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An Assessment of the U.S. Job Market in Commercial Real Estate

2017 Q1 in Review & Emerging Trends Job Barometer

Real Estate Hiring Surpasses 2007 Highs a Decade Later

Small Companies and Secondary Markets Make Gains

NEW YORK, NY. – A decade after the real estate hiring peak of 2007 commercial real estate jobs have returned to their previous pace fueled by small companies and secondary markets increasingly searching for real estate talent. Real estate companies posting single job opportunities, indicative of smaller, more entrepreneurial firms, constituted the majority of postings for the first time ever, reported the SelectLeaders Job Barometer. “Over the last five years (real estate) opportunities have been driven by the larger companies based in gateway and first tier cities doing bulk hiring,” said David Funk, Managing Editor for the SelectLeaders Job Barometer, noting “but over recent months we’ve seen a significant uptick in small companies based in second and third tier markets looking to hire single, multi-talented individuals.”

Small business hiring has been an emerging story in the overall economy. In commercial real estate the story is as much about where the hiring is taking place. Highly competitive pricing in first tier cities and the ensuing search for value has resulted in second and third tier markets now experiencing momentum, and the hiring is taking place in small companies. “By one estimate 80% of all real estate companies are 15 people or less, and we are now seeing that segment more aggressively hiring,” said Susan Phillips, CEO of SelectLeaders. The big real estate firms continue to get bigger along with growth at the small, entrepreneurial level while the mid-sized companies are continuing to be squeezed, noted Funk. Commercial real estate job postings overall have jumped up during the first quarter of 2017 but still lag behind the spring hiring season in 2015 and 2016.

Graph 1: Commercial Real Estate Job Opportunities and US Jobs

Graph 2: Commercial Real Estate Job Opportunities by State 2007 to Present

California and New York remain the top magnets seeking real estate talent, with both states posting a higher percentage of overall jobs than a decade ago. Texas, meanwhile, moved from the fifth to the third best state for commercial real estate job opportunities while Illinois, Massachusetts, and Washington, DC saw real estate jobs decline over the same period.

One consequence of small company hiring is many lack a human resources department, and in turn are increasingly looking to search firms and outsourced recruiting capabilities for support. “We’ve noticed an increase in smaller real estate companies reaching out for assistance in their search for talent, with more requests for our ProSelect “professional recruiter” services as the seller’s market makes talent acquisition increasingly challenging,” noted Phillips.

Graph 3: Commercial Real Estate Postings by Field 2007 to Present

While job opportunities have increased in the sunbelt and coasts over the past decade, hiring by real estate job fields has remained rather consistent. Opportunities in development and acquisitions are down from 2007, while certain fields that did not even register in 2007 – Real Estate Technology – constitute significant opportunities in 2017.

About the SelectLeaders Job Barometer

The SelectLeaders Job Barometer, published since 2006, is the foremost survey of employment opportunities, trends, and hiring practices in the commercial real estate industry.

About the SelectLeaders Real Estate Job Network

SelectLeaders powers the Career Centers for 9 premier real estate industry Associations (whose members control or direct 90% of commercial real estate). Jobs are from all sectors and all levels with 29% paying over $100,000. SelectLeaders Job Network offers unequalled access to the Real Estate community. To learn more visit selectleaders.com or visit our Job Network Career Centers: BOMA, CCIM, CREFC, GlobeST.com, NAIOP, NAREIM, NAREIT, NMHC, PREA, Project REAP, ULI, NRHC

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