Careers in real estate finance and debt encompass a wide range of roles and responsibilities, but generally professionals working in this area are responsible for originating, managing, sourcing, and/or assessing debt investments. Roles might include originating new senior, secondary, and mezzanine debt; servicing existing loans; and seeking out financing for one’s own equity investments.
Because of the varied nature of this category, titles differ depending on the firm and role. At traditional banks with exposure to real estate debt, the titles follow typical banking titles (Analyst, Associate, VP, Director, Managing Director, etc.) Outside of banking, there is little convention to naming in this area and so the applicant should read the description well to insure the position is what he/she is looking for.
Where They Work
Finance and debt professionals work in both firms that originate and service commercial real estate debt such as banks, life insurance companies, and mortgage REITs as well as firms that make equity investments (development, acquisition) in roles that require the professional to raise debt for the firms investments.
General Duties and Responsibilities
Duties and responsibilities vary widely depending on the company and role. Read the duties and responsibilities in the job description to have an accurate understanding of each job.
An undergraduate degree in finance and/or business is typically required of younger professionals. The more advanced the role, the greater the need for an advanced degree (real estate finance or MBA) and/or experience with real estate debt investments. At a minimum, an applicant will need to have a high proficiency working with Excel and a firm understanding of real estate finance principles.
How Much do Real Estate Acquisitions Finance and Debt Professionals Make?
See our section on salaries in real estate for more information.