Reflecting on 2018, it has struck me just how rapidly our industry has evolved – not only in the recent past, but also when considering the speed of further evolution that we’re likely to witness in the coming years.
One area of change is obviously in technology. While a concern to some, this will provide a great opportunity to individuals and businesses who embrace it. Those who don’t will become less relevant.
Another area of evolution will be a welcome increase in diversity in our industry – not before time.
In advance of the tech and diversity changes we’re now witnessing, the other significant evolutionary change in the past few decades has been the shift from the general practice surveyor – often a ‘Jack of all trades’ – to an industry of specialist practitioners.
When choosing an adviser, a client is understandably looking for the best in class. Ideally, they would also like this in a one-stop shop that can provide top-quality advice on a range of issues.
Even the most diligent property professional would struggle to master the basics of the vast array of specialist advice clients now demand. As a result, businesses have added an ever-increasing number of skills to their offer. In the past 12 months, we have expanded our mineral and waste, geospatial and masterplanning teams; recruited experts to lead cross-disciplinary teams to service sectors such as education; and added new service lines including CPO and telecommunications.
With all the change taking place in our industry, what is exciting is that there has never been a more interesting time to pursue a career in real estate. For graduates and surveyors early in their careers, there is the opportunity to explore new niches or even propose their own – we have seen some wunderkinds emerge in technology service lines, for example.
Testing out roles
For those who don’t know what they want to do, there is more of an opportunity than ever before to move around a business and test out a number of different roles until they find what area suits them the most. People with a variety of skills, and who don’t wish to specialise, will have a vital role to play in strategy and project management.
Even more encouragingly, there are not just roles available for those with a hard-earned APC. We’re recruiting economists, geographers, coders and statisticians, who all bring new ways of thinking. This will make us a much more complete package for our clients.
We are also recruiting from a wider range of backgrounds, including a number who haven’t attended university – some of these recruits are arriving to start apprenticeships.
The property industry is becoming far more inclusive and in time this will make it stronger and an even more exciting, interesting and fulfilling sector to work in.
Mark Granger is chief executive of Carter Jonas