The battle for quality real estate staff is pushing agency principals to take human resources more seriously, with some developing ‘banks’ of people they can approach as job vacancies arise, a specialist recruitment firm has said.
Joel Barbuto, managing director at Gough Recruitment, expected a positive 2013 for the real estate industry, although this means competition for quality staff will continue, he said in the December issue of Real Estate Business.
The specialist real estate recruitment company, which has offices in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide, along with Singapore, expects sales agents, property managers and property manager BDMs, to be in hot demand next year.
Mr Barbuto said he is seeing some principals enhance their chances of securing top quality talent by creating an HR role within their agency, with a view to developing ‘people banks’ – a list of people they can approach should a vacancy arise.
Mr Barbuto said this was particularly evident in Sydney, where some leading boutique agencies were aggressively seeking new staff as they expand their businesses.
He added that principals should – where possible – invest in quality sales managers and/or performance managers in order to ensure their staff is being looked after and they receive the feedback and guidance that many of them now crave and expect.
In a word of caution, Mr Barbuto said principals must sharpen up their interviewing and recruitment skills, as applicants will increasingly want to interview principals.
“Candidates interview principals on what the organisation is like, on what training and development opportunities they offer. They might have 10 interviews. Principals that turn up with no CVs and no questions [and not prepared] – that will no longer work. They’ve got to sell the job.”
Jason Roach, Westpac head of real estate services, says hiring the right people requires an investment of time and money – around five per cent of revenue should be provided for training and education.
“You should always be scouting for the fastest, strongest and fittest team members,” Mr Roach says, and 2013 won’t be any different. This does not commit you to hiring them, but it does assist you in staying close to the marketplace and competition.”
National licensing, which is due to come into effect on July 1 next year, could also be a boon to agency principals, provided they start looking beyond their local patch for new staff.
“It could encourage candidates to move interstate,” Mr Barbuto continued.
“As it is, many in the industry already tend to move from Melbourne to Perth, or Sydney to the Gold Coast, or Perth to Sydney. But many principals still think on a very localised level. They should be looking interstate as well.”