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While sales increase, brokerages and agencies continue to downsize

After having seen a considerably good 2011, hiring levels in real estate have not picked up, according to experts in the industry.

Market sources reveal that despite the increase in sales prices of houses in certain areas, the need for more brokers and agents remains low. 

“My understanding is that there has been little hiring in 2011/ 2012 to date because the pickup has been absorbed by existing staff who in the majority of cases are not completing as many deals as they are capable of, due to the volume of transactions occurring,” Charles Neil, Chief Executive Officer at Landmark Properties told Emirates 24|7.

“Also, what I gather is that there continues to be a steady attrition of staff at brokerages because many have held out as long as they can on substantially reduced incomes compared to 2007/8 and these agents have either returned to their home countries or have found alternative employment, which gives them a steady income, and are not ready to come back in to the industry yet. It will be a while before brokerages actively begin to build up numbers again, maybe another two to three years,” he added.

“We really haven’t added people to our business and are trying to do with the existing staff,” said the HR manager of a small brokerage in Dubai on the condition of anonymity.

However, there are some in the industry who believe that companies have increased their hiring levels post 2008 crisis.

“The Dubai real estate market has already shown signs of improvement since the start of the year and we expect this to continue. We attribute this positivity to Dubai’s more mature market – whereby end users are beginning to buy homes to live in (as opposed to purely for investment).  The leasing market has similarly improved as tenants are finding more affordable housing at competitive rates. 

“In order to cater to this increase in demand, we are hiring sales and leasing agents in order to service our new and existing branches. We also intend to open a couple of outlets and branches later in the year and therefore will require the additional staff,” Partho Bhattacharya, Director, Human Resource & Operations, Head Office at Better Homes told this website.

Despite the availability of more candidates in the country, skilled staff is still hard to find. “We see a majority of applicants are people who do not have the experience and ability to handle the increased complexities of buying/selling properties and hence why we are very careful for example in our hiring processes. It is difficult to recruit highly skilled staff as the returns for them are limited, unless they have a comfortable financial situation which allows them the flexibility to work on a deal by deal basis which takes away the pressure and accordingly allows them to practise positive selling in the correct manner,” said the Landmark expert.
 

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