Gone are the days when facility managers relied on written checklists, paper-based certificates and complex spreadsheets to manage their properties. The most recent developments in property management apps embrace the latest technology, providing an integrated, connected and highly efficient solution to manage extensive and complex portfolios.

Learn how the latest property maintenance technology can help facilities managers to manage defects, schedule preventative and predictive maintenance and increase the reliability and safety of their property portfolio.

Property Manager using an app

Facilities management begins in construction

Increasingly, architects and construction businesses are seeing the value of including facilities management considerations in the design and build stages of a project. To achieve the maximum lifetime value from new buildings, the ongoing operation of the facility must be taken into account. From the flow of goods and people to the ongoing maintenance of heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems and the upkeep of the external building and grounds, the role of facilities management in extending the life of a building should be considered from the start.

Architects and construction teams are turning to construction and property management apps, such as PlanRadar, to document defects, track remedial jobs and upload information relating to specific equipment that will form part of the facilities management portfolio. As-built plans and even 3D asset information models (AIM), derived from building information models (BIM), are now produced as the construction project progresses, providing a comprehensive pack of information for facilities managers as buildings are commissioned and handover is completed.

The best property management apps cross sectors, connecting the design, construction and ongoing operation of the site. The real value comes at the facilities management stage as apps work to cut running costs, reduce breakdown frequency, improve safety and decrease energy demands. The time and cost savings achieved by investment in property management apps can be substantial, especially when considered across the total lifetime of a building.

Property management apps for predictive and preventative maintenance

Facilities managers already take a holistic approach to the operation of buildings. They have to ensure the physical workplace functions for both the people and the work of an organisation. Preventative and even predictive approaches to property maintenance are often deployed. By maintaining equipment and technology to a high standard and addressing emerging issues before breakdowns occur, facilities management businesses can save money and prevent sudden impacts on the day-to-day lives of the building’s users.

Property management inspection apps can help with a scheduled approach to property maintenance. Using PlanRadar, facilities managers can plan regular inspection routines, create checklists, assign tasks to individuals and set deadlines. Automatic scheduling means that inspection dates are never missed. Inspection forms can be created and saved to the PlanRadar app and users can access them remotely on their smartphones. The forms are also accessible while offline, with upload initiated as soon as a connection is re-established.

Document defects for efficient action

Facility managers can record emerging issues as soon as they are identified, whether during inspections or in day-to-day work. Complete building plans can be loaded into PlanRadar and any defects logged on them, highlighting the exact location of the issue. Images, voice recordings and notes can be appended to give the contractor all the information needed to fix the issue. Existing technology documentation, such as manufacturer guidelines and warranties, can be uploaded and shared. That way, contractors and tradesmen can always carry out work in line with safety and regulatory requirements.

The system time stamps completed work and all communications, sending automatic status alerts to supervisors. They can then schedule further work if needed.

The best property management apps:

  • Allow facilities managers to schedule and prioritise work
  • Automatically notify staff when work or inspections need to take place
  • Are Cloud-based for access anywhere and anytime by all relevant staff
  • Have offline capability so that projects can be completed in remote or sensitive areas
  • Store all relevant information so that data is easily accessible as and when it is needed
  • Enable detailed and accurate data recording

Managing a property portfolio via apps

Leading property management apps allow facilities managers to oversee numerous buildings for multiple clients, all from one interface. As technology develops and efficiencies are realised, property managers can increase their portfolio, meet the needs of varying buildings and take on increasingly complex estates.

This technology is not just for business properties, it’s for residential properties too. Recent research by Spotahome shows that the UK has the sixth-highest proportion of renters of all 28 European nations, with 35% of the population renting rather than owning a home. The residential landscape is a vast and profitable space.

Property management apps like PlanRadar make managing residential and business portfolios easier, providing opportunities and increasing profits by saving costs. Software helps to improve decision making and responsiveness to issues. That increases satisfaction levels for clients and enables landlords to take on a wider and more varied portfolio. The right app can leave facility managers secure in the knowledge that they have the tools to manage it effectively.