How Much Money Should I Be Making in Commercial Real Estate?

It’s 2018. It’s January. It’s the start of new resolutions and a great time to look at where we are in our careers. For many, it might also be time for our annual reviews and bonus and promotion discussions. The insightful 2017 Real Estate Compensation Survey conducted by CEL & Associates, Inc. lists the many real estate industry jobs out there and their associated salaries and bonuses.

I pulled together the below charts to provide a visual representation that highlights select roles and role levels.

TopeExecutive Salaries by Asset Type
Senior Manager Salaries by Asset Type
Mid-level Manager Salaries by Asset Type

Working with folks in these positions daily, I want to share with you some observations that I took from the compensation study:

  • Roles in the residential arena pay significantly less than office and retail, with retail real estate roles paying the most. It will be interesting to see how those trends develop as our industry continues to evolve.
  • Roles in leasing tend to have a larger percentage of their compensation rooted in bonus, so while their base salaries may be lower, their bonuses are higher. This isn’t as apparent in residential leasing, however.
  • As you would expect, the higher the level of position, people tend to receive a larger bonus as a percent of their salary, so not only is the bonus percentage increasing with seniority, but the base number that it is based on increases as well.
  • As a general proxy, based on a small sample size of numbers I tested compared with average salaries I have seen in the local market, San Diego pays about 10% less than the national median numbers published in this survey.

Stay tuned as we provide some inspirational insights next month regarding how to springboard your career in the direction of those executive roles (and compensation packages!).

*Thank you to CEL & Associates, Inc. for the information.

Please note that the compensation figures presented represent a composite of all companies participating in the 2017 CEL National Survey and are not stratified by

ownership/type of company (public vs. private), company size, product specialization, regional geographic location, or metropolitan area. Further, factors such as tenure,

experience, role and responsibility will impact compensation levels and benchmarks (percentiles) for the evaluation of any comparative situation, as will the financial situation of

a company and its investment and business strategy.

(1) High = 75th percentile, Median = 50th percentile, Low = 25th percentile.

Survey Completed 2Q 2017.

Source: CEL Associates, Inc./CEL Compensation Advisors, LLC (c) 2017 National Real Estate Compensation Survey – All Rights Reserved. Not to be referenced or

reproduced in any form without prior permission in writing: 12121 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 204, Los Angeles, CA 90025 Tel. (310) 571-3113, Fax. (310) 571-3117.

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