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All About the property and planning industry

The property and planning industry is extremely diverse and will allow you to work closely with a number of experienced professionals that possess a wide range of skills and come from a variety of backgrounds

If you are looking for fast-paced work that can be challenging, exciting and unpredictable - a career in property  and planning could be just what you need.

The property  and planning industry is extremely diverse and will allow you to work closely with a number of experienced professionals that possess a wide range of skills and come from a variety of backgrounds.

There are plenty of opportunities for personal development, career progression and promotion in an industry where hard work is typically recognised and rewarded.

While opportunities in the property profession are often linked to the wider economy, the transferable skills property professionals gain through qualifications and experience allows you to move into other fields and job roles.

This is particularly true for customer service skills as property professionals must adapt to the demands of a more sophisticated, modern customer.

The property and planning industry covers both the private and public sectors and includes: acquiring, planning, surveying and valuing of commercial and residential property; plus valuing, selling, letting and managing of commercial and residential property.

Key facts:

  • The property and planning industry includes key areas of commercial and residential sales and lettings and property management.
  • There are 155,300 people working in the property industry in 37,200 companies.
  • There are significantly more full‐time than part‐time employees in the industry.
  • 96% of all housing and property organisations have 10 or less employees.

Jobs in the industry include: estate agent; letting agent; surveyor; town planner; auctioneer; residential property or block manager; domestic energy assessor; and emerging jobs such as commercial energy assessor, housing energy adviser and community energy adviser.

Entry and progression

There are a range of industry endorsed courses, apprenticeships and training schemes for those wishing to enter the industry or change career. For instance, there is a range of degree courses in estate management, building surveying or other related areas.

For certain occupations in the industry, such as surveying, a degree is normally required. Surveying involves a high level of numeracy. To get chartered status, degrees must be accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

Other jobs in property, such as estate agency, do not always require formal qualifications and there are examples of people moving into the property industry from other occupations later in their careers.

Employment trends and future prospects

There is increased demand on both the social rented and the private renting markets. The social rented sector is receiving higher levels of Government funding in an effort to offset the downturn in the sales market.

The property market hit rock bottom in 2009 and this has been followed by slow growth, but an upturn of 25% in prices is forecast by 2013. The drop in demand in the sales market has increased demand for higher skilled estate agents to deal with challenging market conditions.

It is estimated that almost half of the 80,000 estate agents who were in work 18 months ago have now been made unemployed. This has had a significant impact on associated occupations, leading to further job losses for valuers and surveyors.

The Carsberg Review 2008 recommends licensing for estate agents. This will result in a substantial increase in demand for qualified estate agents.

Skill requirements and shortages

Across the industry, strong customer service skills, an ability to work on your own and excellent communication skills are required.

Occupational trends

The majority of occupations across the property industry are concentrated within managers and senior officials, professional occupations, associate professionals and technical occupations, and sales and customer service occupations.

Recruitment difficulties face certain parts of the industry and there is an urgent need to recruit property managers. The transfer of sellers into the lettings market has increased the need for skilled staff to deal with lettings legislation and demand. In addition, there is an on‐going need to recruit and retain residential property or block managers (those who manage the services to residential buildings).

Prior to the recession, there was a shortfall of planning professionals, particularly in the South East and London. Although this is currently not the case, there are concerns that when the property market recovers, there will be a skills gap.

Energy assessing could be an alternative job role for those in the property industry.

Salary levels

Some suggested salary ranges for those working in the industry include:

  • Domestic Energy Assessor £16,000 ‐ £22,000
  • Estate Agent £10,000 ‐ £40,000 plus
  • Auctioneer £18,000 ‐ £40,000
  • Block Manager £28,000 ‐ £40,000 plus
  • Surveyor £25,000 ‐ £40,000 plus
  • Town Planner £25,000 ‐ £40,000 plus
  • Date published: 21st November 2015