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Ignoring staff wellbeing and only pushing targets is ‘ticking timebomb’ for industry

ARLA Propertymark chief says too many agency bosses set unrealistic or unachievable targets that put negotiators under huge pressure.

Nigel Lewis

david votta propertymark mental health

Propertymark has called on estate agency leaders to embrace culture change within the sector and set realistic sales and letting targets for negotiators to avoid mental health problems among their staff.

The comments have been made by ARLA’s Vice President David Votta during Mental Health Awareness Week. He is also a director of leading Kent agency Votta Sales and Lettings based in Ramsgate.

Propertymark says that, although both the sales and lettings market are in the middle of an unprecedented boom, agency leaders should remember that “with 12-hour days and pressure to reach monthly, weekly, and even daily targets, life looks to be getting tougher for those trying to shoulder the newest demand”.

The trade association points out that many negotiators are handling a caseload of 30 clients on average and juggling buyers, sellers, landlords and tenants all of whom are keen to transact as fast as possible.

Votta says: “Employers have a responsibility to lead the culture within their organisations; in the busy market we are seeing now on both lettings and sales, there is an increased pressure which is not helped by the setting of unrealistic or unachievable targets.

“Estate agents and lettings agents are still human beings, and the focus needs to shift from numbers to people.

“Staff need to be supported by management to prioritise their workload and keep some professional boundaries, the temptation in a competitive market to skip lunch or work late will see staff getting burnt out and no longer performing at their best.”

Propertymark CEO Nathan Emerson agrees, pointing out that although pressure at work and short deadlines have always been a feature of the estate agency sector, “the recent boom is compounding this and bringing the issue into the spotlight. It’s paramount for the industry to catch up with others and put more emphasis onto the wellbeing of those working in our sector.”

To mark Mental Health Awareness Week, Propertymark have been provided resources for those who are struggling, or for those who would like to learn more about supporting their staff, with multiple webinars and online courses during the 10 – 16 May. Click to find out more.

 

May 13, 2021

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