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Bristol surveyor

Networking pays off for ex estate agent starting a new career in Bristol

Cotswold surveysAlthough more and more people acknowledge the value of practical experience and apprenticeships, it’s easy to assume that such schemes are only for young adults. Local property professional Ross Wheeler has over 20 years of experience in the industry, but has recently quit his position as an estate agent branch manager and started work shadowing in Bristol. Why? To embark on a new life as a surveyor, with the support of local building surveying firm Allcott Associates.


Starting a family gave Ross the push to find a job that would provide security while giving him the flexibility to manage and grow his property portfolio. He came across the SAVA Diploma in Residential Surveying & Valuation in 2018 and realised it was just what was needed to build on his existing expertise in the property industry. One year on, Ross has completed the theory part of the course, and is moving onto the practical stages. Ross notes, “The classroom studies have been very beneficial, but surveying is a practical profession. Getting real-life experience of inspecting properties is crucial, but as a trainee, it’s not always easy to do”.

Fortunately, through networking with his classmates Ross managed to get an introduction to expert surveyor Peter Vince, of Allcott Associates Bristol. With over four decades of experience in building surveying, Peter is ideally placed to support Ross with his studies, and he has agree to mentor Ross through his training. Being based in the Bristol area has given Ross the chance to shadow Peter on numerous building surveys of both modern and historic properties. Ross explains, “it has been invaluable to have Peter’s knowledge to call on, particularly where older properties are concerned. Peter has taught me how to follow the trail of evidence on site and has been pivotal in honing my practical surveying skills. Before working with Allcott Associates, I had never once heard the term ‘mortar bees’ in all my years in property!

Bristol surveysThe next step for Ross will be an accompanied inspection and interview, work on method and risk assessments and energy reports and ultimately passing assessments to become a fully qualified surveyor. “Surveying as a career offers fantastic flexibility, which will allow me to fit my inspections in around managing my property portfolio.”

The prospect of surveying in the Bristol and the Cotswolds is enticing because of the historic and sometimes very quaint sandstone properties in the area, which all have their own stories and quirks. This makes for an often unexpected and extremely enjoyable work day. Living here, I get the best of both worlds – a semi-rural lifestyle with surprisingly quick links into Bristol and central London if a city fix is needed!

For anyone entering a new profession, Ross would thoroughly recommend looking for an experienced mentor.

Although networking is often the last thing you feel like doing, the benefits of undertaking and mirroring someone who has such extensive experience as Peter in the built environment can’t be underestimated.