About Property

The property sector encompasses finance, investment, planning, management, development, regeneration, valuation, lettings, sales and consultancy. Typically, opportunities are divided between two areas; commercial and residential. Commercial real estate is business-focused. It involves property that is sold or leased. Regarded as an investment, businesses expect to achieve an anticipated rate of return. Residential real estate revolves around the needs of an individual homeowner and their family. However, increasingly properties are being bought and sold by private developers seeking a short-term profit.


  • RICS-accredited degree (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) – Most careers in property now recruit only chartered surveyors. Gaining a postgraduate RICS-accredited degree, for example in residential property practice, will ensure that you meet this requirement.
  • APC (Assessment of Professional Competence) – This is a structured training period (usually 2 years) for surveyors who have graduated with a RICS-accredited degree. It is primarily competency based and therefore requires you to demonstrate the skills and abilities needed to perform specific tasks or functions within the profession. Graduate employers will provide the necessary training and materials as part of their programme.


The property sector can be a challenging area in which to pursue a career. In your first year it may be a good idea to apply to temp or undertake some work experience in a high-street agency, as this will offer you an insight into the type of work that takes place on a day-to-day basis. Applying with a strong, well thought out cover letter in writing is often preferred above sending a generic email.

Penultimate year students are encouraged to undertake an internship. Typically internship placements provide an opportunity to go on site visits, attend client meetings, write reports and conduct research. Structured placements usually include departmental talks to learn about other areas of the business and various social occasions to meet directors from across the company.

The following list details Real Estate companies that offer work experience, internship placements or are graduate recruiters, with the exception of Sociable Surveyors which is the only established all-expenses paid, global internship scheme in the property industry.

1) Sociable Surveyors is a good place to start. They provide three types of all-expenses paid global internships with the world’s leading property firms; global, hybrid and London internships.

2) BNP Paribas Real Estate

Formerly known as Astisreal, BNP Paribus Real Estate is Europe’s leading provider of integrated commercial real estate services, delivering solutions for property owners, investors and occupiers. Their services span six complementary areas; investment management, property management, valuation, consulting, transaction and property development.

3) DTZ

DTZ provide both residential and commercial real estate advisory services to investors, developers, corporate and public sector clients and financial intermediaries. As a truly global firm, their services are provided through 208 offices spanning 52 countries.

4) CB Richard Ellis (CBRE)

CBRE pride themselves on being the world’s leading commercial real estate advisor. With over 300 offices in more than 30 countries they have more consultants advising more customers than any other property firm.

5) GVA Grimley (GVA)

GVA provides multi-disciplinary commercial property advice and services to clients in the public and private sectors. Their services include estate and asset planning, project and property management and building consultancy. They work in both the public and private sector and their clients include RBS and the University of Cambridge.

6) Cushman and Wakefield

Cushman & Wakefield are the world’s largest privately held commercial real estate services firm. They are renowned for specialising in areas such as capital markets (valuations, investments, and sales), as well as commercial consulting services.

7) Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL)

An international financial company specialising in real estate, JLL is considered to be the world’s second largest commercial real estate brokerage firm. JLL has recently branched out into the hospitality industry, creating a division to focus solely on offering financial and investment solutions within the market. Since the merger of JLL and international property consultancy King Sturge in 2011, JLL has become a clear leader in commercial real estate across the UK and Europe.

8) Knight Frank

Knight frank are widely regarded as the leading independent, global real estate agency for both residential and commercial property. As well as offering financial and development advisory services, they are experts in property management and specialise in rural property consultancy. Knight Frank is a partnership and therefore independent of shareholders. As a result it places the client above all else. In addition, there is a growing international department, which provides real estate services in 43 countries across the world.

9) Lambert Smith Hampton

A UK based commercial property consultancy, Lambert Smith Hampton’s services include acquisition and disposals, investment, property management, building consultancy, and valuation. The company has over 25 offices across the UK, and has worked with many clients in both public and private sectors, including the BBC, for whom they have acted as property advisers for over 10 years

10) Savills

Savills is a leading global real estate service provider listed on the London Stock Exchange with over 500 offices and associates throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia Pacific, Africa and the Middle East. Savills expertise covers residential, commercial, retail and rural property, and their services include investment, property management and planning and development. They have been ranked as the property industry’s number 1 employer by the Times for seven consecutive years.

11) Strutt and Parker

The Strutt & Parker partnership is one of the largest in the UK, offering services in property consultancy and estate agency. Their clients include Coca-Cola, M&C Saatchi and the Crown Estate as clients. Offering a range of different services including land management and farming, Strutt & Parker employ over 800 staff and have a network of 50 offices throughout the UK.