Business

Estate agency sector experiencing the worst staff shortages in a generation

Estate agent recruitment consultancy, Property Personnel, says that the number of residential sales vacancies registered with the company in the first quarter of 2017 has more than doubled compared to the same period last year.

Warren Lewis
|
22nd March 2017
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"It’s a really strange market out there in estate agency at the moment – but the lack of available recruits is a defining factor"

Estate agent recruitment consultancy, Property Personnel, says that the number of residential sales vacancies registered with the company in the first quarter of 2017 has more than doubled compared to the same period last year.

Anthony Hesse, Property Personnel's Managing Director, explains: “It’s a really strange market out there in estate agency at the moment – but the lack of available recruits is a defining factor. One of our clients has over 100 vacancies they are unable to fill; another has 46 property manager vacancies that they can’t find suitable candidates for. I would say that the struggle to fill vacancies is currently second-only to the difficulties estate agencies are experiencing financially.”

Anthony's comments echo broader comments made by Recruitment and Employment Confederation Chief Executive Kevin Green last week, who said: “Although permanent placements have hit a 12 month high, businesses across the UK are finding it increasingly difficult to recruit for permanent roles. The big question still remains about how employers will fill their vacancies.”

Anthony added: “After nearly 30 years of placing personnel in all areas of residential estate agency, the number of vacancies registered with us is a good indication of confidence in the sector. So in many ways, this is an excellent time for people who are prepared to move jobs, as those hiring them compete to secure the talent available.

It’s also a good time to welcome people into estate agency for the first time. Last year, 36% of our placements were people with no experience in estate agency whatsoever. And this year, around a third of our vacancies would consider candidates with a similar background. So the opportunities are definitely out there for those who want to discover what a dynamic and exciting industry this is.”

Whilst the number of sales vacancies registered with Property Personnel has more than doubled since 2016, the number of lettings vacancies has remained remarkably stable.

Anthony said: “The three months after the referendum saw a significant drop in the number of vacancies available – especially in residential sales, but also a slight dip in lettings. However, on the sales side, nine months later, there are scores of jobs available out there.

The boost for vocational training in this month’s Budget was very welcome. But now it’s up to the estate agency sector to do as much as it can to attract the right people to fill the right roles.”

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