HR Problems You Can Face in Real Estate Business
Real estate job satisfaction rate is amazing. In fact, it can be considered higher than in many other industries.
Here’s what the stats from Real Estate Express say:
- 77% of agents are satisfied with their job;
- 93% of brokers claim that they are satisfied with how their business is running;
- Consequently, the overall satisfaction rate in the U.S. real estate industry exceeds 50%.
Although agents and brokers are generally satisfied and motivated to continue working in the real estate industry, there are still some issues that force skilled agents and brokers to leave their job positions.
Among the most common issues, former real estate agents and brokers list workplace conditions, poor corporate training, lack of health safety and security, and payroll.
All these issues are connected to poor management and HR practices. Although many real estate agents are self-employed, there are still big brokerage companies that employ hundreds of real estate agents. And, real estate is quite a specific industry, considering that agents often have flexible time and their pay mostly depends on the commission fee they get from the sales.
Because of so many specific aspects, real estate companies often face the HR system malfunction, which causes them to lose money and valuable talent.
Now, let’s take a closer look at the specific HR problems your real estate business may face, and then we’ll dedicate a part of this article to finding solutions to these problems.
Facing HR Problems in Real Estate Business
1️⃣ Attracting and Retaining Top Talent
It’s no secret that the real estate industry has relatively high employee turnover. According to the recent stats, the average turnover in real estate companies is 28%.
This happens for a number of reasons:
- Companies tend to hire young specialists, offering them brief training on the main specificities of working as a real estate agent and offering them the minimum wage.
- Due to the lack of training and experience in property management and sales, agents tend to fall behind quickly, resulting in low performance or leaving the job.
- Some real estate brokerage firms don’t offer mentorship programs, having their new employees figuring out things on their own. This results in a lack of motivation, forcing young talents to look for better job positions.
Attracting and retaining top talent is a common HR-related problem in the real estate industry. Companies risk losing rising talent and even skilled workers due to the lack of employee support programs.
2️⃣ Workplace Issues
Among the most common workplace issues agents and brokers list lack of resources, unhospitable work environment, and even harassment. The report by Select Leaders shows that over the previous year 9% of real estate companies claimed they changed their corporate policies due to sexual harassment allegation, faced by other companies or their competitors. 91% of companies, however, reported making no changes to corporate policies regarding any type of harassment.
Even though harassment at a workplace is an issue regulated by law, it’s still common in the real estate industry. If a real estate company faces the cases of harassment at a workplace, this shows a lack of proper methodology and the respective corporate policy, which is also a compliance problem.
Some real estate agents also report a highly competitive atmosphere as one of the factors that demotivate them. When working in the real estate industry, one must have thick skin to be able to cope with the workload. However, all employees should have equal opportunities to learn and prove themselves, which leads us to our next point.
3️⃣ Lacking Corporate Training
Inability to advance skills also forces many real estate agents and brokers to leave their jobs. If a company doesn’t have a corporate education center, corporate training becomes a task for HR. The lack of adequate and accessible educational programs also drives away major talent.
The lack of corporate training is a serious HR-connected mishap. According to research, done across several different industries, employees have corporate research as a major factor when considering working for a certain company:
- 74% of employees claim that their potential doesn’t get fulfilled completely because of lack of corporate training.
- 56% of managers consider corporate development a necessary investment, however, they do nothing to bring into action.
- 62% of managers claim that corporate education they provide doesn’t meet the needs of their employees.
Lack of corporate training also explains a high turnover in the real estate industry. 7 out of 10 people say that access to training and corporate development influence their decision to stay with the company.
4️⃣ Disregarding Innovations
Technology is constantly evolving, and every industry needs to quickly adapt to it. Real estate is not an exception, yet, many real estate agents and brokerage companies prefer using obsolete methods without implementing proper tools that can actually decrease the workload.
Innovations that are already accessible in the real estate business are:
- AI-powered software. Payroll can be organized automatically with the help of computer software and even mobile apps. And specifically designed programs can help you track the amount of time an employee spent on a job, which can be helpful in the real estate business, as many agents work flexible hours.
- Chatbots is a feature that real estate companies can really benefit from. At times, when customer service cannot be accessed quickly, chatbots can provide your customers with all the necessary information. Moreover, with chatbots and analytics software it’s easy to track the tickets received by the customer support.
- Social media platforms can really bring your real estate business to the next level. Yet, many independent real estate agents and brokerage companies prefer to stick to the old ways of spreading the word, mainly word-of-mouth marketing.
Implementing innovations also means tracking the performance of the employees more effectively, helping HR to manage the staff and increase employee satisfaction. Such innovations help keep track of all the issues and provide you with regular updates to make sure that you don’t miss anything.
5️⃣ Health and Safety Issues
Many real estate companies don’t consider the safety of their agents and other employees a big issue, as most of them work flexible hours. In construction companies, which are also a part of the real estate industry, this is not an issue, due to the major exposure of the workers to serious health and safety hazards.
Yet, a real estate broker needs good insurance just as any other employee. For some brokerage companies, who, as we mentioned, mostly hire young inexperienced workers, insurance is not a point to consider. However, providing employees with health insurance is a requirement that any company should comply with.
Real estate agents are often exposed to high levels of stress. HR professionals at the real estate company Flatfy have found that 7 out of 10 real estate agents frequently experience professional burnout and claim they often need assistance from a mental health professional.
Thus, health and safety issues involve a much broader specter of problems that need to be tackled by HR to ensure employee satisfaction and decrease employee turnover.
How Do You Tackle These Issues?
Choosing the right approach to your employees and ensuring the right execution of HR-oriented strategies is a must for real estate business. All the issues mentioned above, influence how real estate business operates in a negative way, but luckily, they can be fixed.
So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the possible solutions to the above-mentioned HR-related issues in the real estate industry.
Solution #1: Changes in Corporate Policy
Incorporating changes in the corporate policy will help you solve some of the problems, mentioned above:
- Fixing the work environment. Regarding the work environment, your corporate policy should contain a system of clauses that will support healthy relationships among your employees. For instance, regular staff meetings, office gatherings, and parties, mentorship programs for both new and existing employees will fix the atmosphere in a workplace and will reduce stress caused by high competition. Real estate business is a highly competitive field, however, it is possible to alleviate the stress by encouraging healthy relationships among employees.
- Harassment. The clause concerning any type of harassment should be included in every employee’s contract. However, even if your employees know they are protected by the company and by law, they still may be reluctant to step up and speak. The task of HR managers here is to regularly stress the necessity to be open about such experience to ensure that everyone feels safe at the workplace.
- Health and safety issues. In the United States, having medical insurance is a must. However, if you own a small firm or a startup, and have no possibility to cover medical insurance of your employees, your task is to offer some affordable insurance options to help them feel safe. Uninsured employees are at risk of being fined, and, as their employer, you’ll face issues as well.
Your employees are your resource of income and the foundation of your company’s reputation. Although real estate business is highly competitive, high staff turnover cannot be justified solely by this reason. Your task is to support the key needs of your employees, including safe workplace, protected health and the opportunity to speak up and openly discuss issues.
Solution #2: Changing Your Relationship with Technology
Outdated methods of approaching human resources should be disregarded. There are many handy tools that can help you manage even a 100-person staff of real estate brokers with little effort. There are plenty of solutions for business automation, helping you keep track of any HR-related issues.
CakeHR’s own products offer groundbreaking solutions for the automation of many tasks, including:
- Leave management, which offers a way to regulate when employees take their time off without having them to fil several different forms. Keeping all this information in a digital form is very hand and saves you the time archiving and storing it.
- Timesheets are used to keep track of how many hours your employees have worked. This feature is especially handy for the real estate business, as many real estate agents work flexible hours, and it allows you to manage their payroll and keep track of their performance.
- If some of your employees work shifts, you can also notify them with the help of a shift scheduling solution.
- Managing expenses also becomes easier with the help of technology. A common way to keep track of the company’s expenses is to have the employees fill different forms for accounting purposes. Expenses management solution offers you to keep all this information digital.
All these features can also be accessed through an app or software, giving you and your employees 24-hour access to them.
Solution #3: Working Out Corporate Training and Development
It’s true that real estate agents are always on the go. Their schedule can be too hectic to find extra time for education. However, there are some technology-based solutions you can offer.
With the emergence of online education, there appeared many platforms, where famous universities, as well as private individuals, offer different courses.
You’ve probably heard about some of these platforms:
Coursera: here you’ll find different courses related to real estate and provided by famous universities. Some of their famous courses include Analytics for Real Estate by Duke University and Investment Management by the University of Geneva.
Udemy: this platform has an even bigger selection of courses for real estate agents. Real estate financial modeling, income properties analysis, and customer retention courses are offered at affordable prices.
Skillshare: here you’ll find different courses on real estate business, management, and entrepreneurship, designed by independent professionals. A good thing about the courses at Skillshare is that they all have a personal touch to them.
Any course that your employees take offers a flexible schedule, so they won’t be tied to a certain time frame, giving them the opportunity to learn at the pace that’s comfortable for them. However, to make this work, you need to make sure that corporate training and development is covered by the company. Knowing that the company cares about them will motivate your employees to improve.
Real estate industry is very specific. Managing real estate agents can be difficult, taking into consideration the peculiarities of their job. Nevertheless, with the right approach to corporate policy, technology implementation, and corporate development, you’ll be able to fix HR-related problems and help your employees fulfill their potential and satisfy their needs.
Kate is a passionate writer who likes sharing her thoughts and experience with the readers. Currently, she works as a real estate agent at hu.Flatfy.com. She likes everything related to traveling and new countries.
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