Commercial & Residential Surveying: The Differences

Here at GECKO Executive Search, we understand that the scope of potential career paths available to property professionals are incredibly broad and varied. With so many different skill sets, specialisms, markets and opportunities for progression, it can sometimes be difficult to distinguish between the responsibilities and requirements of each role. Especially when it comes to surveying, where the range of expertise spans multiple professions in both the commercial and residential sectors. That’s why the team here at GECKO Executive Search have put together the following blog, outlining the differences between commercial and residential surveying. Potentially assisting any individuals who are unfamiliar with the trade to better understand the industry and its various employment opportunities.

How do you become a chartered surveyor?

As we previously mentioned, a career in surveying can open-up a broad range of professions in many different sectors. With so many specialisms available, it is typical for a prospective surveyor to become accredited by an officially recognised governing body. Some of the most reputable and standard methods of qualifying to become a chartered surveyor are via the RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) Assessment of Professional Competence or Sava’s Diploma in Residential Surveying & Valuation. The latter of which you can read more about here.

Following the procurement of these qualifications, you will then have the option of entering a variety of different markets. Whilst the routine activities you will be carrying out won’t differ much, the kinds of property you are asked to inspect will. In addition, you will also see a disparity between the purpose of both a residential and commercial inspection.

What’s involved in commercial and residential surveying?

Residential surveying

A residential surveyor will be required to attend, inspect and create reports on any property that is intended for the habitation a single family. This often means that a surveyor will also be required to advise the client on the appropriate course of action during what can often be a very stressful time in their lives. For instance, if they are a first-time buyer or looking for a probate valuation.

The specific type of inspection that a residential surveyor will be required to conduct will depend on several different elements. However, the most significant factors typically include the age and construction of the property, as well as any major works that have recently been undertaken.

The most popular residential reports include the RICS HomeBuyer Reports, the RICS Building Surveys, Mortgage Valuations and Private Valuation services.

Commercial surveying

On the other hand, a commercial surveyor will be instructed to visit larger business premises that are being used by investors as office space, retail property or hotel blocks. Resulting in the advice and input of the surveyor being considerably more formal and business-oriented than the residential sector.

This also means that the specific kinds of reports you will be conducting are entirely dependent on the needs of the client. For example, if they are looking to renew a lease, dispose of an asset or give authority to an ongoing dispute.

The most popular commercial reports include the commercial building survey, the commercial valuation and the schedule of conditions.

What to read next

For more information on any of the experts cited in this article, you can find a list of the sources used in this article below:

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