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Real Estate Alert: Senior Pros Eyeing Later Retirement

In the wake of the “Great Recession,” many veteran real estate professionals plan to extend their careers, leaving less room for midlevel employees to advance, according to a survey by executive recruiter RETS Associates.

The downturn meant reduced bonuses and lower salaries for many senior professionals, according to Jana Turner, a principal at the Newport Beach, Calif., search firm. The upshot: Now they want to stay in the workforce to make up lost ground.

The firm surveyed 120 real estate professionals born between 1946 and 1964 — the “Baby Boom” generation. It found that 37% intend to delay retirement because of the financial impact of the recession. And the vast majority (84%) intend to continue working on a part-time or consulting basis once they retire from full-time employment. “They have a lot of great experience and knowledge that can still be used by these companies,” Turner said.

Most of those surveyed (74%) said they remained employed during the downturn. But of those, just over half sought to change jobs for various reasons, including more security or better advancement opportunities. Those who did make a move often took a pay cut.

More than a quarter of respondents reported that in their last job search, they felt they ran into age discrimination, as employers told them they were unwilling to pay more for experienced workers. That could be leading more veteran professionals to stay put: 56% said they haven’t interviewed for a new job in the last year, even as hiring has picked up.