Building a better you
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What is today's blog about?
This week, find out what Chartered Surveyor, Sophie Angus at CBRE, had to say about her RICS APC journey. You can find out even more about Sophie's journey at Business Link.
You can also listen to our CPD podcast on Anchor for more free AssocRICS and RICS APC training and support.
Why did you decide to enter the property industry?
I have grown up in a ‘property’ focused family and it’s something I have been exposed to from a young age. Several of my family members are surveyors but each specialises in something different which meant I got to experience lots of different aspects of the profession before I committed to becoming a surveyor. I worked for 12 months in the London residential sector before deciding to undertake an MSc in Real Estate and go down the commercial property pathway. Property is something that has always interested me as it is so diverse.
What do you enjoy most about being a surveyor?
Each day brings something different to the table and as I work on the transactional side of surveying, I deal with a diverse range of people and businesses. I work within the industrial and logistics sector, which is very buoyant at the moment, and is particularly interesting as I get to visit buildings and factories that have innovative and exciting manufacturing processes and businesses within them that you wouldn’t normally get to witness.
What were the benefits to you of becoming Chartered?
Being chartered means you are accredited to the RICS and a network of professionals worldwide. Knowing I have my letters and that the APC is out the way is a big relief!!
What APC route and pathway did you follow?
I did the commercial pathway on the CBRE Graduate scheme which involved rotations around different industry sectors within the Leeds office. Doing this allowed me to get a broad range of experience over the two years which not only helped me decide where I wanted to specialise following qualification, but it gave me enough experience to achieve the competencies required for the APC.
What competencies did you chose?
Valuation Level 3
Leasing and Letting Level 3
Purchase and Sale Level 3
Property Records Level 3
Development Appraisals Level 2
What does your day-to-day work currently involve?
Responsible for taking and managing all property enquiries
Advising and assisting occupiers with strategic decisions regarding the location of their business, in line with their specific requirements
Advising and assisting developers on supply/ demand in the market and recommending schemes which would be well received in the occupier market
Disposals and acquisitions of Industrial premises and land I am tasked with organising PR for my team
I run the CBRE Leeds twitter account
Did you gain experience of other competency areas during your APC structured training?
Although my permeant role is in the transactional side of surveying, I spent 9 months in the Valuation department learning the fundamentals of surveying and property. By starting the graduate scheme in this sector I got a very detailed understanding of different types of asset, what effects property values and how an investor views property looking at risk and return. This has given me a great platform and depth of knowledge to develop upon throughout my career.
How did you know when you were ready to sit your final assessment?
I think you know you’re ready to sit when you feel ready to sit. You have to get a good amount of experience across different competencies prior to sitting, and when you feel you have adequately achieved that, you feel you’re ready to get going!
What advice would you give to others preparing their final assessment submission?
Start early! Summarise your experience as and when you hit each competency throughout the two years. Writing the summary of experience is probably the most laborious part of the APC, so if you’ve done it little and often throughout the two years, when it comes to submissions you’ll just have to tweak it and won’t be trying to remember what you did 2 years ago!
What preparation did you do for your final assessment?
I did lots of revision, but the trick is to learn how to say the answers out loud. It seems easier writing the answer down, but when it comes to articulating it you’ll be surprised how difficult it can be! On the whole, people want to help out so try and get regular 15-20 minute questions sessions with colleagues and friends, and then get 3-4 full mock interviews set up in the month leading up to the real thing. This was invaluable to me!
How did you find your final assessment interview?
The worst part is waiting to go in, everyone sits in nervous silence for 15 minutes before you’re called up. Once you walk through the door into the assessment room, the assessors try to make you feel at ease and speak for a short time, they then ask you to start your presentation. Once the presentation gets going, the nerves seem to reduce! The interview is the quickest hour, far quicker than the mocks seem…then when you walk out you forget everything they asked you and start to question how you’ve done for the next week until you get the results!
How do you feel now you are Chartered?
I am so happy to have the APC out the way. It’s great to have more responsibility within my team and the wider office and to be able to do my job without the pressures of APC looming!
Would you recommend that others pursue their APC?
Yes, if anything I found by undertaking different competencies my wider knowledge of property was greatly improved, and this is valuable going forward.
How can we help?
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Stay tuned for our next blog post to help build a better you
N.b. Nothing in this article constitutes legal or financial advice.