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Lots of people in the commercial property industry have followed family members into the career – perhaps more than in some other jobs. Surveying, as it is studied in Higher Education, has no precursor at school: there is no subject of ‘surveying’ and where students who do well at physics may go on to do engineering, there is not necessarily a direct link between subjects studied at school and a career as a surveyor. Hence, many people who become surveyors – whether of the agent kind or the quantity kind – have an ‘inside knowledge’: a family member who does the job, perhaps.
Like all jobs, there are certain traits which allow for a successful career in surveying – although to an extent the branch of surveying you choose may depend on what traits you have. It goes without saying that an understanding of the technical side is essential, no matter what area you choose, but if you look at the field of surveying as a ‘tree’, it is easy to identify the different roles that different sectors of the career play in the larger ‘field’ of surveying. For example, if we look at the ‘trunk’ of the tree as the surveying business as a whole, then where the branch meets the trunk is where the technical types sit. These are the building consultancy surveyors and the quantity surveyors. They undertake the difficult and technically challenging work of pre- and mid-construction calculations and later valuations and appraisals. They provide the strength to the branches.
Then, the branches themselves, which spread out further, are akin to agents. These are colourful, social people: where salesperson meets professional. A successful agent will have a confidence as to where he or she fits into the whole structure and how the structure works together in a way to bring his or her client the best service and result.
Sally Brough is Associate Director at Morgan Pryce: “While there is to a certain extent a ‘type’ of person who becomes a property agent, actually the reality is that the industry is populated with a variety of ambitious and knowledgeable people who want to do their best for their clients. It’s certainly a career I am delighted to have chosen, although I had no family background in it.”
The branches of the property tree cross over and entwine where relationships are formed between agents from different companies and circles. It’s a growing industry.
Morgan Pryce is a specialist tenant acquisition agent with offices in Oxford Circus and the City. Morgan Pryce specialises in search, negotiation and project management and works exclusively for tenants.