Why use video for your 3rd party removal surveys?

An interview with Grant Hodgkins, Senior Project Manager of Pearson Relocation

More and more removal and relocation companies are choosing to try video surveying. And one of its most popular uses is for carrying out 3rd party surveys.

The benefits of 3rd party surveys are clear, which is why so many firms already do them. First, companies can offer surveys out of hours. Second, they’re great for overflow surveys where capacity is an issue. This means any relocation firm can offer 100% availability – the ultimate convenience for busy customers and corporate clients.

Swap out face to face surveys for remote video surveying, and you get all of these benefits plus a much lower cost.

We recently spoke to Grant Hodgkins, Senior Project Manager of Pearson. Grant and his company have been using video software for 3rd party surveys for several weeks, and we wanted to get Grant’s take on the benefits of video surveys in his own words.

What challenges are you facing in your business that you think video surveys can help with?

Average move sizes are diminishing but more and more people are moving. A company often has to balance out the costs of sending a surveyor to a property against the potential return on that job if the client books at all.

Potential returns will usually diminish as the volume diminishes, and hence the willingness to perform physical surveys throughout the industry is decreasing rapidly. Video surveys are much quicker and far cheaper than a physical survey, thus increasing the willingness to survey a client once again, regardless of the client’s volume.

Add to this the benefit of out of hours surveying, recorded surveys and being able to perform a survey wherever has an internet connection; then you’re really on to a winner.

Being a company that specialises in moving people all around the World, there’s always places that just simply are no go areas for surveyors. If there’s internet, then there can be a survey.

Are you seeing/anticipating more demand in the market for video surveys, for example from millennials or from corporate clients?

Definitely! They’re more private as well, given that you don’t have to invite a stranger into your home. Not so much from corporate clients as many have certain contracted requirements, many of which tend to be a physical survey. It will be a number of years I think before we see that change.

You seem mainly to be keen on us doing full service surveys on your behalf. What are the main benefits to you of full service surveys?

We have the largest moving sales force in the country, and one of the largest in the World. Especially at this time of year, anything that can reduce time is a big bonus, as we’re getting in around 5000-6000 enquiries per month.

How much does it cost you on average to carry out a face to face survey?

In main European Cities, usually €50-€100, €150 for regular areas, and €250 for out of the way or hard to reach spots, and those are generous prices given the volume of trade work we generate.

How do you see yourselves extending your use of video surveys in the near future – say the next 6-12 months?

Fingers crossed drastically I hope. We aim to be a company that moves with the times, which is often not the case in this industry. Once we start seeing an upturn in bookings or consistent volumes/reports from the video surveys, I’m confident we’ll begin advertising it on our website.


If you’re looking for a 3rd party survey provider you can trust, try video surveys from Gobuzzsurvey…

You get all the following benefits:

  • 24 hour service
  • Just £25 for full-service 3rd party surveys – saving you 83% compared with face-to-face (based on an industry average cost of £150 per survey)
  • Moves are recorded and cubed for you to review
  • Perfect for corporate and international relocations
  • Fully-qualified, presentable and highly-trained professional UK surveyors

For more information, visit Gobuzzsurvey.com

Gobuzzsurvey invited to join IAM Technology and Communications Committee

This week, key members of the Gobuzzsurvey team have been visiting the International Association of Movers Annual Exhibition in Long Beach California.

Head of Client Success Menno Martens, Chief Strategy Officer Roelien Ruys and Head of Partnerships Charlie Vinall flew in to California on Sunday the 8th October so they could arrive bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for the exhibition to kick off at 10am the next morning.

“We’re here to take care of bizniz”

Having set up the Gobuzzsurvey stand in the exhibition hall…

“Can we interest you in some video surveying technology?”

They were soon attracting a lot of attention from delegates and fellow exhibitors.

Joining the video survey revolution

Roelien even managed to meet up with I.A.M. President Terry Head on Monday evening.

Roelien meets IAM President Terry Head

Then, on Tuesday, great news. We were invited to join the I.A.M. Technology and Communications Committee, a prestigious organisation that meets five times a year to discuss the technology innovations and trends affecting the international moving industry.

It was a great honour for us to be invited, and we’re looking forward to being an active and valuable participant in the committee over the coming years.

Why 2 out of 3 UK removal companies are keen to try video surveys…

British removal companies are increasingly turning to technology to improve customer service, with many of them citing this as a key motivator in their business.

These are the some of the findings from a survey of 100’s of UK removal firms carried out by Buzzmove in July.

Video surveying is a way of carrying out surveys over a live video link. The poll was designed to measure what the market really thinks about using video surveying. Some of the results of our poll were surprising.

For example, when asked about their level of interest in trialling a video survey provider, the response was very positive:

Sixty percent of respondents said they were either “somewhat” or “very” interested in trialling video survey technology over the next 6 months. Meaning that almost 2 out of 3 moving companies are keen to try video surveys. These results show that the demand for video chat is real, and that there’s still great potential for growth.

Why is video surveying gaining in popularity?

To answer this question  we asked what were the three biggest challenges video surveys could help to solve:

There was no shock that the top answer from our survey respondents was to “reduce the cost of face-to-face surveys” (20.5%). But perhaps more interesting were the next most popular answers, with “customer choice and convenience” coming second on the list (15.4%).

It’s great to see that customer convenience scored so highly. It suggests that removal and relocation companies are increasingly seeing technology as a tool not only to build a reputation for innovation, but also to improve the customer experience.

Quicker… cheaper… and more convenient

To some extent, this interest in new technology is a simple reflection of the all-pervasive nature of technology in our daily lives. Consumers expect speed, convenience and quality service.

According to Grant Hodgkins  from Pearson Home Moving, he too sees the power video surveying has on the removal industry.

“Video surveys are much quicker and far cheaper than a physical survey. Add to this the benefit of out of hours surveying, recorded surveys and being able to perform a survey wherever has an internet connection; then you’re really on to a winner.”

And, as this article makes clear, many companies see video surveys as a way to do stuff, smarter.

Also, what’s often overlooked video surveying is much more than just beneficial for the customer.  It’s massively more convenient for the removal company (your business) as well.

Paul from FA Removals recognises that a lot of potential moves fall through the cracks simply because he doesn’t have the time to carry out the survey. He’s either out doing a face to face service, carrying out a removal, in meetings or working on something in the office.

A survey that normally wouldn’t happen because you aren’t around, now can. With full service surveying, we work around your schedule. This gives you better availability for other jobs.

Download your free copy of the full Gobuzzsurvey Video Survey Barometer.

In the UK, interest in video surveys is growing. If you want to know why video surveys just might be the future of removals, click on the link to get your free copy of the full Gobuzzsurvey Video Survey Barometer Q3 2017 report.

(P.S. You don’t have to enter your email address)

Will video surveys ever replace face to face surveys?

Video surveys - Gobuzzsurvey
Video surveys are becoming more popular

Video surveying is gaining in popularity in the removals and relocation industry just lately.

There are dozens of companies in the UK alone already using video for some or all of their surveys. And more trialling the technology and looking to go live soon.

Plus there are the international relocation firms based in the US, mainland Europe or Asia with operations in Britain who are also starting to see the potential of video surveys.

But, despite all this, some companies are hesitant to try it. Usually, they say something like:

“Video surveys aren’t going to replace face to face surveys though, are they?”

But this is based on a misunderstanding about what video surveys are for and what the real benefits are.

How video surveys work

Video surveying is a way of carrying out surveys over a live video link. The surveyor uses their laptop to call the customer on their smartphone.

When the customer answers the call, it opens a video screen on their phone. They can see the surveyor in the bottom right of the screen, so they get a face-to-face connection. That gives surveyors the ability to build a personal rapport.

Then the surveyor directs the customer around their property, asking them questions about what’s being moved, where it’s being moved, and so on. Those tricky areas like kitchen cupboards and bedroom wardrobes become a breeze, because the surveyor can get them to open these up to see what’s inside and get an accurate idea of the volume inside.

More convenience all round

This is easy and convenient for surveyors and customers. It’s quick to connect. Surveyors can carry out more surveys in a day, increasing their chance of closing more jobs.

Plus, for busy customers it’s a real boon. They no longer have to wait around all day for a surveyor to come to their property. Now they just have to wait for the call. Instead of taking hours out of their life waiting around, they only have to give up the 20 minutes or so that the survey actually takes.

That’s a great time saver. And for employees at large corporates, it’s increasingly essential, since it’s becoming harder and harder for them to get time off work for physical surveys.

The real benefits of video surveying for removal firms

But the ability to offer greater choice and convenience with video surveys is just the tip of the iceberg for removal firms.

The real benefits go much, much deeper.

And that’s because video surveys are not designed to replace physical, face-to-face surveys.

Quite the contrary: they’re designed to complement them. Here’s what I mean:

Any removal or relocation company wants to use face-to-face surveys for their highest value moves. In that case, using video only makes sense where the company doesn’t have enough capacity to carry out those surveys face-to-face. And there’s more.

Because removal companies can’t always control the quality of inbound leads, they often end up surveying small moves. In the case of relocation firms with corporate clients, corporate moves are increasingly moving towards smaller volumes – one or two rooms’ worth of belongings at the most.

“Video is a way for us to do stuff smarter”

In cases like this, it makes perfect sense to use video for those moves. Companies can use video for the lower volumes, freeing up the time for surveyors to do face-to-face surveys for higher value and higher volume moves.

So video is a way of being more efficient – NOT replacing face-to-face surveys. Much less putting surveyors out of jobs.

Mike Bentley from Gerson Relocation put it best: “Video is a way for us to do stuff smarter.”

Grant Hodgkins from Pearson agreed, saying: “Especially at this time of year, anything that can reduce time is a big bonus, as we’re getting around 5,000-6,000 enquiries per month.”

And, as Louis Spies from White and Company made clear: “We haven’t gone and sacked all our surveyors. We won’t use video for all our surveys, obviously…. Now, video is a way for us to do surveys quickly when you can’t really get a surveyor to it.”

To use the old cliché – video surveys are a way to work smarter, not harder. And the removal companies that understand this are well placed to close more jobs, win more large accounts and increase margins.

And that’s a win-win-win for all concerned.



You get the following benefits:

  • Do-it-yourself video surveying or full service carried out by industry-trained, professional UK surveyors
  • Save up to 83% on the cost of face-to-face surveys using full service, and save up to 90% using DIY surveys (compared with an average cost of £150 per survey)
  • Save time
  • Expand your reach
  • Pay as you go – no contract tie-in

For more information, visit Gobuzzsurvey.com

Buzzmove uses new video survey tool to help move office

Last week the Buzzmove offices were all a-buzz (sorry) with moving fever.

Outgrowing our old offices

Due to the rapid growth of the company, we’d outgrown our existing offices and had to move to larger space in the same building.

Ugh – what a mess!

FA Removals did the job. And they did a great job too – moving all our desks, chairs, servers and computers up two floors in just 3 hours.

Office removals
FA Removals did a great job
Here’s one of our lovely new offices

Using a remote video survey was so convenient

To make the task simpler, we got our lead surveyor Harry to conduct a remote video survey with FA Removals Managing Director Paul Fajemisin ahead of the move, so he could see exactly what we were moving. We used our new specialist video survey tool called Gobuzzsurvey.

Our lead surveyor Harry – still working even during our office move!

Paul had just finished carrying out one face-to-face survey and was prepared to go straight on to another one when we called him. This just goes to show how convenient video surveys can be to a removal business.

Paul connected to our video survey software using his laptop from his car, while Harry used his smartphone to show Paul around the office remotely.

How Gobuzzsurvey can make you more money and cut your operating costs

Gobuzzsurvey is Buzzmove’s new remote video survey software developed specifically for the removals and relocation industry.

Gobuzzsurvey lets removal companies schedule and carry out more surveys per day. This means surveyors can work more efficiently, freeing them up to reserve face-to-face surveys for the most appropriate moving jobs.

Video surveys take an average of 20 minutes, which also massively reduces the hassle for your potential customers, while also saving you the fuel costs and travel time to reach survey locations.

>>> Read more about how Gobuzzsurvey can help make your removal business more profitable.