A leading human resources expert predicts that agents who are poorly treated by their employers now will wreak revenge and move elsewhere when the virus subsides.
Recruitment guru Anthony Hesse, managing director of Property Personnel, says that when some form of normality returns “Those who have been treated poorly by their current employers won’t forget the experience in a hurry, and will start to look for other jobs – either within the industry or elsewhere.
“I expect to see a seismic shift in people moving around from job to job, and from profession to profession, with some of them making the move to becoming self-employed. Inevitably, a number of experienced and talented staff will leave, who we will be sad to see go and will be hard to replace.”
He says that one of the lasting legacies of this outbreak will be an increased understanding of why a good work/life balance is so important - and he forecasts that those agencies that recognise this will retain and attract the best staff.
“Over the past week or so of lockdown, I’ve been speaking to a number of senior directors in the big estate agency firms … the perspective I’ve been getting is that we are inevitably going to see some massive restructuring taking place in the estate agencies of the future.
“Most obviously, a new awareness of just what technology can do is going to drive decision making going forward. The ease and speed with which people have taken to communication platforms such as Zoom, Skype, and Messenger – and some of these individuals doing so for the first time - mean that virtual viewings and even virtual valuations could become the norm.
“Directors will ask why their agency doesn’t do more of what worked so successfully during time under lockdown. This means that operations are likely to be streamlined, and people previously brought in as temporary staff – such as those carrying out viewings at weekends, for example – might find that their workloads have melted away.
“Similarly, agencies with several branches across a relatively small geographic area will decide that a single office can do the job of three, with significant cost savings as a result.”