It’s easy to talk the world down.
Boris’ Brexit blues, Neil Woodford’s failing funds, sterling ping-ponging: each news story conspiring to kill off consumer confidence.
But consider this: UK unemployment is at its lowest level for 45 years*, UK consumer spending has reached a 60-year high**; and my own business has experienced its busiest year to date.
I’m simply not qualified to talk about the macro-economics, but recruitment within the property sector is definitely my speciality.
So why, when so many are talking about impending doom in the sector, are we seeing such demand from our clients? Simple: fee earners.
Estate agency has always been an ever-evolving entrepreneurial business, with cyclical ups and downs.
Recently we’ve witnessed a thinning out of high street offices, particularly amongst large City-listed groups closing high street offices in reaction to the realities of today’s consumer demands.
I do believe this is part of a wider move away from high street shop fronts that’s impacted across all sectors. It’s not simply an estate agency trend.
It’s telling that whilst high street offices numbers are reducing, we’ve also seen the arrival of large-scale equity investment in both bricks and mortar and hybrid agency.
Here’s the thing.
Regardless of whether it’s high street offices, hybrid agency or the new ‘hub and spoke’ model that’s being adopted by many regional groups, they all rely on attracting and retaining talented fee earners to drive their revenues.
So, what are these in-demand fee earners looking for?
Job site Glassdoor found that work-life balance featured heavily in the top five considerations of job offers, along with salary, location, commute time and benefits.
It seems that for many, the ability to have a degree of control over your own work-life balance is now an attractive proposition.
Intriguingly, Glassdoor also found that 84% of candidates stated, ‘a company’s reputation is important when making a decision about where to apply for a job’.
The company’s brand and the way it communicates, demonstrate its beliefs to the wider world.
It will come as little surprise that talented people look for employers who share their beliefs.
With the demand for talented fee earners only likely to increase, now may be a good time to look at how your business can attract and keep the best talent in a competitive market.
* Source: Office of National Statistics
** Source: Trading Economics
- Josh Rayner is founder and head of Rayner Personnel