Commercial Real Estate’s Talent War

Commercial real estate is facing a talent war. Like many other industries with skilled workers, the industry is feeling the impact of the last two years in high levels of resignations and increased compensation. A new Deloite survey highlights the challenges in the talent war. “As the CRE industry develops long-term return-to-work strategies, flexible working arrangements, organizational purpose and demand for technology skills will shape the talent landscape.” Companies that address these issues will have greater success in hiring and retaining talented employees.


One of the clearest impacts of the talent war is in the increase in compensation for many employees. According to CEL & Associates, more than 87% of real estate firms will offer merit increases in 2021. Additionally, bonus compensation is up, with an estimated 90.5% realization on performance goals for 2021. In 2020, performance bonuses were projected to fall 20% to 30%. Competition for talented employees and also the rebounding fundamentals are increasing the compensation for every level of a commercial real estate company.

Work-Life Balance

Many employees who have left during the Great Resignation highlight that their previous role or firm did not prioritize their work-life balance. Allowing for greater flexibility for employees is a great way to stand out from the crowd. The CEL & Associates survey estimates that just over 60% of real estate firms offer telecommuting for their employees. Many commercial real estate firms have prioritized flexible work schedule and remote work for senior levels of the firm, while restricting it for more junior levels. Obviously, there are certain roles that can not be performed remotely. Instead, why not make sure that there is greater flexibility in the hours that employees are “in office” so that they can set their own schedule while still serving your customers.

Hire a recruiter

Working with a recruiter like Real Estate Executive Search can help you address many of these hiring issues. Recruiters have been in the thick of the talent war for commercial real estate. Form multifamily to retail to office owners, everyone is hiring and trying to find top talent in their market. Recruiters can help you determine the right candidates for your role and also help you figure out the right kind of ways to make your firm stand out from the crowd. At REES, our recruiters can help you craft a hiring strategy that will help keep your commercial real estate firm going strong. Contact us to learn more about our ability to help you win the talent war.