Property Inventories is one of the UK’s fastest growing inventory firms. Established in 2006, they have quickly grown to be one of the industry’s most recognisable brands. Property Inventories offer a full range of reports related to letting a property.
Property Inventories was already a thriving firm by the time the Tenancy Deposit Scheme legislation was passed in April 2007; following this new legislation, the company’s growth has been staggering. From a 4-man team to almost 30 staff over 4 years, Property Inventories are currently one of the largest inventory providers in the UK. Part of this growth is down to the fact that the Property Inventories team is enthusiastic about the work that they do; as director, Kate Taylor says “an inventory is a benefit for everybody involved.”
Property Inventory clerks are trained in-house for a minimum of 4-6 weeks before being allowed to complete reports on their own. The main office – known as ‘The Hub’ – now occupies almost 3,000 square feet of prime office space in central London. Property Inventories Ltd is expanding quickly across the UK and is currently in the process of opening 5 new offices.
From the outset, James Lee, Managing Director of Property Inventories knew that software would be required to help him to run and efficient inventory service.
Property inspections naturally create paperwork since at the heart of each inspection is a detailed report of a careful inspection by a professional inventory clerk. Against this, landlords and tenants expect accuracy, won’t accept mislaid paperwork and they also demand a competitive price.
In addition, it is important that the central team can effectively organise the team of clerks that attend properties; clients do not appreciate a clerk that turns up late or not at all.
The company were also looking for a range of general business efficiencies such as being able to automatically invoice clients or improve the speed and accuracy of report creation.
Above all, to ensure good service, reports must be available quickly. As Kate Taylor says “the report is back with our client within 2 business days; that is probably our biggest selling point.”
James also needed to consider that in the longer run, the company would operate from several sites. He knew that each office might need a separate software system but that he would need a “helicopter view” of the whole operation.
Property Inventories were recommended to GreyRidge by a consultant that they were working with and made contact in mid-2008.
An initial web-based demonstration led to a face-to-face meeting at Property Inventories headquarters between a GreyRidge developer and the company.
Following this, GreyRidge supplied Property Inventories with a detailed specification and quote which was quickly accepted.
James says “We were immediately attracted to GreyRidge; they didn’t attempt to confuse us by being too technical and their plan for our software was clear and logical. We also needed something quickly and they were able to deliver quickly”. Work commenced on the new system in the autumn of 2009.
The Property Inventories system centres around client and inventory records. Staff are able to add prospective and active clients and then create inventories that are being managed on behalf of these clients.
Inventory information includes basic details about properties such as address, size and type of property and any special instructions.
The Property Inventories team can then manage appointments for the inventories. Clerks are able to set their appointment through the system and then to upload documentation from their visit.
The system automatically creates a PDF report with details about property and visit. Staff can also email documentation to the client from within the system.
The system enforces quality across the board; reports are properly stored and standardized while old information is readily usable by staff to reduce set-up time when carrying out ongoing inspections.
Additionally, the system produces automated invoices driven from the inventory type, furnishing and number of rooms. The system is able to vary charges by business geographical area.
The software was delivered on time in late 2008 and has been in use ever since.
Since the installation of their system, Property Inventories have expanded rapidly and James is pleased that their software has supported them through this growth.
James concludes “GreyRidge have been a pleasure to deal with. The software does exactly what we need and has delivered the efficiencies that we wanted.”