I recently had a new enquiry from a potential start up RICS surveyor client looking for audio typing services. We discussed my reasonable rates per audio minute and he asked my advice about how to produce the RICS Homebuyer Surveys. I explained that the easiest way is to use the ISURV online software. He had hinted that he wanted me to send him a list of standard paragraphs from one of my current surveyor clients, but I wouldn't do this – as it would be in breach of my confidentiality agreements, so explained that standard paragraphs are available online using this ISURV service which also allows surveyors to add in their own company specific standard paragraphs. He signed up straight away.
A few days later, I chased him up to see how he was getting on, but he replied saying that they had now taken on a temp to do all the typing. I found this very frustrating, as I know that I can provide a much more reliable and efficient service than a physical employee. I also know that a remote audio dictation service is much cheaper than a full or part time physical secretary. I don’t take holidays (well when I do I provide experienced reliable cover), I don’t call in sick, I don’t turn up late, I don’t have family commitments that affect my work and I don’t require a contract.
I decided to do some calculations. My busiest client can only manage to visit 3 properties in a day. So taking him as an example, and assuming he is at maximum capacity, he would produce 15 surveys per week, averaging 30 minutes of audio dictation each.
A temp or audio secretary would be paid a minimum of say £10 per hour and working 40 hours per week this would work out as MORE EXPENSIVE than using Property Typing on a weekly basis.
But on an annual basis, lets say you go on holiday – your temp or audio secretary probably won’t be away – so you would still have to pay her £400 per week, to sit in the office and do nothing. And if she (or he to be PC) goes on holiday – you still have to pay her. And while she is away, you will either have to pay a temp, or outsource your work to someone like me anyway which means you will be paying £800 per week for your typing requirements.
So by my calculations, over the course of a year, and assuming standard holiday entitlement – using Property Typing, a remote audio dictation service will save you in excess of £4,000 per year. And that’s assuming you are at full capacity the whole time. We all know there are slow weeks and even months where the work just isn’t coming. Why pay someone to sit there and do nothing!