REITs are a unique sector in real estate full of job opportunities for those looking to break into the industry. There are different levels and specialties in real estate investment trusts that may be better suited for people with different skillsets. So, how many jobs are available in real estate investment trusts? What kind of qualifications are required for people to work in this industry and what kind of pay can you expect for specific roles?
In this guide, we will explore some of the best-paying jobs in real estate investment trusts. We will also take a look at the REIT industry as a whole and get an idea of the future job market in real estate investment trusts.
Before we get started, for those not familiar with the REIT industry, let’s take a look at what REITs are and how they work.
What is a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT)
A real estate investment trust (REIT), is a public or private entity that invests in real estate assets that produce income. REITs can own assets such as apartment buildings, office buildings, hotels, resorts, plaza centers, and more. The real estate investment trust is full of employees who help run the day-to-day operations required to manage and service the properties owned by the REIT.
Private REITs are owned and managed by partners and associates and are not open to the public for investments. Public REITs are listed on stock exchanges and are available for trading to investors.
There are many unique jobs within REITs and each plays an important role to help run and operate the business.
Best Paying Jobs In Real Estate Investment Trusts
Below are the different salary ranges for different jobs in real estate investment trusts.
As you can see from the data above, the highest-paid jobs in real estate investment trusts are those in management positions. Asset managers and REIT portfolio managers earn over six figures on the low end and over 250k on the high end. Let’s take a look at each role in a bit more detail to get a more accurate idea behind the qualifications, job overview and pay.
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Different Types of REIT Jobs Explained
There are many different types of REIT jobs available for people who want to get into the field. Each one requires a unique skill set along with different qualifications and pay. Let’s take a look.
Responsibilities: Asset managers in REIT companies manage a specific portion of assets for the firm. A large REIT company will typically have multiple asset managers designated to manage a specific real estate area or different property types owned and operated by the company. Asset managers are often responsible for overseeing hundreds of real estate properties at a time. Their focus is on managing their portfolio while strategizing how to improve the performance of the REIT through acquisitions, real estate sales, commercial deals, and more.
- 4 year degree with a focus on management
- 5-10 years of real estate management experience
Salary Potential: The salary potential for asset managers can have a wide range depending on the bonus structure of the firm. The base salary for asset managers with moderate experience tends to be around $150k on the low end and up to 250k on the high end. However, asset managers can earn much more through bonuses if they hit their targets.
REIT Portfolio Manager
REIT portfolio managers are very similar to asset managers. Asset managers tend to be higher on the corporate ladder than REIT portfolio managers, but their roles and responsibilities tend to be very similar. Portfolio managers are given a book of business for a specific territory or real estate sector and are in charge of direct communication with the people responsible for dealing with the day-to-day operations of running the properties.
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They would be in charge of handling large-scale issues with real estate management properties and organizing important information about the properties. Portfolio managers tend to be a bit more client-facing and understand more of the moving parts behind the holdings managed by the REIT.
- 4 year degree with a focus on property management and investment analysis
- MBA preferred, although not always required
- 5-10 years of real estate management experience
The salary potential for REIT portfolio managers will depend on past experience as well as the companies bonus policy. However, most REIT portfolio managers make 125k per year on the low end and up to 225k per year on the high end.
Property developers are in charge of finding real estate property and planning the development and use of the land. Land developers need to have good knowledge of property zoning, economic trends, working with contracts, and much more.
When it comes to property developers who work under a REIT, they are responsible for leading the development of a target territory and making sure things are running according to the contract. These are people responsible for building new neighborhoods, new condos, hotels, high-rises, and more.
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- 4 year degree with a specialty in construction management
- Experience with building and managing projects
The salary for property developers can vary widely across different states. The standard base salary for property developers starts around 115k and can go up to as high as 200k. If you own your own property development firm, you can make even more.
Real Estate Attorney
REIT staff attorney’s can have a very demanding work schedule. They work on a variety of different real estate transactions such as representing developers, lenders, landlords, tenants, equity investors and more. Attorney’s are responsible for reviewing important contracts and documents related to any real estate transaction and making sure all parties understand the terms and obligations. They are extremely important for real estate investment trusts and need to be extremely detail oriented.
- Law Degree
- Specializing in real estate and contract law
The salary range for real estate attorney’s will vary depending on the types of transaction you end up working on. Standard salary for this type jobs ranges between 115k to 185k .
An acquisition specialist is a real estate professional who is responsible for finding real estate deals and brings them to portfolio managers and asset managers for review. The acquisition specialist spends time marketing and looking for real estate deals that fit the investment philosophy of the REIT. This is a unique position and is well suited for individuals who are good with people. It involves having the appetite to search for deals and find unique ways to acquire them.
- 4 year business degree
- Real estate license in some cases
The salary potential for an acquisition specialist usually has a small base, anywhere from 40-50k along with The salary potential for an acquisition specialist usually has a small base, anywhere from 40-50k along with a lucrative bonuses structure.
The bonus structure is a % of the total deal acquisition amount. This will vary depending on the firm but can be between 1-5% of the purchase price of the deal. Most acquisition specialists can expect a yearly salary between 110k – 175k. However, if you specialize in commercial real estate, your earning potential can be much higher.
Real Estate Agent
Real estate agents represent buyers and sellers in real estate transactions. They help home buyers find homes to live and invest in. Real estate agents also help homeowners market and sell their properties. When it comes to the world of REITs, real estate agents can sometimes function as acquisition specialists. They help find deals on and off the MLS and help to facilitate the deals between buyers and sellers. If you’re a people person and enjoy helping others, this is the job for you.
- Active real estate license in your state
- Sales experience
Majority of real estate agents work strictly on commission. They don’t earn a salary from the firm that they work for. Real estate agent earnings can vary significantly depending on a multitude of different factors. However, most real estate agents can make anywhere from 60k to 500k per year. Those that are earning a significant amount will be in the right area that is conducive to selling higher-priced real estate.
Real Estate Investment Trust Analyst
REIT analysts are responsible for analyzing deals that come into the pipeline. They look at the underlying value of the deal and make sure it aligns with the investment philosophy of the REIT. Analysts will make sure that the deal is profitable and doesn’t expose the company to too much risk. REIT analysts should be comfortable with running complicated financial analyses and making sure the necessary due diligence has been completed prior to the deal going through.
- 4 year business degree with a focus on financial management and analysis
- MBA preferred with investment analysis experience
Analysts can expect a salary range of 80-125k which will vary based on the state in which you are in. Some firms will also include bonus pay for analysts.
REIT accountants are extremely important. They are in charge of auditing and consolidating financial statements and making sure the company is in good financial standing. They collect, organize and report all financial data and activity associated with the company.
- 4 year university degree
- CPA preferred
- Experience with QuickBooks and ADP
Most accountants can expect a competitive salary between 75k-125k. Accountants with a CPA designation will be paid on the higher end of this range.
REIT Tax Specialist
Although a real estate investment trust tax specialist sounds like a boring job, it’s extremely important and oftentimes very well paid. It requires candidates to have a well-rounded understanding of real estate tax codes. Tax specialists should also be able to provide consulting to portfolio managers in regards to how they can save money on taxes for deals.
- 4 year degree
- CPA and tax certifications
The pay structure for REIT tax specialists is very similar to that of REIT accountants. The salary ranges from 75k to 125k on the high end.
Real Estate Property Appraisers
Real estate property appraisers are responsible for giving accurate market value of real estate. They are used to assign fair market value of residential and commercial real estate. Appraisers do this by examining the conditions of the property, taking a look at sales comps, analyzing home amenities, neighborhoods and more. Appraisers help analysts and portfolio managers value deals with higher accuracy in order to help them make an investment decision.
- Experience in real estate
- Appraisers license
Some REITs use in-house real estate appraisers and some will hire independent property appraisers. If you work as an appraiser directly under a REIT you will receive a modest salary between 65k -100k. However, if you work as an independent appraiser you set your own rates and have the potential to earn much more.
The Popularity and Potential of REITs
As you can see, there’s a ton of career potential working for a REIT. Not only that, but they are extremely popular amongst investors who are looking to get a steady return on their money. They offer investors unique advantages, such as steady dividend yield, high liquidity, tax advantages, and low stock market performance correlation.
The REIT industry is continuing to grow and provides a tremendous opportunity as a career path for those who are passionate and interested in real estate. Start off with where your interest and strengths lie before you make the decision to pursue a job in this field.