Commercial or Residential Surveying – Where to Start? - e.surv

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Commercial or Residential Surveying  – Where to Start?

So, you want to be a surveyor? But, have you considered what type of surveying is right for you? Having graduated from a RICS-accredited degree, you’re truly faced with a forked road that could define your whole career path.

So, you want to be a surveyor? But, have you considered what type of surveying is right for you?

Having graduated from a RICS-accredited degree, you’re truly faced with a forked road that could define your whole career path.

To help you find your way, we’ve spoken to some of our surveyors about why they chose residential surveying over commercial:

Tom Dutton AssocRICS

Tom Dutton has worked in property for nearly six years. His previous role was in building surveying for a large multidisciplinary consultancy. He has since made the leap to Residential surveying at e.surv, so, let’s hear what he has to say:

Commercial Surveying

“Moving into residential has been perfect for me for several reasons. Whilst my previous role gave me some experience working on a few large commercial buildings, the amount of time spent surveying was much more limited. We’d work on a few projects at any one time and stay on those for months, sometimes rolling into years. The nature of the work was also more specific, be it related to cost, defects or repairs / build management with less crossover. In reality, your typical day in commercial is mostly desk-based doing administrative tasks such as meetings, CAD, cost spreadsheets, reports and so forth.”

Residential Surveying

“Residential property probably gives you more exposure to being outside looking at actual bricks and mortar in the flesh (and the rest) than any other surveying field. Proportionally, you spend at least 50% of any day doing this, with the other half spent analysing the information you’ve gathered against an array of different requirements. It brings together multiple perspectives and issues that affect value such as historic, economic, geographical, environmental, construction, defect, costs, legal and many more. You also meet alot of different people each day from sellers, tenants, agents, colleagues and many more. Therefore, you aren’t tucked away in an office, but out interacting with the general public. An ability to quickly build rapport can also assist you in getting to the crux of anything our clients need to be aware of.”

Seth Brown MRICS

Meanwhile, Seth Brown, who is now a valuation surveyor at e.surv, gave us his personal insight about why he chose to move from commercial surveying to residential surveying:

“Residential surveying is more flexible in terms of working hours, allowing me to pick the kids up from school. It also gets me out and about looking at property more than when I was a commercial surveyor.”

Need some clarity on the differences between commercial and residential surveying?

Commercial Surveying1 – Helping businesses maximise investment returns.

Commercial surveying, as the name implies, involves property that will be used by a business as part of its operations. Potential examples include retail outlets, shopping centres, warehouses and distribution centres, office buildings and more.

Key Points:

The objective of the survey is to provide the client all the information they need to model their investment return, be aware of structural issues that may affect their bottom-line and provide impartial advice as to current market value.

Many  firms offering graduate programs in Commercial Surveying are based in the City of London, and while they offer higher starting salaries than some other sectors of the market – the cost of living compared to anywhere else in the UK is significantly higher.

Residential Surveying – Helping people from all walks of life.

Residential Surveying involves homes. From mortgage valuations to RICS Condition and Homebuyer reports, a residential surveyor will find no two homes alike.

Key Points:

Instead of working with corporations or mid-sized businesses, you’ll be working almost exclusively with individuals looking for their next home, or those trying to sell or remortage

No two days will be the same. Residential surveying is the most human and most varied sector of the market there is. You’ll be dealing with anything from immaculate new-builds to G2 listed buildings, and everything in-between.

Is commercial or residential surveying the right path for you?

Find out more about learning from, and working with e.surv:


[1] | Retrieved 28/11/19