Surveyor Diaries: Sarah - December 2019 - e.surv Surveyors

Careers, Women in Surveying //

Surveyor Diaries: Sarah – December 2019

We caught up with our resident Surveyor-in-training to find out about what she learnt in December and her battles with the soggy weather!


We caught up with our resident Surveyor-in-training, Sarah Shanks-Pell, to find out how she got on in December.

Have a read of her diary to find out more about what she’s learnt and her battles with the soggy weather!

2 December

I’ve been asked several times if I spoke with any surveyors before deciding to pursue the AssocRICS qualification. The answer is, I’ve spoken with many surveyors in my role as a recruiter, but not with a view to becoming a surveyor myself. While I was out recruiting for Trainees, I had the pleasure of chatting with most of the Area Operations Managers who without realising it, inspired me to make the move. Our Area Operations Managers really are a good bunch (yes, I’ve said it!). They’re all so friendly and have been supportive. One even said they thought I’d make a good surveyor. It seems I’ve got to make that thought a reality now or I’ll let them down – no pressure!

But it wasn’t just the Area Operations Managers who inspired me to become a surveyor. The trainees who joined us over the years have all been extremely positive about the e.surv programme, not to mention other surveyors I’ve had the pleasure of meeting along the way. Together, they have helped to cement my decision – and now look where I am!

3 December

Rain, rain, go away …

Rain is great for highlighting some property defects, but it’s perhaps the worst aspect of the job when it’s cold and damp on your first job of the day.

Still, the traffic has been kind today and we’ve whizzed around the jobs fairly quickly.

No alt text provided for this image
Wollaton Park Estate Conservation Area

I’ve been able to see my first Crane Construction bungalow today which was quite exciting. My mentor then took the chance to give me a lesson in what was not quite so good about Crane Construction and took me on a little tour of the Wollaton Park Estate Conservation Area to show me different examples of properties which were as originally built and others which had been improved. A good end to the day!

4 December

Today on our study day we were concentrating on some of the softer skills that are required from a surveyor, that’s not to say it was fluffy! Report Writing was the order of the day and we had a couple of tasks to complete which will help when we are chatting with clients once we’re qualified.

5 December

Our Booking Team do their best to look after us by taking details down of any pets who may put us at risk when carrying out our reports, but we had to laugh today when one of our bookings was listed as having Rabbits! We weren’t too quick to hop around the property though as there were a serious amount of bunnies there! I’m just waiting on coming across something a little more creepy as we go to different properties so I can say I’ve seen it all! Although it was one of those days as when we got to our first appointment, we were expected to check around a property with some occupants in bed!  Some people…

6 December

Our first appointment today was interesting for the wrong reasons. To start off with, we faced a somewhat grumpy householder before moving on to a property where we had to abort a valuation as we couldn’t gain access to the rear of the property as the back door had been screwed shut and there was no access to the rear! Didn’t seem like fire safety was high on the owner’s mind when they undertook that repair.  Luckily our booking team was able to come to our rescue so we could get the appointment booked back into the diary on a day when the owner would attend the property to do the honours of “unlocking” that door!

9 December

We’ve had another study day today and spent time today studying the types of reports which we will be conducting and what type of information goes in each report.  We followed this up with a quiz. This was really helpful as it helped us each identify what is being absorbed and other things which we may need to concentrate more on, back out with my Mentor again tomorrow.

10 December

My trusty e.surv umbrella has saved me from looking like a drowned rat today! I’ve had a trip into Nottingham City Centre today to collect some keys and it was absolutely throwing it down again. I took my iPad with me to allow me to collect some useful information from the Agents to help my mentor when we met up. Sadly, not the loveliest of areas to visit today, but good for discussion points with my mentor around how they might affect values.

11 December

I’ve spent a good proportion of today doing some reading for our study day tomorrow, it’s been really interesting reading up on dating properties and the various features and when they became fashionable and the varying influences on house design. 

13 December

I’ve got a sneaky day of annual leave booked in the diary today so you’d expect me to be doing something exciting wouldn’t you….. er, nope, I’ve been sat here catching up on reading. Anyway, no time to lose, I’ve got another study day up and coming!

16 December

Christmas lunch – Photo by Quentin Dr on Unsplash

Today I’ve been mostly…. Reading. I did, however, get the chance to nip out to our Region’s Christmas Lunch and it was great to meet some of our Nottingham Surveyors and spend time chatting with them. I’m looking forward to more opportunities like this as it’s great listening to and hearing the experiences of my peers.

17 December

CPD Event: I travelled today down to Hinckley for one of our CPD Events. It was a really good day and was a great chance to catch up with other members of my team and indeed to meet some of the other Trainees and Sava Graduates who are currently being mentored. It’s great having online learning but you can’t beat a good presentation and a chance to chat with other Surveyors!

18 December

A photo of loft space

Both James and I had our soft skills put firmly into practice today when one of the homeowners today kept trying to persuade us to advise whether their property had achieved the valuation they were hoping for. Polite yet firm responses were required! To add to the excitement I had the chance to see my first British Iron and Steel Federation House up close and personal and the best place to do this is up in the loft space! This one had received upgrades to the roof but otherwise needed a little TLC! So many more different property types to see.

Are you interested in becoming a chartered surveyor?

Here at e.surv Chartered Surveyors, our trainees learn through a combination of “on the job” experience and classroom-based training. Learn more here.

Related articles

  • Sarah’s AssocRICS journey (during a pandemic!)
    Over the past year, we’ve been documenting the progress of our resident Surveyor-in-training, Sarah Shanks-Pell (#SarahSurveyor). We’ve heard about what she’s enjoyed, the challenges she’s faced and the properties she’s visited. However, you may have noticed that things have been a bit quiet recently … Since the start of lockdown, Sarah has been on furlough…
  • Qualified for success
    When it comes to vocational qualifications, a global pandemic wasn’t about to derail those e.surv colleagues who celebrated success this year. Through a combination of commitment, tenacity, and invaluable support, they were able to apply themselves in challenging conditions and achieve their goals.​​​​​​​ Not only has this been a year of extraordinary professional achievement in…
  • Congratulations, Ben!
    We’re delighted to announce that following a comprehensive interview process, Ben Jones, currently an operational surveyor in Central 01, assumed the role of Area Operations Manager from 1 December. Having worked in a residential estate agency for over ten years, Ben joined our AssocRICS training programme in 2018 and qualified in December of that year. ​​​​​​​ A…
  • 15 new colleagues join our AssocRICS programme
    We recently welcomed 15 new colleagues to our AssocRICS programme. We asked them they why want to be residential surveyors and why they chose to train with e.surv. Last week we were delighted to welcome 15 new colleagues to our Graduate AssocRICS Programme Over the next 12 months, they’ll be guided by their personal mentors…
  • e.surv welcomes newest Sava candidates
    e.surv welcomes surveyors to Sava conversion programme and find out why they chose e.surv We’re delighted to welcome three new colleagues to our Sava Conversion Programme:  Dean Merryman, Rob Lock and Mike Tucker. Scroll down to find out more about them and why they chose e.surv’s training programme. Claire Martin, Technical Partner – Learning and…
  • Congratulations, Mandy Spenceley!
    We’re delighted to announce that Mandy Spenceley FRICS has been appointed Senior Area Operation s Manager at e.surv. We’re delighted to announce that Mandy Spenceley FRICS has been appointed Senior Area Operation s Manager in our Central Region. With 25 years’ surveying experience , Mandy. re-joined e.surv in July. 2019 – having previously worked as…