Article posted byon Jan 10, 2022
As Spring approaches, we take a quick look at some of the key trends which will impact the Real Estate market moving into 2022.
Talent Acquisition and Retention
This is probably the biggest talking point at the moment, as it is for a lot of sectors. Within the Built Environment, trying to identify, attract and retain the right people has been a constant challenge for 2021, and we don’t see the talent shortage changing over the next 12 months. There are so many firms looking to hire key people right now, and yet many of them can’t understand why they can’t find good quality employees. The flurry of roles coming to market that were put on hold in 2020, plus some candidates still a bit nervous to move, has created a perfect storm in an already talent short market.
For those who are confident to move roles, salary is not necessarily the main driver in their motivations – working environment and flexible/hybrid working are massive factors to many workers in the current market. Those firms who are not meeting their employee expectations in these key areas will start to lose their talent and suffer in the market.
Despite this, counteroffers are king right now when it comes to retaining staff. However, as we all know, counteroffers tend to offer short-term solutions, and the majority of people who accept one will have left their job within a year anyway, as the fundamental issues and problems do not magically disappear. Employers are beginning to realise the importance of looking after their existing staff in the first place, by investing in areas beyond just salary, which can help to eliminate the need for counteroffers to be made.
Firms also have a responsibility to address the longer-term issue of talent in the sector, by training new starters and investing in future talent. Opening up and embracing a wider pool of talent (beyond the traditional approach of contacts within your existing network), will not only assist in bringing more people into the sector, but it will help to create a more diverse and inclusive workforce throughout the built environment.
Our changing ways of working
With more people working from home and fewer people commuting for work, demands on our towns, cities, and transportation networks are changing. Economic demand is shifting and people want to work more flexibly. This has already had an impact on our demand for public transport and the surrounding infrastructure, such as newsagents, convenience stores, and cafes which rely on commuter footfall and lunchtime trade.
Is there sufficient demand for further development if employees continue to work remotely? Will they need to be repurposed for a different post-pandemic future? How are people going to occupy commercial space in the future and what will the demand be? Will we see increased demand for mixed-use schemes that offer a better quality of work/life balance.? These are all questions and challenges to be addressed in the real estate sector as we move forward.
Prioritising sustainability & the environment
Following on from COP, there is quite rightly a lot of noise in the market and media about sustainability and the environment. The construction industry is responsible for almost 40% of global energy-related carbon emissions and 50% of all extracted materials, and therefore the Real Estate sector faces a huge challenge in the bid to reach Net-Zero.
Developers and investors are already looking very closely at their green credentials and funding, with their development schemes needing to meet certain requirements, otherwise, there could be significant knock-on effects when it comes to financing projects. The reality is that there is a real conflict between development and reducing carbon emissions; as a big contributor to carbon emissions, the Built Environment has a very real requirement for fundamental change.
Compulsory biodiversity and providing more green space in our towns and cities will also be a key focus for the sector moving forwards. Gone are the days of meeting biodiversity goals with a single beehive on the roof – developments now have significant responsibilities when it comes to the natural world. Under the Government’s Environmental Bill, developers will need to demonstrate a 10% Biodiversity Net Gain, either by creating or enhancing habitats.
There is also renewed focus on the concept of a 15-minute economy. This isn’t a new idea, but it is certainly receiving more attention with the prioritising of the environment and more schemes are being based on this ethos. If everyone can live, work, exercise, get to school, the doctor and the shops, etc within a 15-minute walk, then we will reduce our carbon emissions significantly. These developments are all about being more reliant on safe and economical public transport, with more secure bike racks provided and less car parking spaces. But this isn’t just about developers - individuals also need to take responsibility. It’s a global climate issue we’re facing, but our local behaviours need to change if we’re to tackle it successfully so let’s all think globally and act locally.
We’re specialists in real estate and construction recruitment. If you need help finding your next job in real estate, or would like help with your team hires, please get in touch with a member of the team for a confidential discussion.
Article written by Anne Roberts, Managing Consultant - Specialist Real Estate.