What are the best ways for real estate companies to reward employees?
Real estate industry employers have been incredibly spoiled over the last seven years. Just as home values plummeted, so did labor costs. That’s all changing now. Those real estate companies with the best talent will always be the winners. Of course, not all can afford to offer five or six figure sign on bonuses, nor fixed salaries that match the competition. Fortunately, much of this can be made up for with various perks, benefits, and other rewards for loyalty and performance.
This concept shouldn’t only apply to receptionists or real estate agents either. It should be equally (or at least in proportion) applied to part-time, seasonal and remote staff as well. One-offs, and upfront incentives are great, but regular and frequent rewards are far more effective.
So what are some of the best ways to reward employees today?
If you are in the housing business, it only make sense to offer housing as a perk. Facebook took the lead in corporate branded housing a couple of years ago. Real estate businesses are in a unique position to offer this perk at a significant discount. It can offer great perks for the company and owners too. It provides diversity in a wealth building, can produce passive income, and dramatically increase employee loyalty. Keep in mind that any arrangement like this should still be backed by great paperwork.
If there is any profession that prizes their vehicles above all else, it is real estate. There are many options to choose from. Consider company cars, branded and wrapped company fleet vehicles, vehicle allowances, gas allowances, or even bonuses to those driving greener vehicles, using public transport, or incorporating company advertising on their vehicles. Do the math. This might be some of the best marketing ROI you’ll find.
3. Company Stock
Giving employees shares and stock in the company can be one of the best ways to add performance-based incentives. Rather than short term goals and bonuses based on short term metrics, which can tempt staff and executives to take short cuts, they are motivated to build a company that will succeed long term, and continue to grow in value.
4. Location Independence
Remote working, work at home days, and flex time are all great perks. In fact, they are becoming more and more expected, and even the norm. This trend may experience a cyclical turn in the future as a better solution is found to accomplishing team working while killing off the drag of the industrial era. Still, for now, this is an incredibly attractive reward for team members that can prove they can be productive, or even more productive under these conditions.
Real vacations, regular vacations, substantial vacations, productive vacations. Staff should be able to take off their personal holidays, whenever possible. They should be actively encouraged, if not required to take meaningful time off each and every year.
6. Pet Projects
Some of the core, most important, and valuable team members in any organization are the creative, entrepreneurial types. Typically, these prized power players outgrow their positions, and companies rapidly. Too often this is crippling to organizations and begins an exodus. Change the game, and continue to harness the value of these individuals by enabling their growth via pet projects, franchises and new verticals.
7. Go Beyond the Standard Benefits
What about adding life insurance, or discounted renters and home owner insurance?
After cash, recognition is often the most desirable reward for employees. This is an inexpensive one to give too. More than employee of the month plaques, consider award ceremonies and public press releases to celebrate them and their achievements.
Titles are highly coveted. However, avoid giving executive titles for non-executives in the real estate industry. Sometimes a simple title change can give an employee the confidence they need to contribute even more to the company.
10. Funding Education, Inspiration & Improvement
Consider covering or reimbursing college courses, coaching programs, and attending seminars and conventions. The returns for the business can be immense.
11. More Money
Obviously, this is the main reason most of your real estate team is working for you. Sometimes other rewards will just have them shaking their heads at wasting cash on items they don’t want. Similar to that of the title change, providing an employee with more money can boost their confidence. With the right incentive, employees can increase business productivity.
12. Expense Accounts
Offering expense accounts has become so much easier with new technology. Online accounts or re-loadable prepaid cards can enable this for even small real estate companies.