Survey results: Routine inspections and remote tours in focus

Over 40% of Australian property management teams who adopted remote routine inspections plan to continue as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, according to new data from rent.com.au.

Rent.com.au’s agent survey canvassed Australian property management teams about virtual tours and walkthrough video on property listings, remote routine inspections, and sentiment around use of this technology once COVID-19 restrictions ease. 

Key highlights: 

  • 66% of agents have used virtual tours/video on their rental advertisements
  • Of this group, 76% plan to continue use of this tech once restrictions ease 
  • 64% of property managers have conducted routine inspections remotely 
  • 42% of this group indicated an interest in continuing remote routine inspections with the easing of restrictions 

Virtual tours and video walkthroughs are here to stay 

Australia’s property management teams have embraced available technology to better market their available properties, with some 66% of respondents offering this feature on their listings. 76% of those agents said they will continue to provide this option, even after restrictions have lifted at a state/territory level. 

Feedback provided by agents indicated the technology had saved time for staff who did not need to attend as many rental viewings. Video walkthroughs offer tenants a greater ability to determine a property’s suitability in advance, without leaving their home. 

Self-conducted routine inspections a viable option for property managers going forward 

This survey was a follow-on from RENT’s April property management survey, which covered one of the biggest changes in property management processes – the growth in use of tenant self-conducted remote routine inspections. 

Some 64% of offices said they made use of remote routine inspections during the height of the COVID-19 crisis. Showing a shift in processes, 42% of respondents said they would continue to use this method once restrictions eased. 

When asked why they would pursue this avenue, respondents said remote inspections offered several benefitsThis included saving valuable time for the property manager and giving them the ability to manage a larger number of properties. 

Many agents said a more common route would include mixing the use of both remote and on-site routine inspections. This process would likely involve rotating between a remote and on-site inspection for each property or using virtual inspections for long-term tenants who have demonstrated a good tenancy history. 

For offices that didn’t plan to continue the use of remote inspections, the most common reasoning included: 

  • Concern that tenants had a greater chance to hide issues in the property 
  • Problems chasing up tenants who hadn’t completed their inspection correctly 
  • Image quality issues with photos the tenants provide 
  • Missing the ability to ‘smell’ inside a property to identify potential drug lab issues.

Survey data source: Rent.com.au property manager survey: Use of virtual tours and remote routine inspections – May 2020.