The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that in 2018, real estate brokers and sales agents and property managers earned median annual salaries of $50,300 and $58,340, respectively. Many of these professionals obtain licenses without earning advanced degrees; however, pursuing an MBA in real estate cultivates the specialized skills and knowledge needed for advanced positions. Graduates can work in high-paying areas like portfolio management, industry analysis, and urban planning.
Given that median earnings for professionals with an MBA in real estate exceed $100,000 annually, this advanced degree is a worthwhile investment.
What Is an MBA in Real Estate?
Typically serving experienced, ambitious real estate professionals seeking career advancement, online MBA in real estate programs focus on industry skills, including market and finance analysis, risk assessment, and real estate accounting. To perform well in MBA in real estate careers, students also need skills in collaboration, business communication, project management, and leadership.
Students interested in real estate finance can use the MBA to compete for high-paying positions, such as senior financial analyst, or executive roles, such as president or vice president of real estate acquisitions.
What Can You Do With an MBA in Real Estate?
Vice President, Real Estate Acquisitions
Responsible for overseeing company real estate activities, these executives craft joint venture agreements, letters of intent, sales agreements, and terms of purchase. Since underwriting, assets, acquisitions, and closing processes all fall under the vice president's supervision, these professionals need excellent oral and written communication skills and fastidious attention to detail. Skills in leadership, time management, and collaboration also prove valuable in this career. Real estate acquisitions vice presidents make a median annual salary of $135,475, according to PayScale.
Real Estate Development Manager
Tasked with ensuring company growth, these professionals manage everyday real estate development operations, address client needs, and ensure compliance with real estate laws and regulations. Astute business acumen and analytics skills serve these managers well when making business forecasts and decisions based on factors such as market trends. These professionals also estimate costs and perform budgeting activities, requiring quantitative skills and accounting knowledge. These professionals make a median annual salary of $95,733, according to PayScale.
Real Estate Appraiser
Hired by individuals or businesses to evaluate properties, these professionals perform various checks before estimating a property's value. They take note of structural and aesthetic strengths and flaws, additions and improvements, and property values in the neighborhood. This MBA in real estate career requires knowledge of real estate financing and research and writing skills. Some real estate appraisers hold associate degrees, although more advanced degrees can make job candidates more competitive. PayScale reports that real estate appraisers make a median annual salary of $60,286.
Senior Financial Analyst
Senior financial analysts spend their days analyzing data, assessing risk, and managing projects. These high-level financial professionals prepare annual financial budgets, monthly financial forecasts, and periodic financial analysis schedules. Senior financial analysts often hold a master's in real estate, finance, or a related field. These professionals possess advanced skills in accounting data analysis and statistical, financial, and economic risk assessment. They need strong communication and leadership skills as they manage analyst teams and present to executives. Senior financial analysts earn a median annual salary of $80,347, according to PayScale.
Financial analysts help companies build wealth by guiding investments. These professionals conduct research, analyze multiple factors, such as market and microeconomic trends, and make recommendations based on their findings. Financial analysts usually possess a bachelor's or master's degree and skills in budgeting, financial forecasting, risk assessment, and financial analysis. Companies typically consult with financial analysts regarding decisions such as expansion, bond issuance, and wealth protection measures. Financial analysts need considerable knowledge of investments and their relationship to short- and long-term growth. PayScale reports that financial analysts make a median annual salary of $60,574.
Why Should You Get an Online MBA in Real Estate?
By enabling working real estate professionals to continue their education without relinquishing their day jobs, online MBA in real estate programs help professionals advance their careers affordably and conveniently. Unrestricted by geographical constraints, distance learners can apply to the best online programs in the nation.
Many online MBA in real estate programs allow students to specialize the degree through concentrations in areas such as real estate finance, construction management, international real estate, or real estate development.
MBA programs also provide leadership and networking opportunities as students work with experienced real estate peers and professors. Entrepreneurial real estate professionals often value the MBA for its diverse business administration curriculum, which builds skills in people management and strategic planning useful to new real estate ventures.
Other MBAs use the degree to qualify for career or salary advancement in their current company, industry, or sector. Many programs require students to build projects that apply new skills, knowledge, and talents at real-world sites, such as the student's current workplace.
MBA in real estate careers and salaries vary widely, but median salaries for the real estate professionals outlined above range from $60,000-$136,000.
Online MBA in Real Estate Salary
Many working professionals pursue MBA degrees for the purpose of salary advancement. PayScale salary data indicates that professionals with a bachelor of business administration in real estate make an annual salary averaging $65,000, while the average salary for MBAs in real estate reaches $102,00 annually.
Salaries for MBA in real estate careers also vary by experience. Entry-level real estate appraiser and financial analyst positions might pay $36,000-$46,000, while experienced professionals in the same roles may earn $80,000-$102,000, annually.
Graduates with requisite experience and skills can compete for higher-level MBA in real estate careers, such as real estate development manager or vice president of real estate acquisitions, which PayScale reports make median annual salaries of $95,733 and $135,475, respectively.
Comparison of Average Annual Salary by Occupation and Degree Type
FAQs About MBA in Real Estate Careers
- What certification should I get in addition to an MBA in real estate?
Many online schools and professional organizations offer professional certifications to augment academic credentials. Popular real estate certifications include certified residential specialist, quality service certification, and counselor of real estate. Advanced certifications include senior real estate specialist and graduate realtor institute certification.
- What are the job opportunities for graduates with an MBA in real estate?
MBA in real estate graduates may start out in jobs such as real estate appraiser, but many MBAs seek higher-paying positions, such as real estate or property manager, real estate development manager, or president or vice president of real estate acquisitions.
- What does a real estate manager do?
These professionals typically manage one or more multi-unit properties, attending to various daily operations. Related tasks include finding renters, collecting rent, managing facility maintenance, and evicting tenants when necessary. Real estate managers process client paperwork and financial information, ensure compliance, and supervise real estate staff.
- Is an MBA in real estate worth it?
An MBA in real estate provides advanced skills and knowledge that can translate into career and salary advancement. According to PayScale, real estate professionals with this degree earn $34,000 more per year than bachelor's degree-holders in the same field.
Professional Organizations for Real Estate
Real estate students and professionals benefit from joining professional organizations, which offer opportunities for continuing education, networking, and leadership. Many organizations also offer online courses, training, and professional certification programs designed to build skills and knowledge for specific real estate contexts. Some organizations offer discounted student memberships. The following list outlines several popular professional organizations for real estate professionals.
- Institute of Real Estate Management This international institute for asset and property managers provides current news, research, continuing education, and professional development opportunities. IREM also offers certifications for individuals, companies, and properties in addition to student, academic, and associate membership options.
- National Association of Real Estate Brokers Founded in 1947 and dedicated to equal opportunity in housing, NAREB performs political advocacy and conducts programs to improve homeownership and democratic housing conditions for African Americans. NAREB also offers news, publications, conferences, and scholarships.
- American Real Estate Society Composed of real estate academics and practitioners, this association supports education, research, and knowledge exchange regarding real estate decision-making and markets. ARES publishes six journals and runs an annual conference.
- Asian Real Estate Association of America AREAA, a nonprofit trade organization that supports homeownership by Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, serves real estate professionals through political advocacy, national and chapter events, educational webinars, and publications.
- Women's Council of Realtors Dedicated to advancing women's leadership in business, this network of realtors provides access to educational opportunities and networking events. Members can search for local networks and events through the WCR website's search tool.