A new business offering letting agents a way of managing property maintenance and repairs is offering a free trial ahead of its formal launch.
Software firm Sorbet is the brainchild of former contractor Brooke Williams, who believed there had to be a better way for agents, landlords, tenants and contractors to communicate with each other.
Williams has teamed up with former Dezrez director Richard Wilson to set up the company, and has also recruited Kevin Hughes, former marketing and finance director of Gocompare, as a non-executive director.
Brooke said: “Co-ordinating maintenance appointments and chasing reports for lots of properties can be a real headache for letting agents. I know, I’ve been there.”
Sorbet will allow tenants to communicate with agents, receive documents and to report maintenance issues all through a messaging app.
The Sorbet tenant app uses a chat interface with chatbot technology to pre-qualify tenant requests, before handing over to the agents themselves.
The app will also be able to issue the tenant with requested documents, for example a copy of their contract, and it will even learn about each of your tenants – for example, learning that Richard prefers to be called Rich.
The app will also allow tenants and contractors to safely arrange suitable appointment times without giving out sensitive details such as phone numbers or email addresses, all of which will help to create a fully logged and searchable audit trail.
The Sorbet agent app will automate booking contractors and monitor the progress of bookings or issues.
So, how would Sorbet work in practice? We were given this example.
The tenant uses the app to report a leak in the kitchen ceiling late at night. Sorbet would class this as a severe incident and direct the tenant to the fuseboard/stopcock and ask them to take pictures.
Sorbet would then automatically book a contractor to fix the leak as soon as possible.
Sorbet is also customisable, allowing agents to rank contractors and set those that it prefers.
The system can even rank the contractors on performance, the amount of work turned down, and time to return keys as well as tenant reviews.
All ‘paperwork’ is cloud stored, and when a property is sold, all inspection reports can be transferred over in one data transfer.
Sorbet is offering a six-month free trial as part of its beta launch programme.
It is looking for around 50 agents to take part and has registered with the ICO.