macdonald and company
macdonald and company

What now for Real Estate Graduates?

Posting date: 4 November 2020
Calum Moylan our consultant managing the role

How has the pandemic hit graduate real estate roles?

Last year we visited students from Oxford Brookes OBREMS to guide them through the best way to prepare for the time-consuming process of job searching and kickstarting their Real Estate careers. The difference between then and now? In today’s market - more than ever - those preparations we advised need to be scaled up. 

Over the past several months, we’ve all experienced new challenges, particularly those entering the world of a new job search. It is increasingly challenging for those who are entering the real estate industry, and as we all know it’s incredibly competitive. With increased numbers of candidates and fewer consultancies recruiting, we have noticed a huge spike in graduates registering with our Real Estate Services Team

Historically we’d receive around 20-25 graduate applications per position we’ve listed. Now we’re receiving in excess of 40-45.

Is there still an appetite to hire and train for junior roles?

Real Estate consultancies are still recruiting! 

Only last week we had a small consultancy approach our team to appoint two new hires. They were keen to use our video platform we'd launched to find the best graduates for their business. 

They hired within a week of interviewing.

It may be a tendency to only look at the big consultancy’s (such as Savills, JLL, Knight Frank etc), however, there are many more SME/PropCo’s out there that will offer APC support and provide you a great boost starting your career. The benefits of working for a smaller practice is the potential for a lot more exposure to other disciplines and other areas in the business. This is great for scoping the spectrum of roles available in our industry when starting out.

There are without doubt examples whereby companies are securing well-qualified candidates at ‘lower than average’ industry salaries. This is clearly a sign of the supply of candidates in the market and where candidates need to be open-minded when considering other benefits versus opportunities over the salary alone. 

Which sectors are hiring graduates now?

In terms of discipline, Property Management is where the greatest level of demand is. From consultancies to PropCo’s, we have been instructed on a number of requirements since March at graduate level in these sectors. We’ve also recently been instructed by a residential investment company, who were looking for a graduate to help research and generate new leads, ultimately leading to the purchase of new properties. 

In terms of asset classes, the growing sectors in this pandemic (and most buoyant areas with greater demand for talent) are Industrial & Logistics, Health/ Senior Living and Data Centres. 

Is it worth getting additional industry qualifications?

Absolutely. As an estimate, roughly 90% of the positions the Real Estate Services team recruit for reference that having a RICS accreditation is desirable, if not essential. We recommend (where possible) joining an organisation that can support you through your APC. That being said, in a challenging jobs market you may wish to weigh that up against not securing a position. Be cautious yet calculated in the opportunities you wish to pursue. 

Our recent rewards and attitudes survey found that excluding a degree, 50.4% of real estate professionals hold industry qualifications.

89% of UK respondents say the greatest benefit of a RICS qualification is to get professional accreditation, and 51% say it provides them with greater networking opportunities.

What other skills can add value to my CV and help stand out to hiring managers and recruiters?

Those that can refer to gaining work experience certainly stand out. It shows a real drive and desire to enter the world of Real Estate, it is also immediately apparent which candidates are more familiar with their desired discipline.

No matter how big or small, adding your achievements to your CV is always beneficial. Whether that be from a University project or some work experience you may have had, it shows a potential employer how you stand out from the crowd.

It may be time-consuming but ensure that you tailor your CV for each application that you make. Ensure your interest in the role comes across in your profile section.

If you’re actively looking and wishing to get into real estate then register for alerts and get in touch with one of our specialist teams. We can talk through the market and what you need to do to ensure you are best placed to position yourself competitively against your peers. 

- Alex Moore, Director - Real Estate Services Team
Alex Moore

How can I begin networking in the industry?

Hopefully (and as mentioned above), you’ll have gained some work experience before you’ve graduated. But if you haven’t then now is the time to be proactive and constant engagement is key. 

Make LinkedIn work for you, be that sharing, commenting, and liking updates. Read specialist content, join regular webinars and online networking hubs. There are numerous virtual events going on that you can participate in. Are you following companies you’re interested in on LinkedIn? Are you following the appropriate hashtags and joining the groups that are relevant to the areas you wish to focus your search? 

Extra-curricular or efforts to attend industry events will also help, e.g. JLL Property Triathlon, CBRE Property Bike Ride, ELIFAR Foundation Challenge (though we appreciate many of these may be on hold for a while longer). 

Get your name out there, start a blog or podcast with your fellow graduates and talk about your interests in Real Estate and any industry updates you may have seen through the market. 

All of these put together will help you connect and engage with the Real Estate community. 

I've got the job! What now?

Starting any new job is always testing and a challenge, never mind in a global pandemic. Where possible, ask to arrange an informal face to face or zoom social meetup with your immediate team. Most people are very open to e-meeting as we’ve had to embrace technology so quickly.  

Use it as an opportunity to get a feel for the culture, find others at a similar level, find your mentor, learn about their current projects and goals etc. Get details on their personal development plans, who else is chartered within the firm (if they are providing APC support), what their immediate plans are during COVID and what will they be doing over the next 6-12 months; Have they got other clients in the pipeline? Are they looking to further invest in their portfolio?

What can I start today?

If you’re actively looking and wishing to get into real estate then register for alerts and get in touch with one of our specialist teams. We can talk through the market and what you need to do to ensure you are best placed to position yourself competitively against your peers. 

Accelerating Careers in Real Estate


Have you listened to our Accelerating Careers in Real Estate series? 

Hear the insightful career journeys from some of the big names in the industry. They share their challenges, achievements, and how they reached the top. 

Graduates in Real Estate

Subscribe to RE:MAIL 

By subscribing, you are agreeing to receive weekly email content from Macdonald & Company.

Related blogs

Would you like to upload a:

CV VACANCY