Real Estate Finance Careers
One often-overlooked career area in finance is real estate finance. However, because of recent changes to federal law regarding mortgages and borrowing, including the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP), mortgages and real estate have become very popular topics in the financial world. For those who are interested in working with real property, job opportunities in real estate finance are still plentiful.
Commercial real estate finance and residential real estate finance are the main categories from which to choose. Commercial real estate finance usually involves financing for multi-family homes, shopping centers, industrial and office properties. Residential real estate finance, on the other hand, involves financing for private/individual homes.
According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, the real estate finance industry currently employs over 280, 000 individuals across the United States. Companies in which real estate finance professionals work include mortgage brokers, mortgage companies, life insurance companies, commercial banks, and thrifts. The commercial mortgage industry also includes professionals such as Portfolio Lenders, Issuers, Investors, High Yield Debt and Investment, and Servicers. Career options for real estate finance professionals in the commercial and residential areas are explored below.
Jobs in Commercial Real Estate Finance
Portfolio Manager – This position involves supervising client accounts, as well as reviewing and approving remittances, reconciliations and other requests. This position usually requires a bachelor’s degree and five to ten years of experience in the financial industry. Banks, mortgage companies and so forth commonly employ portfolio managers.
Commercial Real Estate Underwriter – The underwriter evaluates the credit worthiness and management capabilities of a borrower/guarantor, the real estate collateral that is intended to secure a proposed loan, and the sufficiency of the loan structure for transactions/relationships. Most underwriters have a bachelor’s degree and three to five years’ experience in real estate lending or underwriting. They are employed by banks and mortgage companies.
Investor Services Associate – This professional manages the accuracy and timing of monthly payments/payoffs to be reported and remitted to multiple investors. This job requires extensive knowledge of Ginnie Mae, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. A bachelor’s degree with three to five years of experience is usually required. Real estate management companies, mortgage companies and banks commonly employ these professionals.
Commercial Property Mortgage Broker –This professional sells commercial mortgages to business owners. Usually a bachelor’s degree is required to get this job. Real estate finance groups, mortgage companies and banks are the most likely employers for this position.
The LSU Department of Finance is part of the E. J. Ourso College of Business of Louisiana State University, located on the university's main campus in Baton Rouge, LA. The department currently consists of 30 faculty members, including five chairs and several professorships. Some of its features include the Securities Market Analysis Research...