What does property surveying actually involve?
Property surveying is a hugely varied field. We spoke to a property surveyor in Essex to find out just exactly what it involves.
Surveyors play an important role in the property industry, and the job encompasses the valuation, management and maintenance of properties. But, what does a day in the life of a property surveyor actually involve? We caught up with Jenny, to find out what a standard day looks like for property surveyors in Essex and across the country.
How long have you been a surveyor?
I have been a property surveyor for almost five years now. After studying for a BSc in Building Surveying at university, I was lucky enough to secure a position as a graduate surveyor, which gave me a great introduction to the industry. Since then, I have moved up through the ranks to junior surveyor, before getting a promotion to my current role of surveyor.
How does your day start?
What I love most about property surveying is that every day is different. However, as much as possible I try to start my day at the office. After a much-needed cup of coffee, I go through my emails and try to clear my inbox, before reviewing my current projects, setting my task list and preparing my materials for the day ahead. I find that taking this time to plan helps me to be much more organised and efficient.
Tell us more about your day
I try to allocate the period between mid-morning and early afternoon to carry out any property visits, as this ensures I have enough time to conduct a thorough inspection. As a building surveyor, it’s my job to examine the soundness of a property and ensure that it’s well built and has been properly maintained. As each property is very different, it can be challenging at times – but it’s still my favourite part of the job.
After a site visit, it’s back to the office to download and process the data I collected onsite. I will also use this time to complete office-based tasks such as writing reports and carrying out research on my properties in preparation for future inspections.
At least once a week we try to set aside some time during the afternoon for an informal team meeting, which enables us to give each other a progress update on particular projects and to identify any potential issues so that we can tackle them head-on.
What do your evenings look like?
A couple of times a month I try to go along to an industry event, whether it’s a topical seminar, quiz night, or networking drinks. They’re usually good fun and can be a great way to learn about industry developments and trends, and to grow my professional network. When I have an evening off, I try to relax and get a good night’s sleep – ready to do it all again the next day!
What’s your advice to aspiring surveyors?
I would say, firstly, to think carefully about the type of surveying you are most interested in. As a surveyor, you can specialise in four main areas – building surveying, quantity surveying, rural property, and commercial and residential property – so identifying your interests early on will help you to map out your route.
Secondly, it’s important to know that surveying is a tough and competitive industry, so you have to be prepared to work hard if you want to succeed. However, it’s a hugely varied and interesting field, and if you’re willing to put the work in you could carve yourself a rewarding and successful career.