Gergo Petrovics, surveyor, commercial national investment at Allsop, on how he got started in the property industry and his proudest career achievement. He also shares some cultural recommendations.
How did you join the property industry?
I always thought university fees were astronomical, so I looked at alternative routes and set my mind to doing a higher apprenticeship where I could earn a respectable income while my employer paid the uni fees. It was purely through online research that I stumbled across the opportunity at Allsop, which looked like a really appealing and respectable company. I sort of stumbled into the property industry, but because I was very open-minded and willing to try any opportunity I have put all my focus and efforts into succeeding in this field.
What does your job entail?
In short, I help buy and sell commercial investment assets such as retail, office, leisure and industrial property on behalf of my clients. On a day-to-day basis, the job entails a lot more than meets the eye. It includes maintaining a good relationship with agents and investors, inspecting properties, undertaking research, preparing reports, as well as negotiating and creating purchase and sale strategies.
What barriers or challenges have you overcome?
Starting my professional career at 18 when I was straight out of college without any previous experience was initially very difficult. However, the biggest challenge to date has been undertaking my degree part-time, while working a full-time job plus tirelessly studying for the APC, the training scheme I had to complete to qualify as a chartered surveyor. It has not been an easy journey at all, but now I can say that every minute of it was worth it.
What do you like most about the property industry?
I love the networking element of the industry. Property remains a people business and while there is a lot of hard work, it does come down to the relationships you build and foster. This means I try to get out and about at every opportunity to see fellow agents and investors, Covid permitting.
What are you most proud of in your career?
Achieving a first-class degree while working full-time and organising one of the biggest football tournaments within the surveying industry, combining work and play!
What advice would you give someone starting a career in the property industry?
Best advice is to keep an open mind about entering the profession. I did not know much about surveying before Allsop but that did not discourage me.
I would also suggest keeping your head down and working hard. I would be lying if I said it was easy. Then again, I chose the hard way of qualifying but it has been equally rewarding. If you sit tight and do not let Covid and talks of a market downturn dishearten you, the right opportunities will come.
What important lessons did you learn in 2020?
Personally, I realised what the important things in life are. You have got to love your job to persevere through hard times. Patience really is a virtue and we will get back to normality.