Anthony completed a history degree and then went on to do an MA in Advanced Historical Research at the University of Newcastle. Upon finishing this he got a job at the Valuation Office Agency and decided to study for a Postgraduate Diploma in Surveying at the College of Estate Management alongside his job.
During my Masters, I worked as a research assistant for an MP and then I took a year out in Australia. On my return I applied for numerous jobs and secured on as a caseworker in the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) for the Council Tax revaluation.
My degree isn’t directly relevant to the subject of my work but the research angle did help and I think the normal transferable skills have also been useful.
The good thing about my job is that I do a wide variety of work, so typical days aren’t too common. But generally it will involve valuation work, gathering evidence, inspecting properties and speaking to agents or clients. I also often negotiate with agents. Some days will be more paperwork based in terms of writing reports and desktop research, while others will be spent away from the office inspecting properties.
Initially I was employed as part of the Council Tax revaluation team, so I was looking at domestic properties and their values. However the government cancelled this and I moved onto non-domestic rates, looking at mainly offices and shops for business rates.
At this time, through the VOA, I enrolled on the College of Estate Management postgraduate course in surveying and then the RICS Assessment of Professional Competence to get formal professional qualifications. During this period I also worked in the District Valuer Services team, undertaking a wide variety of work. This included central and local government asset valuations, inheritance and capital gains tax valuations, rent reviews and lease renewals and development appraisal work.
In the future, I would like to develop my knowledge and involvement in the property finance side of things, as well as work internationally and perhaps get more involved in development appraisal and viability.
I really enjoy the wide variety of work, getting out and about looking at a wide variety of property as well as meeting a wide range of people. Sometimes meeting tight deadlines and balancing competing priorities can be challenging as can IT issues and negotiating.
This is a dynamic sector with good opportunities for advancement. There is a wide range of work with the chance to specialise in certain areas.
To anyone who is thinking of getting into this career I would say do it! It’s a good field, there’ll always be opportunities and it’s a good time to enter; sustainability and property will be such a growth area.
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