In a recent survey of 344 financial analysts in the U.S. commercial real estate industry, RETS Associates has identified several significant employment trends. Combined with the 50+ analyst searches conducted by RETS in the last year, RETS’ fourth annual study showed that:
• A clear majority (55%) of financial analysts preferred to work as generalists with mixed portfolios
• By comparison, only 16% preferred multi-family, while office and hotel/hospitality followed at 9% each, retail at 6% and industrial at 2%
• 75% are open to relocating for a new position
• 49% are seeking advancement in acquisitions
• 24% currently earn a base salary of $75,000-$89,999; 21% did not receive an incentive compensation for their role in 2014 (mainly due to short tenure)
• 83% of the polled financial analysts are male
Most survey respondents are fairly new to the job: 54% have been with their current company for 1-3 years, and another 36% for less than a year. Most analysts are very early in their careers,and the position can provide entry to asset management, development and acquisitions; 27% cited growth potential as a primary factor in job offer considerations. However, 44% said the compensation package was key. Responses also showed that graduate degrees pay off: when compared to those with only a Bachelor’s degree, respondents holding a Master’s degree earn 5.6% more, and those with a Master of Real Estate Development degree take home an added 9.5%.
LOCATION AND EXPERIENCE
Location and experience also drive base salaries. Analysts in San Francisco, the Northeast, the Mountain region and Los Angeles command 16%-19% higher salaries than other areas, and those with advanced expertise in programs such as Excel – especially with waterfall analysis – and Argus can earn more, depending on their skill levels.
PLAN FOR ADVANCEMENT
Typical of younger workforce members, financial analysts are looking for advancement with new employers. The survey showed 65% have actively pursued a new job or position in the last year, and 31% have attended four or more interviews.