The Secret To Changing Your Career Path in Property

The property industry offers a huge array of career opportunities and job types from the outgoing sales consultant in the fast paced estate agency or brokerage to the methodical fund analyst to the multi-tasking project manager; there really is a plethora of career paths, requiring a diverse range of skill sets, qualifications and personality types. But with such a range are you really in the role that is right for you?

A surprising number of people admit that they are not happy with their career choice, but very few do anything about it. This is essentially because changing your career path can seem like a daunting prospect, requiring a great deal of soul searching and planning. But if you are unhappy in your current job then acting on it now really is in your best interest.

Deverell Smith gives their top 5 tips to ensure your property career transition is the right one;


This is when you need to be very honest with yourself. We enjoy doing what we are best at so it makes sense to pursue a career that plays to your strengths. However, sometimes a lack of perspective in your current job can make this process trickier than it seems.

You need to stand back to gain a better understanding about what you are good at and what it is you really enjoy.

Begin by assessing your likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses. There are many ways for you to do this, but the most effective is to look over your career to date and make a list of every task and responsibility that you have enjoyed.  Think about the skills you have gained and how transferable they are to other property roles and sectors.

Essentially this process should result in a list of requirements and skills to form the starting point to your career change.

Do your homework

Armed with your requirements and transferable skills you can begin to explore the many property career choices available to you. Begin by researching the different careers and property sectors that stand out for you and ensure you gain a full understanding of the types of skills required and tasks and responsibilities involved. A combination of talking to the right people and internet research will help you gain the information you need.

The Prospects website has a very useful breakdown of almost every property role.

Contact a reputable property recruitment consultancy who will be able to offer you impartial, in-depth advice and understanding of particular roles or industry.  They will advise you on the types of skills, qualifications and experience required and can provide tips on how to break into a particular career path.

Contact a Deverell Smith consultant for advice, each consultant specialises in particular roles and sectors
If you are a qualified surveyor looking to change sectors or role or are interested in gaining a property qualification the RICS website is an extremely helpful resource.

Use LinkedIn to connect with people in similar jobs and sectors. Join groups associated with your chosen area and if you have questions post them in these groups for these professionals to answer and give their advice and insight.

Check current job advertisements for the types of roles you are considering and make a note of the types of skills and qualifications employers are seeking. Investigate industry specific conferences, exhibitions or events that you might be able to attend. Here you can meet people who are working in your chosen field and ask advice and collect business cards. Invite these new contacts to connect on LinkedIn to help grow your network in the sector.

Tailor your CV

By this stage you should hopefully have a clear idea of what you want to do and be ready to update your CV accordingly. Demonstrating how and why your career history is relevant to an entirely new role or sector can be a challenge. The best way to represent this is to focus on your skills and accomplishments.

Clearly set out in your profile what you are looking to achieve and outline why this transition is of value to an employer. Outline your broad strengths such as management or leadership experience. Follow with a detailed skills section outlining your transferable skills and highlighting your career achievements to date. Be selective and focused, only including information that supports your desired role.

List your career history to display your consistency and progression, highlighting keys areas of the roles that are applicable to your next move. Avoid using sector specific terminology which might not be understood in a different sector.

If you feel that there are skills or qualifications gaps in your CV you might have to consider additional training or volunteering opportunities specific to your chosen role. Even if you haven’t qualified yet the fact you are studying will show your commitment.

Include a cover letter to explain why you want to make this career change, emphasising your commitment and effort involved in training and preparing for this new field.

Don’t forget to update your LinkedIn profile. Your can tailor your summary section to include your transferable skills and ask friends and colleagues to recommend and endorse you.

Apply for roles

Begin your job search by registering with a reputable property recruitment agency. Your consultant will be able to offer advice on your CV, the types of companies actively employing and the jobs available as well as highlighting to employers why your skills and strengths are applicable. You can also apply for roles through job boards and search through LinkedIn.

Interview successfully

Interviewing when you are changing careers can mean facing challenging questions as the employer will want to test your commitment to a new field and whether your lack of experience will be an issue.

This is where you will need to hard sell your transferable skills; display your enthusiasm and potential. You will need to concisely and clearly explain why you want to make this change and the steps you have taken to date. Make sure you emphasise the positive reasons and aim to reassure the interviewer that you are not leaving your current job because of a difficult situation. Highlight positive references and if you are making a lateral change in the property market your professional network might retain value and should be mentioned.

Be prepared to demonstrate how you plan to overcome knowledge gaps through additional training and research. Above all do your homework about the role and company and ensure you have researched the market, read industry related articles and display your knowledge to the interviewer.

Lastly don’t be afraid to ask informed and intelligent questions about the new job to help display your interest.

Deverell Smith Limited, 2nd Floor, Cannon Green, 1 Suffolk Lane, London, EC4R 0AX Tel: 020 7291 0900