A Property Management Consultant evaluates the potential and actual value of a property and advises its owners on how to maximise the potential income that could be generated from it.
Both individual investors and businesses buy property as a way to make a return from spare financial capital. The role of a Property Management Consultant is particularly important as these individuals are best placed to advise on how to use any given property to gain the best financial returns.
Property Management Consultants may suggest structural changes and this brings them into contact with a variety of building professionals from Architects to Electricians. At this point, a Property Management Consultant may manage the work going on, or on larger projects, work with a Project Manager. A Property Management Consultant must have a very wide knowledge base relating to property. Financial trends, current and predicted market values, and structural and engineering considerations are just some of the factors that influence decisions and advice.
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- A newly qualified Property Management Consultant can expect a salary of £20,000 – £24,000 per annum
- A middle-weight Property Management Consultant will usually earn between £25,000 – £35,000
- A senior Property Management Consultant can earn upwards of £40,000
- Those running their own Property Management Consultant firm can earn a lot more, upwards of £100,000 per annum
A typical day in the life of a Property Management Consultant may involve the following tasks:
- Meeting with new clients firstly by telephone or in the office to discuss potential new contracts
- Liaising with building professionals such as plumbers and electricians to ensure that work is carried out according to plan
- Applying for licenses from Local Authorities for things such as building work or change of use
- Going on site to conduct property valuations and surveys
- Staying on site to oversee important building works
- Liaising with tenants to ensure that any problems are swiftly dealt with
To work as a Property Management Consultant, it is normally a prerequisite that you are educated to degree level in a property related field, on a course accredited by RICS (The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors).
If you do not wish to study to degree level, there are higher education courses available which will allow you to begin your career earlier but it may take longer to be promoted. These include:
- VRQ (Technical Award) Level 3 in Sale of Residential Property; Residential Letting and Property Management; Commercial Property Agency
- NVQ Level 4 in Property Management
- Level 5 Diploma in Commercial Property Agency
Once qualified, there are further professional development courses run by RICS to help you move up the career ladder.
A Property Management Consultant needs to have a range of skills and abilities as the role is quite broad and responsibilities will differ from project to project. Good attributes would be:
- A good head for numbers and financial information. Investment capital, projected returns, market growth and complex subsidies and taxes must all be taken into account when estimating a property’s real and projected value
- Good managerial and communication skills. A Property Management Consultant will be involved with professionals from right across the social spectrum.
- Personable and confident in own abilities. The client must believe above all in your ability to make his project work. The trust element is huge.
- Multi-tasker. The ability to hold a variety of factors in consideration at any one time when making a decision is important as Property Management Consultancy is such a complex field.
Property Management Consultants are based in an office for administrational purposes. However, most of their work will be done on site, as they will travel daily to see the properties in question. As much of their work will involve property development they can spend most of their time on site, overseeing or planning the work that needs to be done.
Standard 9 – 5 hours are kept most of the time but bigger projects and tight deadlines mean that overtime could be necessary as and when.
The workplace of a Property Management Consultant can be dangerous as it may involve being where building works are taking place. Adherence to safety procedures, for example the wearing of a hard hat, and basic knowledge of how such a site works, all help to minimise any risk.
Working in a Property Management Consultancy or other kind of Property Agency would certainly be useful when applying for jobs later on. There are innumerable administration tasks in any such office environment that would serve as great work experience. Often, graduates work for very low wages just to get their foot in the door of this very lucrative trade.
Individual Property Management Consultancies are the main employers and they can range in size from just one or two staff to several hundred employees. Employers advertise in major national newspapers and on the Internet.
Some property professionals qualified in other areas can study to become Property Management Consultants, such as Estate Agents and Surveyors. The usual career path for progression is to run your own agency where you will ultimately be responsible for all projects and all profits.
Also known as…
- Property valuer
What’s it really like?
Michael Young is 33 years old and is a Property Management Consultant who runs his own firm, Edinburgh Spaces, from his central Edinburgh office.
Michael, can you tell us how long you’ve been working as a Property Management Consultant and what you were doing before that?
I’ve been working in the industry for around eight years now. I came in straight from university, where I studied a BSc honours in Estate Management, something not to be confused with rural estate management as it’s a general pre-surveying course. It encompassed everything about surveying – the valuation and financial side, agency selling, and investments. It covered all sectors – residential, commercial and retail. That all comes under the heading of general practice surveying.
Michael, can you tell us what you do in a typical day at work?
It is very varied and no two days are ever the same really. My day may begin by meeting with clients, usually by telephone first, or in my office. Alternatively, I may be out on site overseeing a project in progress. As there can be so many people involved in a project – plumbers, electricians, architects etc, I have to speak to a lot of different people and that takes up a lot of my time.
We get a lot of different types of clients. Some get in touch because we manage income and investment acquisition. If we get a client at the earliest stage, they will have approached us through a solicitor. They may say they have a certain spend limit, they might have their finance arranged, or they might want us to organise finance for them. Some clients might come to us with a lot of money and ask us to source properties for them for investment. We may or may not have to redevelop for this and we will only develop in such a way that allows us to get the maximum rental income. Alternatively, many clients come with the finished article and we rent and manage the income for them. We don’t value properties for capital worth but we value them as investments, i.e. we only value them on what they will earn, not what they are worth on the property market.
What do you like about the job?
I work to my own timetable because it’s not about how long you are there, it’s about the results you get. You’re out and about, its not always office based. I like that it takes a mix of abilities and knowledge. It helps to know a little bit about everything, even if you don’t like it because it can lead to other things. It’s a people focused job which involves managing and meeting people. It all comes down to selling and the first product is yourself. If you can’t sell yourself as credible to a client then you don’t have a business at all because they sign up with you personally and not the company.
What do you dislike about the job?
It is very connected to dealing with the general public and that can be quite difficult. Generally speaking, Joe Public has no real understanding of rights and obligations. This can be difficult as tenant and landlord law is biased on the side of the tenant in residential properties.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of doing this job?
What people tend to do is go to a big agency and get two or three years’ worth of experience professional surveying. After two years you get your professional chartership as a RICS chartered surveyor. I would say don’t go to a very small outfit unless it is on the up and don’t go to an outfit that’s too big. Look for an RICS accredited company that is medium sized, with around four to twenty people.
What job do you think you might do after this role in terms of career progression?
I would like to concentrate on commercial property development in the future.
What other inside-information can you give to help people considering this career?
Avoid applying for anything that there’s an advert for. In this industry, people like directness so find out the managing director of the company and call him up. Have a standard CV and covering letter for every different type of company. Be prepared to work for nothing as you will get some contacts out of it. For your first couple of years, contacts are everything.
Do you mind us publishing your salary
I earn dividends which works out at £120,000 a year. I’ve had my own company for five years now, working as a sole trader for three years, and I went limited two and a half years ago.