If you want to join a real estate investment firm, then there are particular skills and qualities you need to have. Employers and recruiters will be on the lookout for candidates who have sharpened both hard skills and soft skills. If hard skills are those teachable skills that can be easily defined and quantified, soft skills are less tangible and measurable.
In this article, we will be outlining some of these key strengths and attributes. The relative value of the following skills depends on a variety of factors, including the organisation in question and the level of seniority (a senior candidate will need different attributes compared to a more junior applicant).
The real estate industry now operates in a global economy. And so being able to speak another language (or more) can really help you to stand out from the crowd and maximize your chances of career success.
Of course, the utility of different languages often depends on whether the organisation is international or not. Also, if the scope of your work involves different countries, then it’s useful to speak the local language. Furthermore, industry trends show that English is becoming more sought after in multinational companies, even in countries like Japan, where English proficiency is quite low.
The specific languages you should be able to speak vary, depending on country and city, as well. If you have your eyes set on London, for example, then English is a minimum, a second language is expected (considering the high percentage of foreign workers), and a third language would be greatly appreciated. In London, fluency in languages that correspond to the highest paid jobs includes German, Arabic, Spanish, and French. While foreign workers living in London tend to speak English, this isn’t necessarily the case in the rest of the continent, especially in southern Europe.
- Numerical & Modelling Skills
Numerical skills refer to your aptitude at perceiving, processing, and calculating numbers, while financial modelling requires the ability to build an abstract representation of a real-world financial situation. Honing both of these skills will allow you to excel at a real estate investment firm.
At the start of your career, you want to be quite analytically minded anyway, and comfortable with numbers. Modelling skills, on the other hand, may be more suited to particular career paths, such as an analyst or an associate role. When applying for these sorts of jobs, you may be asked to complete an Excel modelling test as part of the interview process. This will assess your ability to analyse a financial deal, a task that requires a meticulous attention to detail.
- Qualifications and accreditations
Certain qualifications and accreditations can also increase your chances of landing a job at a real estate investment firm. This can let a potential employer know that you have useful hard skills under your belt. For example, accounting qualifications like the ACA can show that you have knowledge of different aspects of accounting, finance, and business. The ACCA (another accounting qualification) may be required for certain finance jobs, depending on the responsibilities involved.
Having a CFA qualification is always an attractive addition to your CV and can boost your chances of joining a top tier private equity firm. A RICS qualification, on the other hand, is beneficial in terms of building a network, as well as being helpful in certain jobs, such as property surveying and consulting. This qualification isn’t, however, that relevant or highly regarded by employers who are hiring for a purely investment role.
- Positive mindset and winner mentality
One of the crucial soft skills for success in the business world is a positive mindset. By developing a positive mental attitude, you will be more likely to win clients, boost team camaraderie, and sustain your levels of motivation.
- Interpersonal Skills
There is no easy way to define what makes you adept at social interaction. Broadly speaking, interpersonal skills are all about communicating with others – using social rules, cues, and roles – in order to build relationships. Yet the precise way you harness these skills in a firm will depend on the type of real estate investment company you want to join. For instance, a pension fund, family, office, hedge fund, and investment bank all require different types of interpersonal skills.
One way to figure out whether your interpersonal skills will match a firm is to research the company culture beforehand. You may have the necessary hard skills, but if you cannot mesh well with the firm’s culture, then it will be difficult to climb the career ladder.
Generally speaking, though, improving your interpersonal skills will increase your chances of success. If you want to collaborate effectively with your co-workers and clients, then you need to be able to get along with different types of people. Personality traits that will help you massively in this respect include being a good listener and a high level of openness.
- Networking skills
Networking is one of the most underrated skills. Yet it’s a skill that reliably drives success in real estate investment. Networking involves your ability to build contacts and turn them into business opportunities. This requires interpersonal skills, as well as seasoned knowledge of the industry. If you’ve never attended a networking event before, don’t worry – it can be a bit nerve-wracking for anyone at the beginning. But as you start going to more, you learn the art of networking. Eventually, sourcing investment opportunities in this way will become second nature.
Make sure that you have the right mix of hard skills and soft skills in order to match the specific firm, role, and level of seniority that you’re applying for. Another key tip would be that, if you’re at a junior level, it is pretty much mandatory to polish your modelling skills as part of the interview process.
Contact us if you would like to explore the various options in the real estate investment space.