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After the MBA: Real Estate

Posted in Test Prep on January 26, 2011 by

This is another post in our “After the MBA” series, in which we chronicle a variety of post-MBA career opportunities to give you a sense of which might be the best fit for you. Whether you’re looking to make a career change or want to stay in your present field, this information will help guide you in your b-school decision-making process, as well as direct your studies once in school.


Real Estate

What It Is:

At the most basic level, the real estate industry has to do with property. Buying property, leasing it, managing it, appraising it, financing it… if it involves property, the real estate industry is undoubtedly involved. MBAs often work in real estate finance; those interested in real estate development are more likely to get a Master’s of Science in Real Estate or another specialized real estate degree.

There are numerous career paths for MBAs interested in real estate finance. Real estate Asset and Portfolio Managers, for example, are responsible for maximizing the performance and value of a company’s portfolio of real estate assets.

Salary Range:

According to one source, average salaries for MBAs from top 20 schools entering real estate start around $70,000. However, this number will be higher if you had significant industry experience prior to completing your MBA. This number might also be higher if you are graduating from a top business school. Columbia Business School, for example, reports a median base salary of $104,907 with median additional compensation of $37,500.

Best Business Schools for Real Estate:

There are a wide variety of business schools that offer real estate concentrations. UNC-Flagler is unique among top-ranked MBA programs in that its real estate program is grounded in the context of real estate development, allowing graduates to understand the “big picture” of real estate in addition to knowing how to structure a project’s financials. Top b-schools that are strong in real estate include Columbia, Haas, and Wharton. Ultimately, success in real estate depends largely on connections and networking; be sure to put these skills to work when looking to gain a foothold in the industry.

Is Real Estate a Good Fit?

Breaking into the real estate industry is, like many post-MBA careers, largely dependent on networking and connections. If you’re not a people person, real estate may not be the place for you. Real estate is also a fast-paced, continuously changing field; you should be willing to be constantly on-the-go and to keep up to date with current trends in the real estate market and changes in laws and regulations that might affect your business. While an MBA is not critical for success in real estate, it can help give you a leg-up in the industry.