Property Planning and Development

Planning and development work is a specialism within the broader real estate sector. Specialists in this area work at both strategic policy and operational levels. Their work impacts on the physical aspects of the built and natural environment, as well as social, economic and environmental aspects.

Practice Area Planning and Development

Development surveyors’ source, appraise, value, and sell a wide range of land and property, including housing, retail and commercial premises. They oversee development projects, including residential, commercial and public builds, working with other professionals, managing budgets ensuring that all compliance, safety and risk management standards are met.

Development surveyors also focus on maximising the value and return of assets, assessing the performance of an investor’s portfolio to ensure profitability and value.

What skills are required?
  • Excellent communication skills, including negotiation skills
  • Drive and the ability to build relationships and networks and generate new business
  • The ability to work well with clients and other professionals.
  • Commercial awareness
  • Strong organisation skills
  • Attention to detail
What qualifications are required? A non-cognate or RICS accredited degree may be required, with most surveyors working towards Chartered status with the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (MRICS).
What is it like in practice?

Development surveyors usually work in the private sector, advising on all aspects of the development process, however public sector opportunities also exist.

You will need to liaise with clients and understand their business needs and objectives, as well as working with and supporting other professionals.  Development is an area which requires high level communication and interpersonal skills, developing and maintain relationships with current and potential clients and industry specialists. The environment is often dynamic and demanding and uses real estate expertise and knowledge of the build life cycle to identify and achieve the world’s future sustainable development needs.

Work Environment Split between office and site visits with client meetings and presentations.  Travel is often required and a flexible approach to working hours may be expected as projects reach critical points.
Employment opportunities

Employers include planning consultancies, firms of chartered surveyors, commercial development companies, public utilities, landowners, private developers, house builders and housing associations and large commercial retail, banking and entertainment organisations with in-house estates departments.

Firms may recruit graduates on to a graduate development programme, but opportunities exist for these with more general experience to specialise.   Opportunity are available in the UK and globally.

Whilst many students have an RICS accredited degree, there may be opportunities for non-cognate graduates to join a firm and study for a property qualification whilst working.

There are also degree apprenticeships in real estate surveying available which could lead to a career in this specialism.

More information

Visit RICS (opens new window)

Visit Prospects (opens new window)

Relevant UCEM programmes

BSc Real Estate Management

MSc Real Estate

MBA Construction and Real Estate

You might like this role if you enjoy:

  • Using verbal communication skills to negotiate and generate new business
  • Project Management

See more skills used by property planning and development surveyors

  • Using a wide range of data such as verbal, written, numerical and perceptual information
  • Analysing and identifying patterns in data
  • Working with different people such as clients and specialists
  • Doing deals and making transactions