How Many Jobs Are Available In Real Estate Investment Trusts 

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Last Updated on July 16, 2023 by Chris Panteli

How Many Jobs Are Available In Real Estate Investment Trusts 

Are you searching for a career that offers both financial rewards and job stability?

Traditional career paths no longer guarantee the stability and growth they once did, leaving many feeling uncertain about their future prospects.

Fortunately, there is one good career path that can unlock the door to a prosperous future – Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs).

In this post, you’ll learn the ins and outs of the REIT industry. From understanding the basics of REITs to discovering how many jobs are available in Real Estate Investment Trusts, you’ll get all the knowledge and tools necessary to embark on a successful career in this exciting field.

What is a Real Estate Investment Trust

How Many Jobs Are Available In Real Estate Investment Trusts 

A Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) is a type of company that owns, operates, or finances income-generating real estate. REITs were created by the U.S. Congress in 1960 to provide individuals with an opportunity to invest in large-scale, diversified portfolios of real estate.

REITs allow a real estate investor to pool their money to invest in a professionally managed real estate portfolio, which can include various types of properties such as office buildings, shopping malls, apartments, hotels, warehouses, and more. REITs offer investors an attractive way to participate in the real estate market without directly owning and managing properties.

How does a Real Estate Investment Trust Work

A Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) works by pooling funds from multiple investors to invest in a diversified portfolio of income-generating real estate assets. Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of how a REIT operates.


A company decides to form a REIT and must comply with the legal requirements set by the regulatory authorities. These requirements typically include meeting certain criteria related to asset allocation, income distribution, and governance structure.

Property Acquisition

Once formed, the REIT uses the funds raised from investors to acquire real estate properties. The properties can range from commercial property, apartment buildings, shopping malls, hotels, industrial warehouses, or a combination.

Rental Income

The REIT earns income through the properties it owns. This income producing real estate primarily makes money from rental payments made by tenants who occupy the REITs properties. The REIT may also generate income through other sources such as parking fees, lease renewals, and service charges.

Management and Operations

The REIT is responsible for managing and operating the properties in its portfolio. This includes tasks such as property maintenance, leasing, tenant management, rent collection, and ensuring compliance with legal and regulatory requirements.

Distribution of Income

To qualify as a REIT, the company must distribute a significant portion of its taxable income to shareholders in the form of dividends. Generally, REITs are required to distribute at least 90% of their taxable income. These dividends provide investors with a regular income stream.

Shareholder Ownership

Investors can purchase shares of the REIT, which represent ownership in the overall portfolio of properties. The shares are typically traded on major stock exchanges, allowing investors to buy or sell their holdings in the REIT.

Capital Growth

The value of the REIT’s shares can fluctuate based on various factors, including the performance of the underlying real estate assets and market conditions. Investors can benefit from potential capital appreciation if the value of the shares increases over time.

Regulatory Compliance

REITs must adhere to regulatory requirements specific to their jurisdiction. This includes maintaining proper financial statements, filing regular reports with regulatory authorities, and conducting audits to ensure compliance with the rules and regulations governing REITs.

What is the Structure of a Real Estate Investment Trust

a board of directors at a real estate investment trust

The structure of a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) typically involves several key components, which include the following:


The sponsor or manager is the entity responsible for establishing and managing the REIT. This entity typically has expertise in real estate investment and management and oversees the day-to-day operations of the REIT.

Board of Directors

The REIT is governed by a board of directors elected by the shareholders. The board sets the overall strategy and direction of the REIT, oversees major decisions, and ensures compliance with regulatory requirements.


Investors, also known as shareholders, are individuals or institutions that purchase shares of the REIT. They provide the capital required for acquiring and operating real estate properties. Shareholders have ownership in the REIT and are entitled to receive dividends and participate in the potential appreciation of the REIT’s shares.

Property Portfolio

The REIT owns a diversified portfolio of income-generating real estate assets. These properties can include commercial buildings, residential complexes, hotels, shopping centers, warehouses, and other types of properties. The specific composition of the property portfolio depends on the investment strategy and focus of the REIT.

Property Management

The REIT typically employs a property management team responsible for the day-to-day operations and maintenance of the properties in its portfolio. This team handles tasks such as tenant management, leasing, property maintenance, rent collection, and ensuring compliance with regulations.

Rental Income

The properties in the REIT’s portfolio generate rental income through leases with tenants. This income forms a significant portion of the REIT’s revenue and is the primary source for paying expenses and distributing dividends to shareholders.


REITs are required to distribute a significant portion of their taxable income to shareholders in the form of dividends. Shareholders receive regular dividend payments based on their ownership in the REIT. Dividends are a key attraction for investors as they provide a consistent income stream.

Regulatory Compliance

REITs must adhere to specific regulatory requirements to maintain their status as REITs. These requirements may include distributing a minimum percentage of income as dividends, maintaining a certain level of diversification in the property portfolio, and complying with reporting and disclosure obligations.

Tax Considerations

REITs often enjoy certain tax advantages. For example, they are typically exempt from corporate income tax if they distribute at least 90% of their taxable income to shareholders. Shareholders are then responsible for paying taxes on the dividends they receive.

It’s important to note that the exact structure of a REIT can vary depending on the jurisdiction and specific circumstances. REITs can be publicly traded on stock exchanges or privately held, and they may have different classes of shares or additional entities involved in their organizational structure.

Types of Real Estate Investment Trusts

a view of several condominiums

There are several types of Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), each with its own characteristics and focus.

Equity REIT

Equity REITs are the most common type of REIT. These REITs invest in and own income-generating properties, such as office buildings, shopping centers, apartments, industrial facilities, and hotels. 

They generate income primarily through rental payments from tenants. Equity REITs can specialize in specific property types or have a diversified portfolio.

Mortgage REIT

Mortgage REITs, also known as mREITs, invest in real estate mortgages and mortgage-backed securities. Instead of owning physical properties, they earn income by providing financing for real estate transactions or by purchasing existing mortgages. Mortgage REITs generate revenue from the interest payments received from borrowers.

Hybrid REITs

Hybrid REITs combine elements of both equity REITs and mortgage REITs. They invest in both properties and real estate debt instruments. This hybrid structure allows them to generate income from both rental payments and interest income.

Retail REITs

Retail REITs focus on investing in and operating commercial real estate such as shopping centers, malls, and freestanding retail buildings.

Office REITs

Office REITs specialize in investing in office buildings, including skyscrapers, business parks, and other commercial office spaces.

Residential REITs

Residential REITs focus on residential properties, including apartment complexes, single-family homes, student housing, and senior housing.

Industrial REITs

Industrial REITs invest in industrial properties, such as warehouses, distribution centers, manufacturing facilities, and logistics parks.

Healthcare REITs

The healthcare REIT sector specializes in investing in healthcare-related properties, such as hospitals, medical office buildings, nursing homes, and senior living facilities.

Hotel and Hospitality REITs

Hotel and hospitality REITs own and operate hotels, resorts, and other hospitality-related properties. They generate income through room rentals, food and beverage services, and other hospitality-related activities.

Specialized REITs

There are also specialized REITs that focus on specific niches within the real estate sector. These can include data centers, self-storage facilities, timberlands, infrastructure, and other specialized types of properties.

What is the Largest Real Estate Investment Trust

One of the largest Real Estate Investment Trusts in terms of market capitalization is Simon Property Group, Inc

Simon Property Group owns and manage a vast portfolio of retail properties, including malls, outlets, and lifestyle centers in the United States and internationally. 

Please note that market conditions and rankings can change over time, so the largest REIT changes place often.

What are the advantages of a Real Estate Investment Trust

real estate brokers having a discussion

Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) offer several advantages for investors.


REITs provide investors with an opportunity to diversify their investment portfolios. By investing in a REIT, investors gain exposure to a diversified portfolio of real estate assets across various property types, locations, and market segments. This diversification helps reduce risk by spreading investments across multiple properties, mitigating the impact of individual property performance.

Access to Real Estate Market

REITs provide a way for individuals to access the real estate market without the need for direct ownership or management responsibilities. With a relatively small investment, investors can gain exposure to a professionally managed and diversified real estate portfolio.

Regular Income

REITs are required by law to distribute a significant portion of their taxable income to shareholders in the form of dividends. This income distribution provides investors with a steady stream of regular income.

Potential for Capital Appreciation

Investors can potentially benefit from capital appreciation. The value of REIT shares can increase over time based on the performance of the underlying real estate assets and market conditions. This offers the potential for long-term capital growth and can enhance overall investment returns.


REITs are publicly traded on major stock exchanges, providing investors with liquidity. Investors can easily buy and sell shares of REITs, allowing them to convert their investment into cash relatively quickly compared to direct real estate investments, which tend to be less liquid.

Professional Management

REITs are managed by experienced professionals who have expertise in real estate investment and management. These professionals handle property acquisition, leasing, tenant management, property maintenance, and other operational tasks. Investors can benefit from the expertise of the management team, reducing the burden of direct property management.

Tax Advantages

REITs enjoy certain tax advantages. As a result, REITs often have higher net income available for distribution compared to traditional corporations. Additionally, investors are typically taxed on REIT dividends at their individual tax rates, which may be more favorable than corporate tax rates.

Please note that real estate investing comes with risks, including market volatility, interest rate sensitivity, and specific risks associated with the real estate sector. You should always do thorough research before making investment decisions.

Jobs Available in Real Estate Investment Trusts

a real estate agent showing a house to a couple

Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) require a range of professionals with diverse skills to manage their operations effectively. Here are some of the key job roles found in REITs.

Property Manager

Property managers oversee the day-to-day operations of the properties in the REIT’s portfolio. They handle tasks such as tenant management, lease administration, rent collection, property maintenance, and ensuring compliance with regulations.

Asset Manager

Asset managers are responsible for managing the performance and value of the REIT’s real estate assets. They develop and implement strategies to maximize property income, optimize occupancy rates, negotiate leases, and assess investment opportunities.

Acquisitions Analyst

Acquisitions analysts evaluate every potential real estate investment opportunity. They conduct market research, financial analysis, due diligence, and feasibility studies to assess the viability and profitability of acquiring new properties.

Portfolio Manager

Portfolio managers oversee the overall investment strategy and performance of the REIT’s property portfolio. They make decisions regarding property acquisitions, dispositions, and portfolio diversification to achieve the REIT’s investment objectives.

Investment Analyst

A REIT analyst analyzes real estate markets, monitors industry trends, and evaluate the performance of the REIT’s real estate investment fund. They assist in making investment recommendations, financial modeling, risk assessment, and investment performance analysis.

Financial Analyst

Financial analysts in REITs focus on financial planning, budgeting, and forecasting. They analyze financial data, prepare financial reports, monitor cash flow, assess investment performance, and provide financial insights to support decision-making.

Leasing Manager

Leasing managers are responsible for negotiating and managing lease agreements with tenants. They work to maximize occupancy rates, handle lease renewals, negotiate rental terms, and maintain positive tenant relationships.

Development Manager

Development managers oversee new construction or renovation projects within the REIT’s portfolio. They manage the planning, design, permitting, construction, and budgeting processes to ensure successful property development projects.

Investor Relations Manager

Investor relations managers handle communication and relationships with the REIT’s shareholders and potential investors. They provide information, financial reports, and updates to investors, organize investor events, and address investor inquiries.

Legal counsel specializing in real estate law plays a crucial role in REITs. They handle legal matters related to property acquisitions, lease agreements, contracts, regulatory compliance, and other legal issues that arise within the REIT’s operations.

Other potential job roles you may consider in the REIT field include:

  • Real Estate Agent
  • Real Estate Broker
  • Real Estate Property Appraiser
  • Leasing Consultant

How Many Jobs are Available in Real Estate Investment Trusts

Estimates vary, but data shared by one leading recruitment website states that approximately 4 million people are employed either directly or indirectly by REITs.

Job availability can be influenced by economic conditions, real estate market trends, and the REIT’s growth strategy.

REITs typically require professionals with various skill sets, including property management, asset management, finance, acquisitions, legal, leasing, development, and investor relations, among others. They also employ administrative staff to support day-to-day operations.

A career in the REIT industry can be rewarding both professionally and financially. Real estate is a sector that often enjoys growth which means you can enjoy a high level of job stability.

Now you know how many jobs are available in Real Estate Investment Trusts, what next?

If you’re interested in job opportunities within REITs, you can explore job listings on REIT company websites, online job portals, professional networking platforms, and real estate industry associations.

Get online today and start submitting your resume. Before you know it, you’ll be starting your new career for a leading REIT employer.

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