Show me the money!

'Show me the money!' Tom Cruise as Jerry Maguire. Copyright TriStar Productions and Sony Pictures Entertainment
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BUSINESS confidence is improving and property professionals want in, with more than two-thirds saying a pay rise is their number one career priority and if their employer did not offer a salary increase, they would request it, according to the 2018-19 Hays Salary Guide.

Business activity increased for 74% of employers in the past 12 months, while 77% expect it to increase in the next 12 months, and 40% foresee a strengthening economy in the coming six to 12 months.

The Hays Property survey of more than 3,000 organisations found over half (52%) of property, construction & engineering industry employers will give their staff a pay rise of less than 3% in their next review, while 11% will not increase salaries at all. A further 28% will increase salaries between 3% to 6%, whilst 9% will raise salaries by 6% or more.

Compared to their last review, 17% of employers gave no increases and 15% increased by 6% or above, the findings show that more professionals will receive an increase but fewer will receive a raise at the higher level of 6% and above.

Despite this, the property, construction & engineering industry remains more generous than most. On average and across all industries, 18% of employers will give staff an increase of 3 to 6%. Only 6% will increase by 6% or more.

Property professionals however have even higher expectations for a salary increase, with 23% expecting to receive 6% or more.

Employees have also prioritised a pay rise. Two-thirds (67%) say a salary increase is their number one career priority this year. If their employer doesn’t offer a pay rise, almost half (48%, up from 45% last year) will request one.

The higher expectations from Australian property professionals comes recent data shows as their counterparts in Asia Pacific saw a 23% increase in wages to US$110,980, according to RICS and Macdonald & Co Asia survey.

A war for talent in the region has underpinned the highest year-on-year wages growth since 2009 and younger people aged under 34 years old were handsomely rewarded, enjoying average rises in earnings of over 10% and indicators point further increases in the coming year as well.

Meanwhile back home, Hays Property regional director Claire Forsyth said the 2017-18 financial year was an active one for Australia’s property market, particularly in the eastern states.

“This trend should continue with increased positivity reaching across to South Australia and Western Australia, leading to rising vacancy activity,” she added.

In New South Wales, demand is high for specialist development experience in the education, healthcare and hotel sectors, as well as client side project managers, however this has not put pressure on salaries.

In Queensland, client side project managers with fitout experience and top commercial leasing managers will be in demand, which is expected to lead to salary increases. The development market is positive too with residential property managers in high demand and salaries expected to increase.

With nearly 300 land projects in Victoria, project managers with land subdivision experience are in demand and can generally achieve a higher remuneration package.

The ACT will see increased demand for property and strata managers, and development managers. As a result, salaries will increase slightly over the coming 12 months.

South Australia has seen a high level of investment into medium density and land development projects across the state. This will result in sustained growth this financial year and will positively impact the salaries being offered for commercial and residential property managers.

In Western Australia, commercial sales and leasing executives are in demand, however it has not had a massive impact on pay rises. Retail is a highly active market with experienced centre and retail managers in demand, pushing up salaries.

In the Northern Territory, client side project managers are needed to work on defence and remote housing projects.

Looking ahead, 47% of employers expect to increase permanent staff levels in the next 12 months compared to just 10% who say they’ll decrease.

Meanwhile 67% of employers, compared to 65% last year, are worried that skill shortages will impact the effective operation of their organisation or department in a significant (26%) or minor (41%) way.

Australian Property Journal