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The unprecedented demand for property, largely fuelled by a buoyant sales market, has impacted stock levels especially as increased legislation forces some landlords to reevaluate their role.Sián highlights the pressure these changes are exerting on the inventory supplier market, the imminent introduction of the Renting Homes (Wales) Act and how this will directly affect the assessment of rental properties prompting the question; is the testing of alarms a moral or legal duty for inventory professionals? Melissa talk about why we should establish more focused training, develop better processes for information sharing and the overriding need to change the reporting industry so that as more legislation is introduced, we are all better prepared.With no one body or association taking responsibility for this particular section of the PRS, Sián highlights the potential for complacency to creep in, and asks whether now is the time to take more control of our industry so that we continue to be part of the solution that supports the industry?Our blog on the imminent regulation and changes to renting in Wales can be found here: Renting Homes (Wales) Act Have an important topic you want to share? Want to join in on our next podcast? Email and get involved!
The podcast is a recording of the webinar hosted by David Mintz of Kerfuffle with Sián from Inventory Base and James Kent from Safe 2 - The Leading Provider of Property Safety Certificates.In this recording, the panel discuss: Why should landlords invest in regular boiler maintenance? (safety) Can servicing your boiler help save money when it comes to fuel bills?   HMO traditionally have fuel bills included in the rent - is this likely to now change? What devices or software can landlords use to monitor usage? How can landlords and tenants check that the gas engineer is qualified and insured? Fire safety - why its important to check your doors  Listen in as David, Sián and James highlight why ventilating is as equally as important as heating the property, why testing alarms every two weeks could save lives, the benefits of preventative maintenance and why checking your fire doors can give occupants vital time to leave the property in an emergency. To find out more about Gas Safety Week visit: find and book the services of a qualified and resisted Gas Safe engineer visit: https://www.safe2ltd.comTo find out Inventory Base can help agents, inventory professionals and landlords manage property more effectively and safely visit: discover how Kerfuffle can help agents find the best industry suppliers visit:
Although there is no actual data on missed appointments or cancelled reports for the supplier industry, it is a well known issue and a more than regular occurrence for some providers that has a real impact on their 'bottom line'.Listen in as Sián highlights some of the reasons behind those missed appointments, the costs to the industry and why communication is key to reducing the actual costs involved with a report not going ahead.Finally, Sián offers practical solutions and key takeaways to reduce the disruption to schedules and alleviate the impact of lost revenue.A blog on this subject is also available: Missed Appointments – What Inventory Clerks Need to Know
David asks - Why should you vote for Sián and what vision does she have for Propertymark's future? Where does she stand on the key issues effecting our industry and how is she going to help you? Supplier and agents - are we united as one, or is there a divide? Listen in and find out what Siȃn hopes to achieve for the supplier industry, her strong views on why the industry needs to work with inventory suppliers and that putting herself forward for the role is not about a title but about affecting change including setting standards and working collaboratively with agents throughout the sector.
In this episode Sián and Melissa explore why complaints are made and what constitutes a low, medium or high level complaint. Sloping shoulders is a term often associated with business practices however there is a growing feeling that agents and landlords are attempting to deflect responsibility when in fact most complaints could be easily resolved if only all parties talked to each other and inventory providers are included in the conversation. As Sián points out, if adjudicators do not have the right information then the dispute is often lost before it even hits their inbox so getting to grips with the issues or complaint early on can only benefit all the key people involved in the tenancy. Melissa refers to the tendency of some providers (and software!) to rely on terms such as Poor, Fair or Good (or The Good, The Bad and the Ugly as Sián likes to call them!) when reporting conditions in an attempt to be more 'time efficient' when in fact they are storing up a host of problems when it comes to the checkout where liability, damage and costs are levied against the tenant and their deposit. Melissa also points out the fact that it is often the inventory clerk who is the 'first port of call' when a complaint is made often bypassing the actual reason for the issues in favour of a 'quick resolution'. Another key reason for complaints being raised is the lack of detail in the report. Brief or 'stock comments' are often the cause of misinterpretation by the reader and so by the time the deposit goes to dispute its too late to rectify what could be minor issues or complaints leaving the inventory clerk holding the proverbial can. Both Sián and Melissa agree that the best way to head off any complaint is to first compile a detailed property report based on fact, evidenced by comprehensive pictures or video (not the bubble / 360 kind) and to then deal with complaints rather than leaving them to languish in the 'too hard to deal with' drawer. Finally; Sián shares her 6 top tips for managing complaints:  Respond - Don't ignore the complaint!  Take ALL complaints seriously  Don't accept blame - its not always that straightforward  Set out time frames for your response and keep to them! Keep everything professional - it's easy to get emotional so take a breath and give yourself time to think  Learn from each complaint Have an important topic you want to share? Want to join in on our next podcast? Email
If you have established yourself as a property inventory clerk you’ll be well aware of the very specific skills and abilities the job demands. If you’re at the start of your career you’ll learn about them very quickly as you develop your service.A successful inventory clerk balances very strong interpersonal skills with a highly organised approach and precise attention to detail. Most clerks are self-employed; your livelihood often depends on getting as many jobs as possible, which is why both in slow periods and as part of your business planning, you should really think about how the skills you use in your primary work can be transferred to other vital processes and opportunities. The is why I want to talk to you about why you shouldn't meet the expectations of others, why you need to redefine yourself and your service, why you should make the most of what you’re good at, why you should extend yourself and why I say - 'Don't stay in your lane!'This short podcast (which can also be seen in webinar format) is about getting you thinking about your options.For more information on training to become an CPD accredited inventor provider visit Inventory Base Academy to explore the available courses and get your business in the spotlight with Inventory Base property reports and inspection templates.To read the full blog please visit: view the webinar recording please visit Inventory Base YouTube Channel
In this episode, our webinar panellists discuss 3 key subjects affecting the property industry: Sustainability in the lettings sector - impacts and options Effects of the levelling up white paper - the repeal of Section 21 and what that means for the service industry  Contracts and SLA’s - are they a realistic option or do clerks just need to act like a service business to affect change?  Our industry experts are:Ben Shaw - representing Trust Inventory Emily Joyce - Director of AJPSMark Lazarus - Director of Storm Inventories Melissa Guthrie-Noyce - Director of MGN InventoriesCharlie Saunders - Director of Assist Inventories Sián Hemming-Metcalfe - Director of The Metcalfe Partnership and representing Inventory Base Academy Listen in as we share our thoughts and offer expert views on the future of the reporting industry.Join in, learn and share your expertise; Inventory Base Academy
In this podcast John and Sián discuss three key topics: Being a mentor for the real estate industry - what attracted John to that particular role RoPA - Regulation of Property Agents - how it can improve the property industry The role inventory professionals play in supporting the industry John talks about his mentoring, how people buy from people and the trust needed to be able to complete a transaction in a world where technology can de-personalise the experience.Sián asks John whether external inventory suppliers (who are not included in the initial RoPA guidelines) if inventory professionals can be part of the conversation rather than just the afterthought they often are when it comes to shaping the industry.Disrupter or disruptive - both John and Sián feel that the terminology comes across as aggressive and that using the word 'improvement' is a more inclusive term when talking about all the changes to the industry.  Sián comments that the wealth of knowledge and skills in the industry can help form a more standardised reporting format and the benefits of using the term 'professional' when it comes to referring to clerks in order to change the industry's perception of the role. And finally, John talks about his experiences in an adjudication and how a judges words made a lasting impression.For more information and to connect with John: for further information on RoPA - an important topic you want to share? Want to join in on our next podcast? Email
Sián and Zoe discuss how service and acting as an extension of an agents brand plays a huge role in supporting clients, keeping landlords engaged and more importantly, happy!We also talk about the need for transparency and honesty; we may get things wrong but it is how we manage our mistakes that can make all the difference to your service delivery. Zoe comments on how happy she is to have Inventory Base and the support team behind her services, how their developers provide everything she needs to keep exceeding her clients expectations including training with Inventory Base Academy to support her clerks and keep them up to date and safe whilst out in the field.Sián asks whether there is more inventory providers can do to add value and celebrate Zoe's success at the recent ESTA's where she was nominated and has received an ESTA Peoples Award, 2021.Finally; for Zoe's top tip she highlights that, as industry suppliers, we all should remember that agents, landlords and tenants are people and why its important (now more than ever) to be kind to each other and ourselves.For more information on Assist Inventories visit their website: an important topic you want to share? Want to join in on our next podcast? Email
In this episode we discuss the volume of student property reports carried out each year and whether there is a need to have a conversation with agents about the quick turnaround of properties which can mean a lack of detail in the inventory / check out report or employing less than robust reporting methods 'just to get the job done and turned around'. Sián highlights that at some point inventory providers are likely to be 'held to account' or have more industry oversight when ROPA comes in for letting agents so is now the time to tackle the thorny issue of standardisation and qualifications within the inventory reporting industry?Sián also points out that there is no one in the industry really fighting the corner of the industry professional and support from the two main self styled inventory associations (ARLA Propertymark / AIIC) is very lacking.On the issue of COVID - both Melissa and Sián highlight the potential for restrictions to be reintroduced as infection number climb and why many in the industry are concerned that the lack of stock and number of inventory providers available to carry out reports and how they are being impacted by the economic affects of the pandemic. Sián and Melissa discuss the need to plan for any downturn in work including contingency planning for business owners if they become unwell and unable to manage the business.And on a lighter note; Melissa talks about inventory clerks and business owners using the quieter winter months to start the planing process for 2022. She highlights the need for us all to take time out to recharge batteries, meet family, relax before getting the spreadsheets out and starting to plan out what the next 12 mths will look like both from reporting numbers and potential revenue. She does like a bullet point list and action plan!Finally; is now the time to use the winter months to not only plan for 2022 but also to review report rates? #FoodforThought Read Inventory Base's latest blog - Is the Private Rental Sector ready for a COVID Winter?Have an important topic you want to share? Want to join in on our next podcast? Email
Virtual property viewings are the inevitable technological next step in securing a rental in today's modern, fast paced market but how effective are they in enabling potential tenants to assess the properties they are considering making their home? How does the mechanism work, what are its advantages and disadvantages, and how can a renter get the most out of the virtual experience?Join Sián as she walks you through the processes involved in viewing property virtually and what to do to avoid making the wrong choice. Have an important topic you want to share? Want to join in on our next podcast? Email
In this episode Sián is joined by James Kent; managing director of Safe2Ltd - The Leading Provider of Property Safety Certificates.James talks about how Safe2 has managed the logistics of getting rental properties up to standard and the barriers electrical engineers have faced when attempting to enter the property and carry out EICR’s.We discuss the key issues around non compliance including the potential for landlords to be fined up £30,000 for failures and non compliance.Sián asks if there is any leeway on the current 28 days allowed if the property requires remedial work and why Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) is a legal requirement for HMO's but that it makes sense for landlords to have all appliances provided for tenants use tested. Sián looks at the risk involved with more tenants working from home and how landlords really do have the lives of tenants in their hands.James gives his Top Tips to help landlords remain compliant and avoid fines including using registered, insured and experienced engineers to avoid issues at the end of the tenancy with automated certificate renewals and subscription based compliance options with Safe2Rent and Safe2Buy services. Final comments are from James who provides advice for landlords on a little known option to extend the length of the Gas Safety Certificate. Want to know more? Listen in to find out how! Have an important topic you want to share? Want to join in on our next podcast? Email
Join Sián as she discusses pets in rental properties with special guest Natasha Homer-Earley from PetsScore; UK's soon-to-launch first national pet referencing system.In this episode of The Inventory Professional; we look at the issues surrounding landlords reluctance to have pets in the rental home and how capturing data, specifications of the property and the history of the pet owner can help influence and balance their decision with relevant and optimised performance data. Listen in as we discuss how the private rental sector is missing it's greatest trick by not including pets in the referencing process and why Natasha believes that up to 30% renters could be hiding their animals for fear of being evicted. With so many families unable to buy a property or opting to rent; we explore the misinformation around property damage and perceived issues whilst Natasha highlights the imbalance in the rental sector and how addressing those issues will help landlords to find qualified applicants who are more likely to rent long term which, in turn, will reduce void periods and lead to much happier and better tenants.And finally; Sián highlights the issue of pet welfare; "the property has to be as suitable for the pet as the pet is to the property!" and how proptech can analyse and predict the type of pet that is right for the rental home.If you want to know more about how landlords, tenants and pets can live in harmony visit PetsScore.comHave an important topic you want to share? Want to join in on our next podcast? Email
In this episode of The Inventory Professional; we look at the different options to capture tenant feedback and what to do with it!Sián explains that tenants that take the time to comment are likely to be more involved in the tenancy process and is a way of engaging with clients and giving tenants a much needed 'voice'. The hosts try and drill down to what are the barriers to tenants, landlords and agents engaging with the report; is it a case of too much detail that is confusing and makes reading it more like 'trudging through treacle"?Melissa reflects on her experience with more than one report where measuring of the finest of marks gets the tenants full attention and wants to know if using language that is plain and simple, that everyone understands is the key to a successful inventory reporting service?Listen in as we discuss whether toning down the use of acronyms will help people to engage with the property reports and why gearing the report towards the adjudicator should always be every service providers aim.Have an important topic you want to share? Want to join in on our next podcast? Email
Sián explains the need for inventory professionals to look at the 4 step plan and why aligning a review of current operating protocols with each step will be key to ensuring that agents, landlords and tenants are kept up to date.Melissa recognises the need for clerks to feel safe during the transition and ensuring that communication is kept open so everyone has the bialy to express concerns and deliver a service that everyone is happy with. And service is key here; keeping to the guidelines and the law is paramount but the safety of inventory professionals should not be pushed to one side as businesses gear up for what we all hope is a very busy second quarter of 2021 and beyond.To help inventory clerks and property report specialist we have compiled a blog and a template to help you with drawing up new protocols and steps in line with government advice:Blog: Road to somewhere – Government announces 4 Step plan out of lockdownHave an important topic you want to share? Want to join in on our next podcast? Email 
Winner! Melissa is slightly embarrassed but we think it's great to see a professional inventory provider recognised for her hard work so well done!We discuss the deadline of April 2021 for EICR's to be completed on all (residential) rental properties (new tenancies have be in force since 2020).Sián touches on the need to keep lines of communication open with agents, landlords and tenants as we continue to operate whilst the pandemic rages on. Clerks are often the last people in the property however protocols are not always being followed but there are steps we can all take to keep everyone in the process safe.Have an important topic you want to share? Want to join in on our next podcast? Email
Join Sián and Melissa; MGN Inventories as they catch up on what has been a very busy and exciting past few weeks where InventoryBase announced integrations with 2 key integration partners:Drone Safe Register - Drones are fast becoming the next must-have tool for all types of property reports and are the ideal partner for surveyors carrying out external property inspections, providing unrivaled aerial video and photographic access for use when looking to secure that all important instruction for the estate agency market.The Depository - The new integration provides InventoryBase users with a straightforward and effective solution that allows agents and landlords to upload inventory and check out reports directly from the users account into the The Depository. The tenancy documentation is then automatically tracked, check out appointments booked, evidence collated and disputes managed with the expert guidance and services of the Tenancy Dispute Scheme (TDS).And on Tuesday 24th November in an exclusive Facebook Live with Kerfuffle InventoryBase announced to the industry their exciting new app; InventoryBase Live! The app enables the user to meet with a property manager, capture high quality photographs during the call and discuss issues with the property as if they were there in person. Live Inspections are a safe and secure way for inventory clerks, property managers and landlords to ‘visit’ and conduct inspections of the property remotely. Providers will be able to review the property virtually without the need to enter the home, helping to keep tenants safe and maintaining social distancing. With Live inspections; the clerk will be able to carry out multiple property visits, unhindered by the need to travel, collect and return keys and more importantly, lessen the disruption to the tenants work or family routines. Innovation is more than just an enabler; it brings like minded companies and individuals together to work collaboratively and towards a better and safer society.For more information on our integrations and services visit InventoryBase
In our podcast, Mark explains his journey from car salesman and drone hobbyist to becoming a qualified and certified Drone pilot and launching Drone Safe Register with a network covering the entire UK.Sián asks if drones are fast becoming the 'go to' option for surveyors and contractors especially with maintenance now such a key driver in the industry. Marks highlights this in that scaffolding can be expensive and safety is not something that can be compromised. Using drones to discover maintenance issues and avoid costly work with an initial 'first person' view of the roof or external areas makes real commercial sense.Sián highlights the benefits of video footage or detailed pictures whether showcasing a property for sale, mapping out a commercial premises or when dealing with insurance companies wanting to reduce the risk of damage during the increasingly volatile winters and storms the UK are now experiencing.The benefits of annual maintenance checks on both the home or commercial premises not only reduces risks and costs it also help forge a positive relationship between the buyer, seller, tenants and landlords so that everyone feels safe and comfortable.With lockdown 2.0 in effect; people are working more remotely. With 'live inspections' led by a surveyor or the inventory provider set to become the new norm, the partnership between InventoryBase Workstreams and Drone Safe Register makes booking a certified Drone pilot simple with footage often available in as little as 2 hours! Want to know more?Visit InventoryBase Workstreams to book your drone inspection or call 0330 013 0305 for more information.
Keys are a vital component of property management, as, well let's face it, you can't (usually) get into the property without them! Join Sián as she talks with Tim and Philip from Keyzapp about whether there is a better way to ease our ongoing pain both as suppliers, contractors and agents. We discuss the solutions that are available and why the industry seems unwilling to embrace a better way of managing keys.Key questions: Why are keys so difficult to manage?  What are the risks of taking pictures of keys?  How COVID is changing how we access the property Why there is a need to forward plan as agents work more and more away from office Is there a solution for managing the key chain? Tim explains that having an open API benefits the end user and Phil highlights why a willingness to collaborate and integrate can be a positive step forward and that using tech shouldn't be a barrier.Phil highlights the legislation in Scotland that require all keys to be registered, whether it is likely that similar regulation to ISO standards could be implemented across the UK and find out why Sián is a self confessed Apple tart! Want to know more about Keyzapp? This helpful explainer video provides Inventory Professionals and Surveyors with more information and understanding of the Keyzapp management system. Contact Tim and Phil who are always on hand to chat and answer all your key solution questions. Keyzapp; Google for keys.
In this podcast John shares his insights and experience gained over 30 years of working in the building industry. He explains how his management of disillusioned customers and dealing with build issues led him to start his company that specifically deals with snagging reports.Sián asks what the differences are between an inventory and snagging report and is quite surprised with the answer!Did you know there's effectively a two-tiered service and focus for snagging reports? And as John and Sián discuss why there is a need for specific training for snagging reports, it's clear that that not all reports should be priced the same.
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