Tina Hothi gives us an overview of what it’s like to work as an e.surv residential property surveyor
Tina, can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I’ve been working as a surveyor at e.surv for one year, I’m 44, and live and work in Birmingham. I entered surveying by studying for a degree in Valuation Surveying & Estate Management at the University of Luton and my first job was with Birmingham City Council. There I undertook property management training and embarked on my APC (Assessment of Professional Competence). I qualified as a commercial property surveyor and have sinced worked in both the commercial and residential sectors.
What does a typical work day look like for you?
I usually leave the house at around 7.20am and arrive at my first appointment for 8am. I usually inspect around six properties a day. Some of them will involve the collection of keys, so I need to go to various estate agents first thing in the morning before I carry out my inspections. I arrive home in the afternoon between 12:30pm and 2pm, and within 15 minutes I make a start on all my valuations. My working day typically finishes around 4 pm. I also have a graduate with me four days per week as part of the AssocRICS programme.
Do you work from an office or are you home-based?
I am home-based and I prefer it that way as it gives me flexibility. As long as I get the work done, I can manage my own day. Even though I’m based at home, a large part of my working day is actually spent away from my house. Sometimes I miss the office environment and physically being around colleagues, but as a surveyor you do need to be out and about every day.
How do you prepare for a career in surveying?
I didn’t have work experience when I started, but I would recommend it, so you understand the job itself and what it entails. It will help you to compete in the jobs market – surveying used to be male-dominated but it’s now more like 50-50. It helps to have people skills; every day I speak to lots of people from all walks of life, so enjoying the interaction makes the job much easier. You also need an attention to detail, provide a professional level of customer service and be ready to address any concerns customers may have.
What do you most like about your job?
I thoroughly enjoy what I do for a living. I like being out and about, never going to the same place twice, and meeting a variety of different people. I enjoy the technical challenges of applying building pathology and identifying defects, knowing the market and making the correct decisions. The mortgage lender, and the customer, put their faith in you to get it right. I’m glad that we also have access to the best technology – all my work is now done using an iPad.
What kind of support do you receive?
The e.surv Risk and Governance Department is very helpful and will provide support if I have concerns. My immediate team is fantastic too. Many of my colleagues have been working in the team for over 15 years, and they’re very knowledgeable and always happy to help. Health and Safety is also taken very seriously; one example of this is the Lone Worker Device we’re given which enables me to be connected to a security team if I feel I’m in danger. It’s the most useful technology I’ve come across in my career and makes me feel 100 times safer.
Does e.surv provide you with a career route?
If I choose to do so, I could advance my career within e.surv by seeking to become an Area Manager or by joining the Technical Team within e.surv’s Risk & Governance department. While I’m happy to be an operational surveyor, I am reassured that there are other potential options open to me.
Thinking about a career in property surveying?