Here at White Horse Surveyors, a career in residential surveying means providing our wide network of property professionals with all the necessary resources to create an informative and empowering survey. By ensuring that our surveyors’ day-to-day tasks are fully supported by our dedicated technical support team, we aim to assist our clients through one of the most important purchases of their lives.
To learn more about the daily assignments undertaken by our RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) regulated experts, we spoke to one of our very own residential surveying experts about a typical day in the role…
Can you describe a typical day in residential surveying?
“A typical day would start the day before. The last activity on the previous day would be to check all the jobs, including any notes or attached documents. I find the small ‘surveyors notes’ section on the iPad job screen useful to include any brief notes for Mortgage Valuations (MVs) and Private Valuations (PVs). Cutting and pasting the floor plan from Rightmove (where available) into the Homebuyer (HB) or Building Survey (BS) site notes is always a must. It saves that 5 to 10 mins on the day. I find looking through and preparing the notes for the jobs the day before (rather than on the day) certainly helps with the mental preparations.
My day would typically start between 9am-9:30am, as I do the school runs. I’m all for getting through the site visits in the most time efficient manner. On a HB or BS, I would spend the first few minutes going through the basic questions with the occupier (time they’ve lived there, any extensions/dates, past issues etc.). Starting at the front, I prefer to get all the information from each elevation at the time (including pictures, measurements). I used to carry a backpack with all my equipment inside. This became a nuisance, however, as I was having to carry it around, remove, unzip, and repack items (often in the wrong pockets). On one occasion, I even accidently left it behind altogether! A simple belt pouch has taken its place now, which perfectly fits all the essential bits – including those grubby drain keys. With any nonessential items remaining in the boot.
On those horrible rainy days, I take out the largest umbrella I was able to buy from Amazon and dictate what I see. Although I must write the site notes back in the office, I find I’m able to focus more on what’s in front of me as opposed to trying to stop the notes from getting wet.
After a quick check through the site and client notes at the end of the visit, it’s off to the next one. On occasions, if time permits, the client call is made from site. It’s always useful to get that out the way while all the information is still fresh.
A quick ‘heading home safely’ message, a bit of lunch and the afternoon school pickup usually takes place before the laptop comes on back at base. Having a dedicated office with the laptop connected to large dual screen monitors helps tick that time efficiency box for me. Being based at home does of course have huge benefits. It can also have its issues. The office (with the door bolted shut) certainly reduces the chances of those professional conversations with clients and agents being interrupted by the forever energetic 3 and 6-year-old!
The office part of the day all depends on the types of jobs undertaken that day and the reports that are due. Prioritizing MVs first, followed by completion of typed reports, carrying out the searches for new HBs/BSs, making the client calls (if not already made) followed by the dictations of new jobs is the typical sequence. Picking up any Post Valuation Queries/other emails and arranging the following days appointments is squeezed in. The day would end typically around 6-6:30 with the prep for the following day. During more busier periods, I would allow about 30 minutes to an hour in the evening to tie up loose ends. It’s also a good time to update the simple, but effective, monitoring sheet I use to keep track of all the jobs as days and weeks progress.
Although the sequence of the day remains consistent, the types of property we visit can differ significantly from job to job. A Building Survey on a mid-18th Century Grade 2 listed cottage may be followed a MV on a new build flat. The variety makes every typical day unique.”
If this article has made you interested in a career in residential surveying at White Horse Surveyors, then we would be happy to consider your application. Simply send your CV and Covering Letter to HR@Whitehorsesurveyors.co.uk or call 01249 444465.
Alternatively, if you enjoyed reading this article and would like to learn more about what is involved in residential surveying, then we have included a list of related blog posts below: