Real Estate professionals: what can you negotiate in a new role besides salary or bonus?
With organisations facing budget cuts and the hiring sphere in favour of employers, you may be wondering what other great benefits you can negotiate - and in property, negotiation is in our DNA.
Our latest rewards and attitudes survey report sees bonuses moving down the ranks when asked what we value the most at work. Even salary, holding the top spot for two decades, has been beaten by work-life balance as the number one valued category; though work-life balance can mean different things, to different people, in different roles.
We’re noticing employment-benefits and expectations rapidly evolve (who managed to get unlimited holidays first?). Thanks to the momentous shift in working practices, we now have more cards to play with when salary and bonus negotiation is limited.
In 2021, here is what you can discuss with a new employer that (probably) won’t raise any eyebrows.
1. Flexible working
Since the pandemic, 30% more of us would choose the option of flexible working over a 5% salary raise if offered a choice. Organisations are increasingly updating their policies to include a flexible or remote working allowance.
‘Flexible working’ can mean a few things: flexible working hours, having the option to work in different locations (office, satellite office and home), and remote working.
What may be available and negotiable can depend on the company and your day-to-day role. If you’re an Architect, for example, you might need specialist in-office equipment, so having too many WFH days probably won’t work long-term. In this instance, perhaps you can negotiate flexible working hours instead.
If the company has a hub-and-spoke office model, you can negotiate the number of days you’re required at the main ‘hub’ and the smaller office closer to home.
2. New home-working kit
For those able to embrace WFH in some capacity, you can ask if your new employer will provide you with a new home-working setup.
If months of sitting on dining chairs have led to aches and pains, a proper office chair and desk can give you a far more comfortable working environment. A good quality office chair alone can set us back £100+. An allowance can make a small difference to our pockets and an immeasurable difference to our backs.
3. Covered commuting costs
If you can’t get a flexible working option because your specific role/department won’t allow for it (and particularly if others in the company have the option open) you could probe for a salary that takes your commuting costs into consideration.
In the UK, rail fares are increasing yet again. With a London zone 1 to 6 season ticket currently at £2706 a year, covering your travel fares is the equivalent to a raise.
4. Early pay reviews
Where a new role’s salary or bonus is lower than anticipated, you can ask to bring forward a pay review (if allowed) to get a salary raise sooner.
Of the 13% of professionals that did receive raise since the pandemic, the majority (56%) saw their salary increase from a routine pay review.
If you are meeting your KPI’s, or expect to be qualified well before the scheduled review, you can negotiate a potential raise as soon as you meet the agreed expectations.
5. Training or learning grants and subsidies
Not only will a qualification look great on your CV and carry you through the rest of your career, we’ve also found you can earn an extra 12% on average being qualified (with a vocational qualififcation verses the overall net average).
In fact, our survey found that since the pandemic two-thirds of respondents are now considering studying for a new qualification, with 75% of those potentially going for a vocational course or membership.
If your employer can offer training grants or subsidies, you'll benefit from career progression and a salary raise mid to long term.
6. Health and well-being
As touched on, the highly ranked 'work-life balance' can mean different things to different individuals.
Well-being programs will vastly differ from company to company, but the most popular examples include subsided gym costs and private healthcare. Some companies will have the more quirky schemes such as yoga classes, free healthy snacks and breakfast, 'quiet' pods, a weekly desk masseuse, and countless other inventive offerings.
Whether it's physio, a chiropractor, eye tests or councelling, find out if your new employer will subsidise the important things that will improve your health and productivity.
7. More holiday entitlement
We were surprised to see unlimited holidays emerging as an offered benefit in Real Estate, with 4% of our international respondents claiming they have eligibility.
For the majority of us, we can ask to increase the number of paid holiday days we would otherwise receive. If this isn’t an option, you can ask about ‘buying’ extra holiday days instead.
With our travel plans interupted for the past year, we’re itching to explore - all the better if we can make up for those lost beach days and fly again!
8. Stock/share options or LTIP
Stock or share options and LTIPS are offered from a small number of companies and could largely depend on your seniority if available.
If bonus potential, for the time being, doesn't look promising, the opportunity for a longer-term investment could be a good substitute.