Real Estate: The Real Reasons Americans Are Quitting the Workforce

Man holding house key

Why are so many Americans quitting their jobs? Where are they going? What does it suggest for real estate industry employers, and those considering real estate as a source of income?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported a dramatic increase in the number of Americans who quit their jobs in September. So why the massive exodus? Where are these workers headed? How can employers do a better job at retaining talent? Perhaps even more importantly, what are their options?

There’s little hard proof of exactly why all of these individuals have ditched their 9-5s, but it is hard to doubt that each has a driving factor. For one reason or another, these individuals are desperate for a change. Some have posed that the job market is improving and that this is a symptom of individuals chasing better opportunities.

For those trying to raise families with multiple children, it can often appear that they would be better off financially by taking advantage of government help for healthcare, food, and housing, rather than working 80 hours a week and having nothing to show for it but an income tax bill. This breakeven point is farther up the pay scale than most realize. Add to this the fact that many employers have worked staff extra hard over the last 7 years. Plus, many are finding they can net more by engaging in remote work, or working for themselves. This is especially true for those entering or reentering real estate careers right now.

Michael Lee Stallard, a columnist for Fox Business, has his own theory: this causes high amounts of stress and an ensuing flight response. He points to surveys and research which proclaim 7 in 10 Americans just aren’t engaged in the workplace.

Then, of course, there is the rising real estate market. Higher home prices and equity cushions are giving more Americans confidence in taking time out. Others are finding they can make far more than they ever did at a job by getting into real estate investing and flipping houses, or managing rental properties.

Even real estate industry employers need to be alert. Recruiting is expensive and time consuming. Talent quality can make or break a business. Real estate business owners, from brokerages to investment firms, can’t afford high turnover if they are to remain competitive. Not everyone will be a fit, but those that are desirable to keep should be invested in. Build engagement and loyalty proactively. It’s a lot easier and more cost effective to be proactive than to try and reel someone back in. It doesn’t matter whether they are in-house or outsourced; find ways to grow the bond and develop the relationship. In some cases, with the really talented, it may require significant advancement, but this is a far better option than having the best talent become your competitor.

At the same time, the above does suggest it is a great time to add more staff and expand teams. The real estate business is growing, and there will be plenty of work. It can be cheaper to lock in great talent early rather than wait. Otherwise, expect rates and salary demands to rise as fast as the most popular and in demand real estate.

Finally, for those not in the real estate industry, it is high time to make the leap. For some, this might mean becoming loan officers, title reps, or Realtors and real estate agent assistants. Others will find their sweet spot is simply in real estate investing. This can be wholesaling, fixing and flipping houses, investing in mortgage debt and notes, or acquiring rentals and growing a portfolio as a landlord. Whichever is the right fit; find a good system and never look back. You’ll be glad you made the move.