Any work undertaken which isn’t audio work is charged on an hourly rate which includes inserting photos, copy typing from leases and copying and pasting in standard paragraphs. From experience – surveyors get better value for money from if they dictate the whole report including the standard paragraphs. I have noted this with two clients who started out dictating the whole thing. For example – they could dictate a building survey in full in 40 minutes of audio. This would cost them £34 to have typed up. They then tried dictating the survey using a mix of dictation and standard paragraphs. The file length was cut down yes.. So the audio dictation was costing them closer to £20, but then there are the additional 2 hours it takes the typist to go through a long word document to find the numbered paragraph, copy it – and then flick back to the dictation – paste it in and re-format it to match the survey template. This brought the cost up to £50. So for an additional £16 the surveyor has saved themselves 20 minutes of dictation time.
There are a few ways of automating the standard paragraphs. Word has a function called Auto Text – where you can select a template before you start typing which has all the paragraphs saved in the background. Then when typing the report you would type the actual paragraph number, e.g. 056, hit F3, and it will automatically paste the paragraph in. The problem with this method is spending the time setting up the auto text template.
For homebuyers that are done online in the ISURV software you can use the standard RICS phrases that are already loaded or you can insert your own “Company” phrases. These are inserted into the relevant section of the report so say you are typing into Section E1, Chimney Stacks – the typist will only be able to see the paragraphs relevant to Chimneys and can drag them across into the text.