Real Estate Professionals at Risk
Real Estate Professionals at Risk by Vineet Relia
Recently, the news of the death of Sushant Singh Rajput sent ripples throughout India. Rajput now joins a sad and ever-growing list of Indian TV and movie stars who have taken their own lives. As a country, we must start acknowledging that mental health issues affect people here. Not just anyone – everyone from those who work in labour to Bollywood stars, we need to start to realize that no one is safe from the grips of depression, anxiety, or more serious mental health conditions.
Through this blog I look to explore and unpick some of the issues the real estate industry is facing and what needs to be changed for it to survive and become a thriving and lucrative field that people aspire to get into, not one that contributes to mental ill-health. For many years now, real estate has been seen as a ‘last resort’ industry, those who found themselves in it may not have been academically driven or motivated to work hard, instead they looked at it as a way to make quick money, putting in little thought or consideration to the process or the consumer experience.
One of the issues about these players in this field is only being in it for the wealth and quick wins and they become role models for newcomers or youngsters who then pursue this way of thinking and working. Although it may have put money in the bank, outsiders’ views on the real estate industry and those who work within it, is of arrogance. Those who were once on top of their game have been hit during the past two years of recession and the recent pandemic, now find that their arrogant persona no longer closes deals or attracts new clients meaning they are now left struggling and most of them have faced social humiliation and face severe legal issues including some being behind bars.
The field of real estate has long been on the wrong end of aspiring young talent, instead of appealing to the youth of our country to work hard and find reward in this line of business many find themselves ‘trying it out” as a last attempt at making a substantial career. The older crop lack the imagination to step outside the box and those currently new to the field lack the interest to take initiative, what is left is a workforce that is finding itself struggling to adapt to a rapidly changing world. If we take into consideration the recent events that have shaken the Hindi cinema industry, seems real estate is doomed to similar fate unless it starts to take care of its business and those within it.
The problem with real estate is you must be in it for the long game, much like a poker game it might not be until the final hand that you get rewarded. Most of these fly by night operators have confused top line for bottom line and splurged money collected from customers on building a glamourous lifestyle for themselves. There is a misconception that getting into real estate can be a quick-fix to making money or it is seen as an option if everything else fails, this leaves us with workers who neither want to learn the trade properly or people who have lost the motivation to work hard. The ongoing recession and recent crisis have meant that many workers have been left without basic salaries and deals are particularly harder to close as investors are now more cautious than ever.
Statistically the leading cause of death in men aged 35-55 is suicide there is naturally a higher chance they encounter mental health issues. In most cultures around the world, men are to be men. By this, I mean, we are to be strong, we are to be the provider for our family, we are never to crack or be seen to have weakness and if we do have then, we don’t discuss or show it with anyone. For generations, this has appeared to be the way of the world, but in this modern-day world, it just isn’t the case anymore.
Lots of young boys and men look up to Bollywood stars as inspiration, to aspire to some perceived ‘secret’ freedom that fame and money might buy them, with the recent passing of Sushant Singh Rajput, and the stars who fell before him, it seems that aspiring for fame does not bring the happiness it suggests. It could be, that due to the economic challenges the country has faced, the idea of finding a skill, working hard to master it and then using it to forge a career has lost all its appeal. So, they look higher, they look to the stars. The Bollywood stars who have come from nothing and now seem to have everything, on the outside. If only real estate could invest some time in making itself appeal to younger generations, to be seen as a career to aspire for, it could not only improve the quality of the real estate business but we as a sector can play our small part in increasing economic growth and turning around this national mental health crisis.
Authored by Vineet Relia Managing Partner Relia Advisory Services LLP