Three things holding back surveyors – and how to overcome them

David Fullerton
December 6, 2021

If you ask a surveyor what is holding them back from growing their business, earning more money, or adding more value, it usually comes down to a lack of time.

We talk to surveyors daily, and as part of our process, we have discovery calls. In these calls, we learn about the processes and time spent by surveyors. In our experience, common themes typically hold back these businesses from reaching their potential.

The common factors include:

  • Time-consuming duplicate admin work
  • Heavy reliance on manual processes
  • Inefficient report creation

Here are some of the ways these issues hold surveyors back and how they can be overcome.

Minimise duplication

Duplication of admin happens when there is no central system to manage the customers and the business. Unfortunately, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) often lack the potentially expensive and complex CRM systems to help manage customer information and keep track of communications. Other systems, such as accounting and finance software, that help eliminate reliance on unwieldy spreadsheets are slightly more popular but still not as common as they should be.

Without a centralised system, surveyors and admin teams often rely on manual handling of spreadsheets, word docs, emails and diaries with duplicated data in each. A well-designed CRM system could eliminate the need to duplicate data and save valuable time, reduce errors, and streamline business operations.

Get a well-designed, relatively inexpensive CRM system that can link to other systems.

How to overcome: Get a well-designed, relatively inexpensive CRM system that can link to other systems. Software like is customisable and can be likened to using a spreadsheet, only far more powerful, when managing your business and customers.

Automate processes

Manual processes are a massive drain on resources. In a world where you can automate almost anything, tasks like having an email go to your customer the day before a survey with the details should be done automatically, freeing up surveyors and admins’ time.

Speaking of admin, receptionists and admin support staff often fear that tech will take away the need for them. This could not be further from the truth. There still needs to be someone to interact with customers, manage data and undertake a host of other high-value tasks. All tech will do is increase the output for the same time given and free up resources for things like business development and customer growth.

How to overcome: Automate data sharing and transfer between systems. Enter it once, and let the system do the hard work. For this, the systems you use must be able to talk to each other through an API. Using a stand-alone system for each area only creates more admin.

Optimise reporting

As a surveyor, creating reports is one of the most time-consuming parts of the job. I speak to surveyors that have no time to themselves, missing dinners with the family because they spend their evenings working on Word documents trying to wrestle all the pictures and notes into a presentable report. In residential surveys, creating the report takes as long as doing the survey. On average, based on the conversations I have had with surveyors, this can be around four to five hours, which massively limits the number of surveys one can do in a day, week, or month.

How to overcome: Use a mobile software solution like Captego that eliminates the report creation task without affecting quality. As far as report creation goes, there is no faster way to connect with other systems and turn data into insights than Captego. But then again, we might be biased.

When you consider the time spent on dealing with the customer, desktop research, travel, time at the property, collecting data, reflective time and time at the office creating a report, a typical residential survey takes north of ten hours!

Various software solutions can help collate the data into a report that can shave off some time, but they normally equal taking manual admin work with you into the field. The idea is to eliminate the manual processes in report creation and streamline the data on-site.

Systems like Captego can help achieve this by utilising these three elements:

  • Photo first – They say a picture says more than a thousand words, and customers love images. So, making it straightforward to take a picture and have it automatically appear in a report can save a lot of time and increase customer satisfaction. Not all photos need to make it into the report, so having the ability to choose which ones make the cut is significant too.
  • Standard notes – Every surveyor has duplicated their comments across multiple reports. It is inevitable when surveying sites like residential properties. Having standard notes available when you need them can save lots of time by copying and pasting them into reports.
  • Ability to edit – With a system like Captego, the report is ready before you leave the property. Still, it is important to allow surveyors time to reflect and sanity check before sending. That is why Captego has a straightforward way to edit before creating the final report. However, you will never have to wrestle with a Word document again – we promise!

If you are a surveyor and any of the above sounds like I wrote this based on your business, there is light at the end of the tunnel. The first step is to assess where time is being spent, then explore solutions that can help automate processes and lower time spent.

At Captego, we specialise in discovering these inefficiencies and finding solutions that streamline your business, automate report creation and give you time back to increase revenues or pursue other business priorities.

Contact me at for an introductory call.

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