If you’ve ever thought about venturing into the world of Quantity Surveying, you might wonderwhat you need to be good at to succeed.
Good Quantity Surveyors are extremely sought after within the wonderful world of construction. The sad truth is like any profession, you can get good and bad QS’s. So you maybe wondering what skills are needed to succeed if you want to fall within the good QS’s column rather than the bad… and with it demand the healthier salaries.
Well, you’re in luck, this blog is going to take a look at the top 5 skills that we feel Quantity Surveyors need in order to do the role professionally and to a high standard.
1. Numeracy. Unfortunately there is no getting away from it. Being good at Maths is a great skill to have for Quantity surveyors.
General day to day tasks include calculating the cost of a project to make sure that it’s affordable before work starts by building Bill of Quantities for example, and then ensuring thatthe project is running to the agreed budget by managing the actual costs throughout construction. Other tasks will include forecasting and calculating potential efficiencies on projects so if pages of costs, figures and spreadsheets make you feel slightly uneasy, QuantitySurveying may not be the best fit!
2. Good working knowledge of Excel and specialist software packages.
Utilising available software speeds up the general day to day tasks of a QS and helps with processing vast amounts of data and accuracy with pricing and cost management. Deadlines can at times be very tight so the ability to produce reports summarising the cost data of a project or multiple projects quickly can really help you stand out from the crowd.
3. Excellent relationship-building, interpersonal & social skills.
You may have heard this before but ‘Price isn’t always the deciding factor’. Like in a lot of industries, the relationships that we form with clients and other stakeholders can sometimes lead to better performance through trust and quality, ensuring clients keep coming back. Understanding your clients’ wants and needs will put you in the best possible position to help and advise them, putting you ahead of competitors. A positive experience is super important when a client is making a decision, especially on long construction projects where communication and collaboration is key.
4. The ability to negotiate.
This is something that will always set apart a good quantity surveyor from a great quantity surveyor. Negotiation can and should be used to help save the company or the client time, money or materials. If you are well informed and an expert on the current state of your industry, negotiation can become far easier and can help you to get the best deals. Negotiation techniques are something that we feel must be built over time and comes with experience, unfortunately it’s not something you can become an expert in overnight!
5. Attention to detail and patience.
Having a great eye for detail, organised and methodical can be invaluable skills for a Quantity Surveyor. A lot of what QS’s do must adhere to legal contracts and is to do with money so it can often be scrutinised to the very finest details. You need to make sure nothing is missed that can later cost your employer or client money and time. Be patient when scrolling through documents and contracts as small details could be the difference between a successful and unsuccessful project. Pay attention to the project as a whole and always try to think ahead to capture potential risks as soon (if not before) they arise.