Hugh O'Donnell compares his experience in both the New York & Dublin Property Markets
Having grown up with a family background in property, and after I had finished my undergraduate degree in accounting & finance I decided it was time to immerse myself into the world of real estate. I moved to New York having secured a role as an agent on a team in Bond New York. Bond New York, with offices located just off 14th Street, offered me the opportunity to take on clients between residential lettings, purchases, sales, and investments. Upon my return to Ireland, I chose to study a full-time master’s in real estate at Technological University Dublin and that brings me to my current role here at Murphy Mulhall.
In New York, I worked in a residential brokerage, so I got a great insight into the process of purchases, sales, and lettings of residential assets. The team was small which benefitted my learning as I was very involved straight away in all areas of work. A couple of key takeaways I took from this experience was how important knowledge of the local market is. I was often dealing with clients from out of the state or country and providing context in terms of location, neighbourhood, transportation etc. My experience in New York also thought me about strategy. You’re competing for deals in an open market where there is no exclusivity period. Consequently, compiling necessary client documents before even viewing properties was a must. You must move fast in a market that recycles its stock much quicker than the Irish market. I had one experience where a client had to literally sprint down 5th avenue to a bank to get a deposit check in the hand of a landlord before a competing party. My experience in the residential market in New York was very rewarding and a great catalyst to my career in commercial property.
In contrast to my role in New York, my role with Murphy Mulhall allows me the opportunity to work in all sectors of the business which is rare in this industry as most graduate programmes rotate you through departments 9-12 months at a time. Working in a slightly larger team in Murphy Mulhall is a much different environment and as such has been a great learning experience. It is incredibly interesting to be boots on the ground for inspections of premises, getting to see all the physical and logistical elements of running a business as well as being exposed to their financial management and reporting in the process of considering the strength of a tenant covenant for a potential letting or acquisition. What I enjoy most about my role is just picking up the phone and speaking with buyers and vendors every day. While property is a very tangible asset, it is also much more than that for the stakeholders involved as it can bring a lot of emotion to the fore, to hear from a satisfied client is extremely gratifying. The job can be an emotional rollercoaster at times, but the success stories are a rewarding part of the job.
My advice to those considering a career in property is to start talking to experts within the industry. LinkedIn is a fantastic way to connect with people and you will be surprised at how helpful the experts within the property industry are to anyone looking for guidance and advice.