Pay check: How much can you earn in different real estate positions?

Lateral moves can reap outsized rewards for pros looking for a change

Real Estate Jobs With High Starting Salaries

The following is a preview of one of the hundreds of data sets that will be available on TRD Pro, the one-stop real estate terminal that provides you with all the data and market information you need in one single location. 

As the American economy recovers from the pandemic-driven recession, its workforce is undergoing a historic shakeup. Job losses and long-term remote employment have prompted an unprecedented number of workers to reevaluate their occupations.

Two-thirds of those left unemployed during the pandemic have considered changing their line of work, according to a February report from the Pew Research Center, and millions of others who still have jobs are now choosing to quit after reevaluating their priorities.

The real estate sector, however, appears relatively immune to “The Great Resignation.” Nearly 80 percent of real estate professionals said they plan to continue working in the industry, according to an October survey from title insurance startup States Title.

But that doesn’t mean that they’re content to stand still. The churn of brokers between firms continues apace, and even within the real estate industry, a move to a different position can reap outsized rewards.

TRD Pro analyzed the salaries for various positions — ranging from entry-level to just below C-Suite — for those looking for a change, because any prudent real estate pro is always looking for a better deal.

Most positions have starting salaries well above the national median of approximately $40,000. The lowest-range salary for an assistant commercial property manager, for example, is $56,500, according to CEL & Associates’ 2020 Real Estate Compensation Survey. The ceiling for starting salaries in the sector is $244,600 for a division head. But many positions also offer huge bonuses, with some amounting to more than 100 percent of average base salary.

Commercial Leasing Agent

Leasing agents in the commercial sector earn a low-range income of $55,900, a modest figure when compared to the next rung in the hierarchy, leasing managers, which earn $76,800. But the salary is supplemented by bonuses — typically 54.5 percent of base pay, which is one of the highest rates for non-managerial positions.

Asset Manager

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There is a wide gap in the base low-range salaries for asset managers in the commercial and residential sector. Commercial asset managers make $96,200 with a bonus rate of 26.1 percent. The figures are more modest in the residential sector, with low-range salaries at $80,300 and the bonus rate at 19 percent.

Residential Property Manager

Hierarchy is everything in the residential property management sector, with wages rising dramatically at every level. For instance, an assistant property manager has a starting salary of $38,600, while a senior property manager earns $70,500. Higher up in the order, a top residential property management executive has an average starting base salary of $206,400.

Senior Leasing Executive

A commercial senior leasing executive earns a starting base salary averaging $93,400. This figure is much higher than those in the residential sector, who earn a low-range salary of $70,700. Bonus rates average 86.7 percent for commercial and 60.6 percent for residential — among the highest in their sectors.


Jobs in acquisitions offer some of the highest salaries for managers and executives. A commercial acquisitions director/manager, for instance, earns a low-range salary of $130,800 with an average bonus of 47.7 percent. One step up the ladder, a top acquisitions executive earns a low-range salary of $197,200 with a bonus rate of 58.5 percent.

Here’s a complete list of starting salaries and average bonuses for various positions across the commercial and residential sectors.