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News & opinion

4 JUL 2018

RICS Matrics Young Surveyor of the Year: let computers do the hard work

A passion for technology led Chris Payne to win the prestigious Building Surveyor category RICS Matrics Young Surveyor of the Year.

Here Chris implores even those of us with basic IT skills to embrace bespoke apps and let the computers do the hard work.

I am a strong advocate for using technology in order to create efficient solutions, not just in the field of building surveying but across multiple disciplines within construction.

Alongside the regular work that’s necessary for the APC, I chose to study technology and app development in my spare time. The ability to step away from the conventional practices of surveying and apply a holistic approach has created a significant commercial benefit for my business, and has revolutionised the way that it delivers many of its core building surveying services.

There’s an app for that

With a wealth of data just waiting to be captured on site, and the huge number of tools available to manipulate that information into client-friendly formats, a little tech knowledge can provide surveyors with the ability to produce polished client dashboards and deliverables with relative ease.

The real challenge is finding the right solution for your clients’ unique requirements. While there are plenty of tools that collect on-site data, each product carries different benefits and costs that may be more or less suited to a specific project.

A particular focus of my work has been the development of bespoke data capture tools created to provide clients with exactly the data outputs they require.

There’s a bespoke app for that

Because one size doesn’t always fit all, a particular focus of my work has been the development of bespoke data capture tools created to provide clients with exactly the data outputs they require. Off-the-shelf products are great for very broadly scoped projects, but in practice clients are becoming smarter to the availability of truly configurable IT solutions and are no longer willing to accept a generic solution.

Bespoke solutions solve an understandable reluctance that many surveyors suffer from – only filling in the ‘sections required’ due to input fatigue. Off-the-shelf products tend to request that an enormous amount of data must be input, whether it is needed or not. Bespoke solutions will only ask for relevant data and come with the added benefit of using imbedded validation and reporting at site level to ensure consistency and accuracy.

Providing a unique service

Of course, a common barrier to the introduction of new IT solutions is cost. Most clients simply do not have the time, or resource, to support widescale changes to their operating systems. However, while many clients have an in-house database system for large volume data sources, most will outsource the bulk of the data collection, assessment and, ultimately, the leg work to consultants – and this is where building surveyors can provide a unique offering. The provision of innovative, but straightforward, app development, married to the user-friendly interfaces that modern tablet computers feature, enable building surveyors to quickly provide bespoke data capture and modelling solutions that offer outstanding value.

Young Surveyor of the Year Awards 2018

The winners of each category will be announced at a ceremony in November 2018 in London: with the ultimate accolade of RICS Matrics Young Surveyor of the Year 2018 awarded to one of the category winners.