Job Offer Negotiation In Real Estate: How to Secure Top Talent

Securing top talent in real estate, especially for senior-level positions, requires a carefully-planned and robust process.

With the competitive nature of the market, companies need to master the intricacies of job offer negotiation to attract and retain the best candidates. This blog post explores effective negotiation strategies tailored for senior-level placements, providing insights into how to stand out against your competitors who will be trying to secure the same pool of talent.

We’ll delve into the essential tactics for negotiating with senior-level professionals, highlighting the importance of not just their salary, but also non-monetary perks that enhances their full employment package and make a significant difference to the way they perceive a company.

Understanding what motivates candidates when they consider a new role is equally as important, and we will discuss how to leverage this knowledge from our research to create compelling job offers that resonate with their personal and professional aspirations.

The Value of Non-Monetary Perks

This section will explore different non-monetary perks supported by relevant data from our latest salary survey.

Now in its 24th year, our survey research remains the most comprehensive benchmark for remuneration and sentiments in real estate, empowering hiring professionals and employers to make strategic decisions that improve their workforce.

Armed with this insight, you can identify what senior-level professionals value in their job allowing you to craft job offers that speak directly to those aspirations.

The Importance of Non-Monetary Perks

Salary is just one element that contributes to job satisfaction. However, to attract and retain senior-level employees, you must offer more than a competitive salary.

A good salary will only get you so far, as candidates can find similar or higher pay elsewhere and the idea of a ‘budget’ can quickly get disregarded when competing on this factor alone. What can give you a competitive advantage and build loyalty to your company are the additional non-monetary benefits that demonstrate your commitment to their health and lifestyle needs.

This includes things such as flexible working arrangements, remote work, being able to contribute to company growth, feeling part of the senior leadership team, and share schemes.

None of these perks require you to pay the candidate more money, but they’re essential in making the candidate feel valued.

The below table illustrates the benefits employers are currently eligible to receive, paying particular attention to positions from senior management level to C-suite.

table showing eligibility of benefits for senior hires

In terms of how happy employees are when it comes to these benefits, we’ve also included a table below which shows you their level of satisfaction:

table showing satisfaction of senior hires with current benefits

Different Types of Non-Monetary Perks Valued By Senior Level Candidates

Whilst the above table details what benefits employees are currently eligible to receive, there are other benefits that senior professionals value in their career.

For full visibility and to give you a better understanding of what these hires seek, we’re listing the benefits most valued in their current roles, filtered by seniority. As previously mentioned, salary is an important factor, ranking second. However, it is surpassed by work-life balance, which is ranked as the top priority by 40% of senior respondents.

The below table outlines the benefits most valued in their current role by level of seniority:

table showing benefits most valued by senior hires

When crafting a full employment package offer, it is important to understand the reasons why many would reasonably stay put.

A new opportunity would be competing against their current work-life balance their employer offers which they are going to be familiar with. After salary-level, interestingly MD/C Suite level professionals appreciate and highly value the sense that they are able to innovate and make a difference in steering the company; consider how the opportunity on offer can clearly communicate and promote these attributes best.

When looking for a new role, our research found senior-level professionals rank the following as the most attractive attributes:

table showing benefits valued by senior hires when job searching

Before even bonus eligibility, senior professionals will carefully consider a company’s reputation and values, whether they will fit into the company culture and who they will be closely working with in the leadership team.

Then after bonus, emphasis is placed on location, flexible working, and better work-life balance.

We must appreciate the impact Covid had on the types of benefits employees seek, as it forced employers to rethink their offerings. A significant part of this shift was the approach to remote working. As people became more accustomed to working from home, it emerged as a highly valued component of their careers.

Jamie Williams, Macdonald & Company

Head of Development & Technical Division

"In the wake of the COVID era, a fierce competition emerged among companies trying to strike the perfect balance between flexible work arrangements and employee well-being, crucial for both retaining top talent and enticing new recruits.

Delving deep into the realm of Landed Estates in London, it became evident that a paramount objective was to foster a sense of community and preserve the team's unique synergy by bringing employees together.

One of my clients recently implemented a new working week heralding remarkable success. So impactful was this initiative that one candidate I represented opted for their offer over another, despite it boasting a salary £10,000 higher.

The client's innovative strategy revolved around a new work methodology, seamlessly blending remote working with office presence. Employees were required to spend three days in the office, with Thursday designated as a mandatory in-person day for all.

However, what truly set this approach apart was its flexibility. Within the core hours of 10 am to 4 pm, employees were empowered to tailor their schedules, either starting and ending their workdays earlier or later, provided they adhered to these central hours.

This forward-thinking model not only preserved the company's culture but also demonstrated a profound commitment to employee satisfaction and work-life balance."

How to Craft the Ideal Job Offer: Negotiation Tips for Hiring Managers

This section will help HR professionals and hiring managers craft attractive job offers when negotiating a job offer with a senior-level candidate.

Remember, you are not only competing with the many other new opportunities this candidate is accustomed to receiving, you’re also competing with their current position.

Do your research

You need to be confident that your job offer is competitive otherwise senior-level candidates will look elsewhere or stay where they are. You need to be sure that what you’re offering, both in terms of salary and non-monetary perks (as covered above) is compelling enough for candidates to choose your company over a competitor.

The package you offer should reflect the job’s level of responsibility. Senior hires, with their extensive experience and key role in the business, will naturally command a higher salary. If you fail to conduct proper research, you risk offering less than what is expected, thereby missing out on securing senior-level candidates who want more from their next role.

Staying ahead of others in the industry can be stressful and time consuming. That’s why we annually compile our comprehensive salary survey report which allows you to easily benchmark your offering against your competitors. These insights empower you to make strategic decisions that enhance your talent acquisition strategies enabling you to secure the best hires.

Get the latest salary survey insights.

Our salary survey remains the most comprehensive benchmark for remuneration and sentiments in real estate.

Understand the candidate’s motivations

As we’ve highlighted, understanding a candidate’s motivations for moving jobs is incredibly valuable as this allows you to make changes to your current remuneration package to make it more appealing to their needs.

Whilst every company will have its limitations in terms of what it can offer, there might be some flexibility or scope to add in a new perk or to replace an existing one if you know this is something senior-level candidates are looking for.

For example, after reviewing the table of benefits that employees are seeking when searching for a new role, the top 3 are:

  • Company Reputation/ Values
  • Workplace Culture-Fit
  • Leadership Team

With this in mind, you can use this information to really sell the company and the opportunity at hand. In the interview process, make sure you talk openly and honestly about the team and how this is structured so that senior-level candidates have a 360-degree window on the position, the organisation and where they will fit.

If workplace/ culture fit is something these senior hires are looking for, emphasise your positive working culture and how you support employees throughout any campaigns surrounding the job role. This approach ensures that you’re speaking directly to the needs of these professionals and addressing the things they’re looking for.

You should also conduct regular surveys or check-in sessions with employees to assess how satisfied they are with their current package so that you can make tweaks where necessary.

Build a comprehensive offer package

At a senior level of hiring, salary is only one factor. The less tangible aspects of the offer often require the most attention to finalise deals successfully. These include organisational structure, leadership commitment, the likelihood of success, and clarity of communication among the leadership team.

Additionally, a significant part of a candidate’s remuneration may be tied to these factors through annual bonuses, profit shares, or long-term incentive plans (LTIPs). If a candidate is unclear about the corporate structure or the reward framework, it can create a significant issue.

To attract and retain top talent, it’s essential to ensure that these elements are clearly communicated and align with the candidate’s expectations and aspirations. By addressing these ‘opaque’ areas, you increase the likelihood of securing senior-level candidates who are confident in their decision to join your organisation.

Communicate throughout the negotiation

There is a tendency within troubled negotiations to defer responsibility to HR or Talent Management colleagues.

This is entirely wrong for senior hiring, where leaders must take ownership and be able to clearly communicate the goals and structures of the leadership group effectively.

In order to address this, you need to:

  • Ensure other interviewing colleagues are able to confidently present a coordinated message that reflects the groups’ unity.
  • Spend more time articulating the variable and long-term elements of the reward structure. Too often, these aspects are overlooked or described in the most basic terms. To align a candidate with the company’s goals, it is essential to emphasise the variable components over the fixed base salary. Be realistic and provide clear, conservative illustrations, as these are far more effective than presenting fantastical numbers with no concrete definition. This approach helps candidates understand the true potential of their remuneration and builds trust in your organisation’s commitment to their long-term success.
  • Work with a recruitment partner, who you spend time with to design your campaign. This includes defining the role, devising the assessment pillars, crafting the company story, identifying the assessment process, and finalising the selection process. If you spend time investing in the campaign with an expert advisor, you will avoid getting to the final stage and scrambling to negotiate because it will have been marketed and accepted earlier in the process.

Will Glover, Macdonald & Company

Managing Director for International Business

“Having a clear and well-defined plan when negotiating with senior-level hires is crucial. A meticulously planned campaign, with acknowledged definitions and unified messaging, can be executed within 8-10 weeks, typically starting within five months of the appointment. This approach ensures alignment among all stakeholders, reducing delays and misunderstandings.

On the other hand, a loosely defined search can lead to a prolonged and inefficient process, often spanning up to 12 months. This lack of clarity and cohesion results in time wasted on extended interviews and increases the risk of the process collapsing. These failures often occur when a key stakeholder contradicts the line manager's message, despite initial agreement. This highlights the importance of a well-coordinated and clearly defined strategy to ensure a successful hiring process for senior-level positions."

Provide post-offer engagement

Once an offer has been received, the energy and investment in that individual shouldn’t stop. While they might have accepted the offer for now, real estate is an incredibly competitive market, and there’s nothing to prevent them from being approached or head-hunted by other companies.

This is especially common when hiring senior-level candidates who are well-known in the industry, as your competitors might also be looking to secure their skills and experience. Therefore, post-offer engagement is crucial to maintaining their interest in your company.

Depending on their notice period (which can be as long as six months to a year), you need to keep them committed to your company from the moment of acceptance until they actually start the job.

To achieve this, make sure you:

  • Maintain regular communication: Keep in touch regularly with updates about the company, team, and their role. This helps them feel connected and informed.
  • Involve them in pre-start activities: Invite them to relevant meetings, events, or social gatherings. This inclusion can foster a sense of belonging and excitement about joining the team.
  • Facilitate informal team meet-ups: Encourage and help arrange one-to-one or small group networking opportunities with the people they will be working closely with. This can be an informal lunch, for example. Beginning to build the working relationships before starting a role can open up a better picture about how well they can integrate into the company and this can make a notable difference over competitors.

At Macdonald & Company, we provide support throughout the entirety of the recruitment process from initial contact, through to the individual starting their new role. We also offer check-in touch points throughout the first 3 months, ensuring that the employees have fully settled into their new role.

You can find out more about our services here.


Job Offer Negotiation In Real Estate: How to Secure Top Talent

Job offer negotiation can be challenging when securing top talent. While you want to attract the best candidates, senior professionals have specific expectations for a new role.

Failure to research and incorporate these elements into your remuneration package could result in missing out on senior hires who might be drawn to more attractive offers elsewhere.

Moreover, attracting these senior candidates requires more than just a higher salary; a range of non-monetary perks can significantly influence their decision-making as outlined earlier in this post.

It is the hiring manager’s responsibility to craft a comprehensive remuneration package that addresses all the elements senior hires are seeking.

At Macdonald & Company, we can help you make data-driven decisions with our comprehensive research, remaining the best way to benchmark your offering against others in the industry, ensuring you secure the best talent. We provide insights into what these individuals are looking for so you can create tailored packages that meet their needs and aspirations. Get in touch with a dedicated member of our team today to find out more.


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