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Five ways to attract the best Real Estate Tech & IT talent in tight market

Blog Posts  (2)

Article posted by Joe Butterworth on Feb 06, 2024

​The fight for talent within Real Estate Tech & IT roles is real. With budgets across Real Estate organisations in general restricted, and the need for highly skilled candidates in Real Estate Tech & IT still continuing to grow, how can you still hire and retain the best available talent in a sub-sector that has seen salaries rise by an average of 15% across its roles over the past 2 years alone, without continuing to increase these salaries?

On a recent survey with our candidates, and based on the conversations we’ve had since the start of the year, we’ve found 5 key areas outside of salary that were in the most demand by those in Real Estate Tech & IT. We’ve detailed these below, and included some creative practices implemented by organisations within Real Estate Tech & IT to show you what you’re potentially missing in your current employee benefits package.

 

Hybrid working

In a post-Covid era, hybrid working is in demand across all areas of work let alone real estate, and it’s no wonder with just under 1/3 of the Real Estate sector having Caring responsibilities - looking for flexibility in their work/life balance to attend to children, the elderly or those with a disability. Within employees working in Real Estate Tech & IT specifically, 59% surveyed suggested that hybrid working was their #1 priority outside of salary – and with tech staff and IT teams often working in different patterns to other areas of real estate businesses (on project-based work or on-call hours, for example), could there be an opportunity to allow these teams even greater flexibility than the standard 3 days+ in the office that most real estate firms insist on?

We’ve seen how some employers in our sub-sector have chosen to address this creatively, including a global software provider that asks their teams to come in just twice a week on days that suit them, that has seen productivity rise across its teams since implementing these changes. Another example is from a large global investment manager, who has their IT function on an on-call rota over one weekend each month, but rewards those that do this with both a 5% bonus on top of their annual salary, and with days in lieu to take at their leisure.

Bonuses

The second most in demand from candidates within our sector is the bonus that they can command, with just under 1/3 saying that this was the most important perk for them. The most common way organisations will determine bonuses in the Real Estate Tech & IT space is through the seniority of role, like a large asset manager that we work with where bonuses for staff up to mid-level within their IT/Systems team are generally around 15%, but pay around 20% instead for more senior-level roles like a Senior Project Manager or Business Analyst.

These will often be made up of both personal and company-based targets, or even on the completion of specific projects – something that can be quite bespoke to Tech & IT roles compared to others in Real Estate.

We have however seen other more creative ways that bonuses can be offered in the space, too. Continuing on the theme of both personal and company-led targets, we’re aware of at least one leading developer that’s offering bonuses of up to 50% of a base salary based on personal metrics and the company performance, with the effects of this being obvious on staff motivation. But probably the most inventive practice we’ve seen to streamline staff motivations is from a PropTech provider that has introduced its profit share scheme for its staff. Since this was introduced, it has led to huge growth in revenue and new business, naturally leading to increased retention, better staff morale and the creation of new jobs that has created more promotion opportunities for their staff.

 

Learning & Development

More so than in any other strand of Real Estate, the innovations within RE & Tech are ever evolving. Unsurprisingly, those working in Tech & IT want to be at the forefront of these innovations, and their chance to do this – to work with the latest technologies and have chance to develop, is often a crucial decision-maker when someone is looking to choose between one employer and another.

While many employers advocate self-development and upskilling, not all truly support it. We are proud to have placed a number of candidates with one such organisation that does - a global investor/developer that offers their staff a £4,000 subsidy each year to upskill themselves - and gives them time off to study as part of it, too.

This not only has benefits for the employee to know that they’re consistently evolving, but benefits the business as well, with the obvious upskilling of the employee having a knock-on effect on their capability to their current role and beyond.

 

Openness to backgrounds from new technology

The last point brings us nicely to an employer’s attitude to taking on people with different technological backgrounds to the stack that they’re currently using. With so many working in real Estate Tech & IT citing development as a huge part of their decision-making process, could your organisation offer study support to someone qualified in another system?

We have seen how Yardi, MRI Horizon, and TRAMPs have exponentially grown in use across Real Estate organisations over the past few years, but with so many being skilled in other areas looking for their opportunity to transfer their existing skills across other technologies into this space, it could benefit your long-term strategy to invest in someone now. The majority of those who work in Real Estate Tech & IT are naturally life-learners – those who will seek the next area to develop into, and this could be your chance to engage with them at the start of their development with these evermore increasingly popular technologies in the market.

 

Other Benefits

Pension contributions are seen as a key part of any role, even if it’s not as important to those in Real Estate Tech & IT as other areas of the built environment – potentially because over 1/3 are under the age of 35 and retirement isn’t quite in-focus yet. This said, we’ve seen organisations in the space take innovate approaches to their pension schemes for forward-thinking employees, including a leading business who specialise in investment management that has a match plus 6% pension contribution, and an asset management firm has a 10% pension offering, with zero contribution from the employee required.

Private healthcare is another ‘standard’ benefit cited in our research with the sector as well, with some businesses looking to go above and beyond, providing entire family cover under their policies to their staff.

 

Conclusion

Every day, we speak with talented candidates looking for their next role in Real Estate Tech & IT, and with organisations looking to fill their next role in the space.

If you have any upcoming vacancies to fill and want to talk about how to make your organisation stand out against the crowd, or if you’re seeing the benefits on show here and want to find out more about the opportunities available across these standout organisations, please get in touch with me via the below.

Email: Jbutterworth@cobaltrecruitment.com

Phone: +44(0)7458163630