2 Ways of Doing a Multifamily Home Inspection Report on the Tap Inspect App

Multi Family Property

After you have been doing inspections for a while, everyone eventually gets called to do some kind of multi family property report. These kinds of reports a really similar to what we do every day but different enough that I get a lot of questions about how to use our system to make these a little easier to generate.

When you first look at a multi family property it can be a bit overwhelming trying to figure out how to build the report. I mean you have all these bathrooms, kitchens, electrical panels … At first glance it is a typical inspection multiplied by the the number of units the property has. But if you look a little closer … it is really much simpler.

The first key to doing a multifamily report is to understand it is really just one building. It has a single site, a single exterior, a single roof, and a single structure. It is really no different than a typical single family home.

I actually use the same sections that are in my Home Inspection template. You may need to add a few more comments but the sections, items and options should be fine help you describe and identify all the common elements of the property.

The second key is to understand that each unit is probably quite similar to all the other units in the property. I create a new section named Unit #1 and try to build a ‘prototype unit’.
What does than mean? Does each unit has it’s own HVAC? Ok. I add a Heating and Cooling subsection. It’s own water heater, electrical panel, laundry? I add those subsections.

Some multi family properties even have a common heating, cooling, laundry, or hot water system just like a single family home. In those cases you can just use the same sections again that are in your Home Inspection template.

Once you determine the basic makeup of a unit you can duplicate that unit over and over in the report as many times as you need.

It is really that simple

  • Treat the building like you would any typical single family home
  • Create a Unit section and duplicate it as many times as you need

Why We Built Tap Inspect for Home Inspectors

Anyone that has done it knows that growing a home inspection business is hard work. Its is a special club of home inspectors that have risked safety and predicability to build a business that they hope makes the world a little bit better.

So why did we build Tap Inspect?

My partner, Jason Adams, and myself come from different backgrounds but share a common belief. We believe that all the hard work, sacrifice, and risk is worth the price if we can make a small dent in the universe. We honestly hope we can leave the world a better place due to our efforts.

With Tap Inspect, we realized that building home inspection reports does not have to be that complicated. There is more to life that sitting at a computer every night and writing home inspection reports. Everything we do, every feature we add, and every design we implement is focused on making that a reality.

It is hard to believe that so many home inspectors use Tap Inspect every day and it has become such a big part of so many lives. We look forward to more improvements and helping all of you spend more time doing what you love the most.

3 Ways to Get Home Inspection Photos onto your iPad

Using an iPhone to take your home inspection photos and sharing via your iCloud Photo Library may be the easiest way to view photos on an iPad but not everyone likes using an iPhone.

A number of Tap Inspect’s home inspectors that either have an Android phone or still like to use a point and shoot camera or maybe even a high end DLSR. We are big believers in using the best tools for the job and the best tool is usually down to the preference of the person using it. Here are three ways that some of our users have told us about. Let us know if you have more.

Wifi Enabled Camera

Over the past few years many manufacturers have released point and shoot cameras with built in WiFi to let you share photos right from the camera. So what is the general consensus?

These camera are worth a look if you want a higher quality home inspection photo than you can typically get with your smartphone. Beware though. They can be pretty tricky to get setup right.

Once you do get them setup they work like a champ. Just install the camera’s companion app on your iPad . Then every photo you take is wirelessly sent from the camera for you to view on your iPad or add to a Tap Inspect report.

Fair warning. If setting up a wireless router forces you to call the Geek Squad these devices may be more trouble than they are worth.

Wifi Memory Card

Much like a Wifi camera there are WiFi enabled memory cards like the EyeFi memory card that can give your non-Wifi camera, Wifi connectivity.

Once you insert this gizmo into your camera and get it setup it works just like Wifi cameras. Each photo you take is wirelessly sent to a companion app you install on your iPad.

This is little less expensive than buying a new Wifi camera so that can be a plus. The downsides are that these things can burn through batteries. In my experience,  I got about half the life from my batteries compared to using a non-wifi enabled memory card. The other downside is that, just like the wifi cameras, these devices can be a little tough to get setup or to troubleshoot if anything goes wrong.

Apple’s SD Card Connector

If you are looking for the simplest, most reliable method to transfer home inspection photos from a camera or even your Android phone, it is hard to beat the Apple Lightning to SD Card Camera Reader.

Just remove the SD card, plug it into this device, then plug the device into your iPad. The Photos app will launch and allow you to import all the photos on the card or select just the photos you want.

The biggest down side is that you have to remove the card from your camera or Android phone first. This is fine if you want to import all your photos at once. If you want to add and view photos as you take them the Wifi options may be better.

So there you are, three ways to get home inspection photos onto your iPad. There is no best way but there is probably the best way for you.

Markup Home Inspection Photos In Tap Inspect

Our most requested feature has been, hands down, the ability to add circles or arrows to a home inspection photo inside of the Tap Inspect iPhone and iPad applications. I have to admit, up to a little while ago I just did not understand what all the fuss was about. Now, I have to say I am sold and one of the believers.

There is just no substitute to being able to add an arrow to show the crack your are talking about or drawing a circle to highlight a stain. I can finally see how handy a feature like this can be and how much it can help clarify what I am trying to explain.

Starting with version 5 of Tap Inspect an Edit button has been added to the Photo Viewer and you can markup your home inspection photos inside the app. No more using another 3rd party app like Skitch or dealing with the extra fuss.

Two of the coolest features about the new Photo Markups are that it works across all the devices you have Tap Inspect installed on and it also saves the original, unmarked, photo.

That means you can take and add a home inspection photo from your iPhone and when it syncs over to your iPad you can add an arrow or circle or two. Then when it syncs back to your iPhone and you are still not satisfied you can change or remove those markups and add more.

It also means that you can always get the original unmarked home inspection photo from the Extract Photos screen of the app or from your web account if you need to use it somewhere else.

As a home inspector that has never used markups like this before, it has made my job even easier.

Give it a spin, markup some home inspection photos and let us know how it works for you.

How to save 15 to 20 minutes per home inspection report on the Tap Inspect app

We are always trying to find ways to help home inspectors be more efficient and to finish reports a little quicker here at Tap Inspect. We have added the ability to save the values of your home inspection report in your template.

That means, the next time you start a new report from that template, it will already be filled out for you. Every text box, multiple choice option, condition rating can be pre-selected or already filled out when you start a new report. Exactly how much information is saved in the template is entirely up to you.

Pretty cool huh? So let’s get started and see how it works.

Open a report that is a good representation of a typical home inspection and is mostly complete and pretty generic.

On the Perform Inspection screen, tap on the Edit Fields button and then tap on Report Options.

At the bottom of the report options screen tap on Save As A Template.

The Tap Inspect app asks if you want to Overwrite This Template or Save As A New Template. Let’s save as a new template, name it ‘My Inspection Completed’ and hit the back button.

Now you are asked if you want to ‘Keep Values?’.

Do you want to keep the stuff you have already recorded in the report with the template or just save it as a blank template with all the entered values cleared? We want a completed template with the values so we say ‘Yes’.

Great! We are all done!

Now close this home inspection report and create a new one from the template you just created. Back on the New Inspection Screen you will see your new template. Tap on that to start a new report and you will see the report already has a bunch of information already selected and recorded.

Maybe there is more stuff saved than you really want. No problem. Just clear out those items or conditions and save this report as a template again.

Tap on Edit Fields, go into Report Options and tap on Save As A Template. This time though we want to update our template by overwriting it instead of creating another template.

You can keep repeating this process to fine tune and make changes to what information is or is not saved in your template over time. Make some changes see if it works in the real world and make more.

As time goes by you will be spending 15-20 minutes less time on each report by not having to select the same options over and over.

Give it a try and let us know how it works by leaving comments here or on Facebook. We would love to hear from our home inspectors.