Diverse group of individual's with computers communicating with one another in an office setting.

Insights & Resources

CRE Trends + Hiring: Project REAP After Dark

Diverse group of individual's with computers communicating with one another in an office setting.

Poline Search Partners President and CEO David Poline hosted REAP After Dark, an online seminar for alumni of the Project REAP program. He spoke with 20 attendees about the CRE labor market, hiring trends, and career transition services offered by Poline Search Partners.

Project REAP, the Real Estate Associate Program, works to improve diversity in the commercial real estate (CRE) industry. Its mission is to connect minority professionals with CRE companies in need of exceptional talent.

Commercial Real Estate Trends

Poline presented interesting statistics on the CRE labor market:

  • 4M CRE professionals in US 2023
  • Increased by 1.5% annually over the past 5 years
  • Decreased by 1% in 2022
  • Strong labor market with 311K job gains
  • Labor participation rate is highest since Covid

Poline said 11 million jobs are available, but industry experts see some future cooling due to market inactivity resulting from higher interest rates, some increased layoffs, and fewer employees quitting their jobs.

Poline noted that hospitality, retail and healthcare sectors showed the strongest gains while the office sector is still finding its footing following the pandemic. Suburban office, residential and multifamily values increased relative to the urban core although the urban core is rising as people return post-Covid.

Geographically, southern states outperform other areas due to business-friendly policies, tax rates, quality of life, and better weather.

State of CRE Hiring

“The overall picture in CRE hiring remains good. Poline Search Partners has not experienced a slowdown. Instead, the jobs have been reallocated,” says Poline.

“We are not seeing jobs on the acquisitions, development or construction side because people are waiting for development conditions to improve before starting to build. We do see people hiring now to best maximize the value of their existing portfolios—they are upgrading property management and asset management teams as well as hiring top notch leasing professionals.”

(For more on CRE jobs in demand, check out another Poline Search Partners blog here.)

Career Transition

Poline’s biggest piece of advice on how new entrants can place themselves in the best position for a career transition into the CRE industry is to be open-minded.

Here are his other top takeaways:

  • Prioritize what’s important: salary, flexibility, benefits, company size, firm culture
  • Don’t be afraid to try something new
  • Consider relocation
  • Remember skill sets transfer among disciplines
  • Realize there’s no perfect job description
  • Engage consistently on LinkedIn

Poline looks forward to future opportunities to collaborate with Project REAP.