Get a Real Estate Finance Career

Learn about the different real estate careers in the financial sector.

What Do Real Estate Loan Officers and Analysts Do?

real estate finance professional

No real estate transaction can be completed without the services of loan officers and real estate analysts. These finance specialists usually work for a bank or other lending institution, and know the ins and outs of not only the real estate industry, but also the legal and financial world. A financial crisis in the commercial lending industry can impact companies that do business in real estate financing. While they may face many challenges and changes in such economic conditions, the goals and basic processes of real estate finance will remain essentially the same.

Loan Officers

Real estate loan officers work with individuals, businesses or investors who want to purchase property. With their real estate and financial expertise, loan officers help clients by performing the following tasks:

  • Analyze the market
  • Evaluate an individual's or company's financial position
  • Secure funds for purchases, from small properties to large portfolios of holdings

For this type of career path, an education with an emphasis on both real estate and finance is essential. Successful loan officers may have a degree in business, finance or real estate finance, and will continue their education through continuing education or certificate courses to keep up-to-date on the latest regulations and opportunities regarding real estate financing.

Other loan officer tasks involve the analysis of the current conditions in the regional real estate market, as well as the gathering of information about a buyer's credit, the relevant properties and many other factors that may influence the purchase. The loan officer then completes all the necessary paperwork and makes sure the purchase and sales agreement is legally sound, so a solid understanding of real estate law is essential.

Real Estate Analysts

Often a loan officer will work with—and look to a—real estate analyst for assistance in the loan process. These real estate finance professionals do a lot of the background work in preparing a loan and usually have a degree in finance or business with an emphasis or course work in real estate. Some may have a master's of business administration in finance with an emphasis in real estate or corporate real estate.

Analysts can work in any number of places providing analysis that gives their employers the information to make effective financing and investment decisions:

  • Lending institutions
  • Insurance companies
  • Large corporations
  • Law firms or other large investment firms

Salaries

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' 2014-15 Occupational Outlook Handbook, the median national annual salary for loan officers is $59,820. Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience and a variety of other factors.