Real Estate Alert: Financial Analyst in Growing Demand

October 1, 2014

Real estate companies are stepping up their hiring of financial analysts amid a surge in property trades.

That’s good news for young professionals with limited experience, since financial-analyst posts are an entry point for the industry. For employers, it means they have to act quickly and make attractive offers to land the best candidates, while taking steps to retain existing staffers.

A survey of 270 analysts completed by executive search firm RETS Associates found that 70% of respondents have been actively seeking to change jobs. Of those searching, 77% had been on at least two interviews in the last year.

“This group is very actively looking,” said Kent Elliott, a co-founder and principal of RETS. He noted that if a firm takes too long to follow through with its hiring process, it is apt to see its preferred candidates move on to other opportunities.

For the 12 months ending in July, RETS said its searches for financial analysts were up by 80% when compared with the same period two years earlier. The growing demand corresponds to the rising volume of real estate transactions, as firms need more manpower to underwrite deals and perform due diligence.

Asked what they look for in considering job offers, survey respondents ranked compensation and potential for professional growth as their top priorities, followed by location — with most preferring major urban markets.

Salaries for financial analysts with two years or less of experience range from $58,200 to $79,000, according to RETS. Employees typically remain in the role — not necessarily with the same company — for up to six years, with each year of experience equating to an average increase of $7,117 in base salary.

The survey respondents were overwhelmingly male, with women making up 12%. And while 49% of the men would prefer eventually to pursue roles in acquisitions, 38% of women leaned toward asset management.

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