In a recent survey of 239 financial analysts working in the U.S. commercial real estate industry, RETS Associates identified several employment trends. The fifth annual survey results, factored with 27 analyst searches conducted by RETS year-to-date, revealed these key points:
• The greatest salary growth went to analysts with master’s degrees, longer tenure and 3-5 years overall experience. In fact, the survey revealed a growing divide in income disparity by education. The earning gap between those that hold a master’s degree and those with a bachelor’s degree has grown by 50% in the top MSAs nationwide.
• In both the Pacific Northwest and Northeast regions, respondents who hold master’s degrees have experienced a 15% increase in median annual base salary compared to 2015.
• 88% of financial analysts living in the Northeast that hold a master’s degree are earning more than $100,000 base salary per year compared to the 63% in 2015.
• Annual base salaries for financial analysts in Texas and California who hold a master’s degree have increased by more than $5,000 in the last year.
• The year-over-year analyst median net salary in California increased by 18%, led by Orange County, San Diego, Silicon Valley and Los Angeles; San Francisco trailed the others.
• Analysts today want to develop a long-term career and therefore are looking for the following types of opportunities when searching for a new role:
• There is a rising preference for growth potential as a top factor when considering a new position. In fact, the value respondents placed on this factor grew by 3% in 2016 – a significant boost compared to compensation, which grew by only 0.5%.
• Factors such as name brand of a firm and geographic location have declined in importance among respondents by 3.4% and 1.5%, respectively.
Most analysts see themselves in real estate for the long term. Job-seekers also are expanding their search methods. Both online applications and networking increased by almost 5% in the past year, and attendance at industry events was up by 2%.
Financial analysts, like the commercial real estate industry, have done well in 2016, and the market will remain competitive through 2017. Survey results indicate that 61% of financial analysts have actively pursued a new job in the last year. Employers must be mindful of this statistic, continue to compete for top talent, provide opportunities to retain talent and have a clear succession plan moving into the next year.