Experienced real estate investment professionals who can boost return from existing portfolios are in high demand.
“There's a war on talent,” said Kent Elliott, principal of RETS Associates, an executive search firm based in Newport Beach, Calif.
Mr. Elliott added it's harder to close on a hiring because candidates' existing employers are matching prospective new employers' compensation packages.
Searches for investment experts who can get the most out of a real estate portfolio increased 33% in the three years ended Dec. 31, according to data from executive search firm RETS Associates. Last year alone, investment manager searches were up 12% from 2015.
On the flip side, hiring of acquisitions professionals has slowed to a trot. Searches for acquisitions professionals dropped 70% in 2016 from the prior year, compared to a 30% decline in searches for acquisitions executives from 2014 to 2015. From 2013-2016, RETS' database showed a 43% decrease in the number of searches for acquisitions professionals. The data are derived from RETS' database of 40,000 real estate executives.
Although acquisitions is the only job sector with a decline, it demonstrates that commercial real estate is in a mature spot in the cycle, he said. Hiring trends are true for both real estate money managers and real estate investment trusts, Mr. Elliott added.
An annual survey by the Chicago-based trade National Association of Real Estate Investment Managers and executive search firm FPL Associates showed a similar trend, said Melissa B. Thelen, Chicago-based director in the compensation consulting practice of FPL, a subsidiary of FPL Advisory Group LLC. “Given where we are in the cycle it is not surprising that between 2015 and 2016 we have seen increased demand for asset managers and a decrease in demand for acquisitions professionals,” she said.