FPL Associates Releases 11th Annual “Real Estate Compensation Pulse Survey”

Overall performance for real estate companies stronger in 2018, salary and bonus increases planned for 2019 & steady workforce growth in 2018 will continue in 2019

CHICAGO--()--FPL, a global professional services firm specializing in compensation consulting, management consulting, executive search and leadership consulting, released today their 11th annual “Real Estate Compensation Pulse Survey”. This survey is the only real-time survey of its kind and focuses exclusively on year-end compensation trends across the real estate industry.

FPL Associates surveyed 276 real estate companies globally in areas such as overall performance, compensation via base salary, annual bonus, long-term incentive, and workforce. Both private and public real estate companies were surveyed and the companies that participated include leading real estate investment trusts, investment managers, private equity firms, developers, operating companies, brokerage/services firms, and mortgage finance companies.

Notably, nearly 60% of survey respondents stated that overall performance improved in 2018, pay levels will continue to rise during the upcoming year-end cycle and companies expanded their workforce in 2018 and plan to do the same in 2019.

Through FPL’s analysis of the data, key takeaways include:

  • Most real estate companies are increasing compensation, which is especially noteworthy because pay levels are already at an all-time high given recent industry conditions and performance.
  • Compensation amounts and hiring activity picked up in 2018 and projections indicate continued increases in 2019, which signals that real estate companies are optimistic about the future, although cautiously optimistic given the current climate.
  • Salaries and bonuses are rising whereas LTI amounts are staying flat, meaning that many firms still take the view that cash is king in today’s marketplace.

“This year we had a record-breaking number of respondents to our survey, which is a testament to how the real estate industry values and leverages this research,” said Josh Anbil, Senior Managing Director for FPL Associates. “The data from the survey provides real estate executives with a window into how their counterparts are handling salaries, bonuses and long-term incentives. This hard data will help companies navigate year-end and make decisions to ensure they are in-sync with others in the industry.”

Additional takeaways from the survey are:

  • Cash compensation (salary and bonus):
    • Across all participants, salaries will increase by 3% on average and bonuses will also increase by 3% on average.
    • Not all firms project increases in compensation, but most anticipate salary increases (82% of firms) and a meaningful portion (42%) of the industry will increase bonuses.
    • Among the firms that will make increases, salaries are rising by nearly 4% on average and bonuses are up 9% on average.
    • Members of executive management are less likely to receive salary and bonus increases when compared to others within the organization.
  • Long-term incentive (LTI):
    • Over 70% of participants indicated that LTI amounts will be flat year-over-year, which differs from cash compensation trends.
    • Among the 20% of participants that are planning LTI increases, the average increase will be 9%.
    • Over 80% of companies expect to broaden LTI eligibility, meaning these firms will issue LTI awards to a larger group of employees in 2019.
  • Workforce:
    • Hiring was up in general during 2018, as the average change in workforce was +3% across all survey participants.
    • Nearly half (49%) of the respondents added to their workforce during 2018 and the average increase among these companies was 10%.
    • Looking ahead, the upward trend line in workforce/hiring in 2017 and 2018 will continue in 2019.
    • Most (53%) companies expect an uptick in workforce in 2019 and the average projected increase among these firms is 9%.
    • Only 6% of firms will reduce workforce in 2019, whereas 14% of firms made reductions in 2018 and 15% of firms did so in 2017.
    • Workforce expansion will be most prevalent in Asia and the U.S., which was also the case this past year.
    • Respondents noted that mid-level professionals are more in demand than more senior and junior levels within the organization.
    • Results also showed that personnel within property management, asset management and acquisitions/investments are in high demand.

To obtain a summary of this study, click here.

About FPL:

Comprised of two businesses that work together, FPL offers solutions and services across the entire business life cycle:

FPL Associates delivers a wide array of compensation consulting services to private and public real estate companies, performing 200+ projects each year. FPL Associates also provides organizational, financial, and strategic consulting, bringing a wealth of industry and category-specific expertise to a broad range of projects.

Ferguson Partners conducts hundreds of searches globally each year for C-suite executives and other senior business leaders, as well as Board of Director positions. Ferguson Partners also offers a full range of leadership services including CEO and senior executive succession planning, leadership assessment and coaching, and team effectiveness.

All of our work is supported by an active survey practice that conducts over 20 surveys annually.


Media Contact:
Tricia Spellman, MIOD
Phone: +1-773-620-6716
Email: tspellman@miodonline.com

Release Summary

FPL Associates Releases 11th Annual “Real Estate Compensation Pulse Survey”


Media Contact:
Tricia Spellman, MIOD
Phone: +1-773-620-6716
Email: tspellman@miodonline.com