Eleven Essential Inspection Safety Tips for Property Managers

Eleven Essential Inspection Safety Tips for Property Managers

Every property manager places their safety at risk when they enter a property. However, most property managers do not take precautions to reduce the risks they face.

Recently we ran a Facebook post asking for property managers' best tips regarding safety in property management.

This list has been compiled from tips and ideas given from that post, plus our own from experience, and we thank those that have contributed to this article.

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Nuts and Bolts

Here’s eleven tips to assist you when out at appointments and inspections:

1- Use an app when in trouble

Technology has progressed significantly in the last few years and some people said to use the ‘Daniel Morcombe’ app that allows your location to be messaged to selected people, as well as What’s App that can let others know your location. Further, consider also working with management to use the ‘findmyiphone’ app to locate you when in need, however there are some privacy issues to be worked out here.

2- Know your exits and keep them clear

When conducting an open inspection, use a rubber wedge to keep your exit door open, and when people are entering ensure that you follow them in and around the property, but don’t let others follow you in, or follow behind you. Ensure that you know where your exits are at all times.

Further don’t park in the driveway where your escape here can be blocked by another car parked behind you.

3- Trust your 'gut feeling'

If you ever feel uncomfortable about entering a property then don’t enter it! If your gut feeling or intuition tells you when things don’t feel safe, then trust it. If you get it wrong and there was nothing to worry about, then you made a mistake on the right side of staying safe. But get this wrong and ignore it, you could be landed in a whole lot of trouble!

Many a person ignored their 'gut feel’ and wished they’d listened to it in the first place.

4- Regularly check-in with the office

When out at an inspections or any appointment, why not call or SMS the office the location you’ve just entered. Let them know, so that if something goes wrong they know where to start looking.

5- Use a shared electronic diary

Ensure you use an electronic diary that is shared with others in your office, and that your appointments and their location are clearly displayed and correct times entered. Technology makes this really easy these days, and should you be doing a good job, you shouldn’t feel your privacy has been infringed upon. Your safety is far more important than that.

6- Go to inspections in pairs

I believe we will see changes over the next few years where inspections will be done in pairs. Not only will this be necessary for safety, but also for credibility should you be accused of something. At least there’s a witness. Besides, if you’re both doing the inspection together whether it be an open, routine, ingoing or an outgoing inspection you will get greater efficiency.

However should you have any routine inspections you’re doubtful of, going in pairs should be essential.

7- Using a secret code

If you run into trouble, calling the office and asking if ‘Doris’ is there, or asking for the ‘red folder’ can be code words for “I’m in trouble, please send help now”.

8- Ask for pets to be restrained

Before conducting your routine inspections SMS or email tenants beforehand and confirm if they can ensure their pets are restrained, especially medium to large dogs.

9- Speed dial emergency numbers

Have police and other important numbers already programmed into your phone under ‘favourites’. You’d be surprised at what you cannot think about when you are traumatised even the most simple information, so having these in speed dial allows you to quickly access these numbers without having to think.

10- “I just have to go to the car”

If you’re at an inspection and inside a property and feel uncomfortable, just get out of there. Saying something like, “I just need to get something from the car”, and then leave the location. The importance of any inspection is always secondary to that of your safety.

11- Take self-defence lessons

It should not be understated that should you get yourself into an extreme safety situation you need to know how to get out of it. Attending a self-defence course is a great idea that not only gives you the skills you need, but also gives you greater confidence as well.

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