The workforce at the UK's top agents is growing again. Just over 500 staff have been added, based on a comparison of the numbers submitted by the same group of 57 firms that took part in both the 2010 and 2011 surveys. This puts the total at 21,021, up 2.5%.
The number of fee-earners employed by the same firms went up slightly more - by 554 jobs, or 4%, to 13,793 - indicating that redundancies fell predominantly on support staff during the period.
The pain was certainly not over: 44% of firms said they had made redundancies this time. But the job market is better than last year, when 1,500 jobs were lost.
Given the improvement in activity, fewer people are now doing more work: with just 500 more staff, firms pulled in 12% more cash. Fees per fee earner were up at 75% of firms.
Most are now recruiting: 59% said they expect the number of staff they employ to increase in the current financial year and only 19% of firms said they expect to make redundancies over the next 12 months.
"The property industry still provides a few with the opportunity to make spectacular rewards," says GVA's chief executive, Rob Bould, "but we are entering a period where job satisfaction, working environment and security are being more highly valued."
Some of those spectacular rewards continue to be seized by rainmakers at the smaller firms, which dominate the top of the turnover per fee earner table.
Indeed, only three of the top 10 firms by turnover - Knight Frank, CBRE and Cushman & Wakefield - make it into the top 10 by this performance measure.
... More on the Estates Gazette Top Agents 2011 Survey
(By Julia Cahill, Published 23/09/2011)