A Graduate's Guide to Valuations

December 6, 2023

By Rory O'Neill


Following on from the successful completion of my bachelor’s degree in Property Economics from TU Dublin in May of 2022, I joined the CBRE graduate programme in September 2022 as one of 12 graduates on the incoming intake. Unlike my peers and colleagues who I met in the office that day, I had already been working for CBRE since January of 2021 where I began my time as an intern in the Valuations team.

I was lucky enough to receive a place as an intern in CBRE in January 2021 for 8 months in my third year of university where I then stayed on as a part/full time employee throughout the remainder of my time in university. This not only made me comfortable and familiar with a working environment but also hugely aided me in terms of completing my degree and gaining an understanding for the property market. On a daily basis I was speaking to working professionals who were completing transactions in the market, and I was then able to relay my understandings and opinions of these transactions/valuations/deals through projects and exams.


I was delighted when I found out in the summer of 2022 that I was going back to the valuations department.

As a first-year graduate in Valuations I was able to get straight into the swing of things as of September 2022 given the fact that I had already worked with everybody in the team for such a long period of time. This allowed me to get the opportunity to take on more detailed valuations than I had been completing as an intern. With the challenges faced by the back lash of Covid 19 and the rising interest rates, there was a significant shift in pricing of all asset types. From working on projects with my supervisors I got first-hand experience in assisting with the valuations of a variety of asset classes, which ranged from prime & suburban offices, retail, industrial and development land.

On reflection, I feel that I benefited hugely from my time in valuations. I grew a confident working knowledge in the five valuation methods while also growing an understanding for the factors that effect a property’s value. In hindsight I would definitely recommend the internship to graduate route to anyone wishing to get a flavour for corporate real estate. In hindsight getting this valuation experience as an intern and then as a first-year graduate back-to-back with each other has helped to build the foundation of my understanding of property and especially property valuations, which is invaluable in my eyes.

Office Occupier/Tenant Rep

In my second year on the graduate programme, I joined the Offices team where I currently work in the tenant representation side of the team. Initially, my daily roles were largely made up of meeting other agents, speaking with clients and attending networking events. These tasks then transformed into giving client detailed updates, issuing requirements, compiling reports, analysing leases, running cashflows and engaging with solicitors.

I joined the Office occupier team when the market was experiencing the majority of its demand for fitted turnkey space on short flexible terms. The market had evolved following on from the Covid pandemic. Occupiers are reluctant to spend the initial cap ex on a fit out, with rising construction costs and the uncertainty around quantum of space needed for occupation along with the ever-present hybrid working model. This meant that I was getting first-hand experience in a changing market that had a strong demand for ‘grey space’, with a preference for more flexible lease terms to reflect market demand. From my time working on the tenant side, I have found that it is important to be a good communicator as you deal with different agents, colleagues and clients numerous times a day. It is also important to be able to think on your feet when it comes to solving problems. Now more than ever in a changing market client’s requirement can differ and alter from one day to the next and in order to advise your client properly, you have to be able to adapt to these requirements.

What’s in store for the future?

I am currently working through my SCSI APC application which I plan on submitting at the beginning of January to sit the interview in the March/April sitting and through this I aim to become a Chartered Surveyor. I am constantly attending different networking events and not just solely property related ones, with the intention of growing my network broad and wide.

To conclude, I feel very fortunate to have progressed through CBRE as an intern and on to take part in the graduate programme. I have made some invaluable connections internally and externally while also growing as a property professional along the way.