In this help area, we will use the word device, it applies to all Apple phones and devices as well. Palace allows for the export of all your Owners, Properties, Tenants and Supplier information over to the device. This not only allows you to do Inspections but have full contact details for all your clients as well. You can also create a works order out in the field and it will create automatically once you are back in Palace. There is also the capability to do video inspections.
Please Note: The above applies to Apple products. We do also have the Android App available, however, the works order function is being tested and is not available just yet.
This help manual will tell you about setting up and using the App. You still have to set up and charge your inspections as normal. Follow the Inspection help file for the setting up of the inspections, mail merging the letters and charging the inspections.
There are a few steps to get set up before you can do your first inspection on your device.
- Set up an iLink account (This has to be done per user)
- Set up Template and Statuses in Palace (This is only done once, per company)
- Download and install the Palace App on your iPad (This has to be done per user)
Instructions - Set up Template for The Inspection App
The Template is the most important part of the set up for the App. Time needs to be spent on this, it is set up per company and not per user, so a company decision needs to be made. It is a hassle to have to change the Template in the future.
When setting the Template, plan it around your largest property as it is much easier to delete rooms on the App than it is to add rooms.
You can set up Full and Routine Templates, start with the Full, so it is as large as you need it and then you duplicate the rooms and just delete and change the type to make it into a Routine Inspection.
- In Palace, go to 'System'
- Click on 'Inspection templates.'
- You will be presented with a default template that can be changed. If a list does not show, click on Reset Template (Default)
- To add a room type a name
- Click 'Add'
- To add a Feature type a name
- Drop down the arrow to feature from room
- Then click 'Add'
By default, each feature will have the word "Both" next to them, this means that this feature will show on the Full Inspection (Condition) and the Routine Inspection.
If you only want a certain feature to appear on your Full Inspection, then click edit and go down to Type, choose "Full" and save changes.
NOTE: If you have both on a feature, the one that was used for the Full Inspection will be overwritten each time you do a routine inspection. If you want your full inspection to be kept completely separate from the routine so that the entry is only used again when doing an exit inspection then you must duplicate each room i.e. Front External - right-click and duplicate, rename the new one Front External* then go through and add the features making them full, do the same to the old room and make that routine.
Keep going until you have all the rooms and features added that you need.
You can re-order a room or features by clicking on it and then dragging to where you want it to be.
A further Note: Make your template as large as you can, including both indoor and outdoor areas, you can customize to suit each property on the iPad.
Statuses are used as a comment beside the feature. i.e. Bathroom - Vanity, you choose a status from the drop-down list i.e. Intact - do damage.
In other words, they are the comments you would normally write down on your written report.
It is a good idea to set up as many statuses as you can, this will save time typing in comments.
Instructions - Setting Up Status
- In the Inspection template - Click the 'Status' tab
- Type your status type in 'New status type'
- Click on 'Add'
- Keep going until they have all been added
- Then Save changes
Setting Up your Disclaimer
This is the area you can write a company disclaimer, it will appear on all Inspections.
Once you have written you a disclaimer, Click save changes.
Exporting to the iPad
You will have to set up your Palace App account before you can export information to your device
- Click on the 'settings cog'
- Click on 'Account settings'
- Enter your email (this will be your App username)
- Enter a password (this can be anything you like)
- Re-enter your password
- Click Confirm
This online database is used to transfer data to and from Palace to your device.
NOTE: To upload to your own device you must be logged in to Palace as yourself.
You can now do your first export to your device.
Instructions - exporting information to your device
- Under Property - Property Inspections
- Make sure your on Export list tab - Choose Agent and Inspection Type
- Select a date range if needed
- Click on the tick box, to select all your properties
- Note: you can just select the properties that are due for inspection or you can upload the whole lot. We suggest uploaded all your properties as you will then have all the contact information as well as the Tenant Paid to Dates for their rent.
- Click on Upload
Settings in the App
Under “Settings” you will see the following selections
Account: Here you will see the username of the person logged into the device.
Sign in automatically: This saves you from signing in each time, but you must have a password on your device otherwise the security is at risk. If you are using an iPhone, you will see the additional option to use your Touch ID as well.
Sync: Use this to ‘refresh’ your device to ensure that it has picked up your most recent export from Palace. There is a timestamp of your last sync just below this as well.
Upload on Wi-Fi only: This means that the app will upload inspections when there is a Wi-Fi connection. If using an iPhone, you will have the additional choice of mobile data here as well.
Uploads: You can find what is currently in the queue to be uploaded -or- check to see what has been uploaded and when it was uploaded.
Save to Camera Roll: This will allow the photos to save on to your device to be used later, it means if there are any problems with the report or uploading you will always have a copy (This includes videos as well)
Login to YouTube: See separate part below on how to set this up.
Use highest resolution video: Adjusts the quality of the videos that you take within the inspection app.
Contact Us: This will send an email direct to our support team
While the primary function of the Inspection app is to conduct inspections, you can also access Owner, Property, Tenant and Supplier information. In our Contacts tab, you can toggle your way through each category at the top of the screen, or simply begin a global search across the whole app using a keyword. From here, you can get a quick preview of the tenant's current rent amount, paid to date and start date. You can also get the Owner, Tenant and Supplier contact details, which you can use to email, text or call from your device.
NOTE: Any correspondence made from the app are not saved in Palace (as calls, texts & emails are made from the actual device and not the app itself).
In your inspections tab, you will have three options - Upcoming, Map and Drafts:
Upcoming: will have a list of all your inspections that are due today, overdue or coming up soon.
Map: will direct you to Google Maps and allows you to get directions to a property.
Drafts: will contain any inspections that you have begun but have not completed or have not submitted for upload.
Configuring your Property Template
To conduct an inspection on a property, first, go to the inspections tab and select the relevant property. Select the option ‘Start New Inspection’ and you will be prompted to choose to start a 'Full' or 'Routine.'
Select the correct option and you will see a screen similar to the screenshot displayed. If this is your first inspection for this particular property, you can expect to see your ‘master template’ that has been set up from Palace.
From here you will need to ‘Edit’ the template to suit this particular property which you can do by tapping on 'Menu' (the three dots at the top of the property screen) and select the option ‘Edit’. Each property needs to have the inspection template tailored to suit the particular property eg. If the Master Template is 6 bedrooms and the property is only 2 bedrooms, you can remove the unwanted bedrooms.
Note: Whilst you are in ‘Edit’ mode, you can re-arrange, rename & remove your rooms and features for a property. This is a great job to do sitting in front of the TV at night, as it will take a long time if you did it at each property.
Hint: If you have split your template to FULL/ROUTINE only, you will have the affiliated rooms to edit depending on what type of inspection you have started.
E.g. If you have started a FULL inspection when you ‘Edit’ the template, you will have the FULL only rooms show to ‘Edit’. The same applies to your ROUTINE template.
If you need to add a new room or duplicate an existing room, you can do so by tapping on the three dots at the top of the screen where you will have the option to add and/or duplicate an existing room.
If you have accidentally started a Full inspection but was supposed to begin a Routine inspection, you will have the option to switch over to your Routine template before you continue.
Reset to Master Template reverts the property set up to the original master template. Beware that this option clears any previously saved notes and/or statuses.
The Clear function will delete any and all notes, statuses & photos that are currently linked to your inspection.
Delete will, of course, delete anything you have added to your inspection. Mainly only used if you have accidentally started an inspection on the wrong property.
Once your template is configured ad ready to use, proceed to carry out your inspection.
- Tap/touch on the first room, which will now show the features.
- Go to each Feature - and touch the ‘Add Status’ area to choose a status to a feature.
- If you want to add a comment, touch the speech bubble icon and begin to type your comment.
- Keep going through the features.
- To take a photo, make sure you still have that room up on the device, touch ‘Take Photos’ towards the bottom of your screen.
- Take the photo and close when you are done.
- You will have a preview of the photos you have taken at the bottom of the screen, here you can delete them or continue to take more photos.
- Move to the next room and carry on with the inspections.
- Continue these steps until all rooms and features are filled out with notes and photos.
You can now take a video on your device and upload it back to Palace, this is then stored in Palace. We use YouTube so it is given its own link which is sent up to the Palace Information Centre for Owners to login and access. It is private and not accessible or searchable by the public.
You must have a YouTube account and set up a channel for inspections.
You can set up a YouTube account for your company which everybody can use or you can use, your own personal one and set a new business channel to keep it separate from your own.
Instructions - To set up a YouTube Account/and a new Channel
- Go to YouTube and click on Sign in (Top right-hand side of the page)
- Then click on "add an account" (UNLESS you already have one)
- Follow the prompts
- If you already have a login then enter in your details (generally your Google account)
- Click on the Cog YouTube Settings (Top right-hand corner)
- Click on "See all my channels or create a new channel"
- Click on "Create a new channel"
- Name your channel i.e Property Inspections, then choose Local Business or Place
- Tick I agree to the Pages Terms and click Finished
- You can click on Add Channel Art and put a picture there if you wish or your logo
- Move the mouse to underneath of that box to the right and a pen will appear, click on it to Edit
- Click on Channel Settings
- Fill in the information i.e Country
- Channel Keywords i.e Inspections
- Do not let your channel appear in other channels recommendations - Save
- On the Inspection App - Click into Settings, then click Login to YouTube
- Enter in your details and click sign in
- A new page will appear click on Accept
- Now you can take a video
- Once you have finished the video, you can upload as normal and it is now back in Palace.
For more info on your Youtube account set up, see the below link https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/1646861?hl=en
Creating a Works Order
You can create a Work Order while you are at the Property and then SMS or email it as soon as you get back to the office (options will vary depending on supplier contact details). You can even send it back straight away for someone else to process in the office if you have an internet connection on your device.
Instructions - Work Order
- In your Palace App, find the property and tap on it
- Select the option ‘Send Work Order’
- Fill in the screen
- Tap Done to complete
- Once your Work Order are imported back into Palace, the actions you chose will be completed i.e Email or SMS
Note: If you have an Internet connection at the time you complete your Work Order, it will automatically upload as soon as you tap ‘Done’. However, if you do not have an internet connection you will receive an error and your Work Order will be moved to your uploads queue and can then be uploaded with your inspections when you’re back in the office.
If a Work Order is uploaded straight away, your supplier will get an automatic email that looks like the below. You will still need to import the works order and complete it as per normal back in Palace.
Uploading from your device
Once you have finished all your inspections they need to be submitted into your uploads queue. If you have an Internet connection at the time of submission, your inspection will upload immediately, however, if you do not have an active internet connection, your inspection will remain in your uploads queue.
When you have completed an Inspection, Video Inspection or even a Work Order you will be prompted with a pop up similar to the screenshot displayed. From your iPad and imported back into Palace. You just need a stable internet connection for this.
Once your inspection is submitted, you can check the status under the settings tab. Tap on Uploads and you will be taken to a screen like below where you will have an inspection in the middle of uploading sitting in the queue and any inspections that have already been uploaded sitting in the ‘uploaded’ tab with a timestamp of when the inspection was uploaded.
NOTE: You can close the app down and use other areas within the device whilst your inspection uploads. You can expect to receive a notification like below, once your inspection has been uploaded successfully.