Have you ever wondered how people do on-site inspections, property walkthroughs during the pandemic?

The two things mentioned above are not doable with video conferencing tools, because you need to feel present at the location, and video conferencing lacks the immersive meeting environment.

Okay, let’s broaden up the subject. Let’s rephrase the questions:
Have you ever wondered how people complete tasks that need physical presence?

Beam me up, Scotty?

No, we are not there yet, but the remote presence and virtual inspections became a part of our lives, and we are going to talk about virtual inspections in this blog post.

In this article we are going to talk about:

What is Remote Virtual Inspection?

How does Remote Virtual Inspection work?

What is Remote Site Inspection?

What is Virtual Home Inspection?

5 Benefits of Remote Inspection

What is Remote Virtual Inspection?

Real Estate and Construction industry sectors have adapted to the health and safety concerns of COVID-19 by adopting Remote Virtual Inspections as a vital assessment tool.

While many countries are reopening, and certain in-person restrictions have been lifted, Remote Virtual Inspections prove essential to any business seeking to remain adaptable. 

Whether conducting a Home Inspection, or Worksite Inspection, RVIs are a quick, efficient way to inspect a worksite or prospective home purchase, while saving you time and money!

Remote Virtual Inspections are any inspection conducted by a remote technical expert through equipped telecommunications programs, with the help of a homeowner or contractor located at the site. With RVIs, location is no longer a limiting factor, allowing for technical experts with specific knowledge to offer their services at a local or global level. 

Remote Virtual Inspections are becoming a permanent assessment technique for construction and renovation lenders as we’re seeing RVIs become more standardized, especially with the publication of recent NFPA 915 and International Code Council guidelines. 

How does Remote Virtual Inspection work?

Since the pandemic, Remote Virtual Inspections have become standard practice. In early iterations of RVIs, the property contact would act as the intermediary for the remote inspector through the use of video conferencing apps like Zoom or Facetime. The remote inspector would gradually instruct the property contact on where to go and what areas to focus on. 

With advancements in immersive telepresence technology, the property contact, remote inspector, and other members of your team can now collectively walk through the site itself. Unlike standard video conferencing, guests can control their view of the site with the use of interactive panoramic photos. The remote inspector and guests are able to work as if they were on-site together, facilitating the inspection of the safety and compliance of the work-site, without delay. 

What is Remote Site Inspection?

A Remote Site Inspection is the verification of the quality and safety of a worksite. While RSIs may vary depending on the circumstances of each jobsite, conducting effective inspections require accurate identification and documentation of safety and health hazards and violations. 

According to Bart Kavanagh, director at Probyn Miers, site inspections are crucial because they allow architects to get “to the heart of the matter, either to undertake general reviews during construction, to establish existing conditions where refurbishment or alteration is being considered or to establish physical evidence when disputes arise, and the opinion of an expert witness is required.”

RSIs need to be pre-approved by the Authority Having Jurisdiction, which are often building and fire officials, or organizations such as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. For planned or last-minute inspections, it’s recommended to call the AHJ performing the inspection to ask if RSIs are possible for the type of inspection you’re looking for. If possible, ask for an on-site facilities manager, fire prevention manager, or hospital administrator to be in charge of conducting the Remote Site Inspection, as they’ll be the most knowledgeable of the site.

Before the inspection is conducted, verify that the job site is safe for the individual using the RSI device. To ensure efficiency, confirm that your tablet or phone is fully charged, the jobsite has available Wi-Fi or cellular service accessibility, and that all features applicable to the inspection are visible and captured at the time of the RSI.

What is Virtual Home Inspection?

Your client is looking to move from San Francisco to Colorado Springs and you’ve found the perfect home: newly remodeled, perched on the Cimarron Hills, with views of the city and the Kineo Mountains…  With the surge of homeowners relocating in search of more space and affordability, what better way to offer security in the house-bidding process than by providing a Remote Virtual Inspection? 

‘The Great Reshuffling,’ as it’s been called, has been facilitated by low mortgages and the increased ability to work from home. 

A recent Redfin survey found that 64% of homeowners moved to a comparable or bigger home, while 80% of people who relocated during the pandemic had no regrets of their move

Before making the final sale, an inspector confirms that the house is safe to live in by checking for safety hazards like mold or rotting beams, and verifying plumbing and other infrastructure quality. Virtual Home Inspections are necessary for offering prospective homeowners negotiating power to reduce the asking price or request repairs of any identified issues before continuing with the sale. 

Superviz provides the opportunity for the real estate agent, inspector, and prospective buyers to walk through the property together, while serving as an archive for the inspectors’ findings. The inspector creates a report at the end of their inspection detailing their findings. If there are issues, the real estate agent advises how to proceed. 

5 Benefits of Remote Inspection:

  1. Reduced costs.

Aside from eliminating costs of travel, Remote Inspections allow projects to tackle one of the main causes of construction delays: regular site access. HKA’s 2020 CRUX Insight Report found that 70% of extension of time claims involve ‘access to site’ issues, some 9% ahead of other factors. 

With Virtual Remote Inspections, architects, stakeholders, and other members of your team have readily available, up to date access to the work site, from wherever they may be. 

  1. Increased Productivity/ Increased Sales

With the ability to conduct a Remote Virtual Inspection at any location at any time, technical experts are able to determine the safety of worksites and homes at a more efficient pace. 

RVIs are quickly scheduled directly with the property contact or AHJ and a completed inspection report is delivered to the lender soon after the scheduled inspection. 

RVIs streamline Home and Site Inspections, without compromising health or safety. These capabilities have made a big difference, especially for facilities pursuing projects that comply with National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and International Code Council (ICC) codes and requirements.

  1. Business Continuity

As the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated, businesses with the ability to seamlessly incorporate remote work into their business practices are equipped to thrive! 

Your business should be able to sustain any disruption. Not only is it important to have your workers familiarize themselves with RVIs in order to gracefully meet the demands of your stakeholders and customers, it’s encouraged: RVIs have become more standardized with the recent publications NFPA 915 and International Code Council guidelines. 

  1. Increased Accountability and Quality Assurance

Other benefits of RVIs include consistent documentation of each inspection in order to facilitate business document management strategies. 

Recorded inspections not only assure quality, but are easily accessible to clients and stakeholders in order for them to remain informed and satisfied. 

  1. Reduced Carbon Emissions

According to the EPA, at least 29% of Greenhouse Gas Emissions are due to ‘Transportation’, making it one of the largest contributors of U.S. greenhouse emissions. 

By adopting RVIs, you will have taken the opportunity to reduce your carbon footprint by both improving operating practices for your business and reducing travel demand!

The most remote site — as long as it has reliable cellular service or WiFi — is accessible with SuperViz, nurturing a more sustainable future. 

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What is telepresence?

Telepresence, sometimes called “remote presence,” is a cutting-edge technology that replicates the dynamics of in-person scenarios and communications.

Imagine not just meeting in a group, but being teleported to a new location—a boardroom, a park, or a newly constructed apartment. Telepresence brings these possibilities to life through immersive audio-visual technologies.

What is telepresence video conferencing?

What makes telepresence video conferencing such a crucial tool for business meetings, site inspections, real estate tours, and corporate trainings is a sense of togetherness.

You’ve read about—and experienced!—so-called “Zoom fatigue,” that sense of dread at yet another video meeting with colleagues in different locations. Other video conferencing technologies reinforce the scattered nature of participants, but telepresence video conferencing creates the feeling of sharing a single space with other participants, enabling true collaboration. 

What are the differences between telepresence and video conferencing?

Video conferencing offers the same basic service as telepresence: an audio and video connection with different users. But telepresence optimizes what’s possible within a meeting.

Do you need to walk through a property with your client or perform a site visit in a distant city? Does your remote team need focused collaboration around a conference table or a bit of an afternoon break in sunny Venice?

The capabilities of video conferencing are limited, but telepresence allows users to dive into various immersive possibilities together.

Should I use telepresence or video conferencing?

As companies and individuals shift to remote work as the rule rather than the exception, we have a better understanding of how routine technologies—email, phone calls, Zoom, Slack—can make us feel more distant from one another, rather than closer together.

Telepresence is a powerful alternative to these tools. Because it builds a feeling of real togetherness and collaboration, telepresence breathes new life into regular meetings, team projects, and corporate trainings—and offers a much more affordable alternative to travel!