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How Many Jobs Are Available in Real Estate Investment Trusts?

Embark on a career in the thriving real estate investment trust industry.
Written By: Chris Panteli
Reviewed by: Mike Reyes
Last Updated April 15, 2024

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In this article, you’ll learn how:

  • The highest-paid real estate investment trust jobs are in asset management, property management, and investor relations.
  • Traditional real estate investments require a down payment. With a real estate investment trust (REIT), investors can buy shares without a large initial expenditure. You can invest any amount, depending on the share price and the number of shares you want to purchase.
  • For a REIT-specific role, applicants will need a finance, accounting, or real estate background. Many roles will require that the applicant hold a relevant degree.
how many jobs are in real estate investment trusts

REIT stands for Real Estate Investment Trust. The real estate industry is booming, which is excellent news for investment trusts as they grow. Anyone seeking a career opportunity with a REIT can enjoy the news that plenty of jobs are available. How many jobs are available in real estate investment trusts? What kind of roles are available in the REIT industry?

This guide will explain how many jobs are available, how these real estate investment trusts work, and more.

What Are Real Estate Investment Trusts

In the United States, there are more than 225 REITs with a combined market capitalization of over $1 Trillion. A real estate investment trust (REIT) is a public investment vehicle listed on a Stock Exchange. Furthermore, investors can buy REIT ETFs to spread their investments among many real estate asset classes.

A REIT owns and runs income-generating real estate and related income-producing assets. Moreover, the REIT could own offices, hotels, resorts, and more. However, real estate bought by the REIT isn’t for future resale. Instead, the property owned by the REIT is for development. Then, the property becomes part of the investment portfolio to generate income.

Investors can buy and sell these assets quickly and at a low cost. REITs also have much better liquidity than traditional real estate investments. REIT listings are on the New York Stock Exchange, the American Stock Exchange, and the NASDAQ. Furthermore, investors can get indirect access to REITs through mutual funds.

Investing in REITs allows groups of investors to make real estate scale investments that otherwise wouldn’t be possible. Smaller real estate investors can access more significant investments by investing in a REIT.

As the REIT sector grows and diversifies, analysts predict that many more jobs will become available.

How do Real Estate Investment Trusts Work?

In 1960, Congress created real estate investment trusts. The aim was to allow everyone to benefit from investing in income-producing real estate. To be sure, investing in a REIT is the same as investing in any other industry. Investors buy stock, and shareholders of the real estate investment trusts pay the shareholders the majority of the income.

When Congress first created REITs, there were rules that REITs must follow. All REITs must be modeled after mutual funds, treated by the Internal Revenue Code as a corporation, and widely held by shareholders.

In addition, REITs must primarily own or finance real estate and own real estate with a long-term investment horizon.

The Internal Revenue Code stipulates that at least 75% of the corporation’s income is either from rent from real estate, real estate interest, or the sale of real estate assets. The corporation must have at least 75% of its assets in real estate, and 95% of its income must be passive.

Are REITs a Good Investment?

Anyone wanting to diversify their investment portfolio without increasing the risk too much should consider investing in a REIT. There are still some risks as no investment is perfect, but there are benefits of growing wealth by investing in a real estate investment trust.

The way a REIT works means it doesn’t pay corporate tax. Dividend stocks often face double taxation at the corporate and individual levels. The good news is that REITs are not taxed at the corporate level, which means they enjoy a considerable tax advantage.

REIT must pay 90% of taxable income to shareholders. Many REITs often have a dividend yield of over 5%, but average stocks have a yield of less than 2%. This makes investing in a REIT ideal for anyone looking for income or more to reinvest.

Real estate values tend to keep growing over time. As a result, many REITs can capitalize by selling valuable properties and using the capital elsewhere. Many REITs provide returns far exceeding the market thanks to these strategies.

REITs are Ideal for Smaller Investors

Small real estate investors can invest in a commercial real estate portfolio that would otherwise be inaccessible. Most people can’t buy an office tower or shopping center themselves. Thanks to the creation of REITs by Congress, now anyone can invest in these types of buildings and enjoy receiving a return from them.

A sound financial plan means having a diverse investment portfolio. REITs work just like investing in the stock market, but it’s real estate instead of equities. Investment advisors recommend owning real estate in an investment portfolio as real estate usually keeps its value even in an economic crisis. Investing in a REIT often means having a steady income.

If someone owns real estate, it can take a while to sell. However, a REIT investment is easy to buy or sell at the click of a button. Having this level of liquidity makes REIT an attractive proposition.

Real Estate Industry Job Statistics

According to the United States Department of Labor, the need for property managers, real estate brokers, and sales agents continues to grow. In 2023, the average wages in the real estate industry are $94,031 per year, with hundreds of thousands of people employed across the US.

In the REIT sector, average wages far exceed that of real estate brokers. The average Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) analyst earns $108,164 per year – which is more than double the number of real estate brokers and sales agents. However, the salary range is generally between $76,495 and $145,071

The total economic contribution of U.S. REITs in 2022, the most recent year of complete information, was an estimated 3.4 million full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs and $263 billion of labor income.

The good news for anyone seeking a career working for a REIT company is that growth is happening. This means plenty of employment opportunities and the ability to command a significantly higher wage than other parts of the real estate industry.

Top 5 Best Paying Jobs in Real Estate Investment Trusts

A wide range of jobs is available in the real estate investment trust (REIT) industry. To understand this better, here are the job descriptions of the available leading roles.

Job TitleAverage SalaryEstimated Number of Jobs
Property Manager$121,290178,820
Real Estate Broker$94,660176,120
Sales Agent$87,630231,190
Financial Analyst$117,75071,920
Project Manager$102,19052,610
Marketing Specialist$78,16040,910
Investor Relations Manager$121,10026,330
Human Resources Manager$118,36022,530
Administrative Assistant$48,56012,110

5. Development Roles

Development is responsible for building new projects. Working in this role is ideal for anyone looking for real estate project management work. As well as developing new projects, this role involves working with others to finance the development.

Development jobs in the REIT industry are highly sought after as they pay well, are challenging, and are highly respected.

4. Acquisition Roles

Acquisition jobs within real estate investment trusts involve sourcing new investment opportunities. And these roles make sure that deals get done. Further, these roles are in REITs and pay well. The work is heavily finance-related and suits anyone with a degree or background in finance, marketing, business, or capital markets.

3. Property Management Roles

Property managers are responsible for overseeing the operation of a property – leasing, maintenance, collections, and anything else as required.

There are no minimum requirements for becoming a property manager. Ideal candidates include those that can handle various situations and have good project management skills.

Starting as a property manager in a REIT is often a great opportunity. This is because when other roles become available within the organization, there is a good chance for career progression.

2. Asset Management Roles

Asset Management is a job that looks after the operational and financial health of the real estate investment trusts’ portfolio. An asset manager needs to manage the client’s assets per the investment goals and agreed preferences. Asset managers develop, organize and maintain client portfolios.

A good asset manager must be capable of working with various other teams. Acquisitions, accounting, development, and finance all interact with asset managers to work together on achieving results. At the same time, they must ensure compliance with the SEC, REIT regulations, and Sarbanes-Oxley.

It’s not unusual to start working in acquisitions or property management and become an asset manager of residential or commercial properties. Alternatively, anyone with the skills should be able to land an asset management role straight away.

1. Investor Relationship Roles

Investor Relations are responsible for coordinating and handling all communication with REIT shareholders. The role pays well and is ideal for anyone from a finance or accounting background.

The investor relations team will organize the annual meeting and meeting documents, including the annual report and proxy statement. All this must be done following SEC regulations.

Anyone with a background in accounting or finance would make a good candidate to apply for this role.

How Many New Real Estate Investment Trust Jobs Are There?

Now, if you’re wondering how many jobs are available, data from LinkedIn shows there are, on average, 1278 jobs within real estate investment trusts. That’s just one site and a great indicator that there are many opportunities in the field.

The REIT industry is a sector that is growing fast. As well as needing investors, many other support roles must be filled regularly.

Final Thoughts on Working for a REIT

The real estate investment trust industry is already sizeable and continuing to grow. Working for a REIT means following strict protocols for reporting and regulations. Many jobs within real estate investment trusts require the applicant to have a background in accounting or finance.

However, other roles are available that don’t have these restrictions. Once working in a REIT organization, it’s possible to move up to other roles should one become available.

Real Estate Investment Trust Jobs FAQs

What are the two types of real estate investment trusts?

There are two types of REITs – equity REITs and mortgage REITs.

Equity REITs aspire to own a variety of property types. Commercial properties include offices, hotels, shopping centers, and many more. Rent from these properties is the source of most of the revenue of an equity REIT.

The other type, a mortgage REIT, seeks to finance residential and commercial properties. Most of their revenue is from interest earned on their investments in mortgages or mortgage-backed securities.

Can you work for a REIT?

Yes! It’s possible to work for a REIT. The highest-paid real estate investment trust jobs listed above include working as an asset manager, property manager, or investor relations.

These aren’t the only roles available. Support staff is also always needed – HR, administrators, and legal roles are some of the other jobs available in the REIT industry.

To work in a REIT-specific role, applicants will need a finance, accounting, or real estate background. Many roles will require that the applicant holds a relevant degree. REIT-specific

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