Financial benefits can be monetised but it is less easy to quantify and advocate the value of experience or the existing knowledge of a building or site

Helen Gough

There are two competing forces currently at work in the market – the upward pressure on salaries and the downward pressure on fees. It’s a factor brought home within our office when looking at comparative due diligence quotes for the same building first inspected ten years ago. To a point, you do get what you pay for; but value can be a hard concept to sell. Financial benefits can be monetised but  it is less easy to quantify and advocate the value of experience, for example, or the existing knowledge of a building or site.

It is a frustrating market through which to navigate; but one that I hope will be made easier by a focus on productivity and technology initiatives within the team.  Both are key elements for all business; but I am sure that they have even greater importance with the current resource and revenue pressures.

There are so many administrative tasks which we all hold onto like a comfort blanket; that we can easily limit our ability and time to focus on the true consulting or forensic value that we bring to any project or instruction.

In an effort to “shift left” those tasks which can be achieved at support or more junior level we have being working at JLL to define through workflow analysis the core stages of the Building Surveying services we offer clients, which we hope will release valuable time for directors to spend with their clients and exploring new opportunities.  

We have also developed a way to collect and utilise data more efficiently when we are on site. There are already a number of proprietary products on the market, but having trialled them, we have chosen to develop our own solution, which we are confident has the flexibility and functionality that we require across the various disciplines. 

As iPad’s and training courses are rolled out through the department we wait in anticipation to see the benefits that will hopefully flow.

Helen Gough is head of JLL’s Buildings & Construction team