Jobs with property firms

Graduates can find jobs in specialist property firms including estate agents, auctioneers and valuers as well as consultants, construction or development companies, and property management.

Estate agents, auctioneers and valuers

Larger firms are generally structured on a departmental basis providing residential and commercial agency services. The work covers everything from single properties to major property deals and portfolio management. Different departments offer valuations, asset management and investment, professional and consultancy services, property development and property management. The smaller urban and rural firms tend to take a multidisciplinary approach to providing these services so you could be involved in any or all of these at one time.

Estate agents administer all aspects of property sales, acquisitions, valuations, rentals, property development and property management. You could be undertaking property valuations, preparing promotional literature and marketing properties, or negotiating and monitoring sales. A large proportion of the work involves liaison with clients and with organisations like mortgage companies and firms of solicitors.

In providing commercial services you will be involved with all real estate matters, including the valuation of property for various purposes such as market values, acquisition, sales, insurance, rent reviews, mortgage, taxation, rating and compulsory purchase. You will also be involved with the economic and marketing aspects of property investment and development, and with advising land owners, developers, lessees and investors in this area.

Entry requirements

Property graduates with SCS/RICS-accredited degrees are normally recruited to work in the commercial side of the business, where employers offer a well established structured training programme and a broad range of work experience to help you to achieve chartered status.

Entrants with ordinary (level 7) property degrees (in ROI) and HNCs and HNDs (in NI) usually start at the residential end, as well as graduates with non-cognate degrees in subjects such as business studies, construction studies, engineering and legal studies. Entry without a degree is also commonly possible in the residential sector.

Once in the workplace there are many opportunities to pursue your property qualifications and employers encourage and support this. Irrespective of where you start, you need to get a breadth of experience and explore as many areas of the business as you can to be successful in the long run.

Career development

There is good scope for progression to senior levels within the larger agencies, particularly for those who achieve chartered status. In residential and in smaller urban and rural agencies you can gain experience of selling different types of properties and land, and in lettings and property management, all of which will increase your promotion prospects from junior to senior sales negotiator.

Valuation consultants

Consultancies provide a comprehensive property valuation service for all types of property and development land. You could be working for a variety of clients including corporate companies, public and private companies, semi-state bodies, local authorities, pension funds and religious orders. Property professionals in this field, usually chartered surveyors, undertake instructions ranging from valuations of single properties to entire portfolios, covering all industry sectors.

Property construction and development companies

Property construction and development companies aim to identify and capitalise on investment and development opportunities in the property market. They are involved with property portfolios in all of the major sectors of the property market, including emerging markets overseas. Activities include researching new site developments, site appraisal and valuation, securing planning permission, managing major construction developments, and liaising with quantity surveyors, engineers and architects as part of the property development and management teams.

Property management companies

These companies manage residential and commercial property for property owners, landlords, individuals, funds and property companies.

Management of residential property for institutional and large-scale investors and landlords include apartment block management, apportionment and collection of service charges, payment of invoices, insurance advice, producing financial reports and general administration. You will also be liaising with auditors and advising the board of directors about lease agreements. Other services involve managing maintenance contracts (including cleaning and security services), health and safety, and liaising with local authorities.

Management of commercial property includes advising clients from the initial purchase and development to lease and company structures. You will also be involved with estate management including financial reports, asset management and day-to-day activities such as collection of rents, service charges, insurance and maintenance management.