A year after Director Chris Mace of Mace Davis Associates Limited was interviewed, he explains how the company has changed over the past 2 years and how it has coped whilst turning another year older amid the COVID pandemic.
Mace Davies is now 2 years old; do you feel that the time has gone quickly?
The short answer to this is yes!
On one hand, the last two years have gone within a blink of an eye but it also seems a life time ago that the business was created. In the last two years I have learned many new lessons and skills, honed existing ones and have met many new people on the way.
I’m looking forward to the third year and overcoming the challenges of the year ahead.
What areas of your business would you say have been most popular with clients?
Domestic pre acquisition surveys (Homebuyers and Building Surveys) have been very popular.
Purchasing a new property is one of the biggest financial outlays and its worth investing a small sum to seek professional advice on the suitability and value of the property.
Are there any services you provide but do not get utilised very much as they are not understood or perhaps misunderstood?
Yes, definitely Party Wall works.
The requirements of the Party Wall Act are widely not known in the residential market which results in works being undertaken without the act being adhered to. The lack of understanding at the outset increases the likelihood of neighbourly disputes occurring further down the line, at this stage, court is generally the only course of action.
You work with many schools and academies with CIF Funding (Condition Improvement Funding), how does that work and what benefit is there for them to use Mace Davies as a surveyor?
I work in partnership with a specialist bid writer.
We speak to the schools to gain an understanding of what particular issues they require solving. We then visit and determine the likelihood of the bid being successful and from there, produce the technical information to sit along side the bid.
You are ending the second year of business amid the COVID pandemic. The property market closed for a short time, how much of an impact has this had on your business?
The COVID pandemic has had a huge impact on business, it is very difficult to survey properties during lockdown!
We focussed on surveying empty residential and commercial units which kept our head above water. The non fee earning time allowed me to review templates, budgets, update marketing literature and plan for the future. I also used the quiet time to undertake CPD.
What lessons did you learn during the lockdown and will you be changing your business strategy or putting any provisions in place in case there is a second wave of the virus and/or to protect you from any similar situations in the future?
Putting procedures in place for a second wave will be difficult, I think it will just have to be a case of keep going as much as possible.
During year 2, you moved offices, was this to accommodate future growth plans and what will be the 3 main things the company focus on in year 3?
The move was for future growth, however, the lesson that most people can take form the pandemic is that home working is very achievable. Although the ultimate plan is for continued growth, the short term plan has changed to stabilise and go again.
The core values of the business remain although there will be a larger focus on monitoring where instructions come from and what sector. Another focus will be to diversify and adapt and meet the challenges of an ever changing market.
You are a regular networker and utilise social media platforms to market the company, where do most of your sales come from?
I have a regular flow of instructions from a small number of Estate Agents, the reminder is through repeat business and recommendations.
So you see a lot of repeat business and word of mouth referrals from your existing clients?
Yes, this is where a large part of where instructions come from. To borrow a quote from a previous employer,’ the best business is repeat business’.
Over the years, I have come to understand the relevance of this quote and why repeat business is so important to the continued growth and success of a business.
Have you adopted use of more technology since you first began the company?
The use of technology is key in providing an efficient and quality service and technology has been used where needed, such as instructing a drone survey to record inaccessible parts of a roof which enabled the condition to be ascertained and an accurate remedy of repair to be prepared and implemented.
Where do you see yourself and the business in another 12 months’ time?
The answer to this question is very different than if it was asked in February.
The last two years have been whirlwind and very busy which has not allowed me to reflect and plan for the future. In February, the order book was very full and I was looking at recruitment options.
We are now slowly emerging from a world-wide pandemic which has resulted in an economic downturn. The lockdown has given me an opportunity to reflect, plan and improve. The ultimate goal remains which is to continue to offer a high quality service which in turn will ensure that monthly targets are exceeded.
Chris, it has been a pleasure to speak with you, wishing you all the best for the next phase of your business.
For all domestic and commercial surveying needs or queries please contact Chris at Mace Davies.