Where are the top places to work in the real estate industry?

A newly released set of data from the U.S. Census Bureau called the Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs helps to shed some light on this question. The data set offers a detailed look at businesses across the U.S. including annual payroll, number of firms, and number of employees for various sectors in U.S. cities.

As self-storage leasing falls under the category of real estate, rental and leasing, we at SpareFoot decided to take a deeper look at this industry. The sector also includes establishments engaged in renting other types of property as well as equipment. It also includes real estate brokers, agents, management companies and appraisers. For a complete list of businesses included in this sector click here.

In order to find the best cities for real estate and rental careers, we ranked the Top 50 metro areas by the following criteria:

  • Percentage of metro population employed in sector
  • Number of firms in sector per 10,000 residents
  • Annual payroll per person employed in sector

We combined those rankings to find the top ten cities. We then ranked those 10 cities by the following criteria to determine our final ranking:

  • Annual payroll per employee as a percentage of median home price
  • Median annual rent as a percent of annual payroll per employee

Median home prices and rents were obtained from Zillow.com and are current as of July 2016.

Below is our ranked list of the top ten cities for real estate rental and leasing careers:

9. Los Angeles, CA (tie)

los-angeles

Los Angeles is second only to New York in terms of the number of firms, annual payroll and number of employees operating in this sector.

  • Number of firms: 15,820
  • Number of employees: 118,108
  • Annual payroll: $6.8 billion
  • Payroll per employee: $57,796
  • Percentage of metro population employed in sector: 0.89%
  • Number of firms per 10,000 metro residents: 11.9
  • Median home price: $699,000
  • Median annual rent: $39,480
  • Annual payroll as percentage of home price: 8.3%
  • Median annual rent as percentage of annual payroll: 68.3%

9. Miami, FL (tie)

miami

Miami has 16 firms per 10,000 residents, the second highest ratio on our list. Somewhat surprising is that the city has the lowest annual payroll per employee among the cities on our list.

  • Number of firms: 9,653
  • Number of employees: 48,456
  • Annual payroll: $2.1 billion
  • Payroll per employee: $43,357
  • Percentage of metro population employed in sector: 0.81%
  • Number of firms per 10,000 metro residents: 16
  • Median home price: $450,000
  • Median annual rent: $27,600
  • Annual payroll as percentage of home price: 9.63%
  • Median annual rent as percentage of annual payroll: 63.66%

8. Seattle, WA

Seattle skyline

Among cities on our list, the Seattle metro has the third highest percentage of residents employed in the sector, at just over one percent.

  • Number of firms: 4,009
  • Number of employees: 28,952
  • Annual payroll: $1.37 billion
  • Payroll per employee: $47,345
  • Percentage of metro population employed in sector: 1.03%
  • Number of firms per 10,000 metro residents: 14.3
  • Median home price: $575,000
  • Median annual rent: $29,400
  • Annual payroll as percentage of home price: 8.23%
  • Median annual rent as percentage of annual payroll: 62.1%

7. Denver, CO

Denver-CO

Denver comes in ninth among cities on our list when it comes to the percentage of residents employed in the sector, which suggest opportunities for employment might be relatively fewer. However, the Mile High City has the fifth most number of firms per 10,000 residents.

  • Number of firms: 3,911
  • Number of employees: 20,351
  • Annual payroll: $1 billion
  • Payroll per employee: $50,057
  • Percentage of metro population employed in sector: 0.72%
  • Number of firms per 10,000 metro residents: 13.8
  • Median home price: $445,000
  • Median annual rent: $23,400
  • Annual payroll as percentage of home price: 11.25%
  • Median annual rent as percentage of annual payroll: 46.75%

6. Phoenix, AZ

phoenix life coach

Phoenix‘s bright spot is its affordability for people working in the sector, coming in fourth and third place in terms of home and rental affordability, respectively.

  • Number of firms: 4,971
  • Number of employees: 37,614
  • Annual payroll: $1.83 billion
  • Payroll per employee: $48,725
  • Percentage of metro population employed in sector: 0.82%
  • Number of firms per 10,000 metro residents: 10.86
  • Median home price: $257,500
  • Median annual rent: $14,400
  • Annual payroll as percentage of home price: 18.92%
  • Median annual rent as percentage of annual payroll: 29.55%

5. Atlanta, GA

atlanta engineers

Atlanta offers the second highest payroll per employee on our list, and its also the second most affordable to live whether you choose to buy a home or rent. However, it does have the lowest percentage of the population working the field among cities on our list.

  • Number of firms: 4,895
  • Number of employees: 38,896
  • Annual payroll: $2.46 billion
  • Payroll per employee: $63,249.82
  • Percentage of metro population employed in sector: 0.68%
  • Number of firms per 10,000 metro residents: 8.57
  • Median home price: $265,000
  • Median annual rent: $17,940
  • Annual payroll as percentage of home price: 23.87%
  • Median annual rent as percentage of annual payroll: 28.36%

4. New York, NY

new-york-city

New York has the biggest real estate rental and leasing industry on our list, which comes as no surprise since it is the most populous metro as well. It also offers the third highest payroll per employee and the third highest number of firms per 10,000 residents.

  • Number of firms: 30,223
  • Number of employees: 188,445
  • Annual payroll: $11.64 billion
  • Payroll per employee: $61,763.53
  • Percentage of metro population employed in sector: 0.93%
  • Number of firms per 10,000 metro residents: 14.97
  • Median home price: $735,000
  • Median annual rent: $35,700
  • Annual payroll as percentage of home price: 8.4%
  • Median annual rent as percentage of annual payroll: 57.8%

3. San Francisco, CA

sanfran

San Francisco‘s hottest real estate market is also the most expensive. The metro comes in 10th on both measures of housing affordability. On the flip side it offers the highest payroll per employee, the highest percentage of residents working in the sector and the highest number of firms per 10,000 residents.

  • Number of firms: 5,213
  • Number of employees: 36,936
  • Annual payroll: $2.78 billion
  • Payroll per employee: $75,338
  • Percentage of metro population employed in sector: 1.87%
  • Number of firms per 10,000 metro residents: 26.37
  • Median home price: $1.1 million
  • Median annual rent: $53,400
  • Annual payroll as percentage of home price: 6.85%
  • Median annual rent as percentage of annual payroll: 70.88%

2. Cleveland, OH

Cleveland-OH

Cleveland is the most affordable city on our list, and it also has the fourth largest percentage of residents working in the sector.

  • Number of firms: 1,681
  • Number of employees: 19,970
  • Annual payroll: $1 billion
  • Payroll per employee: $52,002
  • Percentage of metro population employed in sector: 0.97%
  • Number of firms per 10,000 metro residents: 8.2
  • Median home price: $60,000
  • Median annual rent: $11,844*
  • Annual payroll as percentage of home price: 86.67%
  • Median annual rent as percentage of annual payroll: 22.78%

*Figure reported by Rentjungle.com

1. Orlando, FL

orlando-skyline

While Orlando doesn’t rank number one in any single category, it still lands in the number one spot overall. The amusement park laden area has the second highest percentage of residents employed in the sector, the fifth highest annual payroll per employee and the sixth most number of firms per 10,000 residents. Combined with being the third most affordable city on our list to buy a home and the fourth most affordable to rent, we believe Orlando is the best city for people working in the real estate and rental industry.

  • Number of firms: 3,078
  • Number of employees: 29,041
  • Annual payroll: $1.56 billion
  • Payroll per employee: $53,298
  • Percentage of metro population employed in sector: 1.22%
  • Number of firms per 10,000 metro residents: 12.9
  • Median home price: $230,000
  • Median annual rent: $16,740
  • Annual payroll as percentage of home price: 23.17%
  • Median annual rent as percentage of annual payroll: 31.41%

Alexander Harris