The Top Skills in Real Estate That Every Employer Is Looking For

When you’re trying to secure your next role, it’s important to be aware of the top skills in real estate that hiring managers and recruiters are searching for.

This allows you to tailor your experience and present it to match the skills required. It also allows you to identify any potential gaps in your skill set so that you can start developing them.

Fortunately there are a whole range of career paths in the real estate industry so you can find your perfect fit.

We’ve collated a list of different skills for real estate to give you an idea of what you need to be successful in this industry. We’ll also be exploring job categories in the real estate sector so you can decide which path aligns with your interests and skills.

Skills Required to Be Successful In Real Estate

The real estate industry requires a range of skills, depending on what career you decide to pursue.

Clearly, the skills needed to be successful as an Architect are different to those needed to be a Quantity Surveyor. It’s important to read the job description in full when applying for any role to make sure you meet the criteria.

In this section, we’re going to explore some of the top skills required for real estate alongside the job roles they’re most relevant for. This will help you assess which area of real estate you’re interested in and whether or not you have the right skills or experience before applying.


Communication and interpersonal skills

Good communication is essential. It is necessary for building rapport with clients, or other stakeholders, understanding their needs, and explaining complex concepts.

Many real estate jobs require you to listen actively, articulate information clearly, and tailor your communication style to different audiences.

You must also possess strong interpersonal skills to facilitate collaboration with clients, colleagues, and stakeholders. Whatever career path you decide on, being able to explain yourself well is vital.

Relevant job roles in real estate:

  • Surveyor: Surveyors need to interact with clients, stakeholders, and other professionals. They should be able to clearly explain survey findings, address concerns, and collaborate with other professionals involved in real estate projects.
  • Property Manager: Property Managers interact with tenants, property owners, contractors, and service providers. Effective communication is crucial for addressing tenant inquiries, resolving disputes, and conveying information to property owners.
  • Real Estate Analyst: Analysts are responsible for researching and analysing real estate market data, financial statements, and property performance. They often collaborate with clients, brokers, and investors to provide insightful reports and recommendations.
  • Real Estate Marketing Manager: Marketing Managers develop and implement marketing strategies for real estate projects. They require excellent communication skills to convey property features, benefits, and promotions to potential buyers.

Negotiation skills

Negotiating is a key aspect of all real estate transactions, whether it’s with clients, buyers, sellers, or other parties involved.

Having the ability to negotiate favourable terms, resolve conflicts, and find solutions for both parties is critical for success in the real estate sector.

Relevant job roles in real estate:

  • Real Estate Acquisitions: Negotiation skills are crucial for real estate investors to negotiate property purchases, sales, and financing terms. They liaise with sellers, banks, lenders and other investors to secure favourable terms that maximise return on investment.
  • Real Estate Developer: Developers negotiate with landowners, contractors, lenders, investors, and other stakeholders about land acquisitions, construction contracts, financing terms, and partnership agreements to ensure the success of projects.
  • Property Manager: Property Managers negotiate lease agreements, rental terms, and contract renewals with tenants. They also negotiate contracts with service providers such as maintenance companies and vendors.

person using black calculator

Financial acumen

Real estate deals involve significant financial aspects, such as property valuation, investment analysis, and yield.

Having financial literacy, including knowledge of cash flow analysis, IRR calculations, and investment strategies, enables you to provide good advice and make informed recommendations to clients.

Relevant job roles in real estate:

  • Real Estate Analyst: Analysts conduct financial analysis and feasibility studies to evaluate investment opportunities, asset performance, and market trends.
  • Real Estate Developer: Developers require financial acumen to assess the financial feasibility of development projects. They analyse construction costs, projected revenues, financing options, and return on investment to determine the profitability of a project.
  • Real Estate Finance Manager: Finance Managers oversee financial operations and decision-making within real estate companies. They manage budgets, analyse financial statements, and make strategic financial decisions to maximise profitability.
  • Real Estate Asset Manager: Asset managers are responsible for maximising the value of assets on behalf of owners or investors. They analyse property performance, monitor financial metrics, and make strategic decisions to enhance returns and manage risks.

Problem-solving and analytical skills

Real estate projects often present complex challenges.

Strong problem-solving and analytical skills allow you to identify issues, evaluate options, and develop pragmatic solutions.

This involves analysing property data, conducting feasibility studies, and navigating legal and regulatory requirements.

Relevant job roles in real estate:

  • Real Estate Analyst: Analysts use analytical skills to solve complex problems related to investment feasibility, risk assessment, and market trends.
  • Real Estate Developer: Developers use problem-solving and analytical skills to identify solutions, evaluate feasibility, and manage risks during the development process.
  • Real Estate Asset Manager: Asset managers use problem-solving and analytical skills to address issues related to property performance, tenant management, financial optimisation, and risk mitigation.
  • Surveyor: Surveyors use analytical skills to interpret survey data, maps, and legal documents. They must be able to analyse complex information and make informed judgments regarding land boundaries, encroachments, and other relevant factors.

Sales and networking

Strong sales skills are crucial for generating leads, building relationships, and closing deals.

This involves being persuasive, proactive, and being able to identify and capitalise on different business opportunities.

Furthermore, networking skills help you expand your contacts, connect with potential clients and industry professionals, and increase your visibility in the marketplace.

Relevant job roles in real estate:

  • Real Estate Sales Manager: Sales managers represent the company in industry events, conferences, and trade shows so they must establish connections with potential clients and industry influencers to expand business opportunities.
  • Real Estate Investor: Real estate investors rely on networking to identify potential investment opportunities, raise capital, establish partnerships, and build a team of professionals.
  • Real Estate Developer: Developers require strong networking skills to establish relationships with landowners, investors, lenders, contractors, architects, and other professionals in the real estate industry.
  • Commercial Real Estate Broker: Commercial brokers often focus on networking with businesses, investors, property owners, and industry professionals in the commercial real estate sector to expand their network and develop business opportunities.


person wearing suit signing contract

Legal knowledge

Legal knowledge is crucial in the real estate industry because it enables professionals to navigate complex legal frameworks, ensure compliance with laws and regulations, protect the interests of clients, and reduce risks.

Furthermore, having these skills allows professionals to understand contracts, negotiate favourable terms, handle property disputes, and make informed decisions based on legal considerations.

Relevant job roles in real estate:

  • Real Estate Lawyer: Real estate lawyers provide legal advice and assistance in real estate transactions. They have in-depth knowledge of property laws, contracts, zoning regulations, and other legal aspects related to real estate.
  • Real Estate Developer: Developers need legal knowledge to understand land use restrictions, permits, environmental regulations, and construction laws. Developers work closely with lawyers to ensure compliance and address legal challenges.
  • Planning Manager: A planning manager needs legal knowledge so that they can ensure compliance with zoning laws, navigate regulatory requirements, and address any legal issues that may arise during the planning and development process.
  • Property Manager: Property Managers need legal knowledge to handle lease agreements and tenant disputes. They must also ensure compliance and protect the interests of property owners and tenants.
  • Architects: Architects need to be familiar with local building codes and regulations that govern design and construction. Understanding these regulations ensures that architectural plans comply with safety, accessibility, and environmental requirements.

Technology Proficiency

Proficiency in technology is increasingly important in real estate as it allows you to streamline workflows and improve decision-making.

By being able to use real estate software, property management systems, financial modeling tools, and data analytics platforms, professionals can leverage technology to automate tasks and communicate more effectively.

Relevant job roles in real estate:

  • Property Manager: Property Managers use property management software to handle lease administration, maintenance requests, financial reporting, and tenant communication.
  • Real Estate Developer: Developers use technology for project management, construction planning, budgeting, and tracking development timelines.
  • Real Estate Marketing Manager: Marketing managers rely on technology for digital marketing campaigns, social media management, website optimisation, and lead flow.
  • Quantity Surveyor – Technology proficiency enables Quantity Surveyors to leverage digital measurement tools, manage project budgets, use Building Information Modeling (BIM), collaborate efficiently with project teams, and streamline project documentation.

Jobs In Real Estate

There are a range of job opportunities across the real estate industry. Which sector is best for you to apply your skills?

Jobs typically fall into the categories below, so it’s about working out which area of real estate you would be most interested in.

Real Estate Investment

This area involves the acquisition, management, and investment of real estate assets. Professionals in this field analyse market trends, identify investment opportunities, raise capital for real estate funds, manage portfolios, and make strategic investment decisions.


Real estate development focuses on acquiring land or existing properties and transforming them into new projects. Development professionals oversee the entire process, from feasibility studies and planning to design, construction, and marketing of residential, commercial, or mixed-use projects.

Planning, Architecture, and Design

This area encompasses professionals who specialise in urban planning, architectural design, and spatial layout. They work on creating sustainable and aesthetically pleasing environments, including master plans, building designs, land use regulations, and zoning ordinances.

Building and Construction

Building and construction professionals manage the physical construction and development of real estate projects. This includes project managers, contractors, engineers, and subcontractors who ensure that buildings are constructed safely, on schedule, and within budget.

Finance, Accountancy, and Corporate Functions

This area involves professionals who handle financial and operational aspects in house. This includes roles such as a Finance Manager, or Financial Controller, and those working in other corporate head office functions like legal, human resources, marketing, and administration.

person handing over a clipboard

The Top Skills for Real Estate That Employers are Looking For

The real estate industry requires a range of skills and these are highly valued by recruiters and employers.

From strong communication and negotiation, to financial acumen, developing these skills will put you in good stead for your next career move.

Understanding which roles require which skills allows you to choose the path that is most aligned with your experience and expertise.

If there are any skills that you’re missing, you can take steps to develop these through professional development and learning. This will position you as a valuable asset to recruiters, enabling you to thrive in the industry.

At Macdonald & Company, we’ve helped professionals accelerate in their roles for 30 years. We guide professionals through their career and have secured salaries in excess of £6.5 million for the industry’s top talent. Our focus on real estate combined with generations of experience in recruitment puts us in a position to give you unrivaled advice and career guidance.

To find out more about how we can help you, get in touch with our team.

Have an updated CV?

Send us a copy and our team will be in touch should we have a suitable role.

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