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Crockers Property Management

Crockers Property Management praise the simplicity and usability of the StaySafe smartphone app as they roll out the solution to protect their lone working staff  

Why did Crockers launch StaySafe?

Property management always entails working externally from the office for a large part of any week, and it’s very common to be in other peoples homes or properties alone. Crockers recognised that their employees could be at risk when having to conduct home visits, and began searching for a suitable safety solution to counter this.

Back in 2017 as part of an overall system and process review, Crockers began implementing a remote working protocol for their team. This was to allow them the flexibility to work from home before or after external appointments, negating the need to come into the office. This new system meant that employees were spending large parts of the day lone working.

Prior to this, the team used to check in and out with reception or team members. However, the new remote working system meant that the company may not see some people for days at a time. As a property management agency with nearly 4000 properties across greater Auckland, and thousands of external appointments every year, it was imperative that they were able to know where their employees were, and give them the security that if things went wrong, there was a process in place to locate employees and assist if needed.

After scoping several different lone worker apps, Joseph Schellack, General Manager at Crockers explains that the company were impressed with the simplicity and usability of the StaySafe solution with everyone being able to operate it with ease. Crockers required a solution that was easy to use and functioned when in and out of phone data coverage and StaySafe met these criteria.

How StaySafe helped:

  • Personalised customer service and easy implementation
  • Reliability in areas of low signal
  • Unique and reliable ways of raising an alert when faced with an aggressor
  • Man down alerts

Once Crockers made the decision to go ahead with StaySafe as their lone worker solution, Joseph explains how the company adjusted to the app:

“Roll out of the app was very simple, the staff members found it easy and convenient to use and we were well supported by our Auckland representative. Having rolled out multiple IT solutions and processes around our remote working solution for the team, I can categorically state that the StaySafe implementation was the easiest by far”.

He added

”Not only does Staysafe allow us to know where our staff are if an incident were to occur and help us fulfil our safety requirements, it has also given our team more comfort knowing that if the worst were to happen, we would be notified and the appropriate help sent over immediately. Although not expressed until after Staysafe had been in place a few months, it became evident that previously there were some concerns in the minds of the team that no-one would know where they were if things went bad for them. StaySafe helped give employees reassurance.”

Despite not seeing some members of the team for prolonged periods of time, Crockers now have full visibility of where they are and the confidence in knowing that they can respond quickly to any situation that puts a team member at risk, whilst workers appreciate the support and peace of mind.

About Crockers Property Management

Crockers Property Management is one of New Zealand’s largest property management groups, working in both the residential and commercial space. Crockers provides a wide range of property services to their clients whether that be growing their rental investment portfolio, organising long term maintenance plans, valuing their property, maximising the returns on investment properties, selling their apartment, or providing up-to-date market research.

Clinton Devon Estates

Clinton Devon Estates is a rural estate comprising 10,000 hectares across East and North Devon and in addition to farming and forestry, operates a range of rural businesses and a portfolio of residential and commercial property.

The company’s lone workers are required to perform off-site duties, which range from independent site visits to using heavy machinery and working at height. Workers are also at risk when travelling between locations (as driving is reportedly the largest killer in the world) whilst staff who are obligated to enter tenant’s houses could be at risk of verbal or physical assault.

Being based in the rural countryside also poses its own safety challenges, due to limited data connection and signal.

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Altwood Group

StaySafe keeps vulnerable housing sector workers safe in the field.

Altwood logo

Employees in the housing sector can be extremely vulnerable as they are required to visit building sites and empty properties, carry out maintenance work and meet with buyers and tenants, often by themselves. Lone workers can be an easy target for verbal or physical abuse or have an accident and not be able to call for help.

In a study commissioned in 2012 by Inside Housing1 of more than 220 councils, arm’s length management organisations and housing associations in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales it was found that 84% of survey respondents had been verbally assaulted, 8% had had a weapon used against them and 1% had been sexually assaulted.

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LPC

Employees in the property and housing sectors can be extremely vulnerable as they are often required to work alone. Whilst serious incidents are thankfully rare, a survey conducted by PPSS1 showed that 30% of estate agents have been victims of verbal abuse, 16% have felt intimidated and more than 1 in 10 have been threatened during a viewing.

lpc living logo

What is clear from studies such as this is that no matter what area of the property industry you work in, lone workers are always vulnerable and need protecting – but worryingly many organisations are not adequately doing so.

Over half (51%) of respondents to a recent Inside Housing study2 believe their employer is not always doing enough to protect them. The same was found in the PPSS study 1 , which again highlighted that 51% of agents do not have a lone worker policy or provide personal safety training to their employees. Read more

Joscelyne Chase

Estate Agents Joscelyne Chase use the StaySafe Business app and surrounding monitoring service to ensure that they meet their duty of care to their lone workers.

Joscelyne Chase logo

The property industry is one of the first professions many people think of when considering lone worker safety; sadly because of some of the high-profile attacks that have happened to those working alone in the property industry.

For employees at Joscelyne Chase, based in Essex, lone working is a daily occurrence with staff showing properties, carrying out inspections, terminating tenancies and lone working in the office. Read more

Inside Housing: Violence, fear and underreporting

28% of housing employees feel less safe on the job then they did last year.

This statistic comes as part of an Inside Housing Survey of 346 frontline housing workers in the UK. The survey revealed a frightening culture within the industry where many feel unsafe and unprotected.

Aggression and violence has been an issue in the housing industry for a long time. Housing staff tend to work closely with their clients, often in closed-door situations. Their roles may include delivering bad news to tenants, such as eviction, or working with at risk members of the public. Lone working is also common, leaving staff particularly vulnerable to violence and aggression.

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