Star Tech: Dubai startup uses world-first tech to reveal true condition of homes

Scan uses thermal imaging, endoscopic cameras and moisture meters to let the team see things people can't see with naked eye



by

Joydeep Sengupta

Published: Sat 15 Oct 2022, 5:21 PM

Last updated: Sun 16 Oct 2022, 3:00 PM

Property Check is the brainchild of two Dubai-based entrepreneurs, Liam Ketley and Michael Widgery, who are both ex-advertising agency executives. Widgery also runs another Dubai-based business called Grout King. Their focus for Property Check is delivering quality solutions with advanced knowledge but simple advice, with the customer in mind to bring long-term benefits.

Property Check was officially launched in summer 2022, after 18 months of extensive research, pilot studies and trials. The co-founders were determined to ensure the product was perfect before going to market in July this year.

Property Check uses world-first technology, state-of-the-art equipment and common sense to show the true condition of homes for buyers, renters, landlords and agents.

"Our digital Property Report Cards, available nowhere else in the world, are fully-filterable, fully-interactive and use everyday language. Our aim is to ensure that we use a language that grandmothers could understand and take action," said Ketley.

Industry-leading technology like thermal imaging, endoscopic cameras and moisture meters enable the team to see things people can't see with the naked eye. They reveal what's really going on behind the walls, above the ceilings or beneath the floors. It's like an MRI scan for homes, with a fixed price of Dh999 regardless of the size of the apartment or villa.

The process is built around convenience and simplicity for the customer: easy to book online or by phone, with a UAE tailor made digital report delivered within 24 hours. In addition, there is no need to be at home while the inspection is being carried out, meaning no disruption for our busy customers.

How does it save money for its end users/customers?

The fixed price of Dh999 is a small investment compared to potential bills – and time-consuming, stressful repairs – resulting from faults in the home. More importantly, Property Check can unveil potential safety issues.

Property Check was born from personal experience: when Ketley moved into his new apartment two years ago, little did he know of the problems that awaited him. A day after moving in, his water tank burst and flooded the apartment. A pre-inspection would have revealed a fault that would have cost around Dh50 to fix; instead the job cost more than Dh5,000 – and he had no access to his bathroom for two weeks.

"We recently found poorly-sealed windows in a customer's home: not a danger, but a problem that would add to her AC (air conditioning) bill each month. Issues like these are something customers would have had no clue about without a pre-rental inspection," Widgery said.

"On average, inspectors find around 400 issues – some cosmetic, others more serious – per check. If it's not perfect, we report it," he added.

"At the moment, there is no standard inspection process for properties, leaving buyers and renters open to problems and expense further down the line. When people buy a car, they get it checked out, yet probably don't do the same when it comes to their home. Property Check's inspection service is the most thorough, hi-tech and customer-friendly service available, and will reveal much more than the 'snagging' tests associated with pre-handovers," Ketley said.

The start up is trying to increase transparency in the real estate sector.

"The goal is to raise standards and increase transparency in the real estate industry by giving buyers and renters an informed choice, and encouraging landlords to present their properties in a safe and acceptable condition," Widgery said.

"The Property Check team is in demand. Word about the service and its benefits has spread, and the company is continually recruiting more inspection engineers, who undergo extensive, thorough training in both the technical and customer service side of the business before going out in the field," he added.

The start up will disrupt the competitive real estate sector.

"We care about two things: protecting people's money and sanity and being as hassle-free and customer-orientated as possible. Property Check is about bringing transparency and assurance to what is many people's biggest purchase of their life. Constantly growing and entirely bootstrapped, we're always on the lookout for partnerships in real estate, tech and property development areas," Ketley added.

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