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News & opinion

5 MAY 2019

A bright outlook for built environment professionals in Asia Pacific

The RICS and Macdonald & Company Rewards & Attitudes Survey is the industry benchmark for employers and professionals working in the built environment, real estate, and property sectors across the Asia-Pacific region.

Download the RICS and Macdonald & Company Rewards & Attitudes Survey 2019


55% of respondents report having a pay rise

Despite growing uncertainty through 2018, with geopolitical concerns and Trump's trade battles clouding the horizon, 55% of respondents report receiving a pay rise in 2018 — only 2% received a reduction in salary. 61% of salary increases were awarded because of annual reviews, with 11% earned after promotion, 11% moving to a new job, and an impressive 6% due to professional qualification being achieved.

Base salaries rise with experience, which is confirmed in the survey. Salaries rise rapidly to $35,520 for those with between two- and four-years' industry experience. The increase in base salary continues this trajectory to a median base salary of $124,800 for those with more than 30 years' experience.

Overall, the reported average base salary in this year's survey has decreased from last year's $110,890 to $81,293. Rather than a reflection of a marked decline in base salaries in the region, this is entirely reflective of the survey demographic. In last year's survey, 38% of respondents had more than 20 years' experience. This year, it is just 29%, while the number of respondents with the least experience increased from 36% to 44% of respondents.

The RICS qualification offers a 38% base salary increase versus non-qualified professionals

There is an increasing divide between qualified and non-qualified professionals, reflected in both base salaries and bonuses. Last year, the survey reported that RICS-qualified respondents received an 18.1% higher average base salaries than their non-qualified peers. This year, that difference has widened to 38% ($78,072 vs. $56,800).

Survey statistics

  • 995 respondents from across the Asia-Pacific region
  • 61% of respondents work in commercial property
  • 49% of respondents aged 31–45 years
  • 55% received a pay rise over last 12 months versus 63% in 2018
  • Of those who receiving a pay rise, the average increase was 5.2%, down 6.3% in 2018
  • The RICS qualification now offers a 38% base salary increase versus non-qualified professionals

Reasons to pursue professional qualification

RICS Regional Managing Director, Asia Pacific, Will Myles comments on the Asia Pacific Rewards & Attitudes Survey 2019.

"This year's survey indicates that those who are RICS qualified earn, on average in their base salary, over 30% more than their non-qualified counterparts. What a fantastic reason to pursue the professional qualification."

Find your best route to becoming RICS qualified


46% think their company will benefit from new business opportunities

Despite lower expectations due to headwinds of the slowing global economy in 2019, almost half (46%) of respondents believe their company will benefit from new business opportunities. 33% believe their company will increase investment in technology (versus 20% who believe such investment will decline), and 34% believe that hiring of new permanent staff will increase.

2018 was a strong year for the Asia-Pacific real estate and built environment sectors and 2019 appears to promise to follow suit. Professionals in the industry are confident, relfected in optimisim for the outlook for their companies' revenues and new business opportunities.

William Glover, Managing Director, Asia Pacific, Macdonald & Company

While more than 50% of respondents feel valued in their current role, a similar number feel that it is likely or very likely they will move jobs in the next 12 months.

45% say that annual salary reviews are important for job satisfaction

"No annual salary review" is rated as having the most impact on dissatisfaction levels by 45% of respondents, and a "lower than expected bonus" by 34%. However, respondents said that lifestyle factors also have a significant impact on dissatisfaction, such as having to work during annual leave (35%) and having to work weekends (34%).

When asked about influencing factors when considering a new role, respondents cited salary as having the biggest impact. Other leading factors include career progression (86%), training and personal development (71%), leadership team (68%), and bonus potential (65%).