The property market is full of people who have switched careers. In this blog, Director and Head of Property Nicholas McVeigh-Crabbe discusses what industries provide the best candidates for the property market.
Just like any other industry, property is prone to skills shortages – being able to identify transferrable skills is crucial to overcoming this. At STAR, we are experts in spotting the qualities that make excellent candidates for a career in property, and these people can often come from an unexpected pool of job roles.
Where can you find ideal candidates?
The top industries that are ideal for recruiting candidates for the property market include beauty sales, travel agents, banking relationship managers and advertisement sales. But I have found one rather unexpected industry is perfect for recruiting from – former airline cabin crew.
Cabin crew is the strongest industry for us for a number of reasons – we find them to be professional, they have the ability to talk to anyone, they’re good fun, driven and flexible, with the essential willingness to work weekends and bank holidays.
The other industries also create great candidates for us, as they can all deliver strong customer service, alongside having experience in achieving sales targets. They have also often been excellently trained (especially from big brands like British Airways and MAC). Working as cabin crew or in beauty sales helps to build confidence and rapport with the customer through face-to-face communication. This enables staff to balance great customer service with the ability to complete a sale.
Recognising those top transferrable skills
There are a huge variety of transferrable skills that slot well into a role in the property market. Some of the most vital skills include outstanding customer service, attention to detail, persuasive communication techniques, the ability to build relationships with anyone and being motivated by sales or targets.
These qualities are well-matched with a range of roles in the property sector. Property has a diverse pool of positions available in careers such as new home sales, estate agents, lettings, property management, property development, facilities management, surveying and marketing.
If a position does require certain qualifications, such as surveying, the recruitment criteria will be more precise, but a role like estate agent is very sales-focused – meaning someone from, for example, a car sales background can excel in this position.
Challenges when switching careers
Naturally, candidates will face some challenges when switching careers. I know that a step into the unknown is an inherently scary step, and the fear that it may not work out is always going to be at the back of your mind. It’s also daunting being the ‘newbie’ – but the rewards can totally outweigh any of these uncertainties.
The property industry is an open and inviting one, and we take an objective view of a candidate’s previous experiences. The main thing for us is that they demonstrate the right attitude and previous sales or customer service experience on their CV – if they have this then they can apply with confidence.
I totally support career changes, with the main thing I look for in job seekers being that they can prove their loyalty and tenacity, because sales roles do have a reputation for being transient. It doesn’t matter which role is being discussed – it has to be the right fit, both for the applicant and the employer.
Our experience of career changes
Even within STAR Recruitment we have a prime example of someone who has made a successful career change from outwith the recruitment sector. Our most experienced property recruitment manager, Robyn Mackie, previously worked on short-term assignments in the housebuilding industry before being snapped up to work in recruitment.
We are so fortunate that our fantastic team have a diverse range of professional experience in their backgrounds, such as retail, hospitality, car sales, modelling, administration and business-to-business sales – these add up to create a recipe for a superb recruitment company!