As a project manager within the property sector you will be working on behalf of a client and could be overseeing a project from start to finish – or at any point in between. This involves commissioning and managing a design team, preparing employer requirement documents, obtaining tenders from contractors, acting as contract administrator, and managing the delivery of the project.
What can graduates expect from a job managing property projects?
Most project managers work on several projects simultaneously, depending on size and complexity, with some larger projects running for three years or more. It is possible to specialise in a particular sector, such as sport, residential, corporate fit-out and new build, and public contracts. It is important to develop a core of transferable skills. As a graduate starting out you will get a lot of site experience, which is a good way of increasing your practical knowledge quickly. You will also spend time in the office carrying out day-to-day project management roles. There will also be a fair amount of client interface at meetings.
Which kinds of graduates does project management suit?
Project management requires a broad base of skills: good management and communication skills and client care as well as the more practical tasks involved in site-based work. Building Surveying provides a good background for project management, in particular, as it gives you the skills to understand the production process and run projects effectively. It's exciting to work with high profile clients on complex projects, and there are excellent opportunities for those who can handle high levels of responsibility early on.
Essential skills for graduate property project managers
- willingness to take on high levels of responsibility
- the ability to work on different aspects of a project simultaneously
- confidence when working with prestigious or wealthy clients