Are video surveys the future for removals? In this article, White & Company looks at the impact of video surveys on the removals industry and gives its predictions on what this is likely to mean in the future.
Whether you’re purchasing home contents insurance or streaming a movie, much of what we do nowadays is carried out online.
With the emergence of video surveys could removals surveys be the next business to move to a digital environment?
The Mover magazine suggests initial uptake is already strong. An estimated 25% of large relocation companies are either trialling video surveys or already using them.
Current uptake has highlighted several positives for house movers and removals companies. But like all new technologies it is not with out its difficulties or potential issues.
What are video surveys?
First, it is useful to understand what video surveys are and how they compare to traditional home surveys.
A home survey consists of a surveyor visitng your home and compiling a list of the contents you wish to move. A quote will be created on the basis of the ‘total volume of effects’.
Video surveys shortcut this process. They allow you showcase your home to a removals company directly via a smartphone app or video call.
What are the potential benefits of video surveys?
Video surveys offer a quick and convenient alternative to traditional surveys. They achieve this by allowing home movers to have a survey carried out at a time that suits them.
The reverse is also true for removals companies. Who benefit from not having to travel to the home to conduct what is typically a short task.
Video surveys could also cut costs for both parties — a win-win scenario.
Removals companies can save money on travel expenditures going to and from properties. Savings pass on to home movers through removals companies pricing their services more competitively.
Having a video record asisst the house mover in understanding what’s included.
Too often the finer details of a move get overlooked in traditional house surveys. Whereas this method brings them to light by making both parties active in the process.
Dealing with demand
It’s not unusual, during busy periods, for removal companies to have to turn away business.
The time saved on the logistics of conducting surveys is then reinvestable. Removals companies can spend more time following up surplus enquiries and surveys.
What are the disadvantages of using video surveys?
Costs can change
Assumptions make a fool of you and me.
Inaccuracies often occur when something is not described or accounted for in a video survey.
This can incur additonal costs to the behest of the home mover.
Not as accurate as face-to-face.
If a surveyor hasn’t seen the items in person, it may be difficult for them to gauge the weight and size of certain objects.
This places the removals company at a disavantage. If they do not have the time and resource to meet the demands of the task.
No agreement on best way to conduct
The surveyor process is an opportunity to discuss your options but there is the potential for this to be lost if digitalised.
Moving home is a very human process. There is a risk that this can become dehumanised by replacing it with video surveys.
While millennials may favour this quick and easy survey form, it might not suit older house movers. This latter group are normally the ones moving and would still prefer a physical point of contact.
Also, where the home owner is not entirely comfortable with using the technology this can cause confusion. As a result it might make them not want to pursue business with that particular removals company further.
What’s the verdict on video surveys?
The technology behind video surveys is certainly interesting and there is lots of potential for it to reshape the removals industry for the better. But it is also fraught with some potential creases which may take some time to iron out.
Home movers rely on accurate quotes to make their decision and value the input of physically present home surveyors who are knowledgeable of the process and can advise them accordingly.
Video surveys might therefore be best thought of as a complementary tool to traditional home surveys, rather than a replacement.
Complementing physical surveys with video is not just beneficial from a home movers’ perspective either. It represents a fantastic opportunity for removals companies to reduce their own expenditures and win more business through cost and time savings.
Another strong application for home surveys is in the international or overseas removals market. It perhaps has greater application here where it is difficult to send surveyors to far-flung locations because of the costs incurred.
But if there’s one key take away it is that face-to-face surveys certainly aren’t going away any time soon.