A Graduate's Guide to Property Management

November 27, 2023

By Heather Rogers


Over two years into my graduate programme with CBRE, now seems like the perfect time to reflect on the immense experience I’ve gained and the exposure I’ve had to numerous sectors of the property industry so far. I joined CBRE in August 2021, following my completion of the Property Economics undergraduate course at TU Dublin. Other than a 15-week work placement during college, I had no significant experience working in the property industry. I was both nervous and excited to begin my career in commercial property.  

First Rotation – Office Agency 

My journey with CBRE began in the Office’s Investor Leasing department, at an interesting time to let office space in Dublin. Covid-19 was still playing a huge factor in the office market at the time. For my initial months in the department, the country was at various stages of lockdown. This required us to be extra vigilant in terms of arranging inspections, meeting clients and attending the office to comply with the safety measures that were imposed. Companies throughout Dublin were unsure of their future plans for return to office and their space requirements post pandemic. Despite the uncertainty in the market, the department was busy and this worked in my favour. Throughout my time in office agency, I was involved in every aspect of the letting process, from initial appointment, arranging and attending inspections with prospective tenants, negotiation lease terms, right through to the signing of leases. There was no such thing as a typical day as an office agent; I could be working on a marketing campaign in the morning, conducting viewings in the afternoon, and attending an office launch after work. Another day might see me measuring an office building, negotiating terms with a potential tenant or conducting client meetings. No two days were the same. This rotation gave me the opportunity to work hand in hand with some of the largest landlords in Dublin, as I helped secure tenants for their buildings and negotiated the best possible lease terms on their behalf. It also gave me the opportunity to grow my profile within the industry as you are often dealing with other agents acting on behalf of tenants. My year in office agency gave me a greater understanding of the industry and helped me to grow my confidence in advising clients. 

A New Sector – Property Management 

With a notable level of agency experience behind me, I decided to try something new and dive into the world of Property Management for my second rotation of the graduate programme. CBRE’s property management team look after an extensive range of properties across the country and I was excited to play my part in ensuring the smooth running of these assets. My role as a property management graduate covered a variety of responsibilities. I carried out regular property inspections, identifying issues and in turn rectifying them. I liaised with contractors and service providers to ensure properties under our management were maintained to the highest of standards. I acted as a point of contact to tenants for any issues or concerns they had and worked with the team to resolve them. Updating clients on property matters and rent collection figures became an integral part of my working week. Property management gave me the opportunity to learn how different buildings operate, whether that be an industrial unit by the airport, a Grade A office building on the docks or a retail park in the midlands.  

Reflection and Looking to the Future 

I am currently working in the Valuations department as part of my last rotation in the graduate programme. I am thoroughly enjoying my experience in my new department so far. The CBRE graduate programme has exceeded my expectations to date. I have surprised myself with how much my confidence and knowledge of the industry have grown over the past two years. Being surrounded and supported by experienced surveyors on a daily basis has been vital to my career progression so far. Looking into the future, I am working towards my APC accreditation with the hopes of becoming a fully qualified surveyor in the near future.