How to attract and retain property apprentices

The Able Agent reports a huge demand for property apprentices but highlights the difficulty in finding and retaining the right people.

property apprentices

Online property training and qualifications provider, The Able Agent, has put together 10 tips for finding and retaining property apprentices to mark National Apprenticeship Week as demand reportedly increases.

According to Charlotte Jeffrey-Campbell, co-founder and director of the company, recruiting the right apprentice and keeping them is the key to success in the property sector, but finding suitable candidates is a struggle.

charlotte jeffrey-campbell (1)
Charlotte Jeffrey-Campbell, Director, The Able Agent

“We are currently witnessing a huge demand for apprentices. Many agents are succession planning, and looking to ‘grow their own’ fresh and motivated staff,” says Charlotte. “However, we are also seeing real problems for agents when it comes to finding (and retaining) the right ones. There is clearly a shortage in supply of good quality apprentices today – something the industry must work to rectify.”

To support the sector in countering the well-debated recruitment and retention crisis, The Able Agent launched an apprenticeship programme in 2022. Spotting a gap in training access, with no estate agency currently offering Level 3 qualifications. The company partnered with ITEC NE, a leading training provider in the North-East of England that specialises in digital training and apprenticeships, to solve the issue.

Over 15 property apprentices have been through the training since its inception.

The Able Agent will be running a webinar on the topic on 16th February 2023 and all are welcome to view. To register, click here.

10 tips for finding the right apprentice
  1. Don’t recruit when you are desperately in need of a staff member to fill a vacancy. Consider the importance of succession planning. If someone leaves, do you have somebody in place that could step into their role? When a salesperson leaves it takes – on average – three months to return to generating relevant fee income levels.
  2. Consider who will be responsible for the apprentice. If you are busy and short staffed this will have an impact on any training you need to do with them.
  3. Choose an apprenticeship that helps the new starter operate as a property expert as quickly as possible and who can take some of the burden of training away.
  4. Employer with apprenticeDon’t rely on the national apprenticeship website to help you recruit. We advise that you recruit within your own network. You have landlords and sellers who may potentially have young people in their network who would love a career in property.
  5. Set a clear career goal for your apprentice and milestones of achievement. For example, completion of assignments on time, or a point where they will earn a bonus.
  6. Choose an apprenticeship that combines general knowledge as well as property knowledge. To attract a variety of candidates you may need to offer a business apprenticeship rather than a property apprenticeship.
  7. When recruiting, ensure that your applicants have at least a grade five in English and maths. This will ensure that their time is focused on the business and not re-sitting GCSE exams.
  8. Highlight in any advert the variety of experience your new starter will gain.
  9. Try and make any recruitment adverts engaging. Use social media and advertise on your website or in your office window.
  10. Whilst offering an apprenticeship can mean having somebody in your business on an affordable salary, consider the option of adding bonuses to any minimum wage. To be driven to be a successful sales person they will probably be motivated by targets and income.

Madison Browne, apprentice with MP Estates in Essex, who is currently studying on The Able Agent apprenticeship programme, said: “The course has taught me so much, and it’s so rewarding to have such positive feedback from clients and colleagues. I can really see I am adding value and making a difference, and driving my career forward.”

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