How to manage your business RICS style

How quaint! While all around us people have been re-branding, re-naming, becoming expert Consultants in all sorts of property related matters, and operating under limited liability status in some form or other (because of our dear friends at HMRC) the RICS has produced a document called ‘Practice management guidelines – The management of surveying business’. It’s the quaint expression of “practice management” that got me. Maybe it’s just me, but are we still called practices?! This aside, the point is that the document is a guidance note. Just advice, so they say… But it comes with a health warning! Though it may just be a guidance note, it goes on to say that if you don’t follow their advice and you get a P.I. claim then the RICS will take a dim view of you. And the courts too apparently, so read on…!

The guidelines were first published in 1997, updated in 2003 and have now been updated again in 2010. They’ve even added references to CRM and social media, with LinkedIn getting a special mention. They also have ‘must do’, ‘recommended’ and ‘advisable’ sections, so make sure you’ve read and understood them!

To be fair, it’s a very good read with lots of useful information and tips for any professional in business. They give really good pointers on business management, people management and current legislation too, with references of where to go for further advice if you need it. I really liked the section on practice leadership, leading your management team and the part about understanding your team members and the eight generic types of personalities you might encounter, which they have labelled as follows:

  • The independent: prefers to be left alone and often finds it difficult to work with others
  • The entrepreneur: highly commercial type who is an excellent networker and deal maker
  • The traditionalist: considers the former professional ways are not only still best, but the only way
  • The plateaued: reliable and friendly but passed over for promotion and lacking apparent motivation for change
  • The former star: great ‘back when’, but living on the memory and reputation of past glories
  • The politician: canny operator, but usually on the look out for number one
  • The teflon type: difficult to pin down and make accountable
  • The ego: has an opinion on everything and is always right (in his or her eyes anyway).

I particularly liked the teflon type who they suggest:  “know all the loopholes and dodges, so involve them in reviewing procedures and contracts.” So if you’ve got one of these that’s the tip on how to deploy them!

What I don’t understand though is why they chose to reproduce the second edition questions as an appendix again?! Confusing. But all in all I really liked it. This an example of good work by the RICS and, in my opinion, some genuinely useful spending of our membership fees.

I actually happened to visit the Great George Street HQ yesterday (see photo). It’s the first time in a year or so I’ve been and I’d forgotten what a lovely old building it is. I used the members room, though it felt a bit deserted… but then it would be wouldn’t it… they’ve sent everyone to Coventry! 😉


If you would like to read the Practice management guidelines then you can download them here, but sadly only if you are an RICS member! If you are not a member and would still like to take a look then please email me and I will forward you a copy.

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About Me

I’m now the Managing Director of Mynott Associates Limited my own specialist measurement business. I’ve been in the industry all of my life since I left school. My first job was with Bovis Construction as a management trainee where I trained to become a quantity surveyor. I’ve worked for contractors all through my career, I am FRICS, FCIOB and MCIHT qualified and act as an RICS assessor. I’m also a keen Arsenal supporter having followed them from a young boy

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