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How to become a Rural Property Surveyor

rural property surveyor careers

What does a Rural Property Surveyor do?

Rural property surveyors (also known as land agents or agricultural surveyors) advise on the use, value, sale, purchase, management, planning and development of land and rural property. They may act as consultants, for instance to local authorities, or be contracted to manage several private estates.

Land agents (known as factors in Scotland) fulfil a similar role. Farm and estate management is a key function - managers supervise the day-to-day running of a farm, plan crop rotations, buy and sell livestock, maintain accounts and produce financial projections, deal with grant and subsidy applications, and advise on legal matters. They also negotiate land access for companies involved in the construction of distribution networks, such as power and water.

Rural property surveyors carry out valuations of property, machinery, crops and livestock for purchase and sale, and for insurance, taxation, compulsory acquisitions and compensation purposes. They arrange auctions of farm property and set up and organise all stages of an auction - valuing goods, preparing catalogues, arranging advertising and conducting sales.

Working with other professionals, surveyors may be involved in the digital mapping of landscapes on projects such as estate restoration or the creation of wildlife conservation areas.

Diversification is increasingly important in the rural economy and surveyors play an important role in advising on the development of land use, particularly in the fields of leisure, conservation and specialised food production, and the impact of European directives on land use.

What's the working environment like working as a Rural Property Surveyor?

Working hours vary depending on the day's tasks. If based in the office, then hours are usually 9am to 5pm. However, much of the time will be spent visiting clients on farms or estates, which could mean early starts and late finishes, as clients can be spread over a wide area. Some travel to auctions and meetings will also be required. A driving licence will be useful.

What does it take to become a Rural Property Surveyor?

Rural property surveyors should:

  • have good analytical skills
  • have good IT skills, particularly for mapping projects
  • be able to assess the economic viability of different land uses, crops and animal breeds
  • have excellent communication skills for dealing with people at all levels
  • be diplomatic, with good negotiating skills
  • be able to analyse and present statistical information
  • be able to manage projects
  • keep up to date with changes in UK and EU agricultural and land-use regulations.

Rural Property Surveyor Career Opportunities

Opportunities are excellent, as there is such a diverse range of specialisms undertaken by rural surveyors. Many work as consultants in private practice advising clients consisting of tenant farmers, smallholders, local authorities, government departments, lending institutions, insurance companies, or individual purchasers. A smaller number are employed exclusively to manage country estates.

Others act as land agents/factors, and are employed by individual landowners, public authorities or other land owning organisations such as the National Trust and national parks.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Rural Property Surveyor that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
Surveyor Court
Westwood Way
Tel: 0870 333 1600

Central Association of Agricultural Valuers
Market Chambers
35 Market Place
GL16 8AA

College of Estate Management
Tel: 0118 986 1101

Asset Skills
2 The Courtyard
48 New North Road
Helpline: 08000 567160