Getting into real estate can be hard enough, let alone trying to do so as a graduate with little to no experience. The talent pool can be a lot bigger than the opportunities available, so equipping yourself with the right knowledge and experience is vital. Placement years can be crucial in doing this. By undertaking a placement year, especially at well-established real estate companies, you’ll be able to take advantage of the major benefits we list below.
1. Real world training and networking
Being out in the “real world” can prove challenging. It's a big step away from academic life, and transferring what you’ve learned into practical tasks can be difficult. A placement year is the perfect step towards doing just that, giving you on the job skills and experience and introductory experience. No one will expect you to know everything, which gives you the time and space to understand the industry better, build up your skill set, and grow your confidence too. The benefit of a placement year in real estate is that you also get to interact with others in the industry before you’ve essentially even started work post studies. You can network and grow your contacts, be it those doing the job you want to do, clients, and others in the business, which means you’ll be better placed to hit the ground running once you’ve graduated.
2. Additional support and mentoring
Another major benefit a placement year gives you is the ability to receive an abundance of support and mentoring. The people you will be around will have years, if not decades of experience in the real estate industry, so will be best placed to help you, show you the skills required to not only do the job but to do it well, and overall guide you in the right direction. You will have access to pick their brains, uncover their trade secrets perhaps, and genuinely get a feel for what it’s like out there. Depending on the placement too, you may get the opportunity to shadow multiple different teams and/or people, giving you a chance to really decide perhaps which way you want your career to go, as well as gain more knowledge in other areas of the real estate industry.
3. Increased employability
Lastly, the biggest reason why a placement year should be on your radar as a real estate student is the increased employability. The real world training, the contacts, the increased skills and experience you will gain, it all adds up to you being a giant step ahead of others going for the same graduate jobs, especially those that haven’t done a placement. Your new employers get to see that you know what the industry is all about, they will be more confident in knowing that you’ll potentially need less hand-holding, and overall, they’ll know that employing someone who has done a placement year is of less risk to their business. Add on top of this that a placement year gives you more contacts for when you need a job, especially when many real estate companies that offer graduate schemes often prioritise places to those who have completed placement schemes with them prior, then you get a big jump start on others when looking for employment.