A career in real estate can offer one job perk that’s becoming a higher priority for many, and savvy offices are learning to lean in.

The Great Resignation may have urged some employers to pay a special eye to employee satisfaction, while others have always made it their mission to respond to workers’ needs. What they’re hearing now more than ever is that you can’t put a price on flexibility.

At Belle Property Daylesford and Trentham, providing a flexible working environment is something they’ve leveraged to attract a highly motivated team.

And that team has attracted excellent reviews from clients as measured by RateMyAgent, which provides reviews, ratings and rankings for real estate agents across Australia. The Daylesford and Trentham offices of Belle Property were named Agency of the Year for 2022 in their regions.  Annette Leary from the Daylesford office and Ceri Spain from the Trentham office were named Agents of the Year for their regions.

Will Walton, principal director and agent at the dual offices, alongside agents Ashlee McKee and Fiona Kelly, commented on why their model for success relies on “providing [staff] the flexibility to work anywhere and in the hours that work for them”.

“Many of our agents have young families, and it is important to them to have the flexibility to be there for school pick-ups or other school activities,” said Mr Walton. “We provide the environment for our employees to arrange their schedules as required and the company ensures that all their agents can work remotely with access to the latest technology.”

They feel this has been a particular motivating factor for attracting a strong workforce of women split between the two offices.

According to the agents, when it comes to implementing changes, actively engaging with staff and soliciting feedback is key. “We find that the best way to employ workplace flexibility is being open to non-traditional structures, based on the needs of the employees,” they said.

For example, they’ve developed a model that allows people to job share or align themselves with co-workers with similar commitments. Mr Walton notes that the business has several agents that have paired up and work as teams to achieve a better work/life balance, which “has proven to deliver very successful results and allow the agents to share the workload”.

For offices working with a more traditional structure, any change will have some growing pains, but to the Daylesford and Trentham team, it’s a necessary step to take.

“Employment practices have changed dramatically over the last few years, and more and more employees are putting flexibility and lifestyle ahead of other traditional workplace considerations. To be successful I think all employers need to embrace these changes, or risk being left behind,” Mr Walton concluded.