In recent months, many buyers and sellers will have had first-hand experience of the changes which have taken place in the residential property market. Although social distancing, mask-wearing and regular sanitisation have now become the new normal, behind the scenes many industries have also had to make major changes to their well-established processes.
To accommodate the safety of customers and colleagues, many firms have decided to embrace the benefits of technology and move their systems online or rework the procedure entirely.
To explain the changes more clearly and summarise the internal changes that Surveying companies have made over the last year, the team here at White Horse Surveyors have put together the following article. Looking at some of the key aspects of the process that have adapted following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
One of the major challenges for surveying companies has involved the face-to-face training that was previously conducted for any new starters or existing employees that require additional instruction (due to new guidance or mandatory refreshers). This is especially important for surveyors who benefit greatly from physical/practical examples that are close to what they will potentially be observing in the field.
It is for this reason that our team decided to bring forward the launch of our Intranet platform for office staff and Surveyors. This internal website was created through collaboration with several departments (Surveying, Marketing, HR, Operations, etc) and now acts as a digital hub where staff may access online training, company updates and/or several shared resources.
By combining this tool with additional text, video and examinations, our staff have been able to access all the necessary information and complete the training under precise circumstances.
Another issue with remote working includes the communication of company culture to both clients and prospective employees. Previously, this was communicated via in-office meetings, annual conferences and occasionally the actual inspections. However, with COVID restrictions placing considerable limits on the amount of time we can spend with those outside the business.
Therefore, we produced a series of interviews (in-line with COVID guidance) where a variety of different staff members talked about their experiences at the company as well as some of their impression of the environment and culture we promoted.
We have recently extended this style of video to include staff updates, relevant company news and have plans to adapt some screen recordings into tutorials for clients. Allowing us to present our customers with more of a personal style that is closer to our culture.
As with virtually every other industry around the globe, the Surveying industry has also seen a move away from office-based working and towards a more flexible routine where employees are predominantly working from home with selective days in the office. This has of course forced further adaptations to our methodology and overall procedures.
The primary of which includes our comprehensive COVID policy to ensure that our inspections are as safe as possible for our staff and customers…
Before attending any property, our staff ask that the occupants agree to our safety guidelines, this includes:
- PPE – Surveyors will avoid any contact and wear PPE at all stages of the inspections. Maintaining the recommended 2 metres, in line with social distancing guidance.
- Ventilation – Any internal doors or windows should be opened to maintain good ventilation throughout the inspection. Doors and loft hatches should also be left open to avoid contact with surfaces.
- Occupants – Inhabitants of the property who will be present for the inspection are asked to either wait outside or in a different room than the Surveyor.
White Horse Surveyors currently have a range of residential surveyor vacancies across the United Kingdom.
Read more information on ‘Residential Market Outlook and What It Means for Job Opportunities’.
White Horse Surveyors were originally established in 2006. We have a wide network of RICS regulated surveyors servicing much of England and Wales. Our products include: RICS Home Survey Standard – Level 2, RICS Building Surveys and Private Valuations.