In a recent article featured in RICS Modus, How to cut down on admin and be more efficient on-site, we discussed the time it takes to complete a home survey and how it can be significantly reduced with Property Inspect’s software.
Although the surveying landscape has changed drastically in recent years, there are still some strange legacy processes that linger on. Whether that’s through tradition or habit, it’s still quite common for home surveys to be produced using pen and paper, with little more than a dictaphone to record voice notes and a digital camera to capture supporting photographic evidence.
These days data and artificial intelligence are becoming increasingly common in almost every other sector. Business processes are decided by the data, artificial intelligence can indicate risk or identify patterns and automation is creeping more and more into our workflows making us more productive and more accurate.
So, how does this dovetail with the bygone pen and paper processes still used by many surveyors? The surveying community remains divided. When it comes to the use of technology, there are those who do and those who don’t.
In a popular online community for surveyors, one professional reminisces about their first time going digital. The surveyor remembers back in 2005 while practising at a leading residential surveying firm, when it was a “big thing” to use a tablet for site notes and record-keeping. They described the change back then as a huge leap for many surveyors.
The surveyor asked the other community members if they remember the first they digtised their surveying process. A handful of commenters were quick to reply that they never did and they never will. One reply reads: “If technology is the answer to everything I am happy to be retiring soon.”
Surveying is a wide and varied field. What suits some might not be right for others. However, it is unarguable that digitising the surveying process makes for huge efficiency gains. In another way, it also de-risks the future.
Digital Land has set the wheels in motion to start treating planning applications as data rather than documents. The team behind Digital Land have been mapping the United Kingdom, with open source data provided through the site significantly improving access to land and housing data at the click of a button.
It’s perfectly feasible to imagine this data being fed directly into a surveyor’s toolkit in the not-too-distant future, so they are able to instantly call up any information they need while on-site and add it to their digital survey. It’s no stretch to see the entire process being automated, too.
Speaking to RICS Modus, Property Inspect’s Steve Rad reiterates that point: “Our programme ticks a lot of boxes and it helps surveyors to streamline and automate the process by cutting down on the amount of admin and reporting.”
As Steve Rad rightly points out, time is the key factor in all of this. Time is money, and if a surveyor can produce twice as many surveys in half the time while still maintaining the same high standard as before, that’s worth quite a lot.
Through the use of Property Inspect, firms or individual surveyors can create a survey template to use repeatedly, or they can benefit from pre-made, RICS-branded and compliant level 1, 2 and 3 reports, which helps surveyors be more efficient and effective in their role.
Property Inspect makes producing surveys quicker by automating the laborious parts of the process. From pre-populated responses to the addition of photographs and video evidence, Property Inspect’s reports can be compiled in just a few clicks.
How can it be this effective? Well first, the surveyor can spend more time on-site actually inspecting, enabling a more thorough survey. Secondly, it greatly reduces tiresome admin work. Finally, the client benefits from a more detailed report that looks professional and is easy to navigate, leading to more favourable feedback.
Digitising outmoded processes help businesses keep up with emerging and changing customer demands. In the face of the future, one in which the built environment will be more connected than ever, business agility will be tantamount to survival. The only question is, will you keep up or be left behind?
Interested in seeing the technology for yourself?
Find out more about RICS Home Survey Software