Google streetview helps with commercial EPC quotes

It can sometimes be quite hard to quote accurately for a commercial energy assessment. You want to be competitive. You don’t want to undersell yourself and devalue your service. But, of course, you’d like the work.

You receive an enquiry. You ask the usual questions; the address of the property, the type of building that it is – retail, industrial, office etc. Then comes the ‘big’ one. How big is it? What’s the total floor area? The answer comes. Erm, well, it’s got two floors, it’s a sort of house turned into a commercial building. Or you get it’s about 100sq metres, only to arrive on site and it’s three times that and you’ve quoted a fixed price. Some you win, some you lose eh? The client won’t pay you to come out and do a pre-survey just so that you can quote accurately.

Well, there’s a new tool on the web that’s already proving useful to me and other commercial energy assessors. It’s Google Streetview. It’s not national yet, but most major cities are there.

Open up a Google search page and tap in the postcode of the property. Click Maps at the top of the screen. Then if you see the little orange man, known as ‘pegman’, in the top left of the map window – you’re in luck! Google Streetview has photographed this area!

Now, click and drag pegman to the road you would like to view. You are instantly transported to that road. Now you can click on the arrows to move up and down the street, zoom in and out and rotate through 360 degrees.

Now, you have an external view of the property you have been asked to quote for. You can instantly see the type of building that it is and are better able to judge, firsthand, the approximate floor area of the property. You can even see how easy it might be to park there if your quote is accepted.

This is by no means a 100% foolproof system of quoting and the whole of the UK has not yet been included. As of 18 March 2009, the areas covered are London, Oxford, Cambridge, Nottingham, Derby, Sheffield, Leeds, Manchester, Bradford, Scunthorpe, Bristol, Norwich, Newcastle upon Tyne, Birmingham, Coventry, Liverpool, Southampton, York and more. But new places are being added all of the time. And it certainly can’t hurt to get an exterior of a property prior to quoting.

Google Streetview is certainly helping me quote more accurately. I might not win every job that I quote for. But for the jobs I do win, I know that I have priced using the most information available to me, without wasting time and money visiting the property just to provide an accurate quote. Of course, some properties are still larger than you expect. But using Google Streetview as a quotation assistant is certainly a step in the right direction.

Written by James Money.

One Response to “Google streetview helps with commercial EPC quotes”

  1. Emma Says:

    A really interesting article, certainly something we could consider for our business – thanks for the tip!

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