Opportunities Aplenty!

Opportunities Aplenty!

The COVID-19 pandemic has created difficulties and increased pressure on the real estate sector but it also brings opportunities with itself. Business and HR should rise to the challenges and seize the opportunities.


The world around us has changed significantly with the  COVID-19 pandemic impacting almost every facet of our lives. The coronavirus outbreak has hampered the supply and demand in the local economies, and virtually no sector has remained untouched by this health hazard. The Housing sector is no different and is facing the heat with direct impact on new project launches, land acquisition, home buyers seconding guessing making such a huge investment at the stage etc. In fact, varying opinions are emerging on the impact of this outbreak on the real estate sector. However, crisis and adversities like these often bring opportunities along with challenges. COVID-19 has opened myriad opportunities for HR professionals working in the real estate sector and a few of them have been mentioned below.


Demand for workforce


The current crisis has made many of us realise the importance of a home. With the pandemic reaching every nook and corner of the world, the only place that kept us protected was our safe abode. Besides safety, our homes also became our workplaces as a majority of us were forced to work remotely. A home was perhaps the biggest and the most valued commodity in recent times. The government is also working towards launching several affordable housing projects and the interest rates are likely to fall in future. Hence, post the temporary slump, one can expect the housing sector to stand tall on its feet again wTop of Formith the demand for homes rising. This would mean that organisations would need to pull up their socks to cater to the increasing demand and have the required manpower in place. Hence, talent acquisition teams will have a great opportunity at hand, and they need to explore new and innovative avenues of hiring.


Employee well-being


Employee well-being has not been a top priority for most organisations across industries, including real estate. While everyone has acknowledged the need, very little was done in terms of investment in this area. However, the recent pandemic has forced organisations in the housing sector to rethink their approach towards employee wellness. Right from safeguarding that employees have access to sanitised facilities, to ensuring their mental well-being, employers across the real estate sector need to include these offerings at the workplace. Prior to the pandemic, HR had to negotiate hard to ensure that health and wellness also becomes a part of the overall company philosophy, however, there is an increased understanding and need for employee wellness now. Even people would prefer working with an organisation which cares for them. Hence, employee well-being is another opportunity area for HR professionals.




Whether it is a small business enterprise or a large conglomerate, COVID-19 has triggered everyone to become more adept to technology and we see product demos and sales pitches being made virtually. The real estate sector is no different. Virtual Reality (VR) tours, webinars to educate and engage homebuyers, digitisation around home search, paying rent etc. are now rapidly becoming a reality due to suspension of offline sales. Hence, it is imperative that HR digitises itself to keep up with the digital transformation of business. Historically, real estate developers and organisations have invested in instructor-led training to its people. However, with the new norm of remote working, it has become difficult to carry out these programmes and has created a much stronger need for online learning. Learning facilitators need to establish digital learning norms and improve learning efficiency and experience of people. They need to identify platforms which can not only host content, but also cater to delivering content as per individual need. This would mean incorporating bite-sized modules, webinars, virtual reality, gamification and augmented reality as learning interventions.


Organisation Re-design: The coronavirus pandemic caught most of us off guard, and businesses at large were not prepared for a crisis of such a scale. With the adverse effects looming large on the economy, organisations need to adjust business plans and staffing arrangements in order to stay afloat. While there is perceptible uncertainty, but as one sees, some roles may become redundant, while the demand for some roles may increase. The role of HR becomes all the more important here as real estate sector needs to find ways to effectively utilise people better. For instance, hiring may not start immediately once we are back to normal, but the quantum of work would increase significantly to cover up for all that is lost in time. Hence, HR needs to make the best use of the existing talent pool by moving them cross-functionally. In fact, it is a great opportunity for HR professionals to introduce crossover thinking into talent management. Also, certain state governments have started overhauling the labour laws for ease of business. In a gig economy with relaxed norms, organisations in the housing sector can adopt more flexible employment arrangements. HR again would be at the forefront charting a new course for talent management.


Assessment & Incentive Strategies: The recent pandemic has most certainly affected the Annual Operating Plans (AOP) of businesses and with the uncertainty unfolding each day, organisations cannot set long term goals in the near future. We may have to relook at the way we assess our people, and soon, organisations may drift towards quarterly, monthly, weekly or even daily plans. At the same time, the rewarding strategy may also need an overhaul. Material incentives (Bonus, International Trips, etc.) have been the focus of rewards strategy in the real estate sector, however, the coronavirus pandemic has changed the way employees look at rewards. Today, flexible working, telecommuting, humanistic care, profit-sharing are some of the incentives which are truly valued by employees. Also, at a time when the real estate sector is facing an economic challenge, it would be prudent for the sector to be financially responsible. Therefore, it is important for business leaders and HR professionals to devise a comprehensive and competitive total rewards program which is able to recognize and motivate people.





Rohit Hasteer is the Group CHRO for, Prop and He has an experience of more than 20 years in the domain on Compensation Benefits, Talent Acquisition and Talent Management, Training & Development. He has worked with companies like CITIBANK, Make My Trip, Aviva Life Insurance and UT WorldWide. He takes keen interest in building Organisation culture and People Development. He is an MBA from IMT, Ghaziabad.


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