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RETS Associates Sixth Annual Survey of Real Estate Financial Analysts Reveals Demand is Shifting to the West Coast

By October 27, 2017Press Releases

Annual Survey Results: Silicon Valley, Orange County, San Francisco and Los Angeles Boast Highest Annual Wage Growth


NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. – October 24, 2017 – RETS Associates, a leading national real estate recruiting firm, announces the findings of its 6th Annual Survey of Real Estate Financial Analysts in association with Charles Schilke, JD, director at the Edward St. John Real Estate Program at Johns Hopkins’ Carey Business School. More than 290 financial analysts with entry-level to 5-7 years of experience from across the nation were polled on their salary, education, willingness to relocate and more.

The survey brought to light that 2017 was a year of notable movement in California, with the highest analyst wage growth found in the state’s coastal cities. Silicon Valley led the way, experiencing a massive 36.5 percent increase. Orange County and San Francisco followed, with growth of 10 percent and 9 percent, respectively. Los Angeles still maintained a significant growth rate of 5 percent, though the amount decreased slightly from 2016. Additionally, the Pacific Northwest, no stranger to growth, reportedly experienced a 37.7 percent increase in starting salary growth over the last two years, the highest nationwide.

According to Kent Elliott, principal of RETS Associates, this continued growth is a true sign of the times, indicative that the market for real estate financial analysts, nationally and in many local metro markets, is at or near a high point in the cycle, posing great employment opportunities for financial analysts, junior and senior alike.

In the same manner as 2016, the survey results indicated a continued desire for growth opportunities among financial analysts – especially junior analysts – making it clear to those seeking out strong talent that providing strong opportunities to take on additional responsibilities and paving a clear pathway towards advancement is key in capturing and securing interest.

“While compensation continues to play a significant role in securing top talent, growth potential remains a major player in peaking interest, especially among junior analysts less than two years out of college,” said Schilke. “Currently 61 percent of financial analysts are seeking new employment opportunities. From this pool, buyers of real estate financial analyst talent must stretch to understand how young analysts view their future career path and provide opportunities accordingly, with the goal of retaining them for longer periods of time.”

In conjunction with the understanding of young analysts’ career goals, it’s important to note that survey respondents expressed a top preference for continuing a career in the office sector, with secondary enthusiasm for industrial, unlike last year where most interest was in multifamily and mixed-use projects, with little interest in industrial. Additionally, 54 percent of survey respondents expressed interest in Acquisitions positions – likely not only due to the excitement of Acquisitions, but also to the closeness of analysts to the Acquisitions function.

“The powerful pairing of compensation and growth potential continues to fuel the buying success of top talent,” said Elliott. “The landscape of hiring today’s financial analysts is rich with possibility, as the average salary has grown nationwide by 7.5 percent.”


About RETS Associates:

Founded in 2002, RETS Associates is a premier executive search firm specializing in the recruitment, staffing and placement of interim, permanent and executive positions in the commercial real estate industry. RETS Associates’ clients include REITs, developers, investors, pension fund advisors, operating companies and real estate services firms doing business in property management, development, construction, investments and financial analysis.  For more information on RETS Associates, please visit