Earning a higher salary could be your ticket to buying a home this year. We talk to the experts to discover the must-do steps that could fatten your pay packet in 2018.
One of the first things lenders consider when you’re applying for a home loan is your income. That’s no surprise, after all, your pay can determine how well you can meet home loan repayments as well as shaping how much you may be able to borrow.
The trouble is, over the last few years wage growth has been low for many Aussie workers. So if you’re in the market for a home loan and your income is in a holding pattern, it could be time to approach the boss about a pay rise.
However, asking an employer for more money can be a delicate matter, and the experts say it involves a well thought out blend of planning, homework and good timing.
Create a compelling case
Andrew Morris, Director of international recruitment firm Robert Half, says it’s important to create a compelling case for a pay rise. He says, “Start by thinking ‘Where am I today compared to 12 months ago?’ Refer back to appraisals and feedback from over the last year, and if you see clear growth, that’s a good sign.”
Consider if your duties have expanded
Any significant changes to your role could warrant a pay rise, but it can be easy to overlook additional duties you’ve become familiar with over the past year. This being the case, Nick Deligiannis, Managing Director of recruitment firm Hays advises, “Prepare a list of your recent achievements that exceed your objectives; you may need to look back at your original job description.”
Morris adds, “Note down any areas where you have taken on more responsibility – including coaching, training or mentoring colleagues.” It can add weight to your request for a salary hike.
Are you a more valuable employee?
Chances are, the past 12 months have seen you develop new skills or add a qualification, or maybe you’ve played a role in key projects. Morris says, “These contributions to the company are another tick in your case for a pay rise.”
Put a value on your efforts
Strengthen your case for a raise by putting a clear value on the contribution you’ve made to your employer.
Morris explains, “Where possible quantify the value you have added to the company. For example, you may have cut the time taken to prepare monthly reports by 10%. Or perhaps you responded to, and satisfied, 98% of customer queries. Whatever you have achieved, jot it down and be specific.”
Know what the market is doing
There is a wealth of information available on current market salaries including Salary Guides produced annually by the likes of Robert Half and Hays. These are worth a look to see how your pay compares to market salaries for your job and location. Morris notes, “Knowing this information will allow you to make a factually accurate case when you ask for a pay rise.”
Pick the right time
There’s a time and place for everything, and it pays to carefully pick the right moment to broach the subject of a pay increase.
Rather than squeezing discussions on salary into another unrelated meeting. Morris recommends booking time with your boss in advance for a dedicated discussion as “this demonstrates that you take the conversation seriously.”
Avoid hitting up your manager for a pay increase when everyone is busy with other projects. “Tensions may be higher than usual,” Morris explains. “And you might not get the time this conversation requires.”
Keep it professional
Put nerves to one side during salary negotiations, and stay calm and focused. Nick Deligiannis advises, “Don’t become emotional or talk about how much money you need. Keep your review purely professional.”
Have a Plan B
According to Deligiannis, it’s important to have a fallback position in case your request for more pay is knocked back first time around. He says, “If your employer cannot afford to increase your salary, can you agree a date for another pay review in three or six months?”
Morris agrees, adding, “If you didn’t get a pay rise, insist on regular catch-ups to track how you’re performing and ensure you’re successful next time.“
With – or without – a pay rise, it’s worth knowing exactly where you stand on eligibility for a home loan. Talk to your Aussie Broker for expert advice on your borrowing power as well as other important factors that lenders consider when assessing your application for a home loan.