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How to Attract The Best Real Estate Staff

Attracting and retaining top real estate professionals is a core focus for employers, following a strong lift in the property recruitment market in 2013.

With the Reserve Bank of Australia’s interest rate cuts resulting in record-low rates, there is a more positive outlook in the residential, apartment and large subdivision areas.

While New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia show a speedier recovery, albeit off a low base, Victoria has remained stable with some continued slowdown in the commercial sector.

Strong And Weak Spots In Real Estate

There have been job cuts within some of the larger Real Estate Investment Trusts (REIT) in the areas of project management, asset management and development expertise.

However, there is continuing strong demand for specialists in:

  • Retail, residential and apartment developments or projects
  • Corporate real estate across commercial valuations and leasing
  • Development appointments
  • Asset management, which is expected to remain reasonably stable despite some cuts, due to the current strength of the facilities, building management and property management niches.

SMEs Prove Popular In New Trend

An increasing number of experienced talent is moving into SMEs, a surprising trend in a competitive and buoyant marketplace where diverse opportunities are still available in larger organisations. But employers managing a small to medium operation can take advantage of their appeal and secure the market’s best and brightest talent.

As a general rule, real estate business owners running a small business often seek generalist, multi-skilled employees with a broad skill set, while larger organisations call for employees with more precise and specialised skills.

How To Secure The Best Talent

Did you know that 74% of property and construction professionals use a recruitment agency to help them find a new job, according to the 2013 Michael Page Employee Intentions Report?

Other popular channels for jobseekers include:

  • Online sourcing tools such as job boards
  • Social media platforms such as LinkedIn (nominated by 69 per cent of survey respondents) and Google+ (according to 39 per cent)
  • Traditional networking events
  • Press advertising, particularly for specialist or senior positions

5 Tips When Interviewing Candidates

  1. Establish a consistent interviewing process
  2. Be very clear on the exact responsibility and role you’d like a potential employee to undertake
  3. Be transparent about any additional expectations you have of an employee, outside of their core role
  4. Ask throughtful and prepared questions in an interview, covering behavioural, situational and cultural scenarios
  5. Follow up on the interview with thorough reference checking with the candidate’s previous line manager and supplier contacts – this is critical, even if time is poor and you need to fill a vacancy fast

Got Them? Hold On To Them

A solid talent attraction and retention strategy is important. You can consider initiatives like:

  • The implementation of staff incentives such as competitive remuneration and rewards
  • Non-financial incentives like training and development
  • Clear communication around company vision and values
  • Promoting a strong company culture overall
  • Compiling a clear personal development plan with objectives that employee and employer can each work towards
  • Providing career diversity or the opportunity to get involved in major projects the company may be investing in
  • Ensuring there are good leadership skills in management ranks
  • Scope for career progression (voted as most important by 23 per cent of property and construction
  • Workplace flexibility (nominated as most important by 19 per cent)
  • Scope for salary increases (voted by 18%)

Developing strong retention schemes for staff is particularly important in the real estate sector, as there is an emphasis on internal referrals where specialist skill sets are well-known, so you never know who is tempting your staff with the offer of greener pastures.

What Do My Staff Really Want?

According to over half of the employees working in the property and construction sector surveyed for the 2013 Michael Page Employee Intentions Report (56 per cent), flexible work arrangements is the most sought-after work-life balance option.

Other popular employee benefits are higher superannuation contributions (nominated by 43% of respondents), healthcare or health insurance (voted by 40%) and income protection insurance (voted by 36%).

Good leaders in the real estate industry should manage the performance of their employees by compiling strong, clear objectives for individuals and the team, delivering consistent and regular communication to measure performance, and making sure there are clear signposts in place where performance is measured.

For assistance with your real estate job search or hiring requirements, please contact us today to speak to one of our specialist consultants.