Coronavirus Update 3
As we are now some weeks into the coronavirus lockdown, and the potential lifting of property market restrictions still some indeterminate time ahead, we feel it time to share a little of what we've seen happening in the surveying market over the last couple of months.
The new year started very full of promise, with trends very much on the up following the General Election. That continued until March when awareness that the new coronavirus was becoming not "just another sort of 'flu", but an imminent global health crisis.
Control Panel Update
We are pleased to announce a significantly updated version of our account control panel went live last week. The changes are more than just cosmetic, with some quite major changes to the underlying system. From a user's perspective, the only significant change has been to separate the Offices management from the Company Details page; there is now a link from the main menu to the new Offices area. There will be new enhancements of the system appearing in the next few weeks.
Coronavirus Update - #2
What a difference even a few days makes!
With the country now 'locked-down' for the last week, we think it a good time to share some information on what we have seen happening over the last couple of weeks
Up to now we have resisted the urge to tell you about what we're doing about the coronavirus situation, but the Government's announcement last night of further severe movement restrictions warrants something more than just trying to continue with 'business as usual'.
Not surprisingly, we have seen market activity reduce considerably over the last couple of weeks, and with the latest set of restrictions we anticipate that new buyers in the market will be pretty scarce over the coming months, with a consequent knock on effect on the demand for surveying services.
We are intending to continue to promote the Local Building Surveyors website in order to generate leads where there is still demand, however we are fully aware that you may not wish to carry out surveys at present, and may not require leads.
We fully understand the position - to remind you, ours is a pay-as-you go service, so if you wish to suspend your leads until things improve, that is fine.
Should you choose to do this, there are a couple of simple ways that you can do this via your control panel:
Optimising Your Account
With the property market seemingly more active, some of you are seeing significant increases in the number of leads being delivered. Whilst for many this is welcome new business, for others it can result in receiving more leads than can be easily followed up or converted. So we thought it an appropriate time to share a few tips on ways in which you can optimise your leads to get the best from your account.
We provide a number of ways in which you can optimise your account to restrict the number of leads and manage your costs on a permanent or temporary basis.
New Pricing From January 1st 2020
Unfortunately we are not immune to inflation! We have worked hard over the year to contain our costs and over the year have succeeded in growing lead volumes, but this has not come without an increase in costs, particularly advertising and promotional costs which we are not able to fully absorb.
Consequently from 1st January 2020 the cost of a basic lead for HomeBuyer, Valuation, and all 'General Practice' services will increase very slightly, by 0.15p to £3.30. Building Survey leads will increase to £4.15 to more realistically reflect the differential between HomeBuyer and Building Survey fees.
Your first payment at the new rate will be in the middle of February. With the average number of leads returned per search less than 3.7, resulting in good conversion rates, we believe this still provides excellent value for money compared to our competitors.
Local building Surveyors now an RICS Tech Affiliate Company
We are delighted to announce that AZAB Ltd / Local Building Surveyors has been officially recognised as an RICS Tach Affiliate company.
This doesn't mean any change to what we do, but it is nice to be acknowledged as being of value to RICS Surveyors by the RICS!
Additional Property Value Bands
With the average price of a property in many areas continuing to increase over the year, we feel it time to introduce additional property value bands at the upper end of the market. We have therefore added 3 new property price bands: £1M-£1.25M, £1.25M-£1.5M, and £1.5M-£2M.
To speed up the implementation of the new price bands we have added new fees to all existing user accounts for these property bands. The prices added are not 'standard', but are calculated in 5% increments from your existing £901k-£1m pricing for each service, thus creating logical step increases consistent with your current fee rates.
The price bands are not yet available to the public, but will be switched on in about a week's time. In the meantime we suggest you log in to your account control panel and review and amend these fees to make sure they are right for you.
Note: if you do not wish to be returned for searches in these price bands for any reason (e.g. issues with PI cover etc), simply remove the fee from the matrix, leaving it blank, and you will not be returned in results
As you may already be aware, we use an independent review company (reviews.co.uk) to gain reviews and feedback about our service (and yours!) from the public.
Over the next few months, we will be making more efforts to encourage users to review both us and you, using both reviews.co.uk and our own inbuilt review system.
You should be pleased to hear that general feedback is excellent, with an average score currently of 4.1 from 5 from over 660 reviews.
But one of the most common 1 star negative comments we get are surveyors not honouring advertised fees. You are not legally bound to adhere to the advertised fee, but clearly not doing so can create a good deal of bad will, and seriously damage your chances of converting the lead to an instruction, so now might be a good time to check that your advertised prices on the site are in line with your actual fees.
All the Local Surveyors where very helpful but they where all dealing in houseing market and i wanted for commercial property surveyor, so i couldn't go ahead with them.
Hooked me up with a service that had great area knowledge, particularly of older properties. Super pleased with the results, and the price quoted was exactly on the money. Cheers!
Only have two choices
Did the job and we found a surveyor. Thankyou
Found a very good local surveyor through this site.
Really helpful service
I did not use any of the surveyors due to costs. I sourced an independent surveyor at a very competitive price
Quick and easy
spoke with one of your surveyors , very helpful and very knowledgeable. saved us many problems.
We. Are hoping the surveyor we have chosen will do a good job. For us he can’t do it till 12th July too busy to do it earlier.
Super easy to use and I found the cheapest quote here as well. The surveyor we decided upon have been incredibly efficient and arranged the viewing of the property the afternoon we filled out the paperwork. Couldn't be happier!
I was sent within the hour four companies who quoted competitively for the survey I required. I would recommend this site to all.
This site did all the work, I simply hai to choose.
The survey was done on the Thursday and the same day it was sent to us what a brilliant surveyor cannot fault him at all.
Needed a local surveyor & found one out of the 3 quotes given.
We were almost immediately contacted by two surveyor companies, and we had given instructions to do the work within 4 days of raising the enquiry on your site.
I appreciate the advice that Wayne Norcliffe at Castle Surveyors provided. It was very helpful.
Very good service, I had what I needed arranged within a few minutes, with the survey completed 2 days later.
Very good and prompt service, that provides a comprehensive list of available surveyors, who will respond promptly. Definitely worth using as surveyor fees vary widely!
A good choice of surveyors
Very easy to use. Allowed us to pick the right surveyor for our needs at the best price.