Did you know that one in three households had at least one major housing problem relating to overcrowding, affordability or poor-quality housing going into the pandemic?
For over a year, people in the UK have been spending most of their time at home to curb the spread of coronavirus. Homes doubled as gyms, nurseries, cinemas, and offices for people across the country. With tenants spending so much time in their homes, it’s more critical than ever to keep properties functional and safe.
As part of digital transformation efforts, the response from industry leaders to the pandemic has paved the way for innovative AR technology solutions that allow engineers to assess situations and provide hands-on support without entering someone’s home.
Learn why AR is the perfect solution for housing associations and councils, and discover why this technology trend is here to stay long into the future.
Covid Challenges Facing Housing Associations & Councils
The pandemic hit the housing sector hard, propelling the industry into unchartered territory. As a result, housing associations and councils faced unprecedented challenges, including:
Current restrictions may make it more difficult for housing associations and councils to carry out routine or essential repairs and maintenance on housing or commercial properties. Additionally, tradespeople don’t want to expose themselves to unqualified risk, which could be a showstopper if there’s a requirement to visit a business site or tenants’ home.
Safely accessing the home of a clinically vulnerable person is a major challenge when doing routine repairs and inspections. You want to protect people, but delaying these routine checks could result in irreparable damages down the line. While vulnerable people can permit landlords and contractors to carry out these tasks under government guidelines, there’s always the risk of bringing the virus into their homes.
Slow Response Times
Lockdowns and a crashing economy forced companies to furlough or lay off staff. As a result, there may be a shortage of skilled tradespeople to carry out field service work.
Workforce and resource constraints may cause you to fall behind on repairs you need to address at different sites. Understandably, having to live with defects or damages while waiting for repairs to get done could make tenants anxious and cause them to file complaints.
Using Augmented Reality for Repair Needs
AR technology combats these challenges by empowering housing associations and local councils to deliver the level of service their tenants expect in a highly efficient manner while minimising virus transmission threats.
If you’re struggling to get service engineers out to your properties, AR’s self-service capabilities put the control in your tenants’ hands.
Using any mobile device, technicians can pair AR technology with video, annotation and on-screen instructions to walk tenants through simple home repairs and inspections. This way, tenants can fix more minor problems themselves in a few minutes instead of waiting weeks for a service professional to get to their home.
If the issue requires a home visit, property managers can dispatch service engineers quickly to fix urgent problems as they are flagged. Since the repair technician will already understand the situation from the remote inspection, they can fix the problem on the first visit, avoiding costly follow-up repair jobs.
AR remote support also reduces operational costs since it can help service technicians avoid unnecessary home visits for tasks that can be resolved remotely.
Streamline Void Refurbishments
Local councils and housing associations can also use AR technology to streamline refurbishments for empty properties. In some areas, an average of five properties a week become ‘voids’ and left to inspect for any maintenance works required before being re-let.
Traditionally, a licensed building inspector reviews the property to assess its condition before sending contractors to carry out any repairs and updates.
The longer properties take to prepare, the longer it takes to give people new homes. AR technology can streamline the property document approval process, as all participants can share or access pictures and videos instantly. Contractors can assess the priority of each task.
Improve Service from Providers
Using AR technology also helps field service companies provide more efficient customer service by offering safe, remote assistance using interactive tools during traditional service calls.Live video chat and AR overlays enable field service technicians to access real-time instructions from customer support teams to assess major issues while on-location accurately.
Computer vision technology can reduce mistakes and unnecessary calls by 90% and empower technicians to achieve 50% faster task performance. AR-powered technology can also serve as a compliance tool that logs activity instantly to ensure high service calls standards.
Using Augmented Reality After the Pandemic
The pandemic made it essential to find innovative solutions to carry on everyday operations as efficiently and accurately as possible. However, AR technology has the potential to be a game-changer because of how much it helps increase first-time fix rates, reduce costs, and improve customer satisfaction for you and your hired contractors.
As technology advances, AR technology will become an integral part of property management and continue to empower tenants, associations, and councils long after the pandemic is over.
The housing sector is on a trajectory of rapid change and field service providers are reviewing the services they provide to ensure they meet their customers’ new needs and demands. Digital solutions like AR will streamline your property management and help bring your organisation into the future.
Harness the Power of AR Technology with Fixzy
Enhance your property management through AR-based remote support from Fixzy.
We use cutting-edge, no-download computer vision, artificial intelligence, machine learning and AR technologies to help your field service and customer service teams solve issues quickly and efficiently.
Request a live demo today. Get in touch to start your AR journey.