Given all the bad news about the increasing vacancies, decreasing rents and declining property values, it may surprise some that the real estate investment trust, or REIT, sector is hiring.
REIT yields can be as much as 6% while the 10-year-treasury has fallen below 2%. Plus, the compound annual return of real estate climbed 10% between 1996 and 2010. So they're seen as a way to satisfy the appetite for hard assets from yield-starved investors seeking refuge from volatile stock markets and chronically low interest rates.
Demand for real estate investments from pensions and other private wealth managers has created a flurry of activity. New money is turning into new jobs. The 2011 Real Estate Hiring Trends Survey found that out of the 750 principals, top-line managers and human resources executives surveyed, 42% believe hiring will have increased in 2011.
Phoenix-based Cole Real Estate Investments, for one, is looking for talent, according to Jeff Holland, executive vice president and head of capital markets who was formerly the chief operating officer of Blackrock's U.S. retail division, a $275 billion asset under management business focused on financial advisor-intermediated distribution channels.
Cole offers traditional non-traded REITs, which invest primarily in single-tenant commercial real estate.
The company was founded was founded in 1979 and currently has more than $7 billion in real estate assets under management and is the number one buyer of single-tenant properties over the last decade and was is in the top ten of all real estate buyers in 2010.
Cole leases to high-quality creditworthy tenants, such as Wal-Mart, CVS/Pharmacy and Home Depot, under long-term net leases.
"Even if they go bankrupt, they have to honor the lease," Holland told eFinancialCareers.
It currently owns and manages more than 1,350 properties valued at approximately $8 billion. One recent deal involved borrowing money from J.P. Morgan to buy the headquarters of Apollo Group Inc., the nation's largest for-profit college, for $170 million. Apollo will rent the property for $12 million a year with 2% increase a year.
Cole is building out its distribution team and hiring a new head of sales. Recent hires include James Ryan as senior vice president of relationship management for capital markets, Marc Nemer as chief executive officer, Charles Vogel as senior vice president joint ventures, and Indraneel Karlekar, as Executive Vice President and chief investment strategist.
Among the positions that were recently open are the director of due diligence, financial analyst, senior financial reporting analyst, marketing communications can enter, director or endorsed VP investment strategy and research group, as well as operations analyst and staff accountant.