Analyst Demand Bodes Well for CRE

NEWPORT BEACH, CA- The current hiring surge of entry- and mid-level real estate financial analysts is a positive indicator for the commercial real estate industry,Kent Elliott and Jana Turner, principals of RETS Associates, tell The surge indicates that real estate companies are growing right now and need analysts to do the “grinder” work necessary to make deals happen, the two say.

Elliott says the segment is on fire right now, and analysts are being hired “in droves. “Each week we close out a search and get two more two work on. It’s a segment that’s in high, high demand, and it’s continuing to grow each week.”

The demand is not just in Orange County, but in many major markets including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and Denver. “This is the future of this industry,” Elliott says. “They’re young, out of school, and it’s a starting point for them.”

He adds that most analysts move on to another area of the real estate industry after two years or so. “Once anyone is in this analyst’s capacity for a couple of years, they feel they’ve mastered it. It’s the most migratory segment of real estate that we deal in. Once someone gets that level of experience, they want to move on. If they get too experienced in this segment, then they get pigeonholed, and it’s tough to move on.”

Turner says the demand for analysts of this caliber is “the most we’ve seen in a sector in the 12 years we’ve been in business.” RETS has done 53 searches for candidates in this category on behalf of clients since the fourth quarter of 2012, a pace of roughly 4.5 searches per month or one new one each week.

One reason for the surge is that real estate companies are buying more, and this is a segment they need on their team, says Elliott. “This is the segment working hard, long hours, and they’re generally entry-level candidates, which means their companies are growing. It’s a good sign for the health of the industry.”

College students interested in this segment need to focus on the right major, preferably something quantitative such as finance, engineering, economics or business administration, says Elliott. “Those are the degrees [clients] are looking for.”

But the similarities among clients tend to end there. Some are focused on candidates from the top 25 schools; others are more concerned about the type of experience the candidate has had with a particular business niche or software. “All of them have different needs, but they all want that analytic experience,” says Elliott. “They want smart professionals in that segment who have those skills.”

The pair advises clients who are seeking entry-level analysts not to hesitate during the hiring process. “Clients that are looking for candidates to fill those positions have to act very quickly because they are getting recruited right away,” says Turner. “If our client waits two or three days to get back to them, the candidate has already heard from another prospect. Clients who want the best in the market have to really react to the market and put their best foot forward.” Analyst Demand Bodes Well for CRE