The Tennessee Board of Examiners for Land surveyors set forth rules and guidelines, governing the licensing of land surveyors. As long as a person meets the requirements and continues to follow the rules, he or she can be a Registered Land Surveyor in Tennessee.
If there is no ranking, how is someone supposed to pick a surveyor? Are you supposed to look in the phone book? Do you look them up online? If you do, how do you know if they are reputable?
There are very few land surveyors listed in the like of Angie’s List and Superpages. Anyone can get themselves listed, they just may not be able to control the reviews. Unfortunately, the average person only posts reviews if there is a problem. Still, how does one know if they are getting what they expect.
If you were hiring someone like a nanny or housekeeper, you would ask for references. You would interview them. You wouldn’t base you entire decision on how much they charged or when they could get the job done.
More surveyors are hired because of just this, when and how much. Most people don’t talk to their potential surveyor more then to ask those questions. Surveying is an are as much as a science. There is a lot of speculation in what a surveyor does. How he or she “decides” on how to interpret the evidence can affect the outcome of a survey. Don’t you think that you should invest a bit more time finding out about your potential “judge, jury, and executioner”?
If you don’t have prior experience with a surveyor, you need to ask around before hiring. Ask friends and neighbors. If they don’t know one, then ask a real estate person. Look for a sign in or near your neighborhood. Call them and ask who they use. If you still have no luck, find a title company in your area and ask them. People who work with surveyors on a regular basis can better direct you to a reputable one.
Many people think that the bigger the firm, the better the service. Unless you are a giant company with gargantuan needs, you would probably be best served by an individual surveyor over a large firm. Small companies tend to see every client as important. A small job for the independent surveyor might make up a large portion of his or her money for the week. A small client can be as important as a large one and therefore gets equal attention. Large companies, especially ones that base most of their business on engineering typically charge more for less.
When you call a small firm, you stand a good chance of talking directly to the surveyor. When someone calls my company (me), I talk to them and work out what is best for them. I listen to their needs. I spend all the time needed to understand and to be understood. I like to believe that this is indicative of a small firm.
No matter how you go about it, research your potential surveyor. Ask him or her for references. Any good surveyor will be willing to give them to you. If they act indignant or hesitant, then call someone else. We all watch those DIY shows and hear the horror stories of bad contractors. Surveyors are contractors too. Check ’em out.