If you’re interested in a stable career in the world of investing, this list of the best-paying jobs in real estate investment trusts is for you. Keep reading to learn how to find a rewarding career in the REIT space.
Types of REITs
Before we dive into our list of the best-paying jobs in REITS (real estate investment trusts), let’s briefly outline some of the different types of REITs available.
- A residential REIT invests in rental properties, apartment buildings, condominiums, and other types of income-producing residential buildings.
- A mortgage REIT purchases and originates mortgages as well as mortgage-backed securities.
- An industrial REIT’s portfolio may include factories, warehouses, logistics companies, and distribution centers.
- An office REIT invests in office properties and complexes.
- A data center REIT invests in the facilities that host and manage information technology systems.
- A healthcare REIT generates revenue from medical centers like hospitals, doctor offices, assisted living centers, senior housing, and group homes.
- A retail REIT profits from brick-and-mortar retail environments like shopping malls, strip malls.
- A self-storage REIT is an investment trust that invests in self-storage facilities.
Real estate investments trusts can be listed on a stock exchange or offered as private investment opportunities. When you invest in a publicly-traded REIT, you can buy shares just like a regular stock or exchange-traded fund (ETF). A non-traded REIT can be more difficult to buy and sell but comes with tax benefits.
Best Paying Jobs in REITS
Here are the best-paying jobs in real estate investment trusts.
- Independent investor
- Acquisitions professional
- Asset manager
- Property manager
- Investor relations manager
1. Independent investor
You don’t need to work for a real estate company to make money from this asset class. The best way to make money with REITs, bar none, is by investing in them independently.
Think about it: Why work for a real estate investment trust when you can just passively profit from one?
Nearly every real estate investment trust pays out a quarterly dividend. REIT dividends mean you can enjoy a steady stream of payouts from your investment.
To get started as a REIT investor, open an account through a traditional brokerage firm like Schwab, Fidelity, or Vanguard. You can also invest through a crowdfunding platform such as Fundrise or CrowdStreet.
Remember that real estate should make up just one part of your portfolio. Diversification is very important to protect against risk.
2. Acquisitions professional
Acquisitions professionals are in charge of sourcing investments and closing deals for the real estate investment trust. This job requires being financially savvy, assessing market conditions, and predicting trends and developments. Most people who work in acquisitions come from business, finance, or marketing backgrounds.
There’s a variety of roles within acquisitions. Most people start as associates and then progress to managers, vice presidents, executive vice presidents, and C-level executives or partners.
3. Asset manager
Asset management requires ensuring operational and financial stability for the REIT’s portfolio of assets. There are typically various supporting roles within this field, including accounting, development, and finance, to name a few examples.
Top earners are high-quality industry veterans working in upper management and executive roles with years of experience. REIT asset managers usually need to have a demonstrated history of excellence.
4. Property manager
Once a real estate investment trust invests in a property, the organization assumes full responsibility for its upkeep and operations. This is usually the job of property managers, who oversee tasks like managing occupancies, maintaining the property, and processing payments.
Property managers play an important role and are often involved in many different operational processes. REITs depend on property managers to keep their properties in top physical condition to attract and maintain tenants and maximize return on investment (ROI).
Property managers need to be highly organized and efficient. It’s also important to have strong leadership skills, especially when working for a large firm with multiple properties and managing different crews and workflows. In addition, managers need to stay on top of daily communications and work with team members to ensure all properties remain in top condition.
As a property manager, you may also need to be available on call. For example, if a pipe bursts in the middle of the night, you’ll be the first one on the scene.
5. Investor relations manager
Investor relations managers act as liaisons between management and REIT shareholders. They plan meetings and prepare reports. They also arrange conference calls to share data and provide updates about how the investment fund is performing.
An investor relations manager can easily earn $150,000 or more. It’s a critical job in the REIT space because funds depend heavily on shareholder confidence. Investor relations teams are usually the first to hear about fiscal issues, and they need to put out fires with investors when they happen.
Investor relations managers must work quickly and gather and distribute information and updates to key stakeholders efficiently.
How to get a one of the best paying jobs in REITs
As you can see, working in REITs can be extremely lucrative. However, this is a developing industry, and it’s safe to assume there’s much room for growth.
Chances are you’re wondering how to get started in REITs. As it turns out, it’s not as hard as you may think.
1. Chart your course
The first thing you should do is think about what direction you want to take. Decide if you’re an investor who simply wants to make a lot of money in REITs or if you’re approaching it from a career standpoint.
This will determine where you direct the majority of your attention and resources. If you’re looking only to invest, you can most likely do so without changing your current career. It’s just a matter of opening an account through a brokerage firm and making the right investments.
If you’re looking to enter into the REIT space as a profession, then you may need to take a fresh look at your resume and think about your skillset.
2. Consider your skills
Take a look at your education and, if possible, your work history. Think about what skills you have and where you potentially see yourself comfortably fitting into a REIT environment.
For example, you may have years of business experience as an entrepreneur or manager and have your eye on management, VP, or executive roles. If that’s the case, you may want to consider pivoting and pushing for that type of job.
Or you may work in communications and potentially thrive as an investor relations specialist. This could also be a great career path that can lead to a lot of money.
Think about your skills, and move in the direction that interests you. Don’t be afraid to pivot along the way and pursue a path you previously hadn’t considered if it looks promising.
3. Apply online
You may also want to explore positions with REIT-adjacent companies. For example, look into technology companies providing software and supporting services for REITs. You could potentially work as a consultant or advisor for REIT firms and work your way up from there.
Real estate is all about networking. It doesn’t matter what you do in this field — you have to meet people face to face and build mutually beneficial, lasting relationships with others in the industry.
Attend lunch-and-learn sessions and networking events, tour facilities, and get active in your local community. The more connections you make, the easier it will be to find work and advance yourself. It’s tough to find the best-paying jobs in REITs if you never leave your home and don’t network with others.
That said, LinkedIn can be a powerful tool to connect with people you wouldn’t otherwise get to meet. So use that to your advantage as well.
5. Keep investing
Regardless of what you do, keep investing in REITs and socking your earnings away. Remember that the end goal with real estate is to make a lot of money. Don’t get so caught up in your career that you forget to make time to manage and grow your own investment portfolio.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the most frequently asked questions about real estate investing.
What is commercial real estate?
Commercial properties are real estate used for generating income. They include office buildings, retail stores, or even rental residential properties that make money from tenants. As long as a real estate investment brings in cash (or is trying to), it’s considered a commercial endeavor.
Should I buy real estate or invest in REITs?
Only you can determine whether you want to spend your time and money buying and leasing real estate properties or investing in funds. Many savvy investors try both strategies because both can be highly lucrative.
Often, investors start their real estate journey in REITs because they have a low entry barrier and high liquidity. REITs are much more liquid than direct properties because you can buy and sell them like stocks. On the other hand, direct properties usually take much more upfront capital and time to monetize.
Once you learn the real estate market and get comfortable investing, consider branching out and buying physical properties and hiring your own property managers. Buying real estate directly is riskier, but it can potentially lead to a steady cash flow.
What do you need to become a real estate investor?
There are no official prerequisites to becoming a real estate investor. But to invest directly in properties, you’ll need to have either a significant amount of capital saved or access to investors who are willing to fund your investments.
The Bottom Line
If you’re looking to sink your teeth into the real estate industry, you really can’t go wrong with REITs. Opportunities are abundant right now, whether you invest or decide to work for a company in property management, acquisitions, or one of the other best-paying jobs in real estate investment trusts.
Above all, remember that the point is to make money. Form a plan and move forward with the idea that will put you in the best possible position to profit over time.