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Estate Agent Speech Recognition “Takes Pressure Off” Manning Stainton Surveyors

Residential Surveyor at Manning Stainton Surveyors, Chris Andrews, talks to us about the businesses transition to using an approved estate agent speech recognition software: Dragon Professional Group.

  • Manning Stainton is an estate agent with 19 branches in and around the Leeds area.
  • They have been in business for over 20 years and offer services in mortgages, conveyancing, new homes, auctions and, surveys.
  • The team won Best Estate Agent in the UK in 2019, 2020 and 2021.
  • Before working with VoicePower, the team were using digital dictation and their admin team were responsible for transcribing them manually.
  • The admin team were also responsible for various other tasks including sales, however, due to the demand of the transcription, they often wouldn’t have time for anything else.
  • This, in turn, had a knock-on effect on the rest of the team and ultimately began affecting customer service.
  • The team have embraced Dragon Professional Group speech recognition software.
  • The surveyors can now dictate their own notes so that all the admin team needs to do is proofread and distribute it. This has freed up their time to focus on sales and generate new business.
  • Speech recognition has also sped up Manning Stainton’s valuation rationales and pre-purchase survey process.
  • They are now exploring the new cloud-based version: Dragon Professional Anywhere.

About Manning Stainton Surveyors


Awarded The Best Estate Agent in the UK in 2019, 2020, and 2021, Manning Stainton offers a surveying service and prioritises offering an excellent service to their clients. Having been in the business for over 20 years, the firm has 19 branches in and around the Leeds area.

Residential Surveyor at Manning Stainton Surveyors, Chris Andrews, talks to us about the business’s transition to using an approved estate agent speech recognition software: Dragon Professional Group.

Documentation Takes Over

For many years Manning Stainton Surveyors had been using a digital dictation workflow whereby the surveyors would record their notes and the admin team would transcribe them into a physical document.

However, the admin team had other tasks associated with their role such as sales and inquiries. The team found that the demand for typing jobs superseded the capacity of the admin team.

This meant that they no longer had time to generate new business and prioritise inquires as the transcription was too time-consuming.

“The sales side of the role fell down the pecking order and it was usually left to the surveyors to deal with inquiries for valuations and pre-purchase surveys. This was resulting in a higher workload for the surveyors, and it was having a knock-on effect on the quality of service we were providing our private clients.”Chris Andrews, Residential Surveyor

Furthermore, this process would become more strained when annual leave and staff absences occurred. It was at this point that Manning Stainton knew there must be a better and more efficient way of working.



Logo: Nuance Dragon Professional Group in grey and blue text Estate Agent Speech Recognition

Relieving the Pressure

Chris and his team began exploring the various workflow technologies on the market and reached out to The Speech Recognition People, VoicePower Ltd.

Manning Stainton relayed their struggles to the VoicePower team and highlighted what they wanted their new workflow to achieve and the requirements it must meet.

After taking all of the above into account, VoicePower recommended an approved estate agent speech recognition software called Dragon Professional Group – This was the primary version back in 2018 when Manning Stainton reached out.

“Dragon has taken the pressure off the support team, lessening the amount of dictation they deal with, enabling them to develop the sales side of the business without having to increase our staffing numbers.”Chris Andrews, Residential Surveyor

As the name suggests, a benefit of Dragon Professional Group is the option to have numerous users within one organisation – This was particularly beneficial for Manning Stainton and their various surveyors.

“Speech recognition has improved the efficiency of our surveyors. We can now dictate reports and SCT rationales quickly and effectively.”Chris Andrews, Residential Surveyor



The VoicePower support team (two males and one female) smiling in navy branded polo t-shirts. Estate Agent Speech Recognition

Support = Success

Straight off the bat Chris and his team appreciated the importance of expert input and knowledge throughout the rollout. Manning Stainton opted for VoicePower’s technical support and training package to ensure that their team had the best start possible.

“Having the training sessions really benefited us as we were able to learn about shortcuts and other ways of making the software work for us. The team at VoicePower are very patient and the training sessions are straightforward and easy to get a handle on (no technical jargon!)”Chris Andrews, Residential Surveyor

As Chris explained above, training with VoicePower is more than being told what to click and when to click it, it is more like the configuration of each license to streamline its use.

Our trainers work closely with teams on a 1-2-1 basis to look at their workload, and their daily tasks and advise how Dragon can integrate with that and ultimately make it quicker and easier.

“The best example to come from the training is the use of Macros which improved the efficiency with which we can produce valuation rationales on SCT’s. It’s particularly useful for clients who audit our valuation rationales as it ensures that no key elements are omitted. It’s also enabling us to quickly incorporate standard phrases into our pre-purchase surveys.”Chris Andrews, Residential Surveyor

It wasn’t just the training that the team found useful, Chris also expressed the importance of technical support as well.

Available Mon – Fri, 9 am – 5 pm, for unlimited queries and support through email, telephone and remote connection, the team had great things to say about the service:

“Knowing that we have technical support available is also beneficial, particularly as we look to update and improve our IT systems. It is good to know that if we have technical issues, or need to know how to use a particular feature, we can contact VoicePower who are always available at short notice.”Chris Andrews, Residential Surveyor

As well as being knowledgeable and helpful, Chris speaks highly of VoicePower’s customer service and in confirming that they are “incredibly friendly and professional.”

Logo: Nuance Dragon Professional Anywhere in grey and blue text Estate Agent Speech Recognition

New Version, New Potential

After 4 years of using Dragon Professional Group, VoicePower made Manning Stainton aware of a new cloud-based version that would offer them more flexibility – It is called Dragon Professional Anywhere.

DPA is easier to Install, offers unrestricted use on various PCs and has a smartphone app which has all of the same functionality as the desktop version. It also has a usage reporting facility so that management teams can monitor the activity of their teams – This is incredibly useful when calculating the ROI and success of the technology.

VoicePower set up Chris’ colleague James Armitage with a free trial of this new version so that they could see the differences in the versions.

For team members like James, who is always out of the office, and on-site and needs to continue working, Dragon Professional Anywhere is proving to be a godsend.

The trial period is still ongoing at present, but we can’t wait to hear what Manning Stainton Surveyors think of the latest estate agent speech recognition offering.

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