A year in the life of Joseph Dodd, Assistant Surveyor
Joseph Dodd joined Phillips Sutton last summer as an assistant surveyor, enrolling on the official Chartered Surveyors Apprenticeship scheme, which is run by the Chartered Surveyors Training Trust in collaboration with the University College of Estate Management (UCEM). We asked him to blog about his first 12 months in the role.
Predominantly I am a commercial property consultant, taking enquiries for and organising viewings at properties we are marketing as well as discussing initial terms with interested parties and the landlord and dealing with the case up until completion of the lease. I also attend inspections of buildings, taking measurements and photos prior to writing a report to advise the owner on the best course of action to let or sell the property in question.
I enjoy the majority of tasks within my job and the variety involved, often dealing with new people and different properties on a day-to-day basis. I most enjoy inspecting new buildings and pro-actively approaching potential occupiers to find a new tenant/buyer for each property. I also enjoy undertaking viewings and discussing terms to agree a deal that both sides feel is fair.
My course with UCEM involves 3 core units which are Construction Technology, Law, Regulations and Health & Safety, and Sustainability. Each unit consists of 8 stages, and with each stage there is a relevant assignment and workshop that takes place to give some background on the previous stage, and answer any queries we may have. Three times a year computer marked assessments take place, acting as 20% of our final grade. The remaining 80% is decided by the results of our assignments which are submitted at the beginning of July as one portfolio submission.
I have one day to study which gives me the opportunity to focus on my coursework and work through each stage of activities in preparation for the next workshop. In addition to this I try and dedicate 2 evenings a week and a few hours at the weekend to go through things, but admittedly it’s not always easy to balance the two!
I had some involvement in deals when I first started at Phillips Sutton last summer, immediately undertaking viewings on different industrial properties, office buildings and a part-residential, part-commercial site. However, my first deal that I saw through from start to finish involved a first floor retail unit near to the Leicester market. I organised and attended all viewings, presented initial terms, drafted Heads of Terms and chased through to completion before handing the keys over to the new tenants who are now occupying the space on a 5 year lease.
In the next 12 months I would like to complete my second year with UCEM, and pass my Associate RICS qualification which I have recently enrolled for. Balancing work commitments, my course and the additional RICS qualification won’t be easy, but with an organised diary and enough time dedicated to each area, I’d like to think I can achieve the goals I have set for myself.
I would thoroughly recommend to anyone considering a career in Commercial Property to go down the apprentice route. Its not easy but extremely worthwhile.