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January - March 2016

Going into the quarter, the property recruitment market remains buoyant with new opportunities being created across both the private and public sector.

The property market has already enjoyed a strong six months with some experts predicting that the best is yet to come.

Over the January to March quarter we expect market confidence and investment to remain positive including considerable offshore investment taking place in Australia's property industry. New opportunities for all fee-earning roles are coming online across a variety of different asset classes but namely industrial, commercial, retail and high rise residential.

There is a lot of development taking place as well as acquisitions and disposals. The more that is built, the more companies need people on the ground in property management. A number of companies are adding headcount to help with leasing space or to be more competitive when tendering for accounts once buildings are constructed.

Permanent hiring is more common but good people are still hard to come by and employers are competing against each other for the best talent and will engage temporary staff to help with heavy workloads.

The highest number of vacancies within property continues to be for Residential Property Managers. Employers are looking to expand their rent rolls following a volatile year for residential sales.

The shift of housing stock from state government to the non-government sector has finally commenced creating a requirement for both additional temporary and permanent staff.

In the public sector more broadly, government is continuing to hire staff on a contract basis, with clearances being highly sought. Experienced candidates continue to be difficult to source.

In the Northern Territory there remains a massive shortage of experienced residential and commercial Property Managers. Demand is high for skilled property candidates more generally across the NT.

Skills in demand

In terms of the January to March quarter we are seeing a short supply of Commercial/Industrial Property Managers.

Residential Property Managers are needed too for the high number of investment properties coming online. Again we are seeing a shortage of experienced, qualified candidates. Employers are willing to sponsor Residential Property Managers from overseas as long as they possess experience in similar jurisdictions.In many locations, the demand for Property Managers outnumbers the supply of experienced candidates.

Experienced Valuers are also in demand to fill roles in commercial, industrial and health care. We are also seeing roles for Residential Valuers.

We are also seeing opportunities opening up across project management, tenant representative services, corporate services and leasing.

Body Corporate Managers are another area of high demand but short supply. A higher volume of development activity due to low interest rates is driving demand. In South Australia a state government focus on higher density development and community title plus stricter strata laws are adding to demand, since historically Torrens Titles dominated the sector.

Custom Home Building Sales Consultants are in increasing demand in Adelaide too to cater to customers favouring their own designs over standard designs for homes they plan to live in.

Experienced Residential Sales Consultants with a track record in securing listings and selling in this new market are also finding new opportunities.

In the public sector, Property Officers and Property Managers are in demand.

Candidate trends

Candidates are being more selective about the employers they want to work for.

We are also seeing more people applying for property management roles who look for flexibility due to family and care-giving responsibilities. The hours of Property Managers are not the conventional 9 to 5, although flexibility is typically only offered after a certain level of trust has developed between the employee and employer as well as the rest of the team.

More broadly, those working in property are seeking as much work-life balance as they can with flexible working hours in demand from most candidates.

A number of Property Managers are returning from mining towns and are finding good opportunities to apply for.

Candidates with less than five years of experience are in good supply but employers are looking for candidates with strong experience in a specific geographic area. The result is skill shortages despite a high volume of applicants.

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