How Chartered Surveyors identify their best clients

13 February 2024


In the world of professional services, particularly among Chartered Surveyors, understanding your client base is essential for success.

Yet, many firms struggle to pinpoint their most profitable clients and as a result waste valuable resource and limit potential growth.

In this article we look at the challenges around identifying your best clients, the impact of not doing so effectively, and the best approach to correcting the situation.

The Challenge

So, do you truly know who your most profitable clients are? Without this insight, determining where to focus marketing efforts or allocate resources effectively becomes a daunting task. Relying solely on gut instinct or contract values is inadequate in today’s competitive landscape. Without concrete data on client relationships, firms risk inefficient strategies and missed opportunities for growth.

The Impact

The repercussions of not understanding your client base extend beyond mere missed opportunities. You might end up over-servicing certain clients while inadvertently neglecting others with greater potential. This oversight not only diminishes profitability but also threatens long-term business sustainability.

The Approach

To tackle this challenge head-on, Chartered Surveyors must adopt a systematic approach to evaluate client profitability. The first step is to define the key criteria for measurement and have an accurate way of recording it.

Here are some example criteria that we recommend:

  1. Contract Value: While contract value is important, it’s not the sole indicator of profitability. For instance, a large commercial property valuation may yield immediate revenue, but smaller residential projects could lead to long-term engagements if clients are satisfied.
  2. Lifetime Value (LTV): Calculating LTV involves considering repeat business and referrals. A developer who engages the firm for various services can represent a high LTV due to ongoing projects and referrals within the industry.
  3. Cost of Acquisition: Analysing the cost of acquiring new clients helps identify effective marketing channels and strategies. For example, attending industry events might yield higher-quality leads than online advertising.
  4. Cost of Sale: This metric encompasses expenses associated with delivering services, including personnel and technology investments. Detailed valuation reports or surveys may require specialised equipment and skilled personnel, contributing to the overall cost.

Having set the criteria, you then need a way of efficiently measuring and recording this information. We recommend using CRM software because the information is stored in a central location, it is easy for all staff members update and manage, and it can visualise the data into useful reports that you can act on.

If you don’t have a CRM and want some help on what to choose, then please see our blog Top 20 considerations to help choose the right CRM.

The final step is to identify your most profitable and unprofitable clients and group them by shared characteristics such as project type, location and industry sector. It is then a case of allocating your focus and resources to the most profitable clients types and reducing effort on chasing the unprofitable ones.


Working smarter is paramount for sustainable growth. By adopting a systematic approach to evaluate client profitability, defining key measurement criteria, and leveraging efficient tools like CRM software, you can identify your most profitable clients and projects. You can then focus your sales and marketing efforts accordingly and maximise your opportunities.

Your journey to smarter business starts here.

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