“The world of work is changing rapidly, and it is blatantly obvious that job seekers recognise that companies that treat their staff well are the most attractive to work for. As a consequence, they will invariably win the war for talent, as well as holding on to those people for longer.”
Retaining staff in a tough market can seem like a mammoth task. This is especially true in the estate agency industry, where staff turnover can be 40-50 percent with an average industry career length of just 18 months. But it doesn’t necessarily have to be this way.
That’s why we’ve put together a list of our top five tips to help estate agents retain the right staff for their business.
1. Recruit the right people in the first place
This might sound obvious, but so many employers fail at this first hurdle! When you’re looking to recruit for a new position in your business, it’s important not to rush into making a decision about who to hire. You need to make sure you choose the perfect individual for the vacancy concerned, instead of panicking and choosing the first person who comes for an interview.
Similarly, don’t procrastinate. If the first candidate you interview just happens to be perfect for your role, don’t let that stop you snapping him/her up, or you could miss out.
If you make sure the person you choose is right for the job role, right for your company culture, and right for your business as a whole, you’re much more likely to see them stay.
2. Embrace flexibility
There’s plenty of evidence to indicate that, for staff, an attractive work/life balance is almost as important as the salary they receive. In fact, we’ve even carried out a study on the subject ourselves – you can read it here.
Ways to support this balance include encouraging flexible working hours to help staff work around their other commitments, such as family or commuting, or job sharing between two part time staff members. This way, you can hang on to the people you want to keep, while still allowing them to be flexible and to maintain that all-important work/life balance.
3. Maintain honest and constant communication
Keeping open the channels of communication between all staff members, whatever level of seniority or whichever department they’re in, is vitally important to staff retention. Feedback is essential, especially since staff are more likely to respect managers who not only praise work but also offer constructive criticism when it is necessary. Sometimes, difficult things do have to be said, and good employees will understand this.
Additionally, keeping communication open and honest will offer space for employees to voice their own opinions, and any possible issues they may have. They’ll feel able to bring up these topics, and you’ll be in a much better place to counteract anything negative before it becomes an issue you could lose staff members over.
4. Recognise your high performers
Recognising high performers and offering career progression opportunities are sure-fire ways to motivate your staff to stay with you. This can come in the form of pay rises but could also include opportunities for development and progression within their current roles or in other roles or departments.
Staff are much more likely to stay with a company if they see a future within it, rather than having to go elsewhere for opportunities.
5. Find out why staff may have left you
It’s important to understand why staff may have decided to leave your company, as this information can help you work out how to change and adapt the way your company works to improve staff retention. One way to accomplish this could be through carrying out exit interviews with people who decide to move on.
You could find out that the main reason for their departure is a very simple or easy thing to fix. Understanding any issues could help to ensure that the next person to take up their position won’t follow suit at a later date.
Overall, the key takeaway from this should be that you make every effort to hire the right people to begin with, treat your workers well, accommodate flexibilities and understand how you can better improve with time.
Ultimately, we should remember that on average, it costs over £30,000 to replace a staff member – including the cost of lost output while a replacement employee gets up to speed, and the logistical cost of recruiting and absorbing a new worker. So, as well as keeping people happy, retaining the right staff can make a real difference to a company’s bottom line.
If you’d like some help to find the right employees for your estate agency, Property Personnel are expertly positioned, as one of the UK’s leading property recruitment consultancies, to not only help you find the perfect candidates for open positions, but also assist you with negotiating to make sure both your company and the candidate get the best deal.