Area Groups (a.k.a. Area Sort) collect a property’s Areas together into specific groups to define the flow of an inspection (from one area to the next) and order the property areas as they will be organized in inspection reports. When generating any property management report, you can opt to use Area Groups or not, and you can change your preference at any time.
Using Area Groups is completely optional: if you want a more simple setup where all Areas are organized alphabetically, just set all Area Groups to the same number like “1” or “3.” If you want to closely control the order of Areas, you can do that as well, by numbering each area or set of areas distinctly.
An Admin user can set default Area Groups. Under Settings, select Area Details. For any Area type, click the Edit link to change the default value. Area Groups changes are synchronized among all group members.
Note: Areas within the same Area Group will be sorted alphabetically within it.
Users typically approach Area Groups in three different ways, depending on the property types they manage or inspect:
- Small Units / Multi-Family Buildings – Usually unnecessary. Set every Area Group to the same number like “1” or “3.” In this case, because all of your Areas are numbered in a single group, they will be sorted alphabetically.
- Single-Family Residences – Optional. Use area groups here to control the order or “flow” of inspections.
- Entry – Set Front Yard and Entry to “1.”
- Interior Inspection – Set common interior areas (Bathrooms, Bedrooms, Living Rooms) to “3.”
- Exterior Inspection – Set remaining exterior areas (Back Yard, Side Yard, and Roof) to “5.”
- Other Home Areas – Set areas such as Attic, Crawl Space, and Basement to “6.”
- Systems / Other – Set other items such as Systems, Personal Property, and Keys to “8.”
- Large Estates / Multiple Floors – Recommended. Group Areas by location.
- Area Groups were originally intended for these larger property types. For example, group areas by floor or by wing (or both).
An example: Say you grouped areas for a two-story single-family residence, following the second option above (for Single-Family Residences). You might retain ground-floor bedrooms and bathrooms in Group Area “3” but then re-group any upstairs bedrooms and bathrooms into Group Area “4.” The resulting Inspection Report flow would proceed as follows:
Entrance —> Interior (Downstairs) —> Interior (Upstairs) —> Backyard / Exterior —> Crawl Space & Attic —> Systems / Other
You may wonder: Are Area Numbers and Area Groups related? No, they serve different purposes. To learn more about Area Numbers, go here.