There are many routes to becoming a real estate analyst, but all require mastering certain skills and technical knowledge. Here is a comprehensive guide with 3 steps to help you become a real estate analyst—including key skills, job roles, and responsibilities.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
Whether it's your love of real estate property, appreciation for statistics, or desire for a job that allows you to regularly engage with people, a career as a real estate analyst might be right for you.
Even though no two career paths are the same, there are some core components that all prospective real estate analysts need to break into the field.
The first step toward a successful career as a real estate analyst is to obtain the necessary education. Most employers require you to have a bachelor's degree in real estate, statistics, or finance. Accounting is another preferred program, as it provides an excellent overview of analyst-related topics like auditing, taxation, and accounting system design.
The education you gain in the classroom isn't the only learning that will help you thrive as a real estate analyst. Use your time wisely and seek opportunities outside of school. For example, you may be able to land an internship with little to no real estate experience—although sometimes unpaid—with a local real estate company if the employer knows you are seeking a career as an analyst.
Enrolling in elective courses outside of your major—such as software engineering, Microsoft Excel, and computer programming—is another great opportunity to expand your knowledge.
The next step is to acquire some experience in the real estate industry. Many real estate analysts get their start by working as an agent. Currently, all 50 states and the District of Columbia require both residential and commercial real estate agents to be licensed. You can review each state's licensing requirements, approximate costs, and restrictions here.
Some real estate analysts bypass the agent route and enter the field as a real estate appraiser or broker. While some states require brokers to have worked as agents first, others allow even newly licensed real estate agents to operate their own brokerages.
Other real estate-related opportunities to consider include investment management, accounting, and property management. Each provides insight into buying and leasing property, assessing rents, performing market data analysis, and preparing detailed financial reports. Regardless of your path into real estate, some relevant experience in a related field is required to become a successful real estate analyst.
Obtaining an advanced degree or certification can help once you've gotten your foot in the real estate door. A master's degree in taxation, business administration, finance, or negotiation is an incredibly useful tool for any real estate analyst.
Professional credentialing is also an excellent way to enhance your skills and bolster your reputation as a real estate analyst. The CCIM Institute offers a Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) certification for prospective analysts and others interested in real estate careers. This certification requires you to complete core analytical courses, submit a portfolio detailing your real estate experience, and pass a thorough exam.
Advanced certification in data analytics can also be a useful tool in your real estate arsenal. This type of certification highlights the advanced knowledge you’ve acquired to decipher your company's data and better predict future outcomes.
As a real estate analyst, you'll spend a significant amount of time researching market trends, analyzing statistics, and recommending rest estate investments. Depending on your job description, other tasks can include negotiating real estate deals, asset management, and interacting with your clients and other analysts, agents, and investors.
To successfully meet these responsibilities, you'll need to be technologically savvy as well as have organizational expertise and exceptional people skills. Some of the required skills include:
In addition, you'll excel in your real estate analyst career if you are a hard worker with good communication skills who genuinely enjoys—and is good at—engaging with people. Keep in mind, too, that there are many moving parts in a successful real estate transaction between buyers, sellers, investors, accountants, lawyers, and more. So, real estate analysts who are team players and understand the big picture should do well.
While it is challenging to give a definitive timeline for accomplishing your goal of becoming a real estate analyst, some general guidelines apply to most prospective candidates. Typically, you will need four years to complete your bachelor's degree. If you choose to pursue a master's or another advanced degree upon graduating, you can anticipate two to three more years of study.
Based on relevant job postings, employers often seek candidates with a minimum of two years of real-estate-related experience. Indeed, the longer you've been in and around real estate, the more likely it is you'll find a job faster. Opting for an intensive bootcamp course can also shorten your learning curve. However, because it's an ongoing process, it's likely that your real estate education won't end after you've secured a real estate analyst job.
In your career as a real estate analyst, you may work in various positions—investment firms, lending institutions, and real estate brokerages—to name a few. Your responsibilities can include researching and forecasting market trends, tracking leads, and performing due diligence for real estate transactions. Your role will also likely necessitate substantial contact with both your industry peers and clients.
The pay for a real estate analyst job is as wide-ranging as the employment opportunities. Although the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does not include salaries for real estate analysts, it does report a median annual wage of $60,370 for real estate brokers and $49,040 for real estate agents as of May 2020. Popular job research sites like Zippia, Glassdoor, and Payscale agree on an average salary of approximately $65,000, with top earners exceeding $95,000 per year.
Once you’ve determined to embark on this career path, don’t let the question of how to become a real estate analyst stand in your way. Committing to your education, seeking varied real estate experience, and honing your technology and communication skills will help you hit the ground running and find your dream job.
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