The Skills You Need to be a Quantity Surveyor

See also: Project Management

As a quantity surveyor, you'll manage the costs related to building projects, from the initial computations to the final figures. A good quantity surveyor seeks to minimise project costs and risks while adhering to the required legal quality and standards. The job requires you to prepare estimates for the project. And while the project is in progress, you need to keep track of any variations that could affect the overall project cost.

If you think this is the job you want to do, here are the skills you need to be a quantity surveyor.

1. Interpersonal Skills

As a quantity surveyor, you must build and sustain good relationships with your clients. By establishing a good relationship with your clients, you'll better understand their needs, putting you in a better position to advise them. Therefore, one of the skills you need to have as a quantity surveyor is interpersonal skills.

Interpersonal skills refer to the ability to interact with others. Regardless of the profession, most people use interpersonal skills daily when dealing with clients. These skills also relate to one's ability to interact and work well with others. While you can develop these skills, you cannot learn them solely by reading a textbook. The best way to develop interpersonal skills is to practice them regularly, although some people are naturally born with good interpersonal skills.

Aside from being knowledgeable about the construction industry, a quantity surveyor should also have a logical and practical way of thinking. That way, they can best explain details to the client and articulately express opinions in a way that creates a better understanding with the client.

2. Communication Skills

If you want to excel in your craft, you need to possess good communication skills. A good quantity surveyor is someone who can write precise and clear reports. They should also know how to relay complex information in a way that is easy for the client to understand.

Good communication is essential for everyone working in construction because of the nature of the industry, which requires a constant exchange of information. Communication is not only about sharing information but also about understanding the feelings behind the information. Successful communication is essential for establishing good relations with clients. It can also help deepen work relationships with colleagues, avoid conflicts, and help you make better decisions. Without good communication, the project could get delayed or will cost more.

All forms of communication are beneficial for everyone in the construction industry and choosing the proper communication method can help expedite and simplify the exchange of information within the industry. Sometimes, a quick email may be enough. But in some instances, a call for a meeting may be required to discuss vital aspects of the project.

3. Negotiation Skills

Quantity surveyors need to know how to negotiate. It can help the company and the client save time and money, leading to a better outcome for everyone. Whether you work at a consulting office indoors or on a construction site, being a good negotiator can benefit you as a quantity surveyor. Excellent negotiation skills can help you get the best deal for your client.

Negotiation can be learned from experience and could take time before you can be good at it. Although others are naturally good at negotiating, some people may have to practice their negotiation skills. But once you become good at it, you can boost your career in the industry and excel in your field.

To be a good negotiator, you should believe in the value you bring to the table. If you go into a negotiation with a supplier or client and feel like they will be doing you a favour for accepting your project, you will lose. You should get to the negotiation table knowing the value you deliver will give you the confidence to advocate for yourself. Place yourself in the shoes of the other person and ask yourself what would impress that person.

4. Analytical Thinking Skills

Your main task as a quantity surveyor is to estimate and control costs for big construction projects. You will be responsible for ensuring that the structures meet the quality and legal standards in the industry. Therefore, you should possess good analytical thinking skills to accomplish these tasks.

Analytical thinking is the ability to analyse complicated issues by evaluating available information. Someone with good analytical thinking skills can detect patterns that often result in creative solutions. They can turn complex data into action. As a critical thinker, you help your client make informed decisions based on available data.

There are several ways to sharpen your analytical skills. One of these is to read and research more. You should have good knowledge of the construction industry to help you analyse facts, costs and other aspects involved in the projects. Honing your mathematical skills is also a great way to develop your analytical skills.

5. Numeracy Skills

As a quantity surveyor, you will perform various computation work from the initial stage of the project until its completion. Based on the given figures, you will analyse whether the project is profitable or not. You will also be responsible for managing project cost to ensure it stays within the agreed budget. All these tasks require strong numeracy skills.

In addition, you will be involved in the quantification and measurement of building works. To accurately perform these tasks, you need to have good numerical skills. You will manage the overall project costs based on the given estimates and measurements. Financial management skills are also beneficial for quantity surveyors, especially in budgeting, valuations, preparing payment certificates, etc.

Some people are lucky enough to have been born with excellent numeracy skills. However, the best way to hone this skill is to practice mathematics, which may involve solving an equation to arrive at an answer. Since all forms of mathematics are logical, sharpening your mathematical skills will refine your numeracy skills as well as your analytical skills. As mentioned previously, analytical skills are another skill quantity surveyors need to have.

About the Author

This article was provided by Quantity Surveyor Recruitment, experts in helping the construction sector recruit qualified quantity surveyors.