How Many Jobs Are Available in Real Estate Investment Trusts?
The financial services sector added 16,000 new jobs in August 2021, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics — making it the fifth-best industry for employment opportunities right now.
It’s a large sector, though, and includes a myriad of roles. Should you be a trader, financial planner or something else? One option you might want to consider, especially given the demand for real estate during the COVID-19 pandemic, is working for a real estate investment trust.
What Is a Real Estate Investment Trust?
A REIT is a company that owns residential or commercial real estate, or both. The properties contained within the REIT generate income and relative stability based on long-term leases, which enables its investors to benefit from gains in the real estate market without spending money directly on property.
There are several types of real estate investment trusts — from office to industrial, retail, lodging/resort, residential, timberlands, health care, self-storage, infrastructure, data centers, diversified or combination, specialty and mortgage.
Why REITs Are Popular
According to one estimate, approximately 145 million Americans are invested in REIT stocks. For most people, exposure to real estate investment trusts comes through their employer-sponsored 401(k) or other retirement account. REITs offer consumers several advantages, including dividend yields, partial independence from the performance of the S&P 500, easy liquidity and advantageous tax conditions.
Number of Jobs Available at Real Estate Investment Trusts
Approximately 274,000 professionals were employed full-time by a REIT in 2019. A quick survey of LinkedIn reveals plenty of open positions today — more than 1,000 — and on Indeed.com, the number of REIT jobs listed is even higher, at more than 3,000.
Types of Jobs Available
A REIT is responsible for every aspect of a real estate project — from its initial development to property management and investor relations. That means there’s space for project managers, agents and more. At a broader level, people working inside of a REIT also need to ensure its success, so there are professionals managing the trust’s assets and real estate portfolio.
How Much Can You Earn Working for a REIT?
According to Glassdoor, a REIT Analyst earns a base pay of $70,862 per year on average. A Senior Analyst typically earns $87,981 and a Lead Analyst earns $96,333.
Skill Sets Worth Developing if You Want to Work in REITs
In order to compete for jobs in real estate investment trusts, you should possess strong written and verbal communication skills, proficiency with Excel and other Microsoft Office Suite products and proficiency with data analysis.
An interest in data science will also serve you well, as many REIT analysts have a working understanding of statistics and experience working with databases. Make sure that you know your way around data visualization tools, such as Tableau, and database querying tools such as SQL and Python.
How Much Experience Will You Need to Be a Competitive Candidate?
Most REIT Analysts have two to four years on the job — so once you’re at or past that point, you can rest assured that you’re fairly competitive from an experience standpoint.
Job Satisfaction Levels for REIT Analysts
A career in the financial services sector is not stress-free, as REIT Analyst ratings reveal. About 85,000 surveys of people working in this position report their work/life balance as 3.6 out of five stars. They’re less enthusiastic about their compensation and benefits, scoring 3.4/5, and career opportunities, at 3.5/5.
Good To Know
If you’re interested in becoming a REIT Analyst, you should aim to have a bachelor’s degree in a related field — such as real estate, finance, accounting, statistics or something similar. You should have as much work experience as possible in the real estate industry, including but not limited to internships. Certifications will help too, such as a license to sell real estate or act as a broker, as well as the Certified Commercial Investment Member, or CCIM, from the CCIM Institute.
An Industry Positioned for Growth
Although working in the financial services sector is not for everyone, it is not without its rewards. At a real estate investment trust in particular, it’s possible to earn a good base salary at a company entrenched in a business that isn’t going anywhere — real estate. The skill sets needed closely match those in related fields, such as data science — so you’re likely to find them highly transferable should you ever need or want to make a career change.
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- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "The Employment Situation-September 2021."
- Nareit. "REIT Sectors."
- Fidelity. 2021. "Real Estate Investing 2021 Outlook."
- Nareit. 2021. "REITs Supported 2.6 Million Jobs in 2019."
- Indeed. "Real Estate Investment Trust Jobs, Employment."
- ZipRecruiter. "Q: How to Become a Real Estate Analyst."