U.S. unemployment rates have reached a record low – currently at 3.7% and expected to fall to 3.5% by the end of 2019. As a result, companies across the nation have struggled to fill key positions from entry and junior-level to executive and management roles. Identifying, recruiting and retaining qualified candidates has been challenging across […]
RETS Associates, a leading national real estate recruiting firm, has completed its Seventh Annual Survey of Real Estate Financial Analysts in association with Charles Schilke, JD, Director of the Edward St. John Real Estate Program at Johns Hopkins’ Carey Business School. Over 200 financial analysts from across the nation with experience encompassing entry-level through five-to-seven […]
In a recent survey of 290 financial analysts working in the U.S. commercial real estate industry, RETS Associates identified several employment trends. The market for real estate financial analysts is at or near a high point in the cycle…
With a new administration and a “pro-growth” strategy in place, the CRE industry is anticipated to continue expansion and growth in 2017. This is evident already in the first quarter of 2017, as RETS Associates sees robust hiring similar to that of 2016. Firms are searching for development, acquisition, asset management and project/construction management roles. […]
The 5th Annual Financial Analyst Survey Results Are In! DOWNLOAD PDF 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 financial analyst survey results, factored with 27 analyst searches conducted by RETS year-to-date, revealed these key points: • The […]
Just as property investments have continued to increase, the cost of acquiring and retaining talent has skyrocketed. Kent Elliott, a RETS founding principal, notes that it has resulted in sticker shock for some companies. In one instance, a West Coast firm seeking an asset manager expected to pay a salary in line with its current employees, but discovered that competitive salaries had grown by $30,000 to $40,000 beyond that level. “They had to bring in someone at a much higher compensation – and of course that created its own problem.” Kent says, “Ultimately, they gave raises to all their star performers.”
Several factors driving the remarkable increases:
• Low unemployment at all positions in the commercial real estate field. A or B players are fully employed and bring bargaining strength to the table.
• Less new talent is entering the commercial real estate industry.
• Interim or temporary positions are slow to fill because most CRE professionals are employed; often the temporary staff are booked 30 to 60 days ahead.
• The current, most active positions are in Asset Management, Construction/Project Management, Financial Analysis and, of course, the field property level positions.
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:
• 75% are open to relocating for a new position
• 49% are seeking advancement in acquisitions
• 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%
• 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
Although the U.S. unemployment rate is fairly low at 5.5%, RETS estimates that the commercial real estate industry is currently posting unemployment at half that level. Business is expanding, hiring is brisk, and well-qualified candidates can be selective in their professional options. The most successful organizations will have a hiring plan in place and will be ready to act quickly when a leading candidate is identified.
Speed is essential, but companies must also reach out to impress candidates with fresh opportunities and assure them of a good fit in their organization. Most candidates are currently employed, often with very good compensation package and benefits, so firms must be ready to step up with offers designed to attract top talent. Candidates are seeking positions with a career path from both short and long term perspectives. A difference in healthcare coverage, and/or a flexible work schedule and paid time off can make or break an agreement. As a REIT Vice President recently told RETS, “Two weeks of annual vacation time won’t bring quality, Millennial generation talent on board in this market.”
The strong surge in the U.S. economy during the final months of 2014 continues to fuel the growth in RETS’ business as 2015 begins. Even the traditionally slower December-January time frame remained active, and RETS finished the year with a record-breaking total of more than 450 searches. The strong economic recovery, which began gaining visible traction in 2011, has opened fresh opportunities for both job seekers and the organizations in need of top talent. A look at the five-year patterns shows that specific search segments within the industry have varied, but overall demand in most markets has grown at a healthy rate.
The robust job market has had two dramatic effects as firms compete to hire the best candidates: compensation packages have increased dramatically, and the selection process must be speedy and efficient. Top candidates are receiving multiple offers, so companies must define and refine their candidate selection process and be prepared to move quickly.
RETS Associates recently completed a survey of 270 financial analysts across the U.S. in the commercial real estate industry. The data compiled from this survey coupled with the 50 financial analyst searches handled by RETS over the past 12 months has provided RETS with keen insights into this segment of the industry.
As the overall health of the real estate industry continues to improve and reach levels that have not been realized since 2008, employers continue to hire financial analysts in droves. For the 12-month period ending in July 2014, RETS has seen an 80% increase in the number of financial analyst searches handled compared to 2012. The financial analyst segment is a great entry point into commercial real estate and the growth in demand for these professionals bodes well for the industry.