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Empowering Low-Wage Real Estate Workers in the Age of AI: Strategies for Retention and Adaptation

Updated: Jun 2, 2023

Five Tips for Real Estate Employers to Invest in and Retain Low-Wage Workers Amidst Technological Disruption

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The real estate industry is experiencing a seismic shift in the way it operates, with the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies that can automate tasks such as data entry, analysis, and customer service. While AI has the potential to increase efficiency and productivity, it also poses a significant threat to low-wage workers in the industry. As Joseph B. Fuller and Manjari Raman highlighted in their article, "The High Cost of Neglecting Low-Wage Workers," low-wage workers are often treated as disposable commodities and are frequently denied access to benefits, job security, and stable employment. In this blog post, we will explore the impact of AI on low-wage earners in the real estate industry and provide five tips for real estate employers to invest in and retain their low-wage workforce amidst technological disruption.

The Impact of AI on Low-Wage Real Estate Workers As AI continues to penetrate the real estate industry, many low-wage workers may be at risk of displacement. For example, AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants can handle customer inquiries and concerns, reducing the need for customer service representatives. Similarly, AI algorithms can analyze real estate data and generate reports, reducing the need for data entry and analysis tasks performed by administrative assistants.

According to a study conducted by the National Bureau of Economic Research, low-wage workers are more likely to lose their jobs due to automation than higher-wage workers. This is because low-wage jobs are more likely to involve routine tasks that can be easily automated, while higher-wage jobs require more complex skills that are harder to automate. Moreover, the study found that low-wage workers are more likely to switch jobs due to job dissatisfaction, lack of benefits, and poor working conditions. This suggests that investing in the well-being of low-wage workers is not only the right thing to do from a moral perspective but also makes good business sense.

Five Tips for Providing Training for Low-Waged Earners in the Real Estate Industry

  1. Provide Training on AI and Automation: Real estate employers should invest in training programs that help low-wage workers adapt to AI technologies. This can include teaching workers how to use chatbots and virtual assistants, as well as providing training on data analysis and reporting software.

  2. Offer Skills Development Programs: Real estate employers can offer skills development programs that help low-wage workers develop new skills that are less likely to be automated. For example, workers can be trained in customer service, negotiation, and conflict resolution.

  3. Encourage Continuing Education: Real estate employers can encourage low-wage workers to pursue continuing education opportunities, such as online courses or certifications. This can help workers develop new skills and increase their value to the company.

  4. Provide Opportunities for Advancement: Real estate employers can provide opportunities for low-wage workers to advance within the company. This can include promotions to higher-paying positions or providing opportunities for workers to take on more responsibilities.

  5. Create a Positive Work Environment: Real estate employers should strive to create a positive work environment that values the contributions of all workers. This can include providing fair pay and benefits, recognizing and rewarding good work, and promoting a culture of respect and collaboration.

Benefits of Investing in Low-Wage Real Estate Workers Investing in the well-being of low-wage workers can yield significant benefits for real estate employers. For example, research has shown that retaining employees can save companies money in the long run. According to a study by the Center for American Progress, the cost of replacing a worker can be as much as 20% of their annual salary. By investing in their low-wage workforce, real estate employers can reduce turnover and save on recruitment and training costs.

In addition, investing in the training and development of low-wage workers can increase their job satisfaction, leading to improved productivity and quality of work. This can ultimately lead to improved customer satisfaction and increased profitability for the company.

Moreover, investing in the well-being of low-wage workers can improve the company's reputation and brand image. A company that is known for treating its workers well is more likely to attract and retain customers and investors who value social responsibility.

Five Ways Real Estate Employers Can Retain Employees Without Large Pay Increases

  1. Provide Flexibility: Real estate employers can offer flexible work arrangements, such as telecommuting or flexible scheduling, to help workers achieve a better work-life balance.

  2. Offer Benefits: Real estate employers can provide benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off to improve the overall well-being of their workers.

  3. Provide Opportunities for Growth: Real estate employers can offer opportunities for career growth and advancement, such as training and development programs, to show workers that their future is valued.

  4. Create a Positive Work Environment: Real estate employers can promote a positive work environment by recognizing and rewarding good work, providing opportunities for collaboration, and promoting a culture of respect.

  5. Listen to Feedback: Real estate employers should actively solicit feedback from their workers and take steps to address any concerns or issues that arise. This can help to build trust and improve the overall working conditions for low-wage workers.

As the real estate industry continues to evolve and integrate AI technologies, it is critical that employers invest in their low-wage workforce to ensure that they are not left behind. By providing training and skills development programs, offering opportunities for growth and advancement, and creating a positive work environment, real estate employers can retain their low-wage workers and help them adapt to the changing technological landscape. Investing in low-wage workers is not only the right thing to do from a moral perspective but also makes good business sense. By retaining employees, companies can save money on recruitment and training costs, improve productivity and quality of work, and enhance their reputation and brand image.

Real estate employers should embrace the opportunities presented by AI technologies while also recognizing the importance of investing in their low-wage workforce. By doing so, they can build a more sustainable and equitable industry that benefits everyone involved.

BONUS SECTION - 10 Statistics from the Report Here are 10 statistics from "The High Cost of Neglecting Low-Wage Workers" report:

  1. Low-wage workers are the largest and most rapidly growing segment of the U.S. labor force, representing 40% of all workers.

  2. The average hourly wage for low-wage workers is $10.22, well below the national median of $17.09.

  3. Nearly two-thirds of low-wage workers lack any form of formal education beyond high school.

  4. Low-wage workers are more likely to experience job insecurity and are less likely to have access to benefits such as health insurance and paid time off.

  5. Only 14% of low-wage workers receive employer-sponsored training, compared to 34% of all workers.

  6. High levels of job turnover among low-wage workers cost U.S. businesses an estimated $358 billion annually.

  7. The cost of replacing a single low-wage worker can be as high as 16% of their annual salary.

  8. The most common reasons low-wage workers leave their jobs are due to low pay, lack of benefits, and limited opportunities for advancement.

  9. Low-wage workers who receive training are more likely to remain with their employer and see wage increases of up to 20%.

  10. By investing in the well-being and training of low-wage workers, companies can improve productivity, quality of work, and customer satisfaction, ultimately leading to increased profitability.




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