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All About Careers in Corporate Real Estate (Updated June 2024)

The aggregate value of all commercial real estate holdings in the United States exceeds $5 trillion, with a significant portion owned by large corporations. These companies, while not primarily in the business of real estate investment, rely heavily on their property assets for their core operations. As a result, corporate real estate jobs have become essential in managing and optimizing these critical assets.

Search our list of jobs in corporate real estate or use our advanced search search page.

Take an auto manufacturer, for example. The automaker may own office buildings to house its office employees, factories to build its cars, and retail stores to sell its products. The automaker would thus hire a team of real estate professionals to manage its office buildings factories, and retail stores need professionals to manage them. These corporate real estate professionals are experts in a wide range of disciplines including acquisitions, leasing, dispositions, facilities management, workspace design, finance, among others.


Titles in corporate real estate vary widely depending on the responsibilities of the specific role, the company and their naming conventions, and the market. Examples of titles in this area of real estate include facilities manager, property manager, real estate specialist, and head of corporate real estate. The traditional analyst, associate, and director titles are also seen.


The types of companies that hire corporate real estate professionals are generally large corporations with extensive real estate holdings. They include publicly traded companies and large privately owned companies, both domestic and international. It’s important to note that in recent years it has become popular for large corporations to sell and lease back their real estate holdings. Nevertheless, in these situations, the company will often maintain real estate management responsibilities.


Duties and responsibilities of a corporate real estate professional depend on the specific role. For the corporate real estate generalist, duties and responsibilities might include:

  • Managing leasing, acquisition, disposition, and site selection activities for the company,
  • Acting as liaison between senior management and firms contracted to help maintain/manage the company’s real estate properties,
  • Maintaining strong relationships with third-party leasing and sales brokers,
  • Keeping a database and regularly appraising all real estate owned by the corporation,
  • Working with legal counsel to draft and scrutinize legal documents,
  • Coordinating with in-house facilities and property management professionals,
  • Developing knowledge and tools to best facilitate the company’s need for optimal site selection,
  • Collaborating with internal teams to manage due diligence, entitlements, budgets, design, engineering, and scheduling in the purchase or development of new locations,
  • Performing market analysis including traffic counts, site accessibility, demographics, employee locations, and competitor locations,
  • Touring potential sites
  • Making internal presentations to senior management for approval of leasing, acquisitions, dispositions, and site selection decisions


Requirements for individuals wishing to work in corporate real estate might include:

  • Bachelor’s degree and/or Graduate degree in real estate, business, economics, or other similar field,
  • Existing experience,
  • Willingness to travel,
  • Negotiations skills,
  • Strong written and verbal communications skills,
  • Understanding of real estate principals and valuation techniques,
  • Proficiency in Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Outlook


See our section on salaries in real estate for more information.


Whereas in many real estate roles you live or die based on your own individual performance, in corporate real estate, the ability to work collaboratively in a team is essential to one’s success. Corporate real estate professionals typically work in large, hierarchical organizations and so people who thrive in corporate environmental do especially well in these roles.

Also, the objectives and motivations of a corporate real estate owner are quite different from that of a real estate investor. Corporate real estate professionals must learn to adapt what they’ve learned about real estate to the specific needs and interests of their company. Real estate professionals who are able to identify value unique to a specific company are highly sought after in corporate real estate.

Conclusion and Resources

In conclusion, corporate real estate jobs encompass a broad range of responsibilities and requiring a diverse skill set. Professionals in this area manage significant real estate portfolios that are integral to the core operations of their companies. They play crucial roles in acquisitions, leasing, facilities management, and strategic site selection, ensuring that the company’s real estate assets are aligned with its business objectives. For those interested in pursuing a career in corporate real estate, the ability to work collaboratively within a large organization, adapt real estate knowledge to meet specific company needs, and maintain strong relationships with internal and external stakeholders are key factors for success.

To further help you as you plan your career, we’ve developed a variety of these career and education resources here at A.CRE that we’ve found valuable as we’ve blazed our own career paths (see below). Moreover, for those ready to actively pursue new opportunities, consider using our Cover Letter Composer tool. This custom GPT is designed to help you craft compelling cover letters tailored to various roles in commercial real estate, enhancing your applications and improving your chances of landing an interview in this competitive field. Utilizing resources like this can be a significant step towards advancing your career in CRE.



About the Author: Born and raised in the Northwest United States, Spencer Burton has over 20 years of residential and commercial real estate experience. Over his career, he has underwritten $30+ billion of commercial real estate at some of the largest institutional real estate firms in the world. He is currently President and member of the founding team at Stablewood. Spencer holds a BS in International Affairs from Florida State University and a Masters in Real Estate Finance from Cornell University.