Not unlike a mortgage intermediary, a surveyor can be a vital – and often understated – cog in any property transaction. For potential buyers, especially first-timers, neither brokers nor surveyors are at the forefront of their minds when trawling through a variety of search engines or when peering into brightly lit estate agent windows. Not even when considering colour schemes or where to put the sofa. Although when it comes down to the nitty-gritty of the purchase itself they soon prove their worth via identifying problematic areas, being the source of solutions and importantly saving clients money, time and future issues.
Looking again at the parallels, the influence of technology also reflects their evolution and values. Both now have greater access to a range of apps, tools and resources to make their working lives easier and more efficient than ever. Despite this, what remains at the heart of these offerings is the quality of service and advice to the end client, the vast majority of which stems from extensive training and experience. Not that the merits of technology should be ignored by surveyors, intermediaries, lenders or service providers.
For example, here at Countrywide Surveying Services we harness technology to help enhance and review the customer experience. We track our performance by measuring our Net Promoter Score, an index gauging a customer’s willingness to recommend our services to others. In addition we use a global ratings and reviews provider called Feefo to help monitor performance and identify any service issues.
Larger intermediary firms can also make use of similar technology. Smaller firms will inevitably have less call for such a wider framework of assistance but the underlying fundamentals are the same. We need to utilise the best available methods, online or offline, to ensure that clients are happy with the advice or service they receive.
For all the advances in technology, nothing can replace knowledgeable advice from a professional surveyor who has physically attended a property or from a mortgage intermediary who deals with various lending criteria and requirements on a daily basis. It certainly isn’t a contest but survey advice is arguably just as important as mortgage advice. After all the duty that borrowers are fully advised regarding the biggest investments of their lives is an important role which we both share.
This isn’t the start of a banner wielding campaign (there are enough far more prominent issues more worthy of such attention) however it’s important that we, as an industry, continue to champion their respective merits.
Paul Wareham is managing director, surveying and conveyancing services at Countrywide