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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.

Aspire Housing

Housing Association Aspire Housing launched StaySafe to oversee the safety of their lone workers when visiting potentially dangerous neighbourhoods and properties.

Aspire Housing is made up of three strands; Aspire Housing, PM Training and Realise Charity. Lone working is common practice in both the Housing and Charity strands, where employees regularly visit homes and properties alone.

Housing employees visit homes to support clients as well as carrying out repairs and maintenance operations, while lone workers operating in the charity strand meet with and support young people.

Working across a range of environments and often behind closed doors, Aspire recognised that their employees could be exposed to a number of risks on a daily basis. While safety has always been a priority, Aspire identified that the dedicated device they had in place had become outdated and was no longer fit for purpose. As a result, Aspire undertook a review of the other solutions available and decided to trial StaySafe. Trial users responded positively to the new software and Aspire felt that StaySafe provided the most cost-effective and user-friendly solution for their staff.

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Hafod Housing

Hafod Housing are a not-for-profit organisation, providing affordable housing, care and support across South East Wales. Managing over 4,000 homes, Hafod Housing rely on a team of lone workers operating over a range of roles; from maintenance surveyors to caretakers and housing officers.

Lone workers at Hafod Housing are largely public facing and are frequently required to make visits independently to properties. Hafod works with some of the most vulnerable people in the community and do not always have the opportunity to meet and assess residents before housing them. Due to the nature of their work, Hafod’s housing officers are at higher risk of antisocial behaviours such as violence and aggression.

Those working to maintain properties regularly use ladders, heavy tools and carry out work on roofs and other potentially unstable structures. The risks they face tend to be more environmental as they are exposed to common workplace risks such as slips, trips and falls.

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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

Martin & Co Property Management

Martin & Co have launched the StaySafe Business App and surrounding monitoring service to provide peace of mind to their lone working agents.

Martin and Co logo

The StaySafe Business App allows Martin & Co Leeds City & Leeds North to monitor their employees’ safety and GPS location through an online Hub. The employee is able to start a timed session and alert their employer through a number of features if they face any danger.

As an office belonging to the largest letting and property management franchise in the UK, Martin & Co Leeds City & Leeds North rely on their lone workers to provide their award-winning service. Prior to working with StaySafe, Martin & Co utilised a diary system to keep track of employee safety.

However, after undertaking a review of their lone working policies they concluded they needed a more robust system in order to fully meet their duty of care as an employer. Following a two-week trial of the BS8484* accredited StaySafe app and Hub, Martin & Co decided to roll out the solution across their business. 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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