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Working in property agency

Agency: graduate property specialism

Property agents advise on the acquisition, development and disposal of property and negotiate the best deals for their clients.

Agency teams are responsible for acquiring or disposing of property for clients – either those looking to buy/rent a property or those looking to sell it or let it. Agency surveyors advise clients and then act on the client’s instructions. The work includes providing marketing strategies and valuations to clients.

There are areas of specialism within agency work: for example, within commercial agency you could work on shopping centres, high streets, restaurants or supermarkets. It’s a varied area that will bring you into contact with a wide range of people and organisations: you could work with both landlords (developers and investors) and tenants (occupiers), and alongside colleagues at all levels and in a number of departments within your firm.

What can a property graduate expect from agency work?

Graduates within this area often take on a lot of responsibility right from the start. This can include anything from producing marketing reports to negotiating deals and managing their own projects. It’s also hands-on and you’ll spend plenty of time out of the office; for instance, you could be measuring properties, producing marketing information, speaking to agents and even negotiating deals.

You’ll also be working closely with other departments (such as valuation, rent review and investment) so that you can provide detailed information to your client. Difficult market conditions affect retail agency just as they do other sectors of the property industry; for example, you may have to deal with retailers going into administration. On the plus side, your work could make a difference to people’s surroundings.

Who would agency work suit?

This discipline is especially suited to outgoing, personable people with entrepreneurial and organisational skills. You’ll need to be happy working with a variety of people – if you consider yourself to be primarily technically minded then this may not be the sector for you. As with roles throughout the industry, you will need strong negotiating skills and keen commercial awareness. Agents serve as the public face of their firms: a challenging but exciting prospect that requires a wide range of knowledge and contacts.

Essential skills for graduates hoping to work in agency

  • Commercial awareness
  • Willingness to get out of the office
  • The ability to build and maintain professional relationships

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