Land/property development and regeneration: graduate property specialism

Last updated: 25 Jan 2023, 13:38

Regenerating areas and developing land or property are and highly interconnected areas of work that directly affect surrounding populations.

Wooden roof trusses on a partially constructed building against a clear sky.

This is a career for those who like their workload varied and can juggle several projects simultaneously.

Land and property development refers to anything from creating a new home to rebuilding an office complex, while regeneration focuses on the impact of land development on society, environment and the economy. You can search for graduate jobs in property development by searching for property graduate schemes under the 'graduate jobs' tab above.

There are three distinct areas to development consultancy:

  • consultancy involves analysing opportunities as they arise (looking at the best use of the site with regards to its financial, social and environmental impact) and advising clients on them
  • agency is the buying and selling of development opportunities
  • direct development is the management of a site from acquisition to sale.

In many of the larger property firms, you’ll find that the planning teams are integrated into the property development team, as they will work on the planning applications for potential development. Planners are property developers too.

What’s involved in a graduate career in land/property development and regeneration?

Graduate property developers can expect to be involved in all aspects of developing a property portfolio, working with surveyors or directors in small groups to research the property market, appraise developments and prepare reports, maps and plans for clients. ‘I research what the markets are doing – what different occupiers are looking for and how different types of properties are valued,’ explains John Dimbleby, an assistant in DTZ’s development consulting team. ‘I also get involved with agency – I’m currently looking after an acquisition on behalf of a public sector body that is looking to set up new education colleges in redundant office buildings.’

Client contact by phone and email is a big part of the job, as is frequent travel to sites and client meetings. Claire Davies, another assistant consultant in DTZ’s development consulting team, spends a lot of time on the phone to local authorities, clients, architects, specialist consultants and lawyers, and attends client meetings.

Would a job in land/property development and regeneration suit me?

This is a career for those who like their workload varied and can juggle several projects simultaneously. Effective teamwork and organisational skills are a must, especially when you consider that some projects take years to complete successfully. Patient, analytical people with lateral thinking skills are best suited to work in this area. A genuine interest in, and knowledge of, development and regeneration is also essential when working with clients and drafting accurate reports.

‘A broad range of skills and knowledge are needed in property development,’ says Claire. ‘You need to have good report-writing skills, to have an understanding of design principles and of the property market, and to be confident in client meetings and when you go out on site.’

Essential skills for a graduate career in land development and regeneration

  • Willingness to work on long-term projects
  • Organisation and the ability to juggle competing priorities
  • Communication skills (both in writing and in person)
  • The ability to think laterally
  • An interest in changing people’s living environments.

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