The commercial real estate industry’s talent battle is still raging, with employers sifting through a small pool of top professionals with highly sought-after expertise and experiences. Surprisingly, the pandemic hasn’t made this tug-of-war any less intense. Indeed, the need for dynamic team members has been accelerated by remote working mandates. Assertiveness, the ability to perform with little supervision, adaptability, and communication style are emphasized at a higher level.
Oli Farago, co-founder and CEO of Coyote software, says, “Communication skills are at the top of my list when it comes to assessing potential new hires at Coyote. Candidates who exaggerate their ability to interact and cooperate with colleagues, both in and out of the workplace, attract my attention. When confronted with unexpected challenges, these people are upbeat and creative, and they aren’t afraid to ask for support when it’s needed.”
In-person meetings, property tours, and industry networking activities were all part of the job before the pandemic, but virtual alternatives are still being created. This does not negate these meetings’ importance, but it does require people to think beyond the box to come up with realistic and comprehensive alternatives. Individuals who are unafraid of new situations and regularly engage with their teams are critical to succeeding in this new world.
Employers facing intensified competition in the labour market are now at the mercy of real estate professionals who are just as picky in their job hunts. Top candidates expect this hybrid work culture to continue after witnessing the independence and versatility of remote working this past year. Technologically advanced companies are more likely to have systems in place that enable workers to work from home.
Working remotely is second nature for tech companies like Coyote. In reality, our office’s internet went down a few days before the UK’s lockdown last March, forcing the entire staff to work from home. Although this proved to be an excellent foreshadowing of what was to come, many fund managers, investment managers, and property managers in the sector were not so well-prepared.
CRE experts have struggled with manual documentation, data entry, and data processing for decades. These activities are usually delegated to junior-level workers and divert their attention away from the skills-based, higher-impact work described in their job descriptions. This new generation of professionals is conscious that platforms such as automation and data analytics exist to complete days’ worth of administrative work in seconds. This makes a significant difference, and it will be taken into account when evaluating their next career steps. Companies that accelerate their implementation of intelligent technologies would have a better chance of attracting and maintaining top talent after the pandemic.
Companies that have made significant investments in technology should promote it as part of their brand and highlight it to work seekers during the interview process. Companies that freely sell the technologies they use to improve business performance — CRM systems, monitoring dashboards, cloud databases, and so on — are inherently more appealing to job seekers. If a company’s website is outdated or doesn’t have a social media presence, it’s a big red flag. If your website is out of date, it’s possible that your internal infrastructure is as well.