The author of this article is Jen Lemen-Hogarth BSc (Hons) MRICS, chartered surveyor, director at Projekt (Commercial property consultancy), owner at Property Elite (Training, CPD and APC support), and teacher of surveying with both UWE Bristol and the University College of Estate Management.
My working life now is very different from when I started my career in the property industry over 10 years ago. I started off working as an assistant surveyor for a self-employed Chartered Surveyor in Bristol. We focused on local property management and agency instructions, and I learnt a lot about the dynamics of the Bristol property market.
At the same time, I embarked on a 5 year part-time (RICS accredited) degree course in Property Management & Investment at UWE Bristol. My first few years were on day release and I studied a wide variety of modules; property law, planning, development, valuation, landlord & tenant, investment… the list goes on!
After a few years I knew it was time to move on. I wrote nearly 100 bespoke covering letters to all of the Chartered Surveying firms I could find in Bristol and the wider South West. I seem to recall I attended perhaps five interviews and received job offers from two.
This marked my move to Rapleys in central Bristol – where I quickly became an expert in all matters to do with landlord & tenant and strategic real estate advice. I also boosted my experience with agency, development and valuation instructions – supported by a multi-disciplinary team of property professionals.
At this time, I moved onto a distance learning mode of finishing my degree course – I was the only student doing this! It was tough, but for me it meant I could combine the experience of working and learning.
By the time I graduated with a first class honours degree, I had moved up the career ranks at Rapleys to become a Senior Surveyor and began preparing for my RICS APC.
This was probably one of the toughest times in my career – the APC is no laughing matter and it really does require motivation and enthusiasm to get you through. My final assessment interview was hard work, but I received good news and became a Chartered Surveyor. At the same time, I was promoted again at Rapleys and started guest lecturing at UWE Bristol in Real Estate.
In the back of my mind though, I had an idea for a business that kept me awake from time to time. In 2017, my idea came to fruition and I left my role as a Senior Associate at Rapleys to launch Property Elite and Projekt (property consultancy). I also work part-time at UWE as a Senior Lecturer in Real Estate and at UCEM as a Dissertation Supervisor.
Through Property Elite, we provide training and CPD services for property professionals, with a focus on the RICS APC process. Having been through it myself, I understand what is required of professionals to become Chartered Surveyors. I am also a current APC assessor, which keeps my understanding of the process up-to-date and allows me to give something back to the profession.
Property Elite’s key objectives are to provide the highest quality APC support services, whilst ensuring great value for money and unrivaled responsiveness. We pride ourselves on being friendly and approachable, whilst ensuring that candidates feel supported on a personal level throughout their APC.
You can find more about the services we provide here. You can also read more about how you can become a top Chartered Surveyor without going to University here.