Davie-based businessman Anthony Perera wants to update the building inspection process so inspectors may visually approve work and close permits remotely.
Mobile app, Inspected, was recently launched by Perera as a means to help keep homeowners and government workers safe amid the coronavirus pandemic, although the business model was launched before any confirmed cases were reported in the U.S.
Perera told GrowthSpotter he and his team began building the product around the third quarter of 2019 as a means to help streamline the inspection process.
“We wanted to be live summer of this year,” he said, but the economic impact and interruption felt on businesses having to go virtual because of the virus helped speed things up.
When contractors and homeowners or job site owners cancel meetings “that creates a bigger issue,” Perera said. “It’s a trickle down effect.”
Building officials throughout Central Florida, including Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties, agree.
Instead, some officials have asked staff to be creative and practice social distancing measures or virtual inspections at their own discretion by using tools such as FaceTime, Go To Meeting and Skype. All building permits will automatically be granted a 6-month extension due to the governor’s state of emergency declaration.
In Orange County, for instance, inspectors are giving permit holders questionnaires before entering job sites. Dwellers are being asked whether they’ve been in contact with a sick person or if they’ve experienced flu-like symptoms or problems breathing over the last several weeks.
Perera said his app can offer a new solution to help local city and municipal authorities conduct inspections virtually and reduce the risk of an employee contracting and spreading the virus.
“Maintaining remote and virtual business continuity has become the need-of-the-hour in the world we are in,” Perera said.
“Inspected.com ensures that city home inspectors can continue to inspect geo-located work and grant permits virtually, while maintaining a zero-contact policy to keep employees, homeowners, and construction contractors safe in the current coronavirus climate.”
Inspectors can use the online platform to open a video conferencing dialogue with the permit holder to review the application and ask questions.
Geolocation allows users to verify the address and create a record of the permit with supporting documents.
The app also checks public records to verify addresses, and photos are date tagged to allow for more accuracy, Perera said. Following procedure, inspectors will then be able to approve and close permits. What sets the app apart from FaceTime is that it records the inspection and uploads it to the application case file.
The city of Boca Raton and several Broward County municipalities are starting roll out utilization of the app. He adds he’s in talks with other Florida municipalities, including some in Central Florida, about the onboarding process.
Perera is the founder and president of HVAC servicing company Air Pros USA, which has offices in Georgia, Florida, Colorado, Texas, and Washington.