Real Estate & Construction Industry Offers Golden Opportunities For Civil Engineers

Mr. Ashwani Awasthi, Managing Director, RICS SBEThe real estate industry in India, ranked second largest in the world, is contributing about 6% of India's GDPexpected to touch 7% share in the next five years. The construction industry ranks third among the top 14 sectors directly or indirectly affecting other sectors in the economy.The industry is a huge employment generator in sub-sectors like housing, retail, hospitality, and commercial. The development of this sector is well complemented by the growth of the corporate environment and the demand for office space as well as urban and semi-urban accommodations. This comprehensive growth in the Built Environment sector means burgeoning opportunities for Civil Engineers.

Civil engineering earlier considered to be slow-motion discipline has acquired unparalleled growth dimensions with advance and disruptive technologies transforming and driving the industry to the future. Identifying such technologies that transform the development of social infrastructure and construction,upskilling oneself to deploy and take advantages of such technologies in Real Estate, Construction require the skill sets as imparted by various postgraduate courses in Real Estate, Construction Project Management, in Construction Economics & Quantity Surveying and in Facilities Management. Civil Engineering graduates can choose to upskill themselves to avail ample opportunities in different aspects of real estate and construction industry like:

Valuation, appraisal or credit management: Real estate valuers provide unbiased estimates of a property's value and quality. Valuers or valuation professionals usually work for banks or for valuation firms and will normally value properties by finding comparable sales in an area or by estimating the discounted value of cash flows expected from a property. Real estate valuers work in the credit departments of banks and housing financial institutions and take credit decisions on whether to extend credit to a borrower and the maximum amount that should be extended to a borrower. Valuation professionals also act as independent land economists to determine the value of land and property portfolios for mortgage, taxation, probate and collateral purposes.

Construction Project Management: Construction project managers are responsible for managing and controlling all construction operations of construction projects. They start from the planning & design stage and ensure that construction projects are completed on time and within budget, meeting quality standards and safety requirements. Project can constitute a relatively small-scale building like the conversion of a loft in a house to ranging up to a huge project such as building the Olympic Park. In doing so, they take responsibility for the total control of a project from conception to completion stage. They are required to coordinate with various professionals which involve a significant amount of communication and organizational skills. They are very good organizers who enjoy taking-up challenges, working to deadlines and have good problem-solving skills.

Investment Management: Real estate investment managers analyze
real estate markets and work out the best case or optimal scenarios for development and investment, besides devising an organizational strategy and a project-specific marketing plan. They evaluate various projects and perform all necessary due diligence for a possible acquisition.

Contract Management: Construction contract managers oversee projects from the start through to completion, ensuring that work is completed on time and within its budget. As a Contracts Manager, you could be working on a wide variety of projects, from office developments to houses or schools and colleges to roads and railways.

Asset management: Real estate asset managers establish business plans and budgets for the project and monitor revenue, costs, developer schedules and quality of construction.They prepare monthly watch lists and information for management input and work with the developer to re-forecast plans based on early warning signs of problems and issues affecting the project. They also report the variances to plan on the monthly basis and provide full disclosure of problems and issues pertaining to the project to the senior management.

Facilities Management: Facilities Managers or Building control managers are responsible for making sure that buildings are safe, energy efficient and suitable for living. They provide professional advice on the design, maintenance, repair, and refurbishment of buildings. The nature of the work may vary in scale from multi-million dollars structures to modest adaptations and repairs. It may also include working with buildings of architectural or historic importance. Building control managers need to have a very good understanding of how buildings are constructed along with good observational and problem-solving skills.

Quantity Surveying: Construction economists (popularly known as Quantity Surveyors) are responsible for estimating and monitoring construction costs; ensuring that the project is within budget; preparing tax depreciation schedules; estimating replacement cost for insurance; mediation and arbitration. They also advise on development feasibility, procurement routes, contractual management, and manage and advise on all costs of a construction project. They tend to work closely with the client or the contractors to ensure a project is efficient on budget and profitable. They are considered the accountants of the construction industry and enjoy high levels of responsibility.

Development and construction: If you are willing to work hard and take risks to develop new properties,then a career in real estate development and construction may be for you. You can enter this business working for another developer or can start out on your own with a smaller project. Good developers are result-oriented and know how to get work done on time which involves managing workforce, establishing timelines, acquiring appropriate equipment, operators and construction crew.

Leasing and sales management: Such managers specialize in representing real estate developers, landlordsor tenants in the transactions of residential/retail/commercial real estate properties for lease. They may also specialize in representing buyers or sellers in the sale of residential/retail/commercial real estate properties. One could even end up specializing in investment property transactions.

Business Development: Real Estate Business Development concentrates on developing the real estate business and to ensure a sustained growth. It requires coordination and cooperation among the developers of real estate or real estate promoters, real estate brokers, financiers for people who want to purchase real estate and most importantly, the owners of the property.

Advisory and consulting: There is a significant increase in investment in the real estate by institutional investors.The real estate advisors help these investors with their investments which include selecting the property by suggesting areas and property types that are likely to experience price appreciation in the future. This is an exciting job that you can get into after getting experience in investment management or sales management.

Property management: Leading real estate owners require professional property managers. These managers are responsible for negotiating leases, ensuring that tenants are satisfied, rent is paid on time and that rents reflect market conditions. The career of a property manager requires good interpersonal and analytical skills and a fair amount of negotiating prowess. This job is personally rewarding and allows you to really learn and understand the real estate markets, should you wish to embark on a business on your own.

Industry oriented courses in these aspectshelp shape careers in the fast reforming & growing Real Estate & Construction Industry.