Chris Moran Q&A – Finalist in the RICS Matrics Surveyor Awards 2023.
Meet Chris Moran (AssocRICS), case study number five in our series of interviews with the residential property finalists for the RICS Matrics Surveyor Awards 2023. Chris is an independent residential surveyor, Sava graduate and owner of Christopher Moran Residential Surveying.
Chris swapped his role as a police detective for a career in property surveying, training through the Sava Diploma in Residential Surveying and Valuation. In this interview, Chris tells us what made him consider a career in surveying, how it feels to become a RICS award finalist and offers some advice to those looking to enter the industry. Read on or click here to download our Q&A with Chris and keep an eye out for more case studies from other finalists over the coming weeks. The RICS Matrics Surveyor Awards ceremony will take place on Friday 20th October at The Londoner, Leicester Square.
As a surveyor, what does a typical day look like for you?
Usually I‘ll spend the morning reviewing my pre-prepared site notes for the upcoming property inspection and getting the children off to school. After this, I head out to a client’s property for inspection, and then return to the office to upload all my notes and photographs to produce draft one of my report by the end of the day. This leaves a bit of time for emails, client phone calls and sending out quotes for new business.
What was your background before becoming a surveyor?
I was a Police Officer for about 15 years and worked in a Detective role in the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).During this time, I also used to renovate properties for personal enjoyment.
What made you consider surveying as your next career move?
In policing, the hours were extremely long and I had a young family so I wanted a change. Both my career in the police and my property renovation experience stood me in good stead for a career in residential surveying: I’d developed a good understanding of the bricks and mortar which, coupled with an investigative mind, made it an obvious choice for me. I was used to following evidence trails and writing professional reports, so for me, in a way, the two roles are extremely similar.
What qualification route did you take and why?
I had two options – study for my Masters at university or choose the vocational training route through Sava. At that juncture in my life, I didn’t have time for a lengthy theorical course. I needed a course that was vocational and focused specifically on residential property, something that would lead me into a career. And that’s what Sava gave me.
What has been the highlight of your surveying career so far (aside from the RICS Awards)?
I was very lucky to be mentored by Phil Parnham – a building surveyor, well-known surveying technical author and former Sava trainer – as we were both based in the same area, and I learned a lot from him. We still meet up as friends and colleagues now. Without getting mentored by him, I would not have gone independent so quickly.
My business also has 216 five-star Google reviews which gives a huge sense of pride and a fantastic source of validation if I ever question myself. It helps me realise I must be doing something right.
What do you love most about being a surveyor?
I absolutely adore having my own business. It’s something I wanted all my life. It gives you complete flexibility. I personally choose to work quite a lot, but I could be part time quite easily. Right now, I enjoy going to houses and I get told by clients that it’s really nice to meet someone who genuinely loves what they’re doing. It’s not for everyone (looking down drains on rainy days!), but it completely clicks for me.
What advice would you give to anyone thinking of joining the profession?
Whether you’re considering Sava or a degree, shadow some surveyors before you commit. Spend some time with both corporate and independent surveyors to make sure it’s for you. I did the Sava diploma and shadowing surveyors alongside my studies was so helpful.
I would also say to future surveyors: understand that your qualification isn’t adream ticket into the world of surveying; you still have to work hard. Corporate surveying and independent surveying are different and offer different ways of life, with potentially long hours, so do your research and make sure you pursue what’s right for you.
Whatever route you take, it’s a big investment and can be hard work, but if you’re motivated and you’re sure it’s for you, in my case the investment was completely worth it.
How does it feel to be a finalist in the RICS Matrics Surveyor Awards 2023?
It feels absolutely amazing. I’m grateful to everyone who has helped me. Having been to the RICS award ceremony previously as a guest and now going as a finalist…it’s fantastic. From the gritty world of Sheffield policing to black tie events in London…whatever next?
If you’re interested in being a surveyor, find out more about Sava’s vocational Diploma in Residential Surveying and Valuation here. If you’d like to meet more of the finalists in the RICS Matrics Surveyor Awards 2023, take a look at our previous Q&A with Patrick Harley-Blake of Honeywell Survey & Design Ltd.