Who are today’s talents and what does their path onto the employment market look like? To find out, we decided to ask our own young professionals.
“Property consultancy is a team sport.”
1. Dennis, you’ve already worked in several parts of Cushman. How did you come to us – and how did you end up at Research?
While I was still studying, I was looking for a part-time job and took a look at the big players on the Munich property market: that was when I first came across Cushman & Wakefield. Even after the first interview, it was already clear to me that this a company I could see myself staying in beyond the student position. I remember that the head of the branch office started a sentence by saying: “There’s nothing wrong with thinking out loud…”, and it was a pleasant surprise to hear that the company could see me staying on into the future, too. In view of the fact that my degree has given me a very good grasp of how various factors affect space – and thanks to people showing me how to use a range of research tools – it became clear from early on during my student contract at the Office Agency that I would be moving towards the Research department in Munich. And now I’ve been here for just over four months.
2. Is there much of a divide between estate agents on one side and research analysts on the other?
“Property consultancy is a team sport”, as they say, and so I don’t see a strong ‘either-or’ here. In order to offer our customers genuinely professional advice and really support them in their decision-making, estate agents (whether in Office Agency or Capital Markets) need to work with Research. After all, our ability to offer consultancy to clients depends on our knowledge of the market, the property, and all of the challenges linked to both; and this kind of knowledge can only be built on a strong basis of data – a basis to which all business units can contribute. The distinction between the two roles is that the estate agent is closer to the client during one-to-one meetings while the researcher focusses on the ‘big picture’ and often takes a more neutral view of various market trends. Overall, though, the key thing to remember is that only when all business units are working together can Cushman & Wakefield make progress.
3. What does an average day at work look like for research analysts? And what are the specific research challenges in real estate?
The core task of a research analyst is to interpret data: we distil information about the market from the data we have access to, and this information is what creates value and helps us offer our clients professional market insights. These clients could be large-scale investors from abroad, globally-active corporates, or local companies: regardless of their size and position in the economy, these clients need a solid basis on which to take decisions. Our market insights give them this basis.
One particularly challenging aspect of real estate as an industry is that the commercial lettings market is relatively intransparent from a research point of view. Since data is the basis for all evaluations and estimates, it is extremely important to take account of as many indicators relating to each office-space market as possible; yet this is more difficult to do in Germany than elsewhere. Compared to the Benelux states, for instance, there is a real lack of transparency here. This means that procuring and collecting data is one of the most demanding – and difficult – areas of work in research.
4. What is your favourite area of research?
What I most enjoy doing is working on pitches: data analysis and visualisation are indispensable here, and especially using our Power BI tool, the way we can make data visually accessible is now on a completely new level. Power BI allows us to create interactive market evaluations, for instance, which opens up new possibilities for how to design a pitch to a prospective client. Instead of zipping through a load of static slides in PowerPoint, we can create an interactive discussion between ourselves and the client in which we jointly analyse the market and Cushman & Wakefield can then respond to the client’s wishes. This is definitely one of the things I like doing most – and one of the things which will become more important as we move forward because it is a way for us to differentiate ourselves from the competition.
5. If you had to describe the real-estate sector in three words, which words would you choose?
In alphabetical order: exciting, future-orientated, and varied!
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This interview was conducted by Zarina Merkel, Senior Consultant, Marketing & Communications at Cushman & Wakefield