Graduate Portfolio Surveyor
I joined The Co-operative Estates as a Graduate Portfolio Manager in June 2010 having completing an MSc in Real Estate Management.
I was attracted to The Co-operative Group in the professional sense because of the variety of properties that I would get to work with and the experience that this would provide me. However on a more personal level I spent a long time researching the Group and found that I really relate to the core values the Group is founded on.
My role involves assisting with the management of all The Co-operative Travel, Pharmacy, Funeral, Bank and non-trading properties in the South-West of England and Wales – that’s almost 1000 properties! With the properties occupied by The Co-operative’s retail trading businesses we negotiate rent reviews and lease renewals to ensure that we get good value from the property and when required, we provide advice on repair and management issues. The non-trading properties are the most challenging part of my role, the property management of them is outsourced and my involvement is to try and secure tenants for the vacant properties and to mitigate the costs involved with holding vacant properties. This is made all the more challenging with the economic climate that we are operating in.
I’ve been involved in so many interesting property transactions in my relatively short time with the Group. I’m particularly proud of a project that I assisted with last year which involved selling a portfolio of 20 properties in the South-West, it took a lot of work to ensure that the transactions completed but we were very successful and raised a little over £5.l million from the disposals. Due to my successful involvement with the project I have been given a disposal project of my own to lead this year with a target of £4 million to raise, I can’t wait to get to cracking! The money that is raised from property disposals goes towards growing other areas of The Co-operative business and ultimately helps to provide new jobs. I’m proud to be working for an employer that is still managing to do this in an economy when many other retailers are failing and feel that my role definitely helps to support the Group’s continued success.
As a graduate surveyor I am working towards completing my assessment of professional competence (APC) to become a member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. The professional standards and experience that I have to demonstrate in order to achieve this qualification are very hard to meet and The Co-operative Estates have been really supportive by ensuring that the work that I undertake provides the correct experience and by allowing time to attend training courses when I have need to. I work in a team of very talented surveyors and have learnt and continue to learn so much from them.