That’s Farming editor, Catherina Cunnane, in conversation with Jack Quinn (26), Co Wexford, in this week’s Career Focus segment. They discuss his family’s long-standing business, Quinn Property, his educational pathway into the property field, a stint at JLL, and how the Covid-19 pandemic has changed his working life and the sector itself.
CC: Do you hail from a farming background?
JQ: There is certainly a farming background on both sides of my family. Some of my earliest memories are of helping herd sheep on my grandad’s farm and opening and closing gates for him as he checked up on his stock.
As well as this, I have helped at Carnew Mart, a business my great-grandfather set up in the mid-1900s, from a young age.
JQ: QUINN PROPERTY was established in 1960 and provides a wide range of property services across residential, commercial, and agricultural properties.
The company provides services across the south-east with offices in Carnew, Co. Wicklow and Gorey, Co. Wexford.
I have been a negotiator since September 2021; I helped out in the business during school holidays and while in college.
After finishing up at UCD, I took a summer internship with JLL and enrolled in a full-time masters (MSc in Real Estate in DIT Bolton Street, now TUD).
I opted to do a summer internship in the real estate industry with JLL to get additional first-hand experience in the sector and then apply this to the MSc in Real Estate.
I worked in JLL’s (Jones Lang LaSalle) Dublin office. JLL is a global real estate advisor, and I was part of the office agency and valuations departments during my three years there.
I had the opportunity to work with numerous well-known multinational companies and high net worth individuals with high expectations, so you become accustomed to providing the highest standards of service and results.
Although most of my work with JLL related to commercial property, the core skills and experience gained are transferable to my current role.
Undertaking the masters in real estate was a great compliment to my previous experience in the sector and helped improve skills such as valuations and development appraisals.
Also, I became a licensed property services provider during the masters.
CC: Did you always intend to be involved in the family business?
JQ: With Quinn Property being a long-standing family business, getting involved on a permanent basis has always been in my plans.
However, it was not until I moved home from Dublin during the pandemic that I made the decision.
I had been working from home for almost a year, and I had already adjusted to being back in the area; the timing seemed right!
It is a family business, so the inspiration has certainly come from my family.
I am the fourth generation to work in the business, and I hope to build on the strong foundations already in place.
I always had a broad interest in business which led to my decision to study commerce in UCD.
At the time, I would have been open to a wide array of careers within business; I had and still have a keen interest in marketing.
JQ: The fact that there is no typical day in my working life is what makes it so enjoyable.
However, to give you an example, today, I started the day with a sales valuation near Enniscorthy before meeting with a customer in our Gorey office to further discuss the sale of their house and land.
After the meeting concluded, I had some time to catch up on emails, issue some sales proposals and make some calls before heading out to conduct some viewings nearby.
In the afternoon, I met with the owner of a commercial property to discuss the rental value of his unit, conducted some viewings of a mixed-use premises in Bunclody and dropped into the Carnew office to discuss upcoming auctions with colleagues.
Typically, I would spend more time on the road than in the office; for me, this is one of the benefits of the role.
I like to make the most of my time on the road by catching up on calls while also keeping an eye out for business opportunities.
CC: Has the pandemic permanently impacted your work and the way your industry operates?
JQ: Yes. Following the Covid-19 pandemic, we now have the ability to work from home in certain circumstances. Marketing tools such as virtual viewings have also become more widespread.
CC: Have you noticed any different trends emerging in the property field since the Covid-19 pandemic struck?
JQ: Homes in the south-east rarely have, if ever, been as attractive.
With the continuing trend of working from home or hybrid working practices, people are escaping larger cities and towns where property (among other things) are far more expensive than they are here.
It has been extremely interesting to see this trend begin and develop since 2020.
JQ: Manging expectations is probably the most challenging aspect of the business. As has been widely reported, property prices have been going from strength to strength for many years.
This can lead to higher expectations of value than can actually be the case. As long-established estate agents and valuers, we aim to provide realistic market values.
CC: What does it take to have a successful career in this field?
JQ: It is very important to keep up to date with market dynamics at both a local and broader level.
Property prices are dependent on a vast array of factors, so it is crucial to have strong awareness as to what is happening in the market at any given time.
Aside from that, having a large network of contacts is very helpful in the industry.
A good estate agent needs strong interpersonal skills are vital as well as clear communication with both buyers and sellers.
CC: What is your aim going forward?
JQ: It is to develop the QUINN PROPERTY business and brand. I am particularly focused on growing our residential sales division as well as commercial sales and lettings.
This article was written by Catherina Cunnane of thatsfarming.com and can be accessed here.