The ’17 CRE Financial Analyst Survey Results Are In!

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…

Investment in Talent is UP, UP, UP!

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.



Demand for Qualified Candidates Surpasses Previous High Levels

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.