main benefits to use an independent inventory supplier. It’s sensible that landlords and agents will be considering making big changes with how they currently operate. This could include looking at their current suppliers.
There’s a huge selection of inventory providers on the market today and they’re all after your business. There’s an influx of one-man bands, inventory franchises, independent companies and software solutions. In some cases, the website which appears to be a company is still just a one-man band. This overpopulated environment makes it challenging when deciding which supplier to use.
Now we’ll be honest, a one-man band will cost less than the inventory company. Furthermore, it’s undoubtable that a software solution will cost far less than both an inventory company or a one-man band. But, don’t forget that you’ll be taking on the task of carrying out the inventory yourself. Or hiring personnel to complete these on your behalf. You could say, inventory software solutions come with a hidden cost.
For those of you reading this article who are considering changing inventory providers, here’s our $0.02 on the benefits of using an independent inventory company. Not just our company, but independent inventory companies on a whole.
Top 10 benefits of using an independent inventory company
An independent inventory company will usually save you time. Through maintaining clear communication with landlords, agents and tenants the job will be able to go ahead with the least interruption. Consider the fact that if you’re choosing a digital solution, such as an app. Time will then have to be sacrificed by yourself, or one of your fellow agents. For a private landlord without an agent or PM, taking this time out could become an inconvenience to you.
2. A wealth of experience
An independent company will usually come with a wealth of industry experience. The combined knowledge of the Clerks, office team and all the way up to the Director of the company will be passed onto you. An independent company will work closely alongside your team to ensure all parties are supported. This experience is invaluable to Landlords, Tenants and Property Managers. Whether it’s your first report or 1000th, unexpected twists and turns can be straightened out through the know-how of an experience inventory provider. Not to forget, their experience is greatly reflected in the reports themselves. Through working in an industry where attention to detail is paramount. An independent inventory company will be constantly improving their knowledge and their reports.
3. High quality trained clerks
The process of hiring and training personnel to carry out your inventories can be costly and timely (this reflects benefit number one) An independent inventory provider comes with a fully fledged clerk team ready on your call. The training processes these clerks will go through is meticulous as after all, consistency is key to running a successful inventory company. From our personal experience, putting our clerks through the Approved Inventory Professional training course has enabled us to pass on our experience to new and current clerks. Ensuring the quality of the report is not compromised no matter which clerk carries out the job on your behalf.
4. A full customer service team
Inventory reports are designed to be clear and understood by all parties, but at times wires get crossed. The customer service team from an independent inventory provider will become your first port of call for any queries or questions a tenant, landlord or even yourself might have. Having this support behind you can make the lettings process smoother. The ability to contact an experienced team member and receive an answer efficiently. In fact, you can cut out a lot of the back and forth communication with Landlords and Tenants as they can contact the company directly.
5. Available 7 days week inc bank holidays
The lettings market is in constant motion. In an industry where rental void periods are to be avoided at all costs, it pays to have a supplier that is available 7 days a week. For instance, if your one-man band inventory clerk is ill, or on holiday, there’s no guarantee of cover throughout the year. For example, bank holidays can be an increasingly demanding day for Check ins and outs. The extra long weekend is an appealing time to move for a tenant. By choosing an independent inventory supplier, you can be confident that a clerk will be available for your inventory, check in or check out.
6. They work closely with adjudicators
A report built around understanding the demands of a dispute process is key to a successful report. After all, this is where a report will play its biggest part during the lettings process. You’ll find that an inventory company will want to ensure their report is up to scratch. Therefore, they’ll go the extra mile to keep their reports up to the high standard adjudicators such as the TDS and MyDeposits look for in a report. This makes for a smoother dispute and all parties are confident they’re represented fairly and in a non-bias manner.
7. Independence carries more weight in disputes
The AIIC states “Full protection should be offered to all parties within the letting process and independent inventory reporting is the only way to ensure that no bias reports are used” It’s as simple as that. An inventory report compiled by the Landlord or Letting Agent could be documented in favour of the party that created it. This also applies to is a tenant has compiled the report themselves. The independence ensures that the report will not have a bias towards any party involved. This ensures a far and thorough report of the property, at the start and end of the tenancy.
8. A bookings team
Generally, it is expected that an inventory company will have a bookings team. This team is here to support you throughout each stage of the reporting processes. This can include liaising with tenants and landlords to ensure that all the required arrangments are in place for the job to go ahead successfully. Therefore this helps avoid any situations where the tenants aren’t prepared or ready for the check in.
9. Industry knowledge
When going with an independent supplier, you’ll find that their knowledge of the industry is that of a high standard. Considering how the lettings industry is constantly evolving, it’s a must for them to keep on top of new developments. Things such as the tenant fee ban and FFHH bill could change the landscape of lettings as we know it. It’s staying on top of these new developments that keep independent inventory companies on top of their game.
10. Confidence for both agents, landlords and tenants
Lastly, confidence. This is what we believe an independent inventory company creates for all parties involved. An inventory company offers a reliable service thanks to the resources of an office team and a pool of clerks out in the field. Therefore you can be confident that your job will be covered and run smoothly. Knowing that the reports you’ll receive are created to the highest industry standard possible ensures for accurate and detailed reporting. An inventory, check in or check out report, that if a dispute is raised at the end of tenancy, all parties can be confident that the property has been represented in a non-bias and professional manner.
If you are currently planning on how you’re going to tackle the ban on tenant fees and suppliers is one of the areas you’re looking at. Our team is always happy to discuss how we can help you in the best way possible. We don’t just offer set packages to letting agents and landlords as from our experience we know letting agents and landlords are unique. There’s no one size fits all approach. We’re able to tailor our inventory services to work in the best way with your processes.
To discuss how we can benefit your agency or tenancies, please give us a call and one of our team will be happy to talk about how we can help you. Contact us on 0207 989 9128 or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also download a sample report and information pack here: https://t.co/YFyhkZblK3