Retail property managers are expected to lead the hot spots for property sector employment opportunities in the early part of 2018, the latest report says.

In its latest report, recruitment firm Hays says property managers in the retail sector are expected to be in strong demand over the first half of the year.

Retail property managers will be in high demand in the first half of 2018,” Hays said in its report.

“The retail industry is adapting to meet changing consumer demands, which is fuelling this need for suitable candidates.

Experienced retail leasing executives will be sought in response to retail activity. In addition, the retail environment is often viewed by candidates as an ideal stepping stone to other roles in the property sector, which leads to ongoing turnover.”

“Similarly, casual mall leasing executives will be in ongoing demand. Candidates consider this an entry-level role, and progress to a retail or commercial leasing role once they gain enough experience. This creates a constant need to replace departing staff.”

Hays says demand will also be evident in other areas.

Courtesy of a lack of training and opportunities for professional development, there is a high turnover of residential property managers and skilled people in this area are needed.

Moreover, Hays says, the lack of training in this area is changing.

New laws to be implemented this year in South Australia which require property managers to be licenced, for example, will promote greater professionalism and opportunities for training in that state, Hays says.

Moreover, client-side project managers with public sector or commercial experience will be needed to help either deliver capital works projects or assist commercial landlords to improve their offerings in what is a competitive market in certain locations.

The latest report comes amid ongoing optimism about property sector prospects going forward.

Participants in the latest ANZ/Property Council of Australia Property Industry Confidence Survey, for example, expressed confidence in respect of forward work schedules and staffing levels over the next twelve months.