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Where are the Real Estate Jobs?

In the first part of this report, I covered how the SelectLeaders Job Barometer says hiring activity in 2015 and 2016 is approaching the record levels of spring 2007. Today there is a surge in companies seeking technology and software skillsets across all job functions, but a shortage of applicants possessing those specialized skillsets.

For those seeking to break into commercial real estate, it helps to know what fields are the most competitive as well as what states have gaps in talent. So where are the jobs? California continues as the state with the most commercial real estate job opportunities followed by New York and Texas, and there are almost twice as many CRE job seekers in New York as in California. New York has 61 CRE job seekers for each job available in the state, while in Oklahoma the same number of jobs exist as there are CRE job seekers.

“Those seeking to enter the industry are well-served by understanding the relative competitive for jobs geographically across the U.S. and in respective fields,” said Dr. David Funk, managing editor for the SelectLeaders Job Barometer. “At its most extreme (in 2007) we were seeing over 500 applications for each real estate private equity posting versus 30 applications for property management jobs.”

In 2016, acquisitions emerged as the most competitive job field, attracting an average of 188 applications for each position, while accounting and controller with 37 applications provided the best odds.

Applications to the job fields with the most openings reflect varying degrees of competition among job seekers. Acquisitions constitutes five percent of all job postings yet receives over 10 percent of all applications, while property management is the inverse – 12 percent of all jobs are in property management but that job field only receives seven percent of all applications.

Job applications vs. job postings
Click image to enlarge.

Job opportunities in finance and investments constitute more than 23 percent of all commercial real estate hiring, followed by property management and asset/portfolio management. Development, a perennial career interest, particularly among students pursuing real estate undergraduate and graduate degrees, continued to represent over five percent of all job opportunities. Hiring development talent is particularly strong in multifamily and industrial, and redevelopment activity across sectors makes 2016 one of the more opportune times to make a career move into development since the Job Barometer started tracking the industry.

Percentage of total job postings
Click image to enlarge.

The current hiring climate finds job seekers, savoring the “seller’s market,” being picky about where they even apply. In 2015, 16 candidates would view a job online for each resume submitted. Thus far in 2016, an average of 24 job seekers will visit a job posting for each application submitted. These numbers are far below 2007, though, when job seekers were ultra-choosy – 54 visitors for each resume submitted – and salaries rose accordingly.

Hiring in commercial real estate has been strongly correlated with GDP growth over the past decade, and has typically functioned as a leading indicator for the overall economy. The dip we saw in hiring activity this past spring was cause for concern, but the pace of hiring activity in late summer and through the fall is off the pace of 2015 but still healthy.

To find your next position or hire qualified industry professionals for your company, visit NAIOP’s online career resource center through Select Leaders.

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