New toys: How technology is transforming the surveying sector02/12/19
The building and property industry, like all sectors in the digital age, has undergone something of a technological makeover in the last decade or so. Technological advances affect not only how we do our jobs, but the very nature of the jobs themselves. Draughtsmen, the art of drawing plans and designs by hand, have been completely superseded by computerised CAD and 3D design, for example. At Forge Property Consultants, we have seen many changes already during our almost-a-decade in business, which has seen considerable innovations in the housing and property sectors.
Internet of Things
It is projected that there will be 200 billion smart devices connected to the ‘Internet of Things’ by 2020. This is up from the figure of two billion in 2006. This astonishing statistic gives you come indication of the pace of change in the digital world.
At the most basic level, surveying and evaluating properties is being shaped more and more nowadays by technology. Survey data can be submitted digitally, and valuations can be completed online and emailed to clients without delay. To carry out surveys we also use digital measuring tapes, damp or moisture meters and other pieces of kit, which are very accurate. A very unexpected development has been the access drones have offered to properties, allowing roofs, chimneys, valleys, facias and upper windows to be examined for deterioration in detail, without the need for ladders or scaffolding.
When we’re looking at submitting plans for alterations to be made to properties, for conversions of farm outbuildings or other changes of use, we can submit them to local authorities via their planning portals – this can even be done using mobile phones now too. Data content and storage has all but eradicated paper from many walks of life, with information now held in databases or more often in ‘clouds’.
When we carry out a HomeBuyer’s Report or a Condition Report for a client, the results are logged and sent digitally. The actual process of carrying out the assessment will never be replaced, but software can now build models of how to evaluate properties and how they will appreciate in the future as investments. The way buildings are bought and sold has also seen some huge changes, and here at Forge we have stayed at the forefront of these developments. In this way we remain competitive and expert in best practice and industry excellence.
The future will include more widespread use of such innovations as augmented reality, where computer graphics can demonstrate potential property transformations at the touch of a button. It could enable developers and surveyors to create virtual spaces that will show buyers the possibilities that could be available to them with the properties. Whatever the future holds, Forge will ensure that it continues to offer the most comprehensive, knowledgeable building and property management service to its clients.