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5 common data issues in property maintenance to beware of

January 19, 2022

Sustainability is a number one priority for housing associations when planning property maintenance. As a result, housing associations are looking for more efficient ways to understand how to improve their properties’ energy efficiency.

Housing associations have many estates and houses in their property portfolio. Maintaining this portfolio can get complicated, since there are many factors to be taken into account. For example, how to structurally plan maintenance for all properties? How to decide where to invest first? How do you stay within budget? And more importantly: how can maintenance be applied with minimal inconvenience to the tenants? Having sufficient and up-to-date property data is crucial when answering these questions.

Improved strategic and operational decision making with transparent property data

When making well-founded strategic decisions about property maintenance, having sufficient data is indispensable. For example: which estates should have priority over others when it comes to for sustainability investments? In addition, transparent property data helps gaining insight into operational matters, such as: does this specific estate need a paint job? If so, what are the exact measurements and quantities?

Common data issues in property maintenance

Manually collecting property data can be a hassle. We’ve researched some common issues housing associations regularly face when working with property data and these were most mentioned:

1. Property data is not up-to-date or not available at all

It’s essential that you keep your database up-to-date annually. Tenants or municipalities can make crucial changes to your properties or their surroundings without your knowledge.

2. Property data is spread out over various (external) sources

Maintenance partners and even your own colleagues often have data stored on their own drives. As a result, each party has their own ‘source of truth’ and there’s no ‘shared reality’ between associations and their maintenance partners.

3. Collecting new property data through manual inspections is expensive and time-consuming

It’s labor-intensive to fully map your complete property portfolio every year by doing manual inspections.

4. Important property data is not always visible for inspectors and difficult to retrieve

While performing on-site inspections, not every angle of the building is visible to inspectors, which leads to a chance of missing out on insights. For example; data on the rear façade or roof are often not fully included in on-site inspections.

5. A lot of property data consists of non-visualspreadsheets

Having mostly non-visual data sources like spreadsheets makes it difficult to get a good idea of what the property actually looks like.

Consequences of these common data issues in property maintenance

The aforementioned problems with property data have far-reaching consequences for housing associations:

1. High additional expenses

Outdated or incomplete data often requires manual data gathering, meaning sending an inspector on-site. This practice can quickly add up in expenses.

2. Inefficient maintenance

The lack of correct data can lead to inefficient maintenance. For example: clustering maintenance for different estates that are located closely together is much more efficient than treating them one by one.

3. Strategic decision-making based on opinions, not facts

‘Without data, you’re just another person with an opinion’ is a famous saying that applies to housing associations as well. If you have little to no insight into the current state of your properties, it’s hard to make justified strategic decisions. This can lead to serious issues in the long term, when having to comply with regulations or sustainability objectives.

These issues are not easily solved if the required property data is not available. Easy go-to tools like Google Maps can temporarily ease this pain. But let’s be honest: when using Google maps, how often did you find out afterwards that you’ve been looking at the wrong building? Don’t worry, it’s happened to many of us.

Is there a solution to these data issues?

Yes! Nowadays, digital property management is opening doors for many real estate organizations. Dutch housing association De Alliantie is a perfect example of an organization who recently made the switch to digital property management. By using Spotr, they’re able to manage their properties remotely, leading to a more efficient way of working and much less on-site visits.

With the push of a button they can easily view, inspect and analyze any property in their portfolio. This allows them to easily plan maintenance with partner organizations and predict maintenance demand. Would you like to know more about digital property management? You can read about it here.

How Spotr is helping housing associations, insurers, banks and local government with digital property management

Spotr is an AI-driven one-stop-shop for remotely analyzing property data. We provide you with an up-to-date image database of your real estate portfolio. You’ll be able to reduce site visits by having remote access to the most recent building images from different angles.  

With our automatic image recognition of building elements and measurements, you are able to easily spot anomalies in your real estate portfolio and filter on individual elements such as doors, solar panels, balconies, and frames.

We detect a total of 80 objects on a property’s facade, roof, surroundings and its interior. With Spotr you can easily filter properties on specific characteristics, risks, state of maintenance, and sustainability opportunities. Through Spotr Experts we also provide specific measurements with 95% accuracy, real time valuations, condition surveys and investment plans.


Are you ready to overcome property data issues and start working with digital property management? Request a demo to find out more: