May 22, 2018

Wall Street Execs Eye Real Estate Jobs

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Wall Street Execs Eye Real Estate Jobs

More Wall Street executives reportedly are leveraging their banking, investment, and trust law expertise to try their hand at a career selling luxury real estate. 

These former execs are watching home prices rise in the high-end real estate market, and they're looking for opportunities to leverage their Wall Street skill set in new ways. A career switch to real estate can pay off, too. The top 5 percent of real estate professionals earn more than $250,000 a year, according to data from the National Association of REALTORS®'. What's more, leading performers in the most expensive markets often break the million-dollar mark in income, the Wall Street Journal reports. For comparison, vice presidents at hedge funds and investment-banking firms average about $245,000 and $294,000, respectively, according to the Journal's analysis. 

"There were always a few Wall Street people" in the real-estate world, says Pamela Liebman, president and chief executive of the Corcoran Group. "But after the crash of '08, we saw a real influx.” Wall Street execs are being drawn to real estate for the high incomes but also for the opportunity to develop new properties — "work that often demands more nuanced knowledge of banking and investing," Liebman notes.

Nineteen percent of REALTORS® today have a background in management, business, or financial services prior to becoming a real estate professional, according to NAR surveys. That's up from 13 percent in 2003. 

"I'm not just selling the pretty apartment. My financial acumen is my added value," Jack Drapacz, a former hedge-fund vice president who recently became a broker at Douglas Elliman in Manhattan, told the Journal. 

Source: “Quitting Wall Street to Sell Real Estate,” The Wall Street Journal (June 5, 2014)

Read more:

The Big Short: Wall Street's Role in the Housing Boom and Bust
Wall Street Banks Cut Foreclosure Deal