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Huge staff churn as agents scramble for higher pay

Annual staff turnover in the property industry is nearing 30 per cent according to a survey by online agency Nested. 

The most common reason given for leaving a job is to get a higher income, fuelled by the cost of living crisis. 

Nested came up with the figure after measuring the agency industry’s turnover rate in comparison to 20 other major sectors. 


According to government data, the average annual staff turnover rate in the 21 industries in total – with turnover defined as an employee leaving one company to work for another – is 29.3 per cent a year.

The highest turnover rate is seen in the Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation sector where it stands at 35.6 per cent whereas estate agency (including sales, lettings and associated businesses) turnover is 27.8 per cent. 

Nested surveyed almost 300 members of the real estate industry to gain a better understanding of what they believe drives staff turnover among UK property professionals.

The results show that turnover is driven by employees and not employers with the search for higher salaries, being the prime reason for 36 per cent of industry respondents; followed by seeking a better role (16 per cent), heavy workload (16 per cent), and the search for a more flexible work/life balance (11 per cent).

Fewer than 10 per cent say turnover is because employees are looking outside of the property industry.

When asked what would reduce turnover 18 per cent say more flexible work patterns while 16 per cent say companies could better trust their staff to do the job without the need for micromanaging. Some 16 per cent backed other factors such as consistent pay or enhanced bonuses, and 12 per cent advocated a better company culture. 

Nested managing director Alice Bullard says: “It’s clear from these results that estate agents want and need better pay. Staff turnover is not about market feast and famine, nor is it about redundancies. Instead, iIt’s about earning potential, flexibility, lifestyle, and the sense that they’re being trusted to do the job well.

“At the same time, however, it’s reported that very few staff are leaving to become self-employed agents. This is surprising given the growing popularity of the model and its tried and tested success in the UK to date. Not to mention the fact that going self-employed with the support of a well-established agency brand is a great way of increasing pay, flexibility, and autonomy. 

“Furthermore, the apparent drawbacks of self-employment, such as a lack of healthcare and travel expenses, are nowhere near the top of agent’s priority lists which, once again, suggests that more people could be getting the careers they want and need by leaving massive agencies and going it alone.”

  • Simon Shinerock

    Hmm, do I detect a little bit of bias here 🤔


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