The Real Estate Industry: Jobs, Skills and Job Outlook
The real estate industry is the sector of economic activity revolving around the property (or real estate) market. It encompasses a range of professions related to the valuation, sale, management and administration of real estate properties.
At the heart of the real estate industry lies the real estate market, through which real estate is bought and sold. The real estate market can be divided into five main submarkets: residential, industrial, commercial, office and hotels.
In terms of employment opportunities, the real estate sector can be broken down into the following four areas:
- Real estate brokers and agencies, who facilitate the purchase, sale and rental of real estate (e.g. helping people buy or sell a house, rent an apartment or lease out a commercial property)
- Asset management, a system of processes designed to ensure the highest level of value creation from a real estate investment portfolio
- Real estate development or property development, which includes the remodelling, redevelopment and conversion of existing properties and the purchase of land for new property developments
- Property consultancy firms, who assist investors, lessors and other market operators with the valuation of their real estate assets as well as with a range of other activities, including property developments, capital improvements and major construction projects.
A wide range of professionals work in the field of real estate. Job advertisements in the sector target in particular real estate agents and brokers, consultancies, valuers, appraisers and assessors, asset managers, lawyers, real estate legal consultants, property administrators and building managers.
What types of businesses operate in the Real Estate industry?
There are a wide range of businesses operating in the real estate sector. These include estate agencies and property brokerages (independent or part of a franchise), who assist clients with property purchases, sales and rentals, consulting firms, asset management businesses and property development companies. Another key player in the property sector are banks, many of which have their own in-house real estate advisory and investment departments.
The real estate industry further includes companies that provide property valuations and appraisals, property and block management and administration services and specialist property assessment services, as well as multidisciplinary property practices offering a range of real estate related services, including surveying, architecture, planning, design, valuation and building consultancy.
Companies hiring in the Real Estate sector:
Real Estate sector - Trends and Job Outlook
Growth in the real estate market tends to be directly linked to the health of the overall economy.
However, if we look at the employment trends in the property sector, there are a number of areas in which the career opportunities are particularly interesting, including asset management and property investment consultancy.
Real estate professions are becoming increasingly technology-based, while specialist expertise in a specific geographical location or property type - for example office or commercial leasing or hotel property developments - is highly sought after.
Meanwhile, the rise of the internet has had a significant influence on real estate business models. For example, the expansion of the online market and the proliferation of real estate listings sites has hugely transformed the job of an estate agent, while the growth of e-commerce has led to increasing demand for data centers and logistics real estate space - and with it a shrinking demand for retail space. At the same time, the rise of the ‘sharing economy’ has promoted a more efficient use of property, with firms sharing office space and people renting flats and rooms for short periods.
Finally, the global trend towards urbanization is expected to stimulate growth in the residential property market and lead to increased real estate investment in towns and cities (including in public housing), as well as to the emergence of new smart, sustainable urban development models.
What skills are required in the Real Estate industry?
Estate agents and brokers, property appraisers and valuers, real estate managers and administrators, investment portfolio consultants and building maintenance and management experts all need to have a broad range of technical, legal and communication skills, coupled with extensive knowledge of the various aspects of the property market, including land use and planning issues, procedural matters and administrative questions.
The transversal skills needed to work in the real estate sector include:
Ability to identify and evaluate real estate opportunities
Real estate professionals need a strong awareness of the various factors that contribute to a property’s value, as well as of the risks associated with real estate development and investment initiatives. They also need to be able to use property appraisal tools, methods and techniques to accurately determine the value of a property or the potential profit of a real estate transaction and to successfully employ these methods to identify the best opportunities on the market.
The whole process of brokering sales, purchases and rental transactions for residential, commercial and industrial real estate, land and developable sites is one of the key elements of real estate work. Accordingly, negotiations and sales skills are an essential requirement for estate agents, brokers and consultants, who need to be able to assist their clients with their property transactions and conduct negotiations with the aim of facilitating a successful outcome.
Knowledge of real estate laws and regulations
An understanding of the laws and regulations governing the technical and administrative aspects of real estate developments and construction, as well as a knowledge of private, administrative, tax and planning laws, are indispensable for anyone working in the real estate sector. Such expertise is particularly crucial when dealing with authorizations to purchase land, building permits, property tax and contract issues, tendering procedures and environmental certification.
Knowledge of real estate finance
With the worlds of real estate and finance increasingly interconnected, an understanding of and ability to use real estate financing instruments such as leasing, factoring, project financing, loans and mortgages is crucial. Real estate finance skills and expertise enable real estate professionals to monitor market trends, optimize their investment portfolios and navigate the complex world of real estate transactions with confidence.
Real Estate - Job Descriptions
Interested in finding out more about jobs in the Real Estate industry?
Take a look at the job descriptions we’ve prepared: