During a conversation with Nareit’s REIT Report, American Finance Trust, Inc. (Nasdaq: AFIN) CEO Michael Weil offered advice for young professionals looking to advance their careers in commercial real estate:
Find a mentor
“Congratulations for being in a great field. Commercial real estate has been a terrific career path for me. It’s something that I'm very passionate about. As I think back on my career, I would say one of the more important things is to find a mentor, whether at your company, a family friend, or someone that you've been introduced to. Frankly, it’s an honor when somebody asks you to help mentor them or be a resource for them.
Direct your career into an area that interests you
“I think you should also identify the type of real estate that you're most interested in because real estate is such a large asset class—whether it's residential or whether it's commercial—and then break it down from there. Try to direct your career into the area that you love most. I know a lot of people that are in real estate finance and have had terrific success in their careers and have loved it.”
Learn about as many aspects of the business as you can
”Learn as many aspects about the business as you can. Spend some time underwriting, looking at finance, getting involved in asset management or acquisitions. I've seen people enjoy the most success when they find what they're passionate about.”
“I look forward to seeing the younger members of the industry today continue to expand their careers, work hard, and enjoy the benefits,” Weil concluded.
Where are the job opportunities in the REIT industry in 2022?
According to the latest study from EY, REITs directly employ approximately 308,000 full-time equivalent employees in the United States, earning $22.4 billion in labor income. In 2022, 66% of REITs plan to increase the size of their workforce, with many companies concentrating on expanding the functions of finance/accounting/tax, property management, and asset management.
Nareit, as the representative for REITs and publicly traded real estate, provides career resources for those looking to advance in or join the REIT industry. Nareit puts on educational events and produces content designed for students, educators, and other job seekers in order for them to explore the commercial real estate industry and to learn more about what it takes to obtain training and employment within each sector of the industry.
Find more information on careers in the REIT industry at www.reit.com/nareit/career-resources .