The process of reporting personal and community issues to organisations can take months and is a time consuming process. But now, a free smartphone app FIXIT, provides the public with another way to let authorities know about a problem.
Through the globally available app people can describe the problem, take photos of it and tag the location using Google maps. Once the report is logged, it is sent to FIXIT’s contact centre where the right organisation is informed. Then FIXIT checks if action has been taken.
The start up company is targeting the property management sector. Founders Matthew Waugh and Sebastian Jacobs became inspired for the app idea after noting common faults in real estate.
“Property management was where the idea came from. Sebastian was renting a place and was overseas at the time. His partner shut the shower door and it smashed. During that whole process she wasn’t able to get anything organised by the real estate agent because she wasn’t on the lease.
“Meanwhile, my family owned a property in Coogee, Sydney. The property manager couldn’t do simple things for tenants like fixing the windows. In the end, the tenants would bypass the property manager and go to me,” Mr Waugh said.
Market research found that 80 per cent of people who had an unpleasant leasing experience indicated the weakest link was the fragmented communication systems used by overworked property managers.
According to Mr Waugh, the app was made to empower both property managers and tenants, not to replace property managers who remain integral to the real estate industry.
“We have built in the capability for renters to add their house and let their agent know of any damage or maintenance reports through FIXIT. This means 100 per cent of reports they submit will be heard 24/7, acknowledged, validated and resolved.
“We wanted to create a live platform where the tenant and property manager could collaborate and communicate. Our app is a way of encouraging proactive reporting and maintenance,” Mr Waugh said.
Australia’s youngest real estate tycoon Stephanie Brennan said the app will change the face of property management.
“It will also provide a greater level of transparency to investors in managing their maintenance expenses and further validate the relationship between the owner and agent by providing educated advice on the cost verse benefit of repairing and replacing items, right through to capital improvements that will in turn increase rental yields while minimising a property’s vacancy rate,” Miss Brennan said.