Best path in real estate if WLB doesn’t matter

Hey All,

As the title suggests, trying to figure out what is the best career path to success in RE if work life balance is not a concern. I want to focus on maximizing my earning potential and was wondering if it is a reasonable to make the same as other high finance roles while working in RE if you are willing to put in the same hours. I don’t have a problem working 80 hour weeks but what I don’t know is where in RE do I go that makes you work those hours and pays that money.

Would really appreciate some advice on it.


Couldn’t agree more. Got into RE in college because I was a starry eyed sophomore thinking everyone in the business is swimming in cash. Then you get into it and many of us (for better or worse) go down the corporate path to then see big law, CS, quants, bankers all clip more bread


Are you saying that it’s not possible to pull in the same kind of money in real estate ?

Yes, go work in IBD if you don't care about friends, family, relationships or your own health. 

You'll realise when you mature at least one of those things are important.

Or work for a citadel/millennium but you're probably not the right candidate. 


80 hour weeks might sound "doable" to your underdeveloped brain right now, but when you actually start working you will suffer through every single second of it and sooner rather than later start to question why you are doing this to yourself in the first place. For a couple of grand more a month? For "prestige"? Best case you take an "earnings hit" and change to a more sustainable job, worst case you walk away with major physical ailments (got too fat/lost your hair due to stress and lack of sleep/exercise) or develop actual brain damage ie depression.

To answer your actual question: Your best bet will be looking at firms like BX, Oaktree, Starwood, KKR etc. Rule of thumb is basically the higher the comp for first years the more your life will suck. Or, if you really are dead set on making money in RE you could start out at a local developer and learn how to actually source plots, manage construction idiots and finish a building and start your own firm in 5-10 year. Because that is where the real money is made. You'll also realize that RE is a lot less about running numbers through a spreadsheet/modeling and more about building relationships with reliable subs and local politicians/committees.


Thanks for answering the actual question. I was looking at these shops and they seem to mostly hire ex IB, is it right to say that without prior IB experience it would be hard to get into these shops ?

I won’t be first year and would be looking at going for associate roles after doing my msre. Trying to figure out if this is a realistic option.


 is it right to say that without prior IB experience it would be hard to get into these shops


It'll be a tough sell in general if you have no finance experience. If you play your cards right you can maybe build some connections during your msre and land a role at some other "lesser" shops after, work for 3-5 years and try again leveraging your experience and network.It ofc depends on where you actually want to work (Texas? northeast?) and which school are doing it at. 

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Most here who are trying to discourage his thinking just have different opinions than him. If he "figures it out" later, that's fine, it's his choice, but you can't tell him he's objectively wrong for chasing money at the expense of WLB, especially if the plan is to use that money later to start his own shop or something. None of us have any idea what his thoughts/ambitions are, just answer the question and stop telling him he's "wrong" for pursuing this. 

Note: I'm not talking to the ones who just said they wouldn't go that route or that IB pays more, IMO fine to share your own experience or give objective facts like IB pays more. 

Don't @ me

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