The property industry is a bustling, exciting place in which to work. As an ever-changing market, sprinkled with new legislation, developments and challenges, you can be guaranteed that no two days will ever be the same, regardless of your role.
It’s that vitality which prompts so many people to consider a career within the property industry. In addition, the sector offers progression and good reward for hard work, offering roles suitable for all levels of experience – from a school leaver to a company director. Importantly, it’s a sector that values personality, tenacity and drive.
At first glance, interested parties might be forgiven for thinking that the sector comprises nothing but estate agents, but they are far from the truth. There is a wide variety of roles available within the property industry, of which the following is just an overview:
Estate agency job description
Roles that fall under this category encompass the sale and letting of residential or commercial properties situated in the UK or overseas. Sales negotiators (as they’re officially termed) are the people who will handle a new property, liaising with the vendors and viewers. Lettings negotiators will seek new rental business and manage the letting process, find tenants and communicate with landlords. Negotiators typically have targets to meet and will be required to work some weekends, but they are usually well compensated. Local knowledge is essential, as are confidence and great presentation skills.
Property management job description
Property management covers the letting and operating of a property on behalf of a landlord. This might be a student house or an office block. A property manager would be someone who knows about the legalities associated with letting but also manages the day-to-day running, from building maintenance and facilitating repairs to attending meetings and responding to tenants’ queries. Therefore, the ability to communicate effectively is imperative.
Planning and development jobs
Under this banner are myriad roles and while it’s difficult to summarise them together, all are key for the inception of a development. These include project management, surveying, sustainability, planning applications, design and strategic planning. The professionally qualified job holders influence the initial stages of a plan and often see it through to its completion, working as part of, or leading, a team. Attention to detail and the ability to work to deadlines are just two of the competencies necessary for planning and development roles.
Land job description
Commercial awareness and persuasion skills are crucial for those seeking land jobs. Whether it’s identifying and appraising land for redevelopment, negotiating acquisitions or facilitating disposals, land professionals will drive a project with help from an impressive cache of contacts and their own outstanding relationship-building skills. Typically employed by a house builder, they might be called upon to liaise with legal representatives, vendors and planners.
Finance roles within the property industry
There are financial positions available within the property industry, you ask? Absolutely and once again, they vary substantially. Credit controllers, accountants, asset management specialists, loan associates and investment managers are a few of the roles on offer to those with the requisite qualifications and experience. Their collective responsibilities might extend to managing property portfolios, underwriting, producing financial statements, handling transactions and keeping up to date with industry regulations. Proactivity, great customer service and analytical skills are desirable for such positions.
Head office support / operations role descriptions
Every company requires a back office team of experts who can effectively keep the machine well-oiled. These are the people who manage compensation, employee relations, administration and vital development, to name but a few tasks. Looking after the people who work in the property industry, these functions include payroll, human resources and training. Many of the experts who work within these areas will have a professional qualification, but it’s possible to work your way up. There’s something extremely satisfying about knowing your work has improved someone’s prospects and/or abilities to perform their job. The support /operations teams are the vital cogs around which the rest of the business revolves.
Job roles for graduates and trainees
Those that are just starting out and possess a burning ambition could do really well in the property industry. Many top estate agencies and other property-related firms seek promising graduates or trainees, keen to provide them with a proper grounding in the industry. The successful trainees will usually receive comprehensive on the job training, typically with a view to their becoming a sales negotiator. Talented trainees can go far and have the potential to earn a significant income, provided they are personable, out-going and have a decent dose of common sense – and it’s these characteristics which are often viewed more important than previous experience.
Of course, each individual role has its own responsibilities and specific requirements which are too numerous to detail here. What the above should demonstrate, ultimately, is that the property industry comprises far more roles than first thought, offering individuals a long, illustrious and extremely rewarding career.