SAN FRANCISCO, CA - HappyCo today announced that Equity Residential has signed a multi-year deal to utilize its mobile Happy Inspector app to evaluate the condition of apartment homes, document damage, and identify needed repairs. Nearly 500 users managing over 80,000 units across 310 locations will be using HappyCo technology to gather information about EQR’s portfolio.
HappyCo Inspector takes the headache out of field inspections by letting property managers directly input inspection data on their iPads, iPhones, and Android devices rather than filling out paper forms. It also allows photographs of properties to be included in inspection records, which can then uploaded into the organization’s property management system.
“After using paper-based processes for years, we knew we needed a better way to conduct inspections -- filling in paper forms and handling hundreds of individual photos was a huge time sink for our organization.” says Edward Leigh, VP of Operations at Equity Residential. “We evaluated multiple options and even considered building our own mobile inspection platform, but HappyCo’s technology met all of our key requirements. We did an extensive pilot, and the app worked so well and right out of the box that we chose to integrate it with our existing management software and launch it for our entire portfolio.”
One of the factors that made the initial roll-out successful was the platform’s simplicity. “Equity Residential’s property managers and service teams began using it with minimal hands-on training,” according to Leigh. “Once people saw the app work, they were eager to learn it because they could see how much easier it would make their jobs. Even our less tech-savvy users that had no experience using a tablet picked it up from just a short demo. We put more than 300 iPads in the hands of our on-site teams, and within a day or two we could see our move-out inspections coming in on the website. It was like flipping a switch and we had complete visibility into the results of the inspections that our teams were doing.”
Not only does HappyCo give Equity Residential a real-time mobile platform for inspections, but it also solves one of the most vexing problems in the industry: using photographs to document inspections. “With paper-based systems it is almost impossible to associate photos with specific inspections,” says HappyCo CEO Jindou Lee. “With our app, Inspectors simply take pictures of repairs and damage and the images automatically become part of the record. And HappyCo Inspector works online or offline, meaning that users don’t need to be connected to the network to use it. In addition, the collection of data in real time, and being able to analyze it immediately, is a huge benefit in helping develop and refine best practices.” Best of all each and every record is tracked against location and retrievable in an instant.
About HappyCo: HappyCo is a San Francisco-based technology company that develops mobile tools for the real estate rental industry. Its flagship Inspector product is used by thousands of companies, including 13 of the top 50 NMHC owners/managers, and to date has facilitated more than 1.5 million property inspections. The company was founded in 2011 and is privately held.