Emirates Home Magazine Article June 2010 Inspiring Individual

Douglas Ralph,
Managing Director, Snag & Inspect

Emirates-Home-Magazine-Article---June-2010_1You’ve worked on four continents – what initially brought you to Dubai?
While working in Macau, China, a developer with the DubaiLand project had heard about me through a friend. The developer flew to Macau to meet with me for a position within his company as the head of his theme park rides group.Emirates-Home-Magazine-Article—June-2010 The meeting went well and I was offered the job, almost seven years ago. Just before the ground-breaking to kick off DubaiLand the project was put on hold, and with it my new position. From all the research I had done on Dubai and being tired of China I started looking for other companies in Dubai that could use my background. The Jumeirah Group flew me out for an interview and from that trip on I was sold on Dubai as a country that offered wide opportunities with a very diverse culture.

What motivated you to set up Snag & Inspect?
The idea for the company started in Macau. I saw the benefit for the services that Snag & Inspect offers as something needed in Dubai soon after arriving here, but felt the time was not right with developers and owners reselling properties so fast. With the economy downturn owners are now looking at keeping villas and apartments longer. This is where I saw a need for an inspection service to help them ensure they are receiving new property in the best possible shape with a full understanding of what they are receiving and/or purchasing.

What is the most common problem or snag you encounter in a day’s work?
It’s interesting how you can judge by the contractor what kind of problems we will see in inspections. We have found each contractor has it’s own strengths and weaknesses. In general I would say water leaks, AC fan coil units maintainability, window seals are all common issues.

What do you enjoy most about what you do?
I enjoy helping clients understand the condition of the property they are buying. I look at each inspection like we are a CSI Team (Crime Scene Investigation). We investigate and indicate the reason for the problem giving solutions when we can.

What have you learned from setting up business in the UAE?
Be patient.

What advice can you give to property owners who are buying/acquiring their first property here?
Don’t be in a rush, take your time to see your property, get a professional inspector to make a report for you or at least a person/friend who is good at it. Again take your time and be very thorough – look at everything and ask what, why, how about everything you think is not right.

How long does an inspection last with Snag&Inspect and what can individuals expect if they book one and what can individuals expect if they book one with you?
Normally for a two- bedroom apartment it takes two to four hours; the report can take up to six hours depending on the number of problems found. When booking an inspection with Snag & Inspect owners can expect a high quality timely service with professionals to identify the problems and who are ready to give solutions when possible to the problems found on site.

What is the most common misconception about inspections you have come across?
That inspections are not important. People are slowly understanding the value of inspections, right now it’s mostly Europeans and Westerners that are our clients as for them it is common in their countries.

We are dedicating this issue of Emirates Home to all things eco. How are you trying to be more ‘green’ at home and at work?
We add recommendations in our reports that clients can use to help make their homes greener and therefore safer for the family.

What makes a home for you?
A place that I can turn off my mind and just relax.

What is your greatest extravagance?
The sports car that a bus pulled out in front of turning it into a full right off!

What is your guilty pleasure?
Apple strudel and apple pie.

Your house is on fire, what do you grab?
Apart from my wife, my laptop, hard drive, mobile phones, passport and cat.

How do you relax?
I have three passions photography, driving something with lots of horsepower and tinkering on cars.