A Graduate's Guide to Hotels & Licensed

December 6, 2023

By Niall Little


I started my real estate journey in our family business, gaining experience as a residential agent. While studying Property Economics at Technological University Dublin, I worked part-time for a one of Ireland’s largest private landlords. This pathway led me to join the CBRE graduate programme with an aim to expand my expertise across all commercial property sectors.

First Rotation - Hotels & Licensed

During my first-year rotation, I served on the Hotels & Licensed team in a valuations role, amidst the post-Covid-19 market uncertainty. Nevertheless, Ireland's hospitality industry remained resilient, achieving record ADR and Occupancy levels in Dublin City Centre in 2023, despite numerous challenges in the market. I assisted in valuation instructions for various Hotel types across Ireland, developing my skills in loan security valuations, report writing, and data collection/analysis.

My induction with the Hotel team involved onboarding training at CBRE UK's HQ in London, emphasizing CBRE's global reach and collaboration potential. I had the chance to network with colleagues across Europe, seeking valuable insights into their career paths. In the hotel industry, these connections are crucial for staying informed on market trends and identifying potential new operators for Ireland. Being a part of the Dublin Hotels team was a really rewarding experience and I thoroughly enjoyed my time here. 

Retail & Leisure Occupier Services

In my second year at CBRE, I became a member of the newly established Retail & Leisure Occupier Services team. Our mission for clients is to strategically position their brands in prime locations and work closely with retailer management team to align their real estate strategy with business goals, enhancing performance and adding value. My role varies daily, working with both new market entrants and established national and international businesses. My tasks include preparing opportunity schedules, conducting property viewings, organizing group tours of Dublin City for international retailers, and creating proposals and market updates. I am delighted to assist top-tier retailers like Lidl, Homestore and More, Skechers, Footlocker and Fat Face in aligning their real estate strategies with their business objectives as they expand in the Irish market.

Plans for the future

I am continuously attending networking events and seminars in an attempt to expand my network of agents, stay up to date with the current market and identify challenges and opportunities that may be of interest to our clients. The experience I have gained thus far from working in a valuations role and an agency role is invaluable at this stage of my professional career. CBRE constantly prioritise both the wellness and professional development of their employees which is something that has really resonated with me. I am eager to continue developing my skillset as a young surveyor with the aim of attaining my APC accreditation with the SCSI in the near future.