My journey to becoming a Surveyor – Aoife Ryan
I had an interest in property from a young age as my aunt managed an interior design company firstly in Ireland before moving to New York. She would bring me with her on house viewings and I would observe her creating a vision for her clients. It was interesting to see the before and after stages and very rewarding for her and her clients when the project was complete.
My interest in the property industry grew over the years. However, I wanted to be involved and partake in projects on a larger scale. When applying for college courses, I looked into studying a course which focused on the Commercial Property Sector. I began my undergrad Level 6/7 course in Auctioneering, Real Estate and Valuations in the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) Bolton Street in September 2015. This three-year course really opened my eyes to the vast range of sectors within the commercial property industry. Our lecturers would create real-life work scenarios and assignments which, as a group, we would have to discuss, present and pitch. This was extremely useful and beneficial when beginning to work within the property industry.
In the summer of 2016, I began to approach a range of property firms hoping to begin building my experience in the property industry at the early stages of my career. Within a few weeks, I started working as an Intern in the Retail Department in Cushman & Wakefield (DTZ Sherry Fitzgerald at the time). During that summer, and when I returned to college, I worked every Friday in their office in Ballsbridge. I loved the office atmosphere from the moment I began working and I really enjoyed going out on inspections. I picked up a large amount of knowledge such as measuring buildings of different uses, filling out inspection forms and building client relationships. I worked in the Retail Department for two years. I loved seeing the company evolve and expand over this time.
I graduated my course in September 2018 and began working as Graduate Surveyor in the Property Management Department in Cushman & Wakefield. I registered for my APC and began my journey to becoming a Chartered Surveyor. I was a property manager for a portfolio of various mixed-use, industrial, office and residential schemes both in Dublin and regionally. As a property manager, I would manage the mechanical and electrical maintenance and general upkeep of these large schemes. I also worked alongside the Accounts Department to prepare and provide service charge budgets, annual insurance certs and annual audits to clients and tenants. I gained a lot of knowledge in this department while building strong relationships with both clients and tenants.
I spent two years in the Property Management Department before rotating to the Valuations & Advisory Department in October 2020. No one day is the same in the V&A Department as we are required to value various different projects, schemes and buildings which can require a different approach method. I have been introduced to various software systems such as Argus Enterprise & Developer as well as the internal data records system which are extremely useful for reporting and recording property information. I am also involved in assisting with portfolio valuations which can include a variety of different property types. Covid-19 has proven to be difficult for everyone and starting in a new department while not working in the office or seeing any of my colleagues was tough. However, I have no doubt that I will be able to experience the normality of the office life again with my new team as well as taking on further responsibilities such as inspections and attending in person meetings when we are permitted to do so!
I am currently in my final year of a Part-Time Property Economics course in TUD. Juggling between a full-time job and college with assignments, presentations and a dissertation is challenging however, coming to the later stages of my college course it is proven to be very rewarding and I feel like I am achieving and striving towards a long term career in the property industry.