Real Estate & Property
The real estate and property industry play a significant role in the the UK’s economy. First thoughts might have you thinking it’s all about showing people around houses or apartments who are looking to buy, but it stretches way beyond the residential market.
When you start to explore the industry more, you’ll see some core segments and multiple career pathways within those segments. The key ones to consider are:
- Residential Properties
- Industrial Properties
- Office & Business Properties
- Hotel & Leisure Properties
- Retail & Warehousing Properties
- Niche & Specialised Properties
Aside from property management, there are several key sectors that exist across this industry, including:
- Professional Services, such as pest control, trades maintenance, and engineering
- Architectural Design
- Property Law
Every segment requires a comprehensive understanding of property and solid knowledge of the laws and legislations that apply across real estate.
Regardless of sector, retail and property agents hold the responsibility to act legally on behalf of their clients and ensure that everything meets legal and legislative requirements.
Careers across real estate and property can be highly rewarding and lucrative, but it also tends to be a very competitive field. Whether meeting with potential clients, conducting open houses, or negotiating with buyers and sellers, agents in all parts of the industry are required to engage and impress people consistently. The ability to develop strong relationships and build a reputation for being knowledgeable, efficient, and trustworthy will go a long way for those wanting to build a successful career.
Entry into the sector is as varied as the roles available, so no matter what academic pathway you choose to pursue, there’ll be an opportunity to start with a real estate and property career.
What You Could Do
Job roles in the industry are varied, with many opportunities to grow a career through entry-level positions and gain industry-accredited qualifications as you grow professionally.
Here’s a look at some of the top jobs you could pursue:
- Residential Sales Agent: Residential sales agents help clients source and purchase residential properties. Clients are usually individuals, couples or families, looking to buy a home for personal living. They need to have strong knowledge of the process and legalities in purchasing residential properties to provide their clients with the best advice and guidance. They also need to have strong local knowledge (such as access to schools, commutes, and crime rates) to source properties that meet clients’ needs.
- Commercial Sales Agent: Commercial sales agents have a similar role as residential agents, focusing on commercial properties such as office buildings, retail, or industrial properties. They take on client needs and source properties that best match. Other duties include conducting visits to properties with clients, promoting services, handling negotiations, contracts and ensuring the process of purchasing is as smooth as possible for everyone involved.
- Property Auctioneer: Property auctioneers are responsible for conducting the sales of various properties by taking offers from buyers and accepting the highest purchase price. You can work as a property auctioneer without formal qualifications. However, you’ll need excellent real estate knowledge and customer service skills, so qualifications in real estate practice, property service, and business may be helpful.
- Property Manager: Property managers are usually responsible for a portfolio of properties they look after on behalf of clients. These might be residential rentals or commercial building leases. In addition, they oversee business operations of properties and commercial entities, including advertising, collecting rent, screening tenants, and organising maintenance or repairs.
- Business Broker: Business brokers play a vital role in helping clients determine whether the property they want to purchase is right for them. They assess potential buyers’ needs, locates businesses for consideration, and offers valuations and advice for buying and selling businesses and/or properties. They may arrange finance, land brokerage, conveyancing, and maintenance of business premises.
These job roles are only just scratching the surface!
Each industry segment will also include administrative and other support functions, including marketing, communications, human resources, graphic design and accounting.
A degree isn’t essential for every career pathway in the sector, but pursuing a degree can help you gain the knowledge and theory you’ll need to get started.
Some universities offer degrees in Real Estate & Property Management degrees teach students to oversee residential, commercial, or industrial real estate.
The Graduates Outcome Survey tracks graduate employment across different industry sectors. Here’s a look at some degrees that could be a great starting point for this industry:
- Business and Management Graduates in full-time employment: 74.3%
- Business and Management Graduates in employment overall: 86.4%
Keep in mind that this doesn’t account for graduates working part-time and/or who may have continued to higher studies; these are promising percentages!
*Figures from 2020 survey results.
The gender split across the industry depends on the segment of the sector you work within, but it’s relatively evenly split across the industry:
Salaries can be pretty varied, with lower expectations for entry-level roles. Salaries are also determined by several factors, including:
- The segment of the industry you work within.
- Your job title and seniority.
- The amount of experience you have.
Location, some rural areas may pay less than roles in main cities.
Employment across various segments of the industry increased significantly between 2000 and 2019. The highest employment areas are within architectural and technical services, real estate services, and support services such as pest control and cleaning.
Even considering the COVID-19 pandemic, there is strong growth in opportunities expected in all the above industries between 2019 and 2024. The most significant demand for employees is expected to be within the architectural and technical services segment of the industry.
Some of the top in-demand skills across the industry include communication and customer service skills, attention to detail, planning and organisational skills, and building effective relationships.
Qualifications and Entry Pathways
Entry pathways are varied and will depend heavily on the type of role you want to get into.
You can pursue many roles in the sector through:
- Scoring an apprenticeship or traineeship: You can start a school-based apprenticeship or traineeship from Yr 9 and work to gain industry-specific qualifications alongside your certificate of education and work experience.
- Work experience once you leave school: If you leave school at 16, you can apply for work experience and school-leaver programs in entry-level positions and work your way up over time. Many of these organisations will also support you to gain further professional qualifications. You’ll need a robust skill set and good grades in Maths and English as a minimum.
Requirements will depend on the type of role you want and the company – so make sure you do some research.
Whatever your circumstances, grades or preferred way forward – there’s a qualification pathway that will work for you.