Business Case Studies

How to start a career in the UK property sector

Working in property and property development is an exciting opportunity. Not only does it offer you the chance to build a career which has the potential to be very lucrative, it’s also an interesting and dynamic part of the UK economy in which to work and progress. This post will explore what the major options are if you’re seeking to enter the industry.

Work for a company

Perhaps you’re a recent school leaver, or you’re about to graduate from university. For those who are starting at the bottom of the career ladder, joining a company is a great way to dip your toe into the property world. There are lots of property jobs you can take at development firms and estate agencies that do not demand a host of qualifications, and you may be able to train for some roles – such as becoming a letting agent– on the job.

For some property jobs, like building surveyor roles, you will need a specific qualification, but for many, you can often join provided you have a good work ethic and are adaptable and flexible. It’s wise to get as much experience as possible: if you’re able to work in a local property developer or estate agent’s office over the university summer break, for example, that will stand you in good stead.

Private developer

One of the major advantages of the property sector, though, is its large number of entry points. For those who have substantial capital behind them, becoming a private property developer is perhaps the most appealing option. Buying some building land is the first step towards this: by working hard to secure planning permission to construct new properties, it’s possible for some people to craft a property development career of their own without being associated with a firm. An alternative approach is to buy properties in need of renovation, bringing them up to modern standards and then putting them on the market to sell at a profit.

There are, of course, many hurdles to overcome. You’ll need to make sure you locate your properties in a place where there’s demand for housing, and you’ll also need to ensure that they’ll be regulation-savvy as well as profitable. All of this requires financial skills, so you need to ensure you’re well-versed financially. Many individuals who have been successful in this sector also have a financial background. When it comes to housing, Brian Weal used his knowledge and experience in the financial sector when he set up Glasgow-based Swan Holdings Group, and many other housing entrepreneurs have done the same.

The property sector is a great place to build a career. One of the attractions for many young people is the way in which anyone can join: from jobs in offices at estate agencies to self-starting entrepreneurs who build their own developments; there’s an opportunity for everyone at all levels. By getting some experience and ensuring that you’re switched-on when it comes to financial planning, there are lots of ways that you can get ahead and carve out an amazing career for yourself in this sector.