Posted by & filed under Blog, Industry News, Opinion.

Equality is something that every person on the planet should be striving for. In some areas of life and particularly employment, huge leaps and bounds have already been made in order for women to be seen as equals to their male counterparts. However, there are still some areas where so much more work needs to be done.

This is true for construction.

The construction industry has always been a predominantly male world, mainly because many of the roles require intense physical labour and of course strength. So, does this mean that construction will always be limited in welcoming women?

We don’t think so, in fact, we think that the construction industry could actually benefit from having a female’s touch.

The current standings

So, how does the current climate look for the construction industry? Well, across the industry as a whole, taking the roles that are more admin and design based into account, women make up around 11% of the entire workforce. When you actually look at the building sites themselves, it drops to just 1%.

Compared to the rest of Europe, the UK has the lowest proportion of female engineers, with only 14% of students entering engineering and technology first degree courses being women.

So, why is this?

Of course, the perception is that it is “men’s work” and its mainly manual and requires strength. However, who is to say that women are not able to handle these roles, and of course, the administration, technical, design, engineering and project led vacancies can be just as suitable for women as they are men.

Many women who are currently working in the industry, or have in the past, state that sexism is a real problem. Women, when they do decide to enter the industry are treated worse than their male counterparts and often face comments and low level, seen as playful abuse from their fellow workers.

What can be done?

We know that something needs to happen when it comes to women working in construction, and it seems that it is not just down to leading women to change it. The main thing that needs to be looked at is the perception of the construction industry and women’s place in it. This is particularly true in the new generation of workers, who will be making their decision on where they want to work in the future. So, this is down to the government, schools/colleges, leading employers and industry bodies and recruitment firms to accelerate the pace of change.

Construction should be portrayed as an industry for all, where women and men are treated equally, where there is a range of jobs and skills required, this will encourage more women to enter it as a career. The current working generation need to become positive role models for women looking to enter construction. Having these role models will show other girls and women that it is possible to enter what is perceived as “a man’s world” and start to put construction on the radar as a job of choice.
There is still work to be done to ensure that men and women are equal. However, we are hopeful that the future of construction looks like it might be a touch more feminine than it is at the moment!

If you are a student interested in working in construction, or you are an employer looking to create a more diverse and inclusive environment, please get in touch with me for a chat!

https://unitetheunion.org/what-we-do/unite-in-your-sector/unite-construction-allied-trades-and-technicians/

Posted by & filed under Blog, Industry News, Opinion.

A reoccurring conversation I have had over the past 12 to 18 months is the candidate shortage within the Property market – especially in Sales. Why is it harder to find good people I am asked? What factors are affecting this?

There could be many external factors which could be influencing the market…

Firstly, unemployment is at an all-time low of 4.4% (REC) – this indicates that there are therefore fewer people to fill roles. As permanent placements remain stagnant – temporary and contract recruitment is increasing from 33% in March 2015 to 57% in March 2018 (REC).

Is it the uncertainty of Brexit? Inflation to live in London? Wages catching up with cost? Or are people’s ideologies changing?

I have worked within Property since 2012 working my way up to Head of Department in the Sales, Lettings & New Homes Division – during my time within the Sector – now is the time I have seen most unease.

Secondly, the Property Recruitment Market reflects the current Property market…

Property Market update

Several factors are blamed for poor Property Sales growth including “subdued economic activity” (the Mortgage Lender) – also household outgoings are higher which is affecting the demand. According to Cost of Living Survey (which ranks 209 cities globally for costliness) London has leapt from 29th to 19th in 2018.

Demand has dropped off, Jeremy Leaf states the number of £1m houses on Sales throughout London are at a record high – buyers are just walking away from the “ridiculous” prices. Rightmove shows in June 2018 there were nearly 20,000 houses and flats on for Sale – a record. Rightmove also disclosed there were 16.4% more London homes on the market compared with June 2017 with the number of Property Sales in the Capital are down by 5% in the past 12 months (The Independent).

The average house price in the Capital has increased by 500% in the past 20 years from £98,000 to £485,000 in January 2018 – compared to the £277,000 UK average (Property Week).

The Berkeley Group which builds luxury homes in London and the South East warned in a report that profits were likely to fall in 2018 by a third due the constant weight of Brexit uncertainty on the London housing market (The Berkeley Group).

On a positive note, Homes & Property state with the significant increases of the number of houses and flats on Sale in the Capital it gives buyers A LOT more options in comparison to previous years and if prices remain steady and wages increase this will see properties become more affordable.

When I first started at Cherry Pick People Recruitment in 2012 – candidates did not question the low basics and high commission however as the years have gone by and the Property and Property Recruitment Markets have changed rapidly – so has people’s ideologies.

The emphasis of the “work hard, play hard” mentality and working 70 hours a week have decreased in our candidates’ desires.

Perhaps the factors I discussed above have influenced – the current rate of unemployment at all time low in the UK, the inflation of household costs, mortgages and house prices add to the stresses of the 2018 worker – has the uncertainty of the Property market made the Property employee uncertain?

So, with this change, people seem to be far more focused on well-being, health, social time and less stress. We have seen that candidates our asking most about free weekends, benefits, less hours and higher basics.

I’m sure many of you who have been in the industry will feel you don’t want people with these types of drivers – “as they don’t make good sales people” but perhaps as society, how we buy, the markets change we need to change with then???

Posted by & filed under Opinion.

Bermondsey is back on the map with its glorious river views, cobbled streets, old railway arches and fab transport links.

It has a very different feel to lots of other parts of South London, quaint, artistic and somewhat industrial but then busy enough to feel very much part of Zone 1. My first experience of Bermondsey was as a fresh faced ex-pat from Leeds, visiting a hairdresser on Jamaica Road, I couldn’t quite get over how different Bermondsey was from Clapham where I then lived.

Historically the Docklands suffered extreme damage in World War 2 and then many of the desecrated wharfs and warehouses remained empty until the early 1980s, and fast forward to 2018 they are now home to some of the most opulent residential properties in London.

Bermondsey is a host, not just to affluent warehouse conversions, but also pre-war, post-war, ex -local authority properties, period properties and now many new riverside developments. There is something to suit every person’s property palette!

The transport links are great too, with the Jubilee line, South Bermondsey Station, London Bridge on the door step and a stone’s throw from Canada Water, Rotherhithe and Surrey Quays.

The Docklands is home to some exquisite restaurants such as Le Point De La Tour, José, Goodman and Scoff & Banter to name a few. There are also parks such as Southwark Park and Bermondsey Spa Gardens and great markets such as Borough Market, Maltby Street Market and Bermondsey Antiques Market.

For me the pièce de résistance is that Bermondsey is very close to The Globe Tavern in Borough Market and anyone who knows me, knows how much I love Bridget Jones and some of my favourite scenes were filmed outside the pub and her fictional flat actually exists and this is the one-bedroom flat above The Globe Tavern.

The Telegraph published an article in September 2016 about whether Bridget could still afford her 1-bedroom flat:

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/buy/could-bridget-jones-still-afford-that-flat-above-borough-market/

Estimating the value now, I would gage it as being between £750,000 and £770,000, they anticipated that in 2001 is was worth approximately £190,000 which is around a 300% increase in value, which shows the transformation of the Docklands, which bares similarities to the “gentrification” of Brixton, which was something that I mentioned in a previous blog:

https://www.cherrypickpeople.com/2017/12/11/the-gentrification-of-brixton/

So this brings me back to the original question

“Why would I want to work in Bermondsey?”

Simple answer, I want to sell Bridget Jones flat!

In all seriousness, why wouldn’t you want to work in Bermondsey?! it has such great amenities and transport links, house prices and rents have risen significantly and on top of that as an estate agent, I think it’s great to see such a mixture of well-established boutique independent agencies working next to and alongside the big corporate agencies! The Docklands and Bermondsey, don’t follow the usual structure, they are diverse and culturally explorative. Viva The Docklands!

I would love to speak to property professionals in and around The Docklands as I currently have a number of opportunities for both senior sales and lettings negotiators who are looking for a fresh challenge with either boutique independent agents or larger corporate agencies. The packages are starting at £18,000 going up to £25,000 with healthy commission structures, the time is now to kick start your career!

I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on Bermondsey, do you live there? Work there? Socialise there? What makes it special to you?

 

 

Posted by & filed under Opinion.

Overlooked:

• To fail to notice or consider
• To ignore deliberately or indulgently; disregard

Underappreciated

• Fail to value sufficiently highly
• To not hold in sufficiently high esteem.

These are the words that I am hearing over and over again this month from candidates who seemingly work for exceptional companies.
Many of them have been with their companies for a substantial amount of time, however are unhappy by the way in which they are being treated.
I went to a seminar a few weeks ago where they stated that employment is at its highest since records began and many job portals are boasting that they are at their highest level of job postings.
I have also noticed that many of these experienced candidates who are feeling underappreciated and over looked, start the process of looking for a job and then go quiet. I think for many of them, this is a confidence issue. They know they are not happy, they then get overwhelmed by the number of jobs available to them and then think:

• “What if things are not better?”
• “How will I fit into this company’s culture?”
• “Will I bank?”
• “What happens if I don’t bank money?”

Across the board, we are gaining new clients who have come to us as they are struggling to successfully recruit themselves, they have offered candidate’s positions and then these candidates have failed to start the positions instead favouring the counter offer, or have just decided to say nothing to their current employer and stay where they are.

The counter offer and making the right choice when moving company, is actually something that both my director Lema and I have written about in previous blogs, as it is something that is very current in today’s market:

https://www.cherrypickpeople.com/2016/08/23/6-reasons-accepting-counter-offer-rarely-good-idea/

https://www.cherrypickpeople.com/2016/09/21/changing-jobs-right-reasons/

As recruiters, this has meant that we are just as busy, if not busier than we were and with there being more jobs but less committed candidates, it means a lot more search and selection and effective headhunting.

To me the current situation raises three main questions:

• Can employers do more to engage with and retain existing employees?
• Do experienced candidates need to have more confidence in the value of their skillset and what they have to offer a company?
• Once a company have recruited a member of staff what can they do to make the on boarding process smoother to ensure that the member of staff joins and stays with that company?”

These are all things that we as a company specialise in, so rather than just securing our clients the right employees, we can help with the on boarding process and look at how to retain existing employees.
With candidates, we aim to build the kind of relationships with them which allows them to understand their worth, meaning that they make better and more informed decisions, that in the long term, they will be happy with.

What are your thoughts? Are you struggling with employee engagement and retention? Or are you looking to make a move but are lacking the confidence in either yourself or the market?
If so it would be great to have a chat about this, feel free to get in touch with me, you can send me a message on here or drop me an email at Lisa.Clarke@cherrypickpeople.com or call 0203 5877 051.

 

 

Posted by & filed under Opinion.

Every time I glance over these stories, I always say to myself that one day when I have a few minutes, I’m going to read these as they just sound too good to be true don’t they?!

If I could get a house for £5, imagine how many I could buy in a year…

The yields would be out of this world…

I’d never have to work again…

Definitely too good to be true, I’ll just read it another time…

Well today was the day!

Looking into this in closer detail a lady named Marie won a £845,000 manor house in Lancashire, tickets were being raffled for £2 each so she bought herself 20 and won not only the house but the title of Lady Melling of Melling Mannor.

There have been a few stories in the past few months of similar types of raffles in London, but as far as I can see none have been successful as yet.

A company has capitalised on this recently and describe themselves as “the UK’s first property competition platform”

It is legal to run a competition for profit as long as there is a level of skill demonstrated by participants so they must answer a question correctly in order to enter the raffle. The question however cannot be deemed as too easy, as if not conducted in accordance with The Gambling Commission rules sellers can land themselves in trouble with the law.

The seller must achieve enough ticket sales to cover the value of their home, otherwise a cash prize will be offered instead, the fee charged is 5% + VAT if the sale price is achieved however they “aim to sell for a little more than open market value”.

This would obviously appeal to buyers as the prospect of buying a house for a price that can be likened to the cost of a “Triple, Venti, Half Sweet, Non-Fat, Caramel Macchiato” is a dream come true but what’s in it for the sellers?

They end up paying more that they normally would in standard estate agency fees and would not benefit from the local expertise, in-depth knowledge, help and support that a good estate provides as part of their daily role.

From what I can gather the sellers who have successfully sold by using this process, have used this as a last resort after failing to sell through traditional methods. I think the prospect of having thousands of people purchasing tickets to buy their homes is appealing however based on London prices, is it that appealing?

Based on an achieved sale price of £600,000 with a fee of 5% not including VAT, that would be an astronomical fee of £30,000 (not including VAT).

Do you think this will catch on?

I asked a similar question in a previous blog I wrote Online estate agency vs traditional estate agency

Having worked in estate agency, I have always believed in the value of a knowledgeable estate agent, who knows the market, the neighbours, the schools and amenities. Someone who is passionate about property and people and sees the value in what they do, I know that my clients feel the same.

So after reading this, if a role in property appeals to you, or you are already in property and would like to have a chat about your next steps, please do get in touch.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts?

 

 

 

Posted by & filed under Opinion.

The gentrification of Brixton is something I had not actually sat down and thought about for a while, however I went to a comedy night in Battersea recently and the headline act Mr Dane Baptiste made light of it, which got me thinking….

This month marks the 5-year anniversary of my move to London from Leeds and takes me to over 10 and a half years in the property sector, starting my career in mortgages, moving onto Estate Agency and then now property recruitment.
What have I seen in my years in property…. Price increases and, as I say in most of my blogs, the increase in calibre of Estate Agency.

Here is a link to one of my previous blogs;  https://www.cherrypickpeople.com/2017/07/24/its-all-gone-south/

In the first Property Agency that I worked at, I remember walking into the kitchen and hearing the manager and the senior negotiator discussing how they knew that Brixton was on its way up and as soon as the larger agencies spotted the potential in that area, we would see house prices go up and the gentrification process would begin.

By definition gentrification means:
“the process of renovating and improving a house or district so that it conforms to middle-class taste”

So what have we seen in the past 5 years:

Has Brixton become middle class?

Has Brixton changed for the better, the worse or are we still undecided?

Is it the new Shoreditch? Is it even trying to be the new Shoreditch?

Is it unaffordable?

I personally think Brixton has changed for the better, the increase in house prices has helped many of the vendors that I worked with 5 years ago, they were able to make the most of the money that they had made on their properties. Many of them were able to move further out to areas such as Croydon, which has fantastic transport links, often buying bigger properties, without having to take a mortgage out and still having funds left over. Many people were selling their homes for over double what they bought it for.

Having pop ups such as ‘Brixton Pop’, the ever changing Brixton market, lots of trendy bars and diverse restaurants around has brought money into the area which you can see has been invested back into the community.

The community is still very culturally diverse and the Brixton spirit is present and is as strong as ever.

Looking at house prices too, I remember a 4-bedroom house on Saltoun Road, being on the market for £900,000 and many people claiming that it was overpriced and that “anyone who bought it must be mad as they wouldn’t make money on it” – that house eventually sold for £875,000 buy only a few years has passed and it is now worth approximately £1,200,000 which looks like a pretty good investment to me!

Brixton is full of little gems like this and with house prices still increasing, it makes it a really exciting place to work.

I currently have a few opportunities in the Brixton area for senior sales and lettings negotiators who are looking for a fresh challenge and to experience the changing face of Brixton and its surrounding areas first hand. With packages starting at £16,000 going up to £24,000 and healthy commission structures, there is no time like the present, where will you be in 5 years’ time?

I’d be very interested to hear your thoughts on the gentrification of Brixton and would love to know what changes you have seen over the years.