Here at Property Typing, we work very closely with a variety of people in the property industry. As such, we’re pretty well placed to know the challenges of the job- and what you can do to make sure you face them as little as possible. Keep reading for an insider peek at the challenges most often faced by building surveyors.
1. The challenges of a lived-in building
It’s one thing to survey an empty property- but quite another to take on the challenge of conducting an in-depth building survey in a living building. From background noise interfering with your instruments and even your note recording, through to people being stubborn and refusing to let you get your job done, surveying an occupied building can be a challenge all on its own. Not getting scalded on suddenly-hot pipes, ensuring you don’t walk in on someone in the nude, and re-taking the same measurement 4 times… we well know the frustrations you face and we salute you.
2. As-builts that never were
A property surveying challenge that can hit you before you even begin the job is the thorny matter of as-builts. These schematic drawings are supposed to establish the entire plan of the building before construction. That’s great on paper but fails to account for any discards or modifications made by the original builder during the construction process. Of course, the first surveyor’s final property drawings are meant to be incorporated into the as-built… but how often is this vital step not taken by builders anxious to get onto the next job?
The net result is confusion, boundary disputes, code violations and so much more. And it’s your job to walk into this mess, work out what’s there, what’s needed and what’s missing, and present your client with a sensible report at the end of it all.
3. The flowing sands of time
You may think we’re referring to the length time you need to spend on-site for larger properties, and you’d be right, but that’s far from the only adverse impact time has on your work. Older buildings are always a problem for the building surveyor. From the use of unsafe materials like asbestos to the slower-but-no-less-dangerous ravages of years standing in inclement British weather, time can ravage even the best-built building… and you are the one who has to go poking around in all the nooks and crannies to discover exactly what Lady time has been up to. The passage of time can even lead to unclear boundary markers and other property disputes your client looks to you to resolve for them. Stay safe out there, and always operate with the tools and helping hands you need to keep yourself safe on the job.
4. The need to go hands-free
Let’s face it- as a building surveyor, you were going hands-free long before it was the latest tech buzzword. Your job needs you to climb into the tiniest spaces and get down-and-dirty with areas of buildings rarely seen by those who live in them. Dragging along a pencil and notepad, or even a tablet, can be a right royal pain in these circumstances. Whether you’ve developed an eidetic memory to note these things down later, or embraced a portable recording device to take voice notes, chances are you’ve found a smart way around the need to keep all hands on the job at all times.
5. Balancing client’s expectations
Your client’s view you as their guru. You are the person who will be playing a pivotal role in helping them make their end decisions about the property. You have the expertise and knowledge they need to know if this is going to be the family home of their dreams or a renovation nightmare. Sometimes those expectations can become a little unrealistic, however. From expecting you to finish up a huge survey in an hour or so, to blaming you for each and every single problem that occurs unexpectedly in the house (even years later), managing the expectations of your clients can be a serious challenge for any building surveyor.
6. The admin slog
The grind. The paperwork. No matter what you call it, this is bound to be your least favourite part of the job! Long after the action is complete, the job done and the dust settling back in the corners of that property that haven’t been cleaned for years, you still need to take all the items you noticed and form them into a cohesive, layperson-friendly report. Surprisingly, this is the most-hated area for many property surveyors- mainly because it has so little to do with your job and passion. You have all the benefit of your in-depth property knowledge, but finding the right way to share it pithily, accessible and concisely requires a totally different skillset.
Fortunately, it’s also the hassle you can skip if you’re in the know. Property Typing is here to step into the breach. We take your audio or written notes, and the valuable insight you need to get to the end client and form them into perfect reports. Our UK-based team has decades of experience in these matters and can take your knowledge and observations and transform them into exactly what the client requires. No fuss needed!
While we can’t help with every challenge you face in your day-to-day work, we can certainly take the pain out of your report compilation! Why not get in touch with the Property Typing team today, and let us revolutionise the way your building survey office works?