Forging a career in commercial property

October 1, 2019

Victoria Huntley joined George F. White as the firm’s first commercial graduate after a successful career as a retail entrepreneur. Here, she tells North East Times what it’s like to be a female graduate in the commercial property sector

You joined George F. White in 2018 as their first commercial graduate in your latetwenties, what was it that made you take the leap?

There’s a lot of pressure on people to make decisions on their career path at an extremely young age. I’m in a career that I hadn’t even considered aged 16. Following university, I owned a retail franchise and was based in the Metrocentre for more than four years. I loved working in a commercial environment and had always had an interest in property, but my eyes weren’t truly opened to a career in commercial property until I started looking at expansion plans and new premises for my business. Real estate became a topic that really intrigued me. I started reading up on the market, both regionally and nationally, looking into commercial property opportunities in the North East and what I needed to do to become involved in the sector. Once I had mapped out what I had to do, I took the leap. Two years later, I’m working towards my APC at George F. White.

You studied a Masters in Real Estate at Northumbria University, had your dissertation published and work alongside the university to promote the sector. What would you tell someone looking for a career in the industry?

I would say, everyone is different, but if you want to get into it, jump in with both feet and don’t look back. There is a lot more opportunity in the North East than some people may think. You mention the commercial property opportunities in the North East.

How do you find the market at the moment and how do you see it developing over the next six to 12 months?

In 2018, the North East was one of only four UK regions to record increased investment in commercial property. Nevertheless, we were wary about 2019 with the ongoing Brexit uncertainty, but so far it’s exceeding our expectations. In Newcastle, regeneration of the Quayside and parts of the city centre, alongside general investment across the city is exciting and is set to bolster the market further.

How do you find the sector?

I have always enjoyed fantastic support both within George F. White and the industry as a whole with colleagues and contacts providing opportunities that have allowed me to develop professionally and personally. The RICS Matrics and Young Professionals networks allow for regional socialising and networking at which I’ve been made welcome.

George F. White

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