How real estate firms relate to remote work of their employees


Real estate executives have long drawn attention to the inevitability of workers returning to the office following the pandemic, arguing that companies will rediscover the importance and necessity of personal collaboration and creativity following the sudden shift to telecommuting. Exclusive analysis Bisnow real estate job postings explores how leading commercial real estate firms apply the same rationale to their own employees.

By viewing job advertisements on SelectLeaders Notice Board, part Bisnow Group and the largest specialist real estate resource, you can get a rough estimate of how the industry itself sees the need for remote work versus working in the office. Over the past 10 months, during which thousands of US jobs were posted, 23% of total CRE jobs were listed as having a component removed (16.1% hybrid and 7.3% completely removed), while 77% were to the office.


Analysis of job advertisements shows that office work predominates in commercial real estate.

Since last August, SelectLeaders job advertisements may include a workplace option that tells job seekers whether the position is an office, partially retired, or completely retired.

While the job types listed in the “office” and “remote” list were more difficult to analyze, many companies tended to find themselves on the same side of the chasm, such as CoStar, which posted about a dozen office jobs. Few firms offered both office and remote positions like LivCor, a multi-family asset management company.

“While we have been able to demonstrate success by working remotely, we firmly believe in the office environment as the optimal environment for our firm,” said Raheem Ladha, communications manager at BentallGreenOak, a Toronto-based investment manager who has sought out interns and advertised vacancies as deleted.

This balance is tilted towards the office much more than other professions and corporate America in general. According to research by Gartner, a business research and consulting company, plans to hybridize the workforce are far more entrenched in other industries: only 5% of large enterprises plan to work remotely, and another 5% will be completely personal, and the vast majority of corporate America and those who work in it. to figure out how to rethink how hybrid works.

Earlier this year, analysts predicted that real estate would be geared more towards hybrid office situations rather than just office space. But even firms that have posted jobs that allow remote access seem to have re-established their preference for office work.

The Michaels Organization, a national firm focused on the multi-family sector, announced in June the appointment of a director of development focused on remote access, but for the most part Michaels has returned entirely to its corporate / regional offices, according to Laura Zaner, VP of corporate marketing. as of June 1.

“Senior management here felt that after a year of telecommuting, it was important for most corporate employees to return to the office for collaboration and our culture,” Zaner said. “We also believe this is the best way to support our property management team.”

But some companies at CRE have opted for a more hybrid and distant future. Suzanne Dryden, COO ExchangeRight, told Bisnow that almost all of the company’s asset management staff have the ability to work remotely, and after a record 2020 in terms of new investments, the company believes that employees can be successful anywhere.

“Our approach to hiring is focused on finding the best candidates, rather than being limited by geographic region,” Dryden said. “We care much more about people in terms of character and how people work in terms of efficiency than where they work.”

Dryden said that while the company reopened its headquarters in Pasadena, California, it has established a nationwide headquarters system and developed a culture that encourages self-reliant beginners and good work, and allows for a variety of hybrid and custom solutions. -Office scripts now that many offices can reopen.

Mynd Management, a real estate management company, has a similar perspective on telecommuting. According to Maria Lovi, vice president of talent and culture, two-thirds of the company is now considered remote, up from 40% before Covid. As a property management firm, some employees, such as maintenance technicians, have to be local, but the firm found that with Zoom, Google Hangouts and their own OTTO platform, they were able to “improve efficiency and cross-platform. -collaboration ”and hire employees from all over the world, improving diversity.

“By limiting ourselves to hiring only in areas where we have offices, we are limiting our ability to hire exceptional talent,” she said. “Using a remote workforce also allows us to hire employees from all over the world. Along with this comes a variety of thoughts and perspectives, as well as an increased awareness of how business is done around the world, leading to great innovation. ”

Christopher Lee, CEO of CEL & Associates, said that while there is a clear preference for office work in the industry, this has not resulted in lower wages in remote positions. His firm, which consults the real estate industry and prepares annual payroll reports, has found that after a year of freezes and cuts in wages and bonuses, compensation is “coming back,” and demand for “outstanding talent” is growing, especially in fast-growing economies. restoration of the multi-family sector and the position of development, takeover, capital accumulation and project management. But the new focus on location hasn’t changed the compensation.

“As a result of teleworking and working in the office, there has been no change in compensation,” he said. “However, most firms have adopted a hybrid model in which some employees work five, four, three, two, and one day per week depending on their job title, responsibilities and need to interact with others. While there has been some discussion of “should bonuses be different”, the current trend is to base bonuses on performance, regardless of where and how the person works. ”

There are many theories about how teleworking will affect CRE and workplaces in general, including: opportunity for more varied recruitment thanks to more talent and, ideally, more support and flexible working hours for moms, parents and guardians.

Lee said his own research also confirmed yet another somewhat counterintuitive disagreement in the debate between retirement and official position; older workers thrive in remote workplaces and young workers prefer to return to the office, which, in his opinion, “depends on the financial situation, where you are in the process of career growth, as well as on the need for communication / cooperation and position.” CRE employees early in their careers said Bisnow Earlier this year that they faced major challenges in getting started without benefiting from face-to-face communication in the office culture five days a week.

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