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Real Estate Boom A Recruitment Pain for Employers

South Australia’s booming real estate market is causing a headache for employers wanting to add to their workforce.

The unprecedented surge in activity in the property market has increased demand for staff such as sales administrators, residential property managers and people in general administration such as receptionists and trust accountants.

We are also amid a major candidate shortage which is showing no signs of slowing heading into 2022. Employers are struggling to find staff. This is compounded by a record number of positions being advertised with very low levels of applications received. There is a war for talent across many sectors, meaning employers are competing with a wider range of companies looking to secure the best people.

Job seekers continue to show caution and a reluctance to change jobs, exacerbated by COVID-19, economic uncertainty and border closures.

We explain what actions employers can take and speak with Emma Slape, CEO at Turner Real Estate about their recruitment strategy.

Property managers (PM’s) have definitely been in shorter supply over the past 12 months. Candidates who have accepted our positions have noted that they chose us for our staff retention, flexible working conditions, administrative support and opportunities for growth.

The days of the PM doing everything from answering after-hours calls to preparing paperwork have really moved behind us. People want to use their skills and work in a wider team, which gives them support and better working hours. Our staff love not working weekends or after hours knowing that the team can always assist them when they are out of the office or need that extra support during peak periods.

— Emma Slape, CEO at Turner Real Estate

What pain points are property employers experiencing?

  • More competition
    Employers are experiencing more competition to entice candidates and not just from inside their own industry. We’ve noticed an increase in people being recruited from outside the property sector.
  • Salaries are up
    Salaries have gone up across the property sector. Our recent salary survey found the average salary for a residential property manager with more than 3 years’ experience is now $60,789.
  • Sales departments scrambling
    Sales departments are incredibly busy with property sales activity up significantly in 2021 compared to the previous 12 months, increased demand for properties and transactions occurring faster than ever.
  • Rental departments inundated
    Property management departments are reporting that properties are being rented out in record time, with challenges around managing a high volume of enquiries and applications for many properties when they are advertised for rent.

How can employers take action?

  • Great culture
    Culture is everything! A smaller organisation that can offer a great culture, work-life balance and opportunities for professional development can compete against larger organisations.
  • Point of difference
    Jobseekers are increasingly looking for flexible work hours and work from home opportunities, so smart employers will sharpen their employee value proposition add these benefits to their employment offering.
  • Job security
    Economic uncertainty has caused candidates to be concerned about job security. That’s why it’s especially important for employers to provide candidates with information about their financial buoyancy during the recruitment process. Any information about financial performance, pipelines of work or contracts in place should be communicated to candidates.
  • Move fast
    In this tight labour market, candidates are getting snapped up very quickly. Our advice is to be decisive, know what your value proposition is and act promptly when making any offers of employment.

Property industry employers are likely to continue to have trouble finding quality staff as the candidate shortage continues, and real estate activity remains high. As borders reopen, we hope to see a slight easing of the candidate shortage as interstate and overseas candidates enter the employment market in 2022. More information will be available about this next year, and we will be updating our clients regularly on how they can stay ahead in the search for quality recruits.