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FAQ Page 2017-11-18T12:54:30+00:00
I use a lot of standard paragraphs in my dictation – how will you charge for these? 2017-11-18T12:54:31+00:00

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.

How much do you charge to type an average length building survey and how does your pricing work? 2017-11-18T12:54:31+00:00

blog_5See our web page on pricing – we have recently set up a new tiered pricing system, to allow surveyors to choose which class of typing service they want to use. The average property report is around 25 minutes long usually but building surveys can be much longer. If you choose the 48 hour turnaround option then a 45 minute long dictated building survey would cost £0.85 x 45 minutes which is £38.25. If you then want to write on some amendments to scan in and send to us along with some photographs to add into the report, this will be charged at £15.00 per hour. So all in all, the editing and typing could cost around £45 per report.

If you wanted us to simply copy type some lease clauses or a previous report this would be charged at £15.00 per hour.

What file types can you open and which is the best one to use? 2017-11-18T12:54:31+00:00

Our typists use the industry standard typing software and also use file converter software for those file types that aren’t ordinarily compatible.
This means we can open most file types, the most common ones being .dss, .ds2 (the olympus dictation machine software file type), .mp3, .wma, .wav, .m4a (the iphone voice recorder app file format). We can transcribe most things, so please just try!

We find the best ones are the ones that produce the smallest file size, generally .dss – on your dictaphone its generally best to select the lowest file quality size so they are small enough to email. If there are problems we use Dropbox to transfer files which is free and easy so we can help you with this is required.

How quickly will I get my report back? 2017-11-18T12:54:31+00:00

blog_5In short – FAST! We work to a standard turnaround time of 24 hours although it is more often than not quicker than this. If you require a faster service, we have a 3 tiered pricing system to allow you to pick and choose depending on how urgent the report is, however we are confident that you will not be disappointed with our standard 24 hour service.

If you have a non urgent report then use the budget price of £0.85 per audio minute. This is a 48 hour service, but again the report will more than likely be returned within 24 hours. In terms of opening hours, if you email us a report at 9am then you will expect it back at 9am the following working day. If you email us a report at 9pm on a Monday evening, then you will expect it back 24 hours after we receive it, at 9am on Wednesday. If you send us something at midday on a Friday using a 24 hour service, this will be returned by midday on the following Monday. Please just let us know if you require something a bit more urgently as we are very happy to try and accommodate you as best we can.

Whats the maximum file size you can receive? 2015-02-10T10:59:25+00:00

In general, most email providers have a maximum of 10MB per email. This should be ok for a long length dictation – a 60 minute audio .dss file would only be circa 6MB in the low quality format. However we can receive up to 30MB on our email so there shouldn’t be a problem. If there is, then we use Dropbox for file transfers. This is not only useful for large dictation files, but also for sending lots of photographs when they are needed for photographic schedules of condition.

How do you charge me? Can I pay by bank transfer? 2017-11-18T12:54:31+00:00

blog_5Yes, please pay us by bank transfer! However we also accept cheques. We will send you an invoice by email with a breakdown of each piece of work and how many minutes plus any additional fees for per hour work. This will be due on receipt, and we will chase any late payments after 14 days.

We can be flexible on the frequency of invoicing, however it is usually monthly.

What happens if you go away on holiday? Is there cover in place? 2017-11-18T12:54:31+00:00

We are a team of typists who are all equally experienced and will be familiar with all types of property related typing work. It is easiest to assign a particular typist to a client, but we will also ensure that one or two of the other typists know how that client’s reporting formatting and are kept up to date with their templates and standard paragraphs etc. so when anyone needs to go away or their typing capacity is stretched, there will be cover at all times. Your point of contact will remain the same – Antonia – but if she goes away, you will be given the direct contact details of your usual typist so you can use them direct whilst she is away.