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Ankita Sharma
September 16, 2016

Emerging real estate careers

Indian real estate industry employs over 35 million people who shape the way we live. They make decisions that impact our lives for years to come. This makes their job challenging as well as rewarding. The interesting part is consulting and finance jobs in real estate are rewarding in monetary terms as well. These white collars jobs pave the way for a rapidly progressing career.

As you read this, more and more people are choosing real estate specific careers. This is because over a third of world’s wealth is invested in real estate. Also real estate is collateral to a huge amount of financial assets. In the vast market of real estate, professionals work across fields such as valuations, strategic consulting, research & advisory, investment banking, transactions & leasing, asset management, housing finance, etc.

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The journey begins with acquiring the relevant skills and experience. These can also be picked up during the career but that will take a couple of years. Smart professionals inculcate these skills through specialized education and learning even before entering the market. There are specialized programs in real estate such as the M.Phil in Real Estate Finance by Cambridge University, England, M.Sc Real Estate and Property Management by University of Salford, UK and MBA in Real Estate and Infrastructure Management in India.

These programs educate students about the entire property lifecycle and how to manage them on different levels. RICS SBE also offers opportunity to learn directly from the industry in the form of frequent lectures by industry experts, site visits and real life case studies. All in all, it transforms a student into a job ready professional during the course tenure.

Employers no doubt prefer candidates with a specialized degree. These candidates also claim higher pay packages and are an asset to the organization. Be it leading global consulting firms like KPMG, PwC,  McKinsey and E&Y or international property consulting firms – like JLL, CBRE, Cushman & Wakefiled etc , or global investment banks such as JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs etc - the opportunities for high growth career in India and abroad, are manifold.  The career progress however is largely dependent upon one’s dedication level. If one is hard working and qualified, he/she will quickly rise up the success ladder. Many young CEOs in the industry are an indication to this fact.

Also there is no dearth of job opportunities. According to National Housing Bank (NHB) report, real estate comes fourth in terms of employment generation in India. The industry is growing rapidly day by day and so is the demand of specialized real estate professionals. One such report by JLL about hiring 1000 new professionals in 2015 within India explains this.

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Here is a brief explanation of the kind of specialized jobs in real estate:

Investment management

Real estate investment managers analyze real estate markets, conduct due diligence and work out best scenarios for real estate project development and investment.

Investment banking
Globally, many investment banks have groups dedicated to real estate, particularly the repackaging of mortgages into securities and principal investing in real estate.

Valuation, appraisal or credit management
Valuation professionals usually work for banks or for valuation firms and will normally value properties using different approaches. At times, they also take decisions on whether to extend credit to a borrower.

Advisory and consulting
Real estate advisors help investors select the right property and keep check on financial performance of the investment.

Corporate real estate and facilities management 
Corporate real estate professionals manage vast property portfolios held by corporates – be it acquisition or administration. Facilities managers manage major facilities, such as residential complexes or shopping centres etc. to help reduce operational costs and increase productivity of workplaces.

Leasing and sales management 
These managers specialize in representing landlords and/or tenants in the transactions of commercial real estate properties for lease.