Traits of Quantity Surveyor

7 Traits of a QS

What exactly makes a great Quantity Surveyor? It’s certainly not just about the software that you use. A good Quantity Surveyor should possess a series of traits to set them apart from being average. In this post, we’ll explore seven of the most important. Traits are unique qualities or characteristics that embody and accurately differentiate you as an individual. These are your typical patterns of behaviour which encompass and influence your thoughts, temperament and emotions. The following attributes don’t exist by accident or luck; they need to be cultivated and integrated into your daily habits to ensure optimal yield. How many do you have?


The profound ability to articulate yourself in a concise manner is essential for the contemporary QS. Communication between relevant parties is crucial for a successful project delivery – especially in relation to the BIM workflow where collaboration is core. Miscommunication is typically a contributing factor to an elongated project along with wasted expenditure. With CostX, customisable reports allow you to convey key insights to non-technical stakeholders; furthermore, various data visualisation functions such as Ghost view, Revision overlay and Charts can be used to aid communication efforts.

Critical Thinking

The true value of a QS lies not in his/her ability to rapidly add, subtract or multiply figures; far from it. The esteemed QS more so has the ability to process critical thinking into decision making at crunch time. With CostX, you can examine different cost futures combined with the imminent “What If” scenario. Additionality you’re able to rely on a comprehensive audit trail: revision logs, undo button, comparison reports, and quantity sourcing to enable a swift and reliable response to impending offsets. Being responsive is a crucial feat in acquiring and retaining clients. Your clients need to be reassured that any issues will be resolved immediately before they move into terminal stage.

Attentive to detail (Meticulous)

A prerequisite to becoming a QS is to have an eye for detail. Being industriously attentive to detail enhances accuracy; diminishing room for errors. With digital takeoff packages like CostX, human error is greatly reduced through the aid of features such as “live links” and “revision overlay”, however, it is you who should capitalise on the tools and not rely on them totally. Vigilant supervision of detail constitutes to the overall success of a project. This reflects strongly on you and your company image, conclusively influencing the customer experience. As they say, it takes years to build a good reputation but just seconds to destroy it.

Composure (Working under pressure)

Being a QS means working to meet deadlines every day. Typically, a QS won’t have the luxury of working on a single project at one time. Duty calls and you will likely be juggling multiple projects simultaneously. Having the ability to stay composed permits you to tackle your work in prime condition; ensuring tasks are completed without compromising company standards. Being composed spans out to include being able to efficiently prioritise and evaluate your tasks concurrently, show commitment at every stage of your work and ultimately gives an underlying quality of perseverance. With a comprehensive software package, this can often be all the more easier to manage.


Quantity Surveyors must keep up with all figures, data, and paperwork if they are to give timely recommendations. You will need to whip out information instantaneously if you want to stay on top. It is essential for a QS to organise their work so that productivity is maximized. Today, Quantity Surveyors are playing an increasingly significant part in decision-making in projects, so being organised should really be part of your modus operandi. If you are using old-school systems or not using digital takeoff at all, then you will find yourself wasting time on the trivial things. CostX come with both BIM & 2D takeoff, integrated estimating spreadsheets, customisable reports, rate libraries and much more, making it the all-in-one estimating solution. The coherency from having everything seamlessly integrated into one software package strongly helps facilitate organisation.


Humility is about knowing your limits, and having the poise to welcome the strengths and perspectives of the people around you. In essence, humility is an asset for self-development where converting weaknesses into strengths is alleviated. Working within such a dynamic market scape, it is vital to embrace new knowledge and technology. Yet, humility may be the most difficult trait to acquire simply because we fear it at the same time as seek it – everyone wants to be humble and not to be humbled. One of the best way to think around this is not to think less of yourself, but to think of yourself less. Too often, one can become stuck on the pre-existing methods they were using as they are convinced that is the best way- but it is very important to always be open to new ways of working within your profession.

Team Orientated

Being a QS means not only polishing your numeracy skills, but your team building skills as well. Like any other job, teamwork delivers enhanced performance beyond the sheer sum of its members’ single contributions – also known as the synergy effect. With loads of construction documents to handle such as contract conditions, BOQs, tender schedules, subcontractor enquires and construction drawings, great teamwork facilitates the delegation of duties in accordance to individuals’ strength and weakness. This way, ones’ weaknesses can be minimized while leveraging on their strengths for improved efficiency and productivity. CostX network version allows multiple users to work on the same project simultaneously, with each persons’ computer updating automatically when a change is made. With clear delegation and teamwork, it’s the perfect way to ensure each team member can do their part and get the project finished in a record amount of time!

So how many of the above can you confidently tick off? Don’t fret if you haven’t scored full marks, traits can gradually be nurtured through determination and self-discipline. There are no proven short cuts in developing these traits, however, with the right tools such as CostX, you can start developing and rectifying your practises in aspiration to becoming a QS that is not only respected but also at the top of their game.