Sun still shining for property business and salaries; spot clouds emerging

Published on  by Joann Rutherford

Most salaries in the property industry are increasing at a regular pace with a third of businesses reporting activity levels better than last year, according to the latest instalment of the long-running Avdiev Property Industry Remuneration Report. 

In the diversity space, however, while many businesses seem to be willing to strike a commitment towards balance, few are taking action.

A shortage of talent generally is continuing to dominate the property market, the report said, but the outlook is starting to cloud slightly with pay rise rates moderating.

Overall only 14 per cent of subscribers to the report said they are worse off than last year, while 36 per cent said are doing better and 50 per cent report the same level of activity as last year.

The war for talent, however, ensured that senior staff continued to be rewarded with salary increases at a median rate of 3 per cent a year, with bosses keen to keep good staff in place to avoid disruption of teams and client relationships.

“However, pay rise ranges have moderated, with salary rises in several strong market sectors ranging from 1.9 per cent to 8 per cent and 0.6 per cent to 7.4 per cent in sectors where activity has been more subdued,” the report said. 

Pay rises in most cases were above the general workforce increases of just 2.1 per cent for both the Wage Price Index and Consumer Price Index. 

Managing director of the Avdiev report Rita Avdiev said that overall gender diversity had been embraced by the industry, with “almost all subscribers reporting explicit policies for gender diversity at senior levels”.

But these policies are “ambitions” for 45 per cent of companies; 44 per cent had “targets” and only 9 per cent had formal quotas for women at top levels. A tad more, at 10 per cent, have specific policies in place to assist the career progression of women to senior positions.

But stronger action can work. In the case of one property company, female participation has risen from almost zero to 30 per cent in just five years, she said.

Ms Avdiev said the Banking Royal Commission had flagged “fat cat” pay under review around the world.