Money & Finance

How Many Jobs Are Available In Real Estate Investment Trusts?

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Two business people making real estate financial transaction at a desk.

Are you curious about a career in a real estate investment trust, also known as a REIT? If you’ve ever dreamed about working in real estate but are unsure where you might fit into the industry, my article is for you. REITs offer many employment opportunities for individuals looking for an exciting career. It’s difficult to say precisely how many jobs there are in REITs, but based on my research, there’s a vast range catering to different skills and backgrounds compared to traditional financial companies.

The good news? I found that there are a wide range of jobs, and some pay incredibly handsomely. Whether you’re knowledgeable in strategy and leadership or love to crunch numbers and problem-solve, there’s a job for almost every expertise. I uncover some of the best-paying jobs in a REIT, explore what they involve, and the benefits of and how to get into them. Read on to discover the world of REITs.

What Are REITs?

A man in a business suit pointing at graphic showing financial symbols and an REIT.

Before getting into the best-paying jobs in REITs, I’ll cover what a REIT is briefly. REITs are companies that own and manage real estate and related assets to generate income. REITs allow individuals to invest in real estate without actually buying a property. They provide investment opportunities that may be otherwise out of reach for individual investors.

The types of real estate included are vast and include some of the following:

  • Residential properties
  • Commercial buildings
  • Billboards
  • Apartment complexes
  • Shopping malls
  • Hotels
  • Data centers
  • Hospitals

On top of allowing individuals to generate income from real estate without owning a property, REITs are an attractive option for investors to generate income streams without the involvement or hands-on hassle associated with real estate. If you’re looking for a way to get into the exciting world of real estate or generate a passive income, investing in a REIT is a great option.

One key element of REITs is that they must distribute at least 90% of their taxable income to shareholders in the form of dividends. This is one of the many reasons why REITs are becoming popular.

How Many Jobs Are Available In REITs?

With so many REITs operating and their combined equity market capitalization, it’s easy to see that many roles need filling to make it happen. Online sources suggest that the REIT industry employs around 326,000 people, and REITs contribute indirectly toward the employment of 3.4 million people.

8 Best Paying Jobs In Real Estate Investment Trusts

For these investment vehicles to run smoothly and return profit to shareholders, they need a team of employees with knowledge in real estate, finance, business, and more. It’s a huge operation, which means that many different kinds of jobs are available in the REIT industry. I take a look at some of the best-paying jobs in REITs, along with their national average salary, according to Indeed.

1. Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

National Average Salary: $142,956 per/year

The CEO is possibly the best-paying job in a REIT, and they are the top executive in the organization. They are crucial in overseeing operations, setting strategic goals, and driving profitability. CEOs lead their company and usually decide on the REIT’s future direction. As the face of the company, they must inspire their team and build confidence in their investors.

Often, CEOs are appointed after working their way up the REIT ladder and achieving provable success, although sometimes they are recruited from outside the company. No matter where they come from, they have specialized knowledge and experience in almost every area, and competition for CEO jobs is immense. This is why CEOs earn incredibly high salaries and receive performance-based bonuses.

2. Property Development Manager

National Average Salary: $91,453 per/year

A development director is crucial for the success and growth of the company. They are responsible for identifying new development opportunities, managing construction projects, and ensuring properties are profitable. Part of their role is conducting feasibility studies to determine the viability of new projects with the help of portfolio managers, financial analysts, and appraisers.

Development directors also work closely with the CEO, and strong communication skills are a must to ensure the CEO makes informed decisions. On top of real estate development expertise, they must also be able to make strategic decisions that align with the REIT’s goals. This challenging but rewarding role is one of the best-paying jobs in REITs after the CEO.

3. Portfolio Manager

National Average Salary: $86,291 per/year

A portfolio manager reviews assets and investment portfolios to negotiate and determine the return on investment (ROI). They analyze market trends, determine projected growth, and advise clients to maximize their returns. Portfolio managers must construct and maintain a diversified portfolio that aligns with their client’s objectives and risk appetite.

Portfolio managers are also responsible for assessing portfolio risks and advising on minimizing negative effects. This role comes with great responsibility, expertise in the financial markets, and expert strategy and negotiation skills. Often, portfolio managers receive a performance-based bonus, as they are key players in growth and profit.

4. Investor Relations Manager

National Average Salary: $82,762 per/year

An investor relations manager is responsible for acting as a liaison between the REIT and its investors, which is an integral role. They help investors make informed decisions about their investments and ensure accurate information about the REIT’s operations is clear and easily accessible. This role is about building trust and ensuring the REIT operation runs smoothly and efficiently.

This is a challenging role, and applicants must have exceptional interpersonal skills and a profound knowledge of financial markets. They must articulate complex information and communicate this clearly and concisely to shareholders. An investor relations manager plays a crucial role in securing investors. This is ultimately what a REIT is all about and why this is a high-paying role.

5. Financial Analyst

National Average Salary: $72,148 per/year

Finance analysts are crucial in analyzing financial data, evaluating investment opportunities, and providing valuable insights to help senior management make informed decisions. Financial analysts are responsible for conducting comprehensive financial analyses of the REIT’s assets, including expected ROIs and potential risks.

Finance analysts need an incredible eye for detail and comprehensive financial market knowledge and real estate trends. They must also be proficient in financial modeling software and compile detailed reports and forecasts for senior managers. This role is vital in a REIT and carries lots of responsibility. The salary is high and often comes with a performance-based bonus.

6. Real Estate Property Appraiser

National Average Salary: $68,319 per/year

Real estate property appraisers play a significant part in determining the value of properties and estates, directly influencing investment decisions. To determine an accurate appraisal value, they must evaluate various aspects of potential investments, such as location, condition, size, and market trends. Property appraisers also need expert knowledge of opportunities for ROI and possible risks.

Being a real estate property appraiser requires relevant certifications and licenses, and it is an expert role. This role also requires strong analytical skills and considerable knowledge of real estate markets and trends. This high-paying role is critical in shaping investment strategies within REITs. It is also an exciting opportunity to help decision-makers choose investments wisely.

7. REIT Analyst

National Average Salary: $67,737 per/year

A REIT analyst researches potential investment opportunities and provides insights to the company’s decision-makers, such as portfolio managers and senior management. They evaluate financial data, market trends, and property evaluations to assess risk and ROI for their shareholders. They often work hand in hand with financial analysts, supplying them with their reports so they can go through them with their financial tooth comb.

A REIT analyst requires analytical knowledge of real estate and market conditions, a fine eye for detail, and excellent communication skills. Being a REIT analyst requires a broad range of expertise across all areas. There is not as much risk in their role compared to financial analysts, which is reflected in their lower salaries. But it’s still a fantastic role and a rewarding job. Check out this video to gain insight into what REIT analysts do.

8. Property Manager

National Average Salary: $58,678 per/year

The role of a property manager is to oversee the day-to-day running of properties and estates. Supervising maintenance and preparing financial reports for senior managers are essential roles. When everything runs smoothly, they contribute to maximizing the value of the company’s real estate assets and ensuring the success of a REIT.

Property managers might be responsible for conducting facility inspections and compiling suggestions for future asset improvement. They are responsible for bridging the needs of the service users and the company, ensuring that the REIT successfully performs. This high-paying and rewarding role is ideal for applicants who enjoy hands-on participation in real estate management.

There are many other high-paying roles in a REIT in addition to these. Also, many entry-level jobs provide REIT newcomers with the experience and knowledge required to reach the best-paying jobs.

How Many REITs Are There?

If you’re interested in finding a job in a REIT, you might want to know how many REITs there are and which one to choose. The number of REITs in operation changes from month to month. Not only are there many to pick from, but they range in size, too, from large national companies to smaller niche-focused ones.

According to the Internal Revenue Service, about 1,100 American REITs have recently filed tax returns. More than 225 REITs are registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), most of which trade on the New York Stock Exchange. These REITs have a combined equity market capitalization of more than $1 trillion. Today, the success of REITs has been adopted around the globe, and there are more REITs in the pipeline, both in America and worldwide.

The 3 REIT Categories

Not only are there so many REITs to work for, but there are also three different types of REITs to consider. Almost all REITs fall into one of the following categories.

  1. Equity REIT. This type of REIT owns and operates income-producing real estate.
  2. Mortgage REIT. This type of REIT provides money to real estate owners. This is either in the form of a mortgage, other real estate loans, or acquiring mortgage-backed securities.
  3. Hybrid REIT. A hybrid REIT is a company that uses both of these investment strategies.

Publicly Traded REITs Vs. Non-Traded REITs

That’s not all. There are also publicly traded REITs and non-traded REITs. Although this is more of a concern for those looking to invest in a REIT rather than work for one, it’s always good to be aware of the difference between non-traded and publicly traded REITs, especially if you’re steering toward a non-traded REIT. However, this could be very important for those working in financial departments.

Publicly traded REITs file reports with the SEC, and their shares trade on the national stock exchange. Although non-traded REITs report with the SEC, their shares do not trade on the national stock exchange. There are several caveats to consider about non-traded REITs compared to publicly traded ones. These include the lack of liquidity, share value transparency, significant up-front fees, conflicts of interest, etc.

Why Work At A REIT?

If you’re considering a career in the real estate or financial industry, working at a REIT could be an excellent career choice. REITs offer employees unique opportunities to combine their passion for real estate with financial expertise and business strategy. Working at a REIT also offers successful applicants the chance for potential high earnings. Some of the best-paying roles also provide an opportunity to earn a performance-based bonus on top of their high salaries.

On top of the high earning potential, many professionals are drawn to REITs because it allows them to make an impact on local communities. Working with a REIT means being involved in responsible investment practices and providing better community infrastructure and a higher quality of life. This isn’t always available in other real estate or financial careers.

In addition to competitive salaries, choosing a REIT that aligns with your interests and beliefs can make this a very rewarding career choice.

Frequently Asked Questions

We know our readers still have many questions about REITs and the best-paying jobs in the industry. If you don’t see yours below, ask about it in the comments, and we’ll find the answer.

How Many Jobs Are Available In REITs?

The number of jobs available in REITs varies depending on the company’s size. However, they offer a wide range of employment opportunities across various departments. Whether you enjoy hands-on property management or strategic or analytical roles such as development director or financial analyst, there is something available for a wide range of applicants.

What Are Some Of The Best Paying Jobs In REITs?

Some of the best-paying jobs in REITs include executive positions like the chief executive officer (CEO) or development director. They require a high level of experience and expertise and command lots of responsibility. Other high-paying roles include portfolio manager and financial analyst. If the REIT focuses on a niche market, there might be additional high-paying roles to consider.

Why Should I Consider Working At A REIT?

There are numerous benefits for individuals who choose to work at a REIT. These include diverse opportunities, competitive salaries and compensation packages, exposure to the real estate market, and networking. One of the top reasons for working at a REIT is the stability it offers. REITs are an evolving industry that uses a stable business model. This provides employees with job security even during economic downturns.

Want To Learn More About Investments?

Investing your hard-earned money wisely requires extensive research in an ever-changing environment. Check out our guide to the best stock research websites for beginners, investment pros, and everyone in between.

Why Trust Safe Smart Living?

Emma has worked for two wealth management companies and has hands-on experience creating investment plans for her clients. She is always looking to improve her personal finances and secure her future goals, and she loves helping her readers do this, too. Emma is a self-employed freelance writer with over six years of experience creating copy to help her readers improve their knowledge in various areas. Before her experience in the finance industry, she was a Police Officer in the U.K. for nearly a decade and has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to general life experiences.

Do you currently work for a REIT or have experience working for one? Let us know in the comments!

Emma Braby

Emma has been a freelance writer for over seven years and has written for many media outlets on various topics. Emma spent several years traveling Europe while working for a wealth management company managing her client’s portfolios. Before becoming a freelance writer, she graduated with a BA in Criminology and became a Police Officer in the U.K. for almost a decade. She has a lot of hands-on experience in personal and home safety, keeping up to date with the latest tech and investigation. This means nothing gets past her. Emma’s varied professional life and love for finding the truth allow her to research and write about hard-to-understand topics for her readers to digest easily. Emma is a mom to a toddler and two rescue dogs, and when she isn’t writing or keeping up with her three musketeers, she enjoys cooking, embroidery, and watching true crime documentaries.

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