The pandemic has fuelled an appetite for working from home amongst those seeking employment at lettings agencies and other parts of the property industry.
That’s the view of high profile industry recruitment expert Anthony Hesse, of Property Personnel.
The demand is creating what he calls “a perfect storm” for some agencies, who are faced with rising demand from landlords and tenants, but also a shortage of quality staff.
He says: “The cost of living crisis – with inflation soaring to a 40-year high and real income now falling – means that employees are looking at every possible way to save money.
“They are likely to prioritise anything that helps them cut costs, including the price of the daily commute.”
Hesse concedes that the Covid period provided evidence that working from home can be effective and easy to organise, but he fears its continuation could create two-tier workforces in some agencies.
“There’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach here. The wish to work from home is not evenly spread throughout the workforce.
“New employees, graduates, anyone undergoing training is likely to value the social interaction of the office and will seize the opportunity to be part of a team, rather than enduring the dispiriting isolation of solo-working from a back bedroom.
“There’s also a division between those roles which can feasibly be carried out from a home environment and those which can’t.”
And he concludes: “In estate agency, managers and negotiators in sales and lettings departments are more likely to be needed at the office, apart from the times when they’re out and about on viewings and valuations.
“But for those in support roles, perhaps in property management, renewals, tenancy progression or administration, such as office co-ordinators, there is clearly much more scope to work from home.”