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2012: The Half Way Point

So we’ve hit the half- way point for 2012; when we kicked off the year we were met with questions relating to New Year’s resolutions, including: How do I change career paths? What staff will we need to take us through to 2013? How can we minimise holiday leave debt? It you haven’t taken a moment to stop and reflect on your year thus far, now is the time to do so!

As we have moved through 2012, we have been asked to help with challenges for clients around recruitment and retention. In most instances it appears to be driven purely by remuneration, however when we delve deeper into why businesses are churning their team, more often than not it is a result of the culture of the business, opposed to the money in the pocket.

What do you need to do to ensure you attract great people and keep them?

Firstly, in the absence of a point of difference, a potential employee will make a decision based on remuneration, just like a client will select an agent
for the same reason when they can see no benefit in paying a higher fee. When a candidate is able to see, feel, or experience the benefits of working with your business, they will be less concerned with the income.

At Real Estate Career Developers we have noticed the following trends in recruitment and retention outside of remuneration:

  1. It’s the first impression that counts
    Gone are the days of the one-way interview – both the employee and the employer are being interviewed. A quality candidate will have ample options, and will typically obtain more than one offer, so what have you done to ensure that the candidate wants to work for you? What has the experience been like? Would they take the role before they understood the remuneration package?
    An interview is just like a listing presentation – treat it like one and win the quality business!
  2. Pathway for development
    When you consider administration, marketing, and property management positions within your organisation, how long do you really expect a team member to stay in one position? In most instances, if you retain a quality team member for two to three years you are experiencing a good result. It is not the quantity of time, it’s the quality. Instead of only considering what you can get from the employee, consider what you can do for each other during their stay with you. How can you maximise their output, whilst they maximise their development?By creating a pathway for professional and personal development during their employment, you will be improving the quality of your team, the experience of your clients, and increasing their tenure.
    Remember that business changes on a daily basis, whether because of the client, legislation, or technology. Having a team in situ for ten years without development, may provide poorer results than a team of one year who are part of a continuing improvement strategy.
  3. New talent
    Everyone must start somewhere, and where appropriate, nurturing industry newbies is a great option for the people in your business. Courses are easily available now, either online or face-to-face, to assist with the development of people in all facets of business.
  4. Recurring review
    Fiona Blayney often finds herself asking a team member, “How do you know if you are doing a good job?” The most common answer – “I suppose I don’t, I just assume I’m doing okay if I am not getting into trouble”. Everyone wants to know how they are performing – how often do you relay this to your team in both an informal and formal environment?Role dependant, structured, and regularly given reviews with your team allow you to identify how you can improve the culture and improve the company’s input for the individual, and provide feedback to the team members on how they can improve their input into the business.

As People Consultants, we appreciate that people are one of the greatest assets of your business— without great people you will not thrive. Consider how much time, effort and energy you are putting into this area of your business; perhaps it reflects what’s coming back to you? We know that the most successful agencies – whatever their goals – are those where their people are happy.

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Fiona Blayney

Fiona Blayney is the founder and director of Real+, an industry first Property Management learning platform. For more info visit realplusonline.com.au.