National residential surveying and valuations firm, SDL Surveying, has published its figures for May, for both physical and desktop valuations carried out during the month.
SDL Surveying returned to physical inspections on properties in England on the 13th May, following the government’s easing of lockdown restrictions.
From that point, and where appropriate, SDL replaced desktop valuations with physical inspections although the business still continues to carry out thousands of desktop valuations.
During May, despite physical inspections only resuming partway through the month completed jobs reached 71% of pre-Covid levels. Of those valuations, 28% were through SDL Surveying’s desktop valuation product, while the remainder were for physical valuations.
All SDL surveyors must complete a specific post-lockdown inspection procedure – approved by SDL’s lender clients – and each has received their own Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) which is to be changed after each appointment, to ensure a safe environment for both its surveyors and customers.
SDL has also found that consumer demand remains strong with its operational team experiencing high call volumes while still maintaining high service levels with no dropped calls.
To keep on top of any changes, SDL Surveying said it continues to engage with the government, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), and to take into account all feedback from its own surveyors in order to amend and refine its procedures accordingly.
Simon Jackson (pictured), managing director of SDL Surveying, said: “While the decision last month to ease lockdown took a number of our peer group by surprise, we had always planned and prepared for a ‘quick return’ and, as our numbers for May suggest, we were able to hit the ground running from the 13th of the month.
“Since then we’ve built up our capacity and, while we still continue to carry out thousands of desktop valuations, once again the vast majority of our work is now taken up by physical valuations.
“Carrying these out is a challenge in itself, and we have been very focused on ensuring both our surveyors and customers are as safe as possible when they visit properties. This has resulted in a gargantuan logistical effort resulting in our staff using an astonishing 50,000 pairs of gloves, 3,500 masks and 300 gallons of hand sanitiser.
“The hard work of all the teams at SDL cannot be understated in this context, and having worked through our lockdown pipeline, we are now carrying out new inspections on instructions that have been received since the government announced its easing.
“Working closely with our lender clients, our aim is now to build on the results we achieved in May and to continue to do our bit to support the mortgage and housing market as we seek a move back towards pre-Covid activity levels.”