Should I Become a Real Estate Analyst?
|Degree Level||Bachelor's degree|
|Degree Field||Real estate, finance, accounting, or related field|
|Experience||Varies; 2+ years of experience preferred|
|Licensure/Certification||Real estate license may be required to gain the necessary experience; voluntary professional certification available|
|Key Skills||Multitasking, analysis, and written and verbal communication skills; familiarity with basic office software and applications such as Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word and Sharepoint|
|Salary||$51,860 (2015 median for all real estate assessors and appraisers)|
Sources: Job listings from employers, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, CCIM Institute
Real estate analysts primarily work in firms that include commercial sales, investment analysis, and lending. Analysts research current market trends and statistics in order to forecast the immediate future within the industry, determine the best use of cash according to a company's goals, and perform due diligence research in order to broker real estate deals. They interact with both sellers and buyers, with many concentrating their work in the commercial sector.
The majority of real estate analysts work in office settings, primarily in full-time positions. Some travel to property sites or meetings with investors, buyers, and/or sellers may be required. This career may demand long hours, although it is not a physically demanding position. Working in the real estate industry can be profitable, although the level of stress in brokering deals or making financial recommendations based on statistical projections can be very stressful.
Real estate analysts may hold professional licensure and voluntary certification, which vouches for their analytical skills and written and verbal communication skills. Successful real estate analysts are also good multi-taskers and proficient in Microsoft Office and Sharepoint or similar software used for word processing, spreadsheets, and team collaboration. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for all real estate assessors and appraisers was $51,860, as of May 2015.
Become a Real Estate Analyst
Becoming a real estate analyst starts with attending college.
Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree
Most employers require applicants to have a bachelor's degree in real estate, accounting or finance. In a real estate degree program, students take courses like real estate law, finance for commercial or residential real estate and real estate valuation. A finance degree program generally includes courses in such areas as business finance, investments, financial modeling and investment. An accounting degree program will cover topics like financial and managerial accounting, auditing, taxation and accounting system design.
Prepare for a career while still an undergraduate student. Begin obtaining real-world experience in an internship. Many schools can help students to find an internship, which may be a recommended or required part of the program, for academic credit. Look for available computer-related elective courses. Employers look for applicants with a background in software like Microsoft Excel. Students can use these elective courses to become familiar with the programs and advance their skills.
Step 2: Become Licensed in Real Estate
Prospective analysts who wish to gain experience in a real estate position, such as a real estate appraiser, real estate broker or sales agent, typically need licensure. The requirements for a real estate sales license or broker's license vary by state. For example, some states, like North Carolina, only run broker's programs, which means that an individual is qualified to own and operate their own real estate business. Other states, such as California, grant licenses for brokers and salespersons alike.
Get ahead and become familiar with real estate licensure laws for the state and position. Because requirements vary, individuals should know any prerequisites they will need to meet, such as having professional experience.
Step 3: Gain Experience
Employers typically look for analysts with at least two years of experience. Individuals may look for entry-level positions in related areas, including property management, accounting and investment banking. In these positions, individuals can learn more about the field, such as how to lease property, prepare financial reports and perform market analysis.
Analysts with an interest or experience in leadership may be strong candidates for a management or supervisory role within their respective firms. Entrepreneurial analysts might desire to become real estate brokers, or alternatively, operate on a freelance basis or even open their own independent analysis firm.
Consider obtaining professional certification. Employees may seek a professional credential, such as a Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) conferred by the CCIM Institute. This certification requires completing core analytical courses, submitting a portfolio highlighting real estate experience and passing an exam. Members may also continue education in elective fields including taxation, negotiation and troubled assets.
Step 4: Obtain an Advanced Degree
Analysts who would like to advance their real estate career or move into another field, such as business, may consider a master's degree. Graduate programs are available in real estate, business administration, finance and other related fields.
Real estate analysts hold at least a bachelor's degree, and use multitasking and analytical skills and proficiency with Microsoft office products for preparing documents, spreadsheets and collaboratory files for in-house or client use at commercial real estate, investment and lending firms.