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GENERAL PROPERTY

Property professionals bring home the bacon, sans the fat

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PROPERTY professionals have prioritised salary increase as their number one career priority this year and most will get it, but it will be less significant than they hoped for — only 7% of employers intend to give bigger pay rises. Meanwhile the booming industrial market is driving demand for asset managers, according to Hays.

According to the FY 2019/20 Hays Salary Guide, 57% of property professionals say a pay rise is their number one career priority this year and an uncompetitive salary is one reason why 41% of jobseekers look for a new job.

The report also found 88% of property, construction and engineering industry employers will increase salaries in their next review, up from 84% who did so in their last review.

Hays Property regional director Austin Blackburne said although more property professionals will receive a pay rise this year than last, but it will be a less significant increase than they hoped for.

54% intend to raise salaries at the lower level of 3% or less, up from 45% who did so in their last review. At the other end of the scale, just 7% of employers, down from 15%, intend to grant pay increases of more than 6%.

In contrast, another 29% of property professionals are expecting increases between 3% and 6% and 20% expect a raise of 6% or more.

Meanwhile 22% of the property professionals expect no increase whatsoever, while a further 29% expect 3% or less.

Blackburne said 46% of professionals intend to ask for a pay rise but 41% of jobseekers say their current uncompetitive salary provoked their job search.

“Evidently, the aggregate effect of several years of sedate salary increases is taking its toll and we’re now seeing a tug of war over salaries.

“On the one hand, we have professionals telling us they’ve prioritised a pay rise and are prepared to enter the job market to improve their earnings. On the other, employers tell us they want to add to their headcount and are being impacted by skill shortages, yet they plan to curtail salary increases,” he added.

Which jobs are well remunerated? Blackburne said there are some exceptions.

“With a number of residential developments in the delivery phase, Development Managers and Assistant Development Managers are still required, provided they have project management experience. Entry-level candidates with some project exposure are also sought and now receive higher salaries in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth.

“Due to the maturation of the sector, experienced Development Directors with experience working on high-end, high-value projects are required too and receive top salaries in all locations.

“In the growing commercial market, Leasing Agents are in demand. Given activity, good Leasing Agents as well as Commercial Sales Agents can command strong salaries.

“The industrial market is also growing, with demand evident for Industrial Development Managers, Leasing Agents and Sales Agents. We’re also seeing a requirement for Industrial Asset Managers from agencies as well as larger developers that are bringing this function in-house. Like the commercial market, successful leasing and sales professionals can receive strong salaries.

“In addition, there has been notable salary growth in regional areas as organisations attempt to attract skills in short supply from major cities,” he added.

The 2019/20 Hays Salary Guide also found:

  • 67% of organisations offer flexible salary packaging. Of these, the most common benefit is salary sacrifice, offered by 55% of employers to all employees. This is followed by above mandatory superannuation (offered by 37% of employers to all their employees), parking (33%), bonuses (27%) and private health insurance (26%);
  • Of the benefits offered to a select few employees, private expenses tops the list, with 70% of employers offering it to a hand-picked number of employees;
  • 68% of employers said business activity had increased over the past year, with 70% expecting it to increase in the next 12 months;
  • 47% intend to increase permanent staff levels over the coming year;
  • 70% say skill shortages will impact the effective operation of their business or department in either a significant (28%) or minor (42%) way, up from 67% last year;
  • 54% of employers are restructuring to keep up with changing business needs – the key driver of these restructures is a change in the required skill sets;
  • In skill short areas, 57% of employers would consider employing or sponsoring a qualified overseas candidate.

Australian Property Journal