Trainee Blog: A day in the life of a Transactional Real Estate Trainee

I am currently a second-seat Trainee in the Transactional Real Estate (TRE) team, based in the Exeter office. It is true what most professionals say ("not one day is the same!") but below is a snippet of what can be expected in a day in the TRE team.

8:40 – 9:00 I typically arrive in the office at some point during this period depending on traffic conditions. Having relocated from London to Exeter for my Training Contract, I still feel privileged to have a short commute that allows me to get that extra bit of sleep in – I do not miss the scorching temperatures of the Underground's Central Line!

9:00 – 9:20 I scroll through my emails, filing anything that has been completed and adjust my to do list to consider any tasks that can be actioned quickly. The nature of TRE work means that there can be several emails being exchanged on just the one matter, so I make sure to keep on top of it as much as possible to avoid missing important information. 

9:20 After dealing with a few email replies, I work best when "eating the frog for breakfast" which means dealing with the bigger tasks such as drafting reports on title or leases. I have been asked to prepare a report on title of a mixed use property (commercial use on ground floor and residential use on the upper two floors). Having already reviewed the title of the property and the searches that had been commissioned, I have a better understanding of the points we would like to highlight to the client. There are a few points I need to discuss further so I add notes in the footer to flag these to the supervising fee earner to discuss. 

10:15 – 10:30 I turn to my actual real breakfast and pop into our floor's (newly refurbished) kitchen to prepare my bowl of Weetabix, yoghurt and blueberries. We are able to provide a full service across the Real Estate sector (including teams that specialise in Property Litigation, Planning, Construction and Engineering, and Projects), so I am bound to bump into someone from a team outside of TRE. It is a nice opportunity to have a quick catch up with someone who you might not otherwise work with during your day.

11:10 I am asked to assist with an urgent due diligence task involving a corporate transaction of a business purchase. We act for the buyer and there are several properties involved in the portfolio and we are conducting a due diligence exercise. My task is to obtain and review the properties' planning applications from the Planning Portal and update the due diligence report. The task is likely to take some time so I update my colleagues on my capacity levels and that I will start/slot in their task a little later that day.

13:15 – 14:10 Tuesday is the team's 'anchor' day where we all (try to) come into the office and have an open lunch invite in our calendars. As the weather is nice, a few of us head outside and today's topic is must-watch TV series.

14:15 – 15:30 I finish populating the due diligence report and email the wider team confirming that this has been completed. It is interesting to see how much input the report has had from teams across the Firm (e.g. Commercial and Employment) reflecting the collaborative nature of much of the work that we do. 

15:30 – 15:40 I receive confirmation from my colleague that a draft statutory declaration on another matter has now been approved and we need it to be sworn as soon as possible as this will hold up completion. As it needs to be sworn in the presence of an independent solicitor (a law firm in this case), I head outside on a field trip lasting no more than 10 minutes as I walk across to a neighbouring firm to have this done. 

15:40 – 16:40 I have to register a deed of surrender with the Land Registry which is not something that I have done before. I start by looking up the relevant Land Registry Practice Guide. I can now (quite sadly) recall the different Land Registry Practice Guide numbers off the top of my head as they are often quite prescriptive on the different application requirements.

16:40 – 16:50 I receive an email about a new matter concerning a tenancy at will. I briefly review the email and note that we are missing some information needed before proceeding. I reply to the fee earner confirming these so I can start drafting in the next day once the responses are in.

16:50 – 18:00 I continue drafting the report on title which I started earlier. It is not due until the end of the week but as these can take some time and urgent tasks may come in, I try to pick this up whenever possible. 

18:00 – 18:10 I review my email inbox (replying to anything that I can), set up calendar reminders and update my to do list.

18:20 I head to the gym for a HIIT/strength session – I have not been as consistent with my training and with the Michelmores 5K Charity Run fast approaching, I need to improve my stamina!