Creating Detailed Inventory Reports
It is of high importance when renting out a property that a thorough inventory check is completed. This should be done when tenants move in and when they leave. It is also beneficial to do regular checks to the property throughout the rental period, to check if anything has been damaged and make a note of it.
One way to do this would be to take a clipboard with a checklist to report the condition of the property and take photos with a camera. However, this can be very time consuming and loss of the documents or lack of detail can cause deposit issues.
This is where property inventory software provides the perfect solution. This software allows landlords and letting agents produce inventory reports on their mobile phones or tablets. Individuals can enter details into pre-set templates, record damage, take photos and produce and send high quality, detailed reports. All these reports are then stored in the cloud and are accessible on any device.
As there are so many choices available when it comes to selecting an inventory software we have provided an overview of some of the most popular ones. We have included the top features and the pros and cons of each one.
Take a look at the software available below:
This property inventory software is available on desktop and as an app. On mobile and tablet, you can produce move in/out inventories, interval inspection reports, and risk assessments all via the app.
The software has preset templates which allow you to easily fill out an inventory and record any damage. You can also take photos which will be embedded directly into the report with reference points. One great feature is the dictation option meaning you can add audio recorded notes, meaning less time spent typing. We find this app takes much of the hard work out of your hands and makes reporting a lot quicker.
When a report is complete you can also get the tenants signature there and then with the digital signature option. This means the report can be fully completed on leaving the property. The report is then easily generated in PDF format and can be printed.
Other features include:
• Adding frequently used words and sentences into the dictionary, so they will automatically appear when typing
• Enabling clients to log in to book or accept appointments
• Comparing past and present reports (e.g. moving in and moving out) – this can resolve deposit disputes
• A 14-day free trial
Both the app and desktop versions are well designed and very easy to navigate around. If you do need help there is an extensive knowledge base available on the website with guides on how to complete different tasks.
Before using the software, you can book a free online demonstration – however, we found the next available date for this was 9th May (at the time of writing it is 6th April). This is a long wait to learn how to use the software and is quite disappointing.
Another issue we found was the layout of the inventory report when it is created. Although it is easy to follow and understand, the photos of damage are located at the bottom of each page and it takes some time to match the photo to the text it is related to. A link directing us to the images would be beneficial.
Prices start from £10 a month.
Inventory Hive is a software and app available on desktop, mobile and tablet. Like the software above you can produce inventory reports throughout a tenancy period. The reports are easily created and include: audio dictation, digital signatures, pre-set templates, and report comparisons.
This software also enables you to produce right to rent reports which the other apps mentioned here do not. Right to rent checks are essential and on the app you can input details of the check and attach proof such as passport evidence. This is a brilliant feature as it allows you to keep a secure digital copy of your checks.
We valued the user interface of the app and desktop version as they are bright, clear, and easy to use. The inventory reports the software produces are also high quality and provide links from text to images which are advantageous.
Inventory Hive offers a 30-day trial which is a good amount of time to test out its functions. Prices start from £2 a month/£12.50 per year.
Help and support is available via FAQs and phone but we feel there could be more online support such as webinars and demos.
Kaptur markets itself as ‘an app plus a management suite’. It is similar to the other software but seems to be more aimed towards letting agents with its management suite. Property reports can be created quickly via the app and produce professional PDF documents once complete. Dictation, digital signatures, a pre-loaded dictionary of popular terms and pre-set templates are all available to use.
Online demos of the software can be booked which are extremely useful. We found demos where available to book on the same day which is great if you want a detailed overview of the software before signing up.
Kaptur provides you with the option to outsource work to external workers if you are too busy to complete checks in house. They also offer in-house training on the software. These features give letting agents and landlords with large portfolios options for extra help and training.
We found the pricing to be slightly confusing as there is ‘pay as you go’, ‘licence fee’ and ‘tenant model’ options and it is not clear which would be best for each individual. This could do with some brief explanations.
We like how simple Touchright makes the software to understand from the offset. Even from entering the website, the software is explained as ‘Easy as 1 2 3’ and is described as: create appointment, fill in inventory template and edit/send report.
This makes the software appealing even before downloading it. The software is available on mobile, tablet and desktop and has most of the features of the above contenders. One feature this software does not have is the pre-loaded dictionary which could lead to more typing, however, it does focus more on drop down menus.
The property reports produced are high quality and each photo is added directly under the text describing it. This is our preferred design as it is clear and reads well.
Touchright also has excellent help and support with a variety of video tutorials available to users. These videos are easy to follow and really useful. They also offer a 30-minute webinar and a 30-day free trial.
One main benefit of using Touchright is that it can integrate with Fixflo (repair management software) meaning you can identify repairs on the inventory report and link them to Fixflo to manage them.
Prices start from £10 a month.
Which one should you choose?
We found all the above applications to be well designed, have great features and have ease of use. They are all extremely competitive in the services they offer and thus they have similar features and benefits.
If you are a landlord with a large portfolio or a letting agent I would recommend Kaptur as it does seem to cater for this to a higher level with the options of in-house training and outsourcing.
If you are looking for an array of features and a great interface we would suggest Inventory Base as it has tons of features and you also get free lifetime updates. Inventory Hive is also great for the features but does not seem to have as many as the former. It does, however, have the right to rent templates so if this is an essential need then go with Inventory Hive.
We would say our favourite is Touchright as it is a good all-rounder that has a great user interface, well-designed reports and brilliant help and support. In addition to this, it has all the essential features (dictation, digital signatures, high-quality reports, templates etc.) and can integrate with Fixflo which the others do not have.