Day in the Life: Commercial Real Estate Head Research Analyst
Since I will no longer be a senior analyst by the end of this month, I figured I'd do one of these for my current position and then do another in a month or two in order to compare and contrast. If you don't remember me, I'm this guy: Ask Me Anything: Head Research Analyst (Commercial Real Estate)
So, without further delay, here was my day yesterday:
5:30am: Wake up & check emails. The managing director (There's only one. It's THE position here, unlike at a bank. Think branch president.) has a habit of emailing things out at 2am. They aren't immediately time sensitive, but responding early in the morning is timely and makes me look good. I chug some coffee, shave, brush teeth, shower, and head out by 6:00-6:15.
6:15am: Everyone has their own routine at my brokerage firm and honestly each branch of each firm has their own culture.
Some appreciate "face time" in the office. Others don't care at all. Mine cares, the office opens at 8:30, and I have a nasty commute at the moment. Almost my entire commute is spent on my phone, either reading for fun if I have nothing else to do, watching an episode of something (shout out to Mad Men & Game of Thrones), sleeping, or far more likely - checking various sources I follow on twitter for news & market updates. I favorite the articles I want to re-visit later. Twitter is an awesome tool if you use it for that. (aka unlike how 99% of people use it.)
7:30am: Coffee round two, this time at a solid coffee shop downtown, and I'm into the office. Beat all of the administrative staff in and all of the brokers except two. I log in, spend 5-10 rummaging through facebook, linkedin, WSO, etc. and then make my return to twitter and open the articles I favorited. From these, I write a summary comprised of local news, local real estate happenings, national real estate news, and national business news highlights and email it to everyone. I also try to include relevant sports/pop culture events. This doesn't happen every day anymore - but I try to do it at least once a week. Time is the biggest commodity there is and if a broker can pull a current event out of his ass to talk to a client about without having read the paper yet because they have an early tour, my email has accomplished something. If I don't have time, I just email the articles. Throw down a protein shake for breakfast.
8:30am: The office is open and noisy. People are starting to hit the phones either to call clients or potential clients or call their admins to assign work. I get told that a potential client we pitched in NYC last week (I work at a regional office & they own property here) wants specific answers to specific questions and concerns that they have. From their questions, it is obvious they didn't read the beautifuly crafted pitch book I put together at all. Time to repackage the same information without making it too obvious.
10:30am: While repackaging, it is discovered that CoStar has NUMEROUS properties downtown classified incorrectly. (A instead of B, B instead of C, etc.) We pay a lot of money for CoStar and it...is medicre at best. Sad too, because it's capable of SO MUCH, but if the data isn't right...
Anyhow, this means that I have to individually select comparitive properties before I run analytics. Ugh.
12:00pm: Lunch time. I try to get out of the office for lunch as much as possible, either with co-workers, friends, or clients, both because it's finally gorgeous outside and because I stare at a screen all day with minimal human interaction. I'm a people person (switching to brokerage is going to be good for me) and this existence drives me crazy. Today, however, is not one of those days. I walk across the street, get a chicken wrap, and eat it at my desk.
1:30pm: The comparitive property number crunch is done, more accurate than simply taking all class B properties in the area, and the numbers reflect what we're trying to say better too. I am ecstatic. Go over this with a vp and a principal. They are awesome and the relatively informal meeting goes really well. Take down a Red Bull Total Zero and get to writing the analysis. Have to research landlord property incentives too (facade improvements, energy efficient tax breaks, etc.) to present to these guys.
3:00pm: HUGE potential client from last week that I set up a meeting with between him and my principals emails me back saying the meeting went well. Not to be dramatic, but this client would be game changing if we landed it for not only me (hello referral fees) but for my firm. It will be a very interesting couple of months. My joy overwhelms my annoyance with the young broker next to me who insists on saying "um," "uh," or "you know" at least three times a sentence when she talks on the phone and then gets frustrated and talks to herself when she hangs up. I need my own office...maybe in a year or two. Check the news for any updates to share.
3:30pm: Show principal rough draft of the write up. It's "rougher" than I would like it to be but I really don't know entirely what he's looking for. He tells me he likes it and how to organize it which is awesome because I can be more productive. I argue a bit about certain things and he argues back but it's all because we want it to be the best. We joke around after about negiotiating leases while representing opposing clients when I become a broker and I tell him I'd get him to back down. He replies "KDC," with a huge smile on his face. I have no idea what that means and I ask him if that's his version of "ABC." He replies yes and straight faces "Kill. Destroy. Consume." The smile returns and he says he would absolutely ruin me. The three letters that came to mind now were "BSD."
Side note: Having a boss you have a good rapport with is seriously the best thing ever. One time he burped and I told him he was gross. He immediately fired me in a really angry voice, waited until I got uncomfortable, and then burst out laughing. Another time he made fun of me for my low salary, which he, of course, pays. In turn, I make fun of him in front of other principals. Ridiculous haha.
I grab some coffee with a different VP that I like for about 10 minutes to talk about me becoming a broker soon. I'm ready. They know it; I know it. It's a good feeling.
5:00pm: Business is done at 5 (this isn't NYC) so brokerage "business" ends then, if not just a bit after, as well. (At least in the office. People do some work at home too.) Some brokers go home, a lot go to networking events or things like the Technology Council meetings, and some others go to happy hour. Usually I do one of the above, but not today. Today I have work.
6:00pm: The principal I work most with (the one mentioned above) and the last broker on my floor walk out. My good friend who does Investment Sales for our office downstairs comes up to see if I'm still here. We bs for a good 20 minutes then he leaves for the gym. I hit my brother, a college freshman, up about dinner. He of course jumps at the offer of free food but doesn't get off his part time job until 7:30. I could leave now, but I might as well get more done. Check the news one last time.
7:30pm: I get everything ready to go for tomorrow. We have a 10am meeting (it's not about 9:30am as I'm writing this) and I'm way ahead of the game. (Hence this blog post) Time for dinner with my brother and drinks for me. It was a solid day, although I didn't get to the gym.
Get home around 10, get to sleep around 11.