The built environment covers areas including urban design, planning, surveying and property. Increasingly known as the real estate sector, it is about so much more than buildings and surveying!
LSE graduates can be found working across a variety of roles focusing on real estate and urban planning, for example, working out the best finance for a deal, planning for a new development, managing the planning process, selling real estate assets or looking at the sustainability of building design.
Where can you work?
There are opportunities to work not just in commercial and residential property companies but across a range of organisations and sectors with an interest in real estate.
- Large property companies – classed as full-service firms, work across a range of markets. Typically based in London and other major centres, these firms are often global, e.g. Cushman and Wakefield, CBRE, Lendlease, Savills, Avison Young, Gensler and Knight Frank. Many offer general graduate schemes as well as schemes in chartered surveying.
- Management consultancies –increasingly work in the property and built environment space, e.g. Deloitte has a real estate team, combining property services with financial and business advisory; PWC has a Cities and Urbanisation team, and KPMG have a real estate advisory practice. Some firms offer general entry routes, others will be looking for a relevant Master's and/or experience.
- Multi-disciplinary or integrated engineering consultancies – work across the built environment in areas including infrastructure and transport. Typically global in focus, e.g. Amey, Mott MacDonald, Arup and Atkins. Offer graduate schemes in areas including commercial, project management, consultancy, surveying, business advisory, economics and policy, GIS, urban design and town and transport planning.
- Owners/occupiers (users) – including local authorities, Network Rail and the NHS, and in the commercial sector, large retail banks and retailers including Tesco. Many companies have property-related graduate schemes.
- Real estate finance/investment – either within broad asset classes, including real estate, or in more niche companies offering specialised roles, e.g. BNP Paribas Real Estate, Eastdil, Tyndaris Real Estate and Varde.
- Housing – includes house builders, property developers and property management companies. Social housing companies like Southern and Peabody are some of the largest new home builders. There are also smaller, newer companies like Pocket Housing and The Collective typically offering niche roles and specialisations.
What's changing in the sector?
The real estate industry is experiencing changes and challenges from the impact of digital technology and the arrival of disruptors such as new property platforms, peer-to-peer lenders, crowdfunders and direct investment platforms.
We are also seeing traditional roles becoming more interdisciplinary, a greater focus on the role of technology and strong moves to increase diversity through encouraging more women into a male dominated sector.
New trends and developments include moves towards more live-work and mixed-use spaces, student housing as a niche sector, more emphasis on health and housing for an aging population, and a greater focus on smart buildings.
CareerHub – jobs board targeting LSE students, including events and networking opportunities.
Targetjobs - Property – offers careers advice and a useful list of graduate jobs in property, with a focus on surveying and other commercial roles.
Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) – useful career pages and overview of the different APC routes.
Urban Land Institute – global membership organisation with a cross-disciplinary focus on real estate and land use, covering housing, real estate, finance and investment, cities, development and sustainability.
Royal Institute of Town Planners (RTPI) – includes careers information, directory of planning consultancies, news and jobs.
Property Week – property jobs news, events and valuations from the commercial property market covering property investment, residential and commercial.
The Investment Property Forum – useful news and information focusing on the UK property investment market.
The Association of Women in Property – works to promote women in the industry and offers news and events.
The Chartered Institute of Housing – offers a useful breakdown of different roles.
Company websites are a great source of sector information and a really useful way of developing your commercial awareness and understanding of the sector. Examples include Deloitte’s Real Estate Predictions, KPMG’s global property survey and Knight Frank’s Global Real Estate Research
Recruitment consultancies specialising in real estate include Macdonald and Co which has a global focus including offices in Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa.