Property Management – Inspect, Track and Document

The codeREADr app and Web service empowers property managers to capture, track, monitor and report in ways that were either impossible or impractical before. Why? Because of the ready availability of low-cost, feature-rich smartphones and tablets along with business apps for data collection.

You can collect data in real time as your teams inspect each service point as well as the services they perform and resulting status.  They can check the settings for the HVAC, security, plumbing and other systems; the condition of the home, garage, appliances, pool and gardens; and formally document any special considerations, such as leaking roofs or other damage.

The cost is very attractive.  Each patrol can use their smartphone or you could buy an iPod touch or Android device, with or without 3G/4G/LTE network connections. The license for codeREADr is as little as $9.99 monthly. If your service points don’t already have IDs, there are many choices for printing them (see below) or you can simply list the service points and use the app’s Lookup option via text or voice entry.

Note: We refer to a ‘validation database’ multiple times in this document. That refers to the list of service points to be tracked. Those service points can be a single point per location (an address for example) or multiple points within that location. You can select them by scanning a barcode, entering a simple ID number or by looking them up from a stored list. The main purpose of having a list is to be able to associate activities specifically to that service point. Another benefit is the app user can use the app’s Lookup button to see what’s been checked and done what’s not been checked.

  • Starter – Record-Only: For this type of service you won’t need a validation database but you will need a barcode that has the location info embedded in it so when scanned it records  the service point – the home, building or service point being checked.When the app user scans the barcode,  you will prompt them to enter information regarding the service point. We call it such prompts ‘Questions’ though they can be questions or statements. The most common prompt are ‘Comments’ with a form entry field and ‘Confirm Status’ with corresponding, single-answer multiple choice selections such as ‘Pass’ or ‘Fail’ or a host of much more detailed answers. You can ask as many prompts as you want. Unlike validation services, record-only services cannot give directed information about a specific service point to the app user as they scan its barcode. Another tradeoff compared to validation services is that with record-only you can’t use the text or voice look-up feature to search the validation database. See our Step by Step Instructions.
  • Intermediate – Validation: For this type of service you will need a validation database, i.e. the list of service points. As with a record-only service, when the app user scans the service point’s barcode ID, you will prompt the app user to enter information regarding the service point. You can also give the app user directed information about the service point or you can issue specific instructions as the barcode is scanned. You can also have app users manually enter or voice search the database to look up service points in cases where the barcode is damaged. Step by Step Instructions.
  • Advanced – IT/Web Developer Integration: IT/Web developers can brand and seamlessly integrate codeREADr into their existing applications and back-end systems using our extensive set of APIs. They can also use advanced features such as regular expression, contextual variables and Webify. We offer full support for developer integration. Contact us.

Here are the different ways you can capturing service point IDs:  Scan barcodes, tap NFC tags, text/voice entry and search database.

Service point labels should ideally be printed with a QR code or an NFC tag, but any barcode will work. Alternatively, you could simply print each service point ID with a human-readable number for text or voice entry. If you are using a validation database, you could use the app’s Look-Up feature to text or voice search for the service point in the database.  It’s remarkably fast and accurate even when searching for text content or the first few characters of the barcode value.

You can print QR labels yourself using low-cost programs, such as iBarcoder for PC and MAC, or have them printed professionally. Even some new handheld label printers can now print QR codes along with 1D barcodes. It’s no problem if you can’t use a QR code, though.  A good alternative would be Code 39 or Code 128 which are very common.

If you use QR codes as your barcode, you can embed an ID (e.g., A12345) or embed a textual identifier of the service point (e.g., 123 Main St.). With a record-only service, you should embed a textual identifier if possible. With validation services you should embed an ID and then associate textual identifiers and other information in the ‘Response’ text.

Response text is the text the app user sees after scanning a valid service point ID.  The service point ID might be ‘A12345’ and the response text ‘123 Main St.’ See importing a CSV file for format directions.

Developers can also embed URLs in the response text pointing to the service point’s picture, for example.  Or the URL can even point to more data collection options.

IMPORTANT: the codeREADr platform is flexible and scalable as your data collection requirements grow.

in Best Practices with Instructions