Wednesday, 29 November 2017

The PropTech Conference 2017

In the beginning...

On Friday 24 November, the School of the Built Environment joined with the School of Architecture to hold the 2017 PropTech Conference for students and staff.

The first session was chaired by Damian Wild, Editor of the EG and focused on 'how to get a job in property and keep it in this age of automation'. The panel discussing the issues around this topic comprised: Alex Bailes (Head of Product Engineering at CBRE), Eden Dwek (Manager - Tech Growth at KPMG), Savannah de Savary (Founder and CEO of Built-ID) and Brittany Hurley (Senior Director UK at VTS). There was a lively discussion and a number of questions from the audience.

The Panel with Damian Wild and...

...the audience

The next session was led by Dave Ramsey, Director of Data Standards at the RICS and focused on the future for surveyors 

The first session after lunch was led by Ross Raftery from Deloitte LLP and focused on
the impact of PropTech on the real estate industry

The rest of the afternoon focused on the impact of PropTech on other aspects of the built environment including: planning and development, architecture, design and construction. The sessions were led by:

Neil Goldsmith, Senior Director, Lichfields Planning and Development Consultancy
Mark Greatrix and Victoria Ruby from Waldeck Consulting
Scott Sworts from Avatar Design and Oxford Brookes University
Nigel Mehdi, author of the RICS Insight Paper on Big Data

The sessions were followed by a panel debate and Q&A session which was chaired by Professor Joe Tah, Head of the School of the Built Environment.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

MSc Real Estate: Birmingham 2017

(some of) the MSc Real Estate students at Snow Hill with Rebecca Gee

During the second week of November, the students on the MSc Real Estate went on a field trip to one of the contenders for the title of England's second city: Birmingham (although not everyone in Manchester would agree). The field trip is designed to introduce the postgraduate students to issues of sustainable use and development in the context of specific commercial and residential property markets and to:

  • develop an understanding of sustainable use and development
  • examine the use, investment and development of commercial and residential property
  • set commercial  and residential property in a wider economic, social and legal context

Birmingham has traditionally been regarded as England’s second city, but has long been thought of as a less-than-glamorous destination. The major development plan for Birmingham was launched in 2010 and lays out a 20-year vision known as The Big City Plan. Birmingham is changing and has a lot more to offer than previously thought...the Guardian has produced the 'Alt City Guide to Birmingham'. Click on the red links for more information. Photos by Danielle Sidoli and David Shiers.

After arriving in Birmingham, the students attended a presentation from David Smeeton (Cushman & Wakefield) which gave an investment overview of Birmingham. Then they walked to Snow Hill and visited the marketing suite at 3 Snow Hill for a talk by Richard Proctor from the Ballymore Group, on the development taking place at Snow Hill - which has been likened to Canary Wharf - click on the link and judge for yourself or watch the video. After checking into their hotel, the students met at Pizza Express in Brindley Place for the group meal.

On tour in the city centre: the ICC (and Symphony Hall), the Library of Birmingham and the Selfridges building

Brindley Place


The next day, the students split into two groups: for a walking tour of the city centre (see photos above) and to visit the development sites at 2 and 3 Snowhill (see photos below).

Inside 3 Snow Hill

...for a guided tour and talks on the structural design of the building, its cladding/curtain walling system, the energy and other building services systems used... well as sustainability issues and the importance of flexible office areas.

And the outside, showing the development of 2 and 3 Snowhill (2 Snowhill will house the new HS2 team in Birmingham

Exploring the city and its nightlife

The next (and final day) and the students walked to Paradise Circus for a presentation about the development from Rob Groves of Argent. Then it was on to Knight Frank (Birmingham Office) to meet Hannah Badger for a walk around the residential development on Pershore Street and the building at 1 Colmore Row, part of the Colmore Business District. And then home to Oxford.

For more information on the MSc Real Estate, take a look at our website, or the MSc Real Estate section on the blog:

MSc Real Estate on the Brookes website
MSc Real Estate on the Hot Property blog

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Careers in Real Estate 2017

Getting ready for the Careers Day 2017

The job application season is well underway for both our final year undergraduates and our MSc students. A number of careers events have already taken place, with more to follow. The first event was held on 10 October when students and staff were joined by members of our alumni society OBREMS and the Real Estate Professional Liaison Group for a whole day dedicated to careers. The day consisted of a series of presentations with plenty of breaks for networking and discussions. The morning and afternoon sessions featured presentations from some of our recent graduates: Chris Green, who started off at Savills and now works for Glenny LLP and Georgia Eckert, who works for Jones Norris Adams.

Philip Parnell, from Deloitte presenting on 'Life in the Corporate World'

The other presentations were:

  • Working in the Real World, by Georgia Eckert from Jones Norris Adams
  • Working in the Residential Market, by Elaine Tooke from Oxford Brookes
  • The APC Process, by Chris Green from Glenny LLP
  • Working for a “smaller” firm, by Harry Pruden from Hanover Green
  • Working “client side”, by Natalie Orde from Grosvenor Estates
  • Working for the “big” firms, by Savills

The day finished with 'Conclusions and General Questions' and a drinks reception (sponsored by Savills) in Taylors Yard at Oxford Brookes.

The next event was the Built Environment Careers Fair which took place on 16 October. This year more than 50 companies attended the fair as well as staff from Oxford Brookes Careers and quite a lot of our alumni who were representing the firms they now work for. Another great day for networking. I took a few photos...

The Oxford Brookes Careers team

For more information about how the Oxford Brookes Careers team can help you, take a look at their website. Once you are out in the world of work, or whilst you are looking for a job, join one of our LinkedIn groups where we post jobs and where you can keep in touch with your fellow graduates:

Real Estate Management (over 900 members)
Oxford Brookes Construction, QS and Project Management (nearly 300 members)

Finally, if you are a graduate of Real Estate Management (BSc or MSc) and would like to be involved in our Real Estate Mentoring Scheme please get in touch with

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

BSc Real Estate Management: the Oxford tour 2017

The new students on the BSc Real Estate Management and the BA Planning and Property Development were treated to a guided walking tour of Oxford (with Footprint Tours) during Freshers' Week. The tour focused on the history of Oxford and its buildings. Our tour guide was a History/English student at the University of Oxford, so the students had plenty of information stored in their heads for the Oxford Quiz. The rain stayed away until the end of the tour when the students went back up the hill for the Quiz and a BBQ at Oxford Brookes. Here is the tour in photos (by the Ed). Click on the red links for bits of history.

5 tour guides from Footprints (and Sally)

Broad Street...

...and Balliol College

Crossing over to...

the Museum of the History of Science...

...where some of the heads were wearing boaters.

The Bridge of Sighs, linking two sections of Hertford College over New College Lane
(although it's quicker to walk between the two buildings using the outside route)

New College, one of the oldest colleges of Oxford University

New College Lane...virtually all the buildings in Oxford turned this colour as a result of pollution during the late 19th and early 20th century, although many have now been cleaned up or refaced

Walking down Queen's Lane (home to Queen's College) and back onto
the High Street which hasn't changed much over the last 200 years

Magpie Lane which opens out onto...

...Merton Street. Home to Merton College which has the best food in Oxford University (thanks to a wealthy donor who thought the food was so bad he asked that his donation was spent on improving the catering).
The kitchen even has its own Facebook page.

Through the Meadow Gate and into...

Christchurch College, with its beautiful meadow and gardens

Blue Boar Street...

...home to The Bear, the oldest pub in Oxford (with an massive collection of ties)

The heart of Oxford University - the cobbled area surrounding the Radcliffe Camera.
A library funded by John Radcliffe, a doctor who apparently hated books.

So many tourists down here :)

All Souls College. A postgraduate college with a legendary entrance exam.

The Bodleian Library

The Clarendon Building

Looking past the heads to the Weston Library 

And back to Broad Street, where a cross marks the scene of the burning of the Oxford Martyrs.