Surveying firms across the UK have been struck down by the recent economic climate as much as the rest of the world and like everyone else, have had to address their spending, productivity and implement cost saving measures. Even big firms have cut back on support staff and those sole trading surveyors who may have previously employed a full time secretary would now look to outsource to save on unnecessary full time wages as well as office rental, because in this virtual day and age, surveyors can set up just as easily from a home office.
The most productive way for a surveyor to operate is to have the freedom to take their digital dictation machine (or even ipad/mobile phone) out with them to a building survey or site inspection and dictate the report then and there, in the knowledge that their typist has the usual template ready to fill out. The surveyor can stick to the format of their standard templates while they dictate (although sometimes this may get dictated in a different order, e.g. if its raining and the interior of the property seems more appealing!) and then once they have finished their site survey, they can return to the office, send off the dictation audio file via email and receive back the completed, typed document within a few hours. This saves wasted time sat in the office dictating the survey but it is also a skill that takes surveyors a while to master – especially when the house is occupied and most of us don’t like being overheard commenting on the state of repair of someone else’s property!
As long as the dictation is clear and the background noise isn’t to prevalent, the dictation would be returned ready to send to the client – the surveyor can simply cast his eye over it and add anything extra he missed in or complete the conclusion /valuation etc.