EOY Raises or no?

Curious on what everyone is thinking in terms of asking for a raise at the end of this year or Q1 next year. Are you happy with just keeping your job? Do you think it would be a bad look considering current market conditions?

Will also be more helpful for everyone if you state current compensation and YOE.

Most Helpful

Lmao definitely not. I'm hoping to not still be where I am by the end of the year, but if things go poorly and I still am, I'm going to be thanking them for my continued employment, not asking for more. 

Brutal out there right now. 

Commercial Real Estate Developer

I feel like this forum is highly concentrated with developers and operators. If you’re at one of those, be happy you have a job.

If you’re at an opportunity fund or debt fund, you’ll know that the note sale market has never been so busy. It’s not that dire if you have dry powder in a discretionary fund. I’m not expecting massive bonuses, but people will still be paid 


Curious on what everyone is thinking in terms of asking for a raise at the end of this year or Q1 next year. Are you happy with just keeping your job? Do you think it would be a bad look considering current market conditions?

What have you done to earn a raise?  Why is the assumption that you deserve one, no matter what, year after year?

If you're working your ass off and bringing in a ton of revenue for your firm, then by all means ask.  It sounds way more likely that things are slow for you (as for most right now) and you're wondering how you keep this gravy train of risk-free, ever-escalating pay running.  In that case, maybe don't ask unless you know you are so valuable to the firm they won't fire you


I'm 100% expecting a bump this year but I'm slightly under-paid and we had fresh capital to get out this year (and expecting a big year in 2024) so I've still done some deals (albeit less than a typical year). I'm also expecting a normal bonus and if I don't get it then I'll honestly probably take some time off to travel and look for something new when the job market gets better in 12-18 months. How your employers treat you this year can say a lot about how they'll value you, especially if you work somewhere that has meaningful recurring fees (a fund, etc.). I get it if you work for a developer, operator or broker and got huge bonuses the last few years, and now this year you get a small bonus because you haven't been doing deals, but if your firm has a fund then they are likely making just as much in fees this year as any other year and them electing to give you no bonus is just them keeping the fees in their own pocket. I give another exception to shops that did a lot of hiring in recent years and are too payroll heavy now for these slower markets, but anyone working for a fund thats staffed properly shouldn't just accept it imo. 


What's your comp and role/responsibilities in the org if you don't mind me asking?


My cash comp is about $275k (salary + bonus) and I get some promote that won't pay out for 5+ years (if it even pays out). I'm a VP of acquisitions with just under 9 YOE covering an entire region for a smaller fund and based out of a MCOL city.  Market comp for what I'm doing in a MCOL is more like $300k - $350k with some more like $400 - $500k.  


Most reputable shops have a level system (an, as, vp) and so you move up one level and get the pay bump for that level increase.

I don’t know what shops others work at but that’s how it’s done at 85% of institutional shops, conservatively. 

That being said, bonuses are going to be weak and there may be layoffs across the board.


I think this might only be the case at the very large institutional shops. I've worked at several institutional shops that are smaller (meaning they have a fund, backed by institutional capital and the teams all came from the backgrounds at the larger institutional shops, etc.) but are only 10 - 50 employees and there's never been a level system. 


I feel like those at smaller shops dominate the RE forum and it doesn’t reflect the industry as a whole at all. The PERE 100, large banks, LifeCo companies, etc. employ a huge percentage of those in RE and they all give annual pay bumps as you progress through your analyst, associate, VP, etc. years. You would only not get a pay bump for performance reasons (deemed not ready to move from associate 2 to associate 3 for example).

It’s a huge red flag if your firm doesn’t give you annual salary increases It’s a little crazy that people are saying that’s the norm. I’m not even gen Z and I think that’s a crazy thing to say. Your salary and/or bonus growth should at the very least match inflation. 


Most reputable shops have a level system (an, as, vp) and so you move up one level and get the pay bump for that level increase.

That's also a promotion, not a raise. 

And that's only at the most institutional, most bureaucratic places. Most real estate shops aren't that regimented, although I will admit it is trending more toward that direction. 

Commercial Real Estate Developer

I wouldn’t say that moving from a second year analyst to a third year analyst is a promotion but it equates to a pay bump at most institutional shops.

Real estate is already institutional. I’m confused as to why people act like it’s a bunch of ragtag kids slinging 40-unit multifamily deals. One single megafund alone probably owns more RE than hundreds of non-institutional firms combined.


This is going to be a firm/current comp dependent question - market obviously sucks for everyone so you can’t ride the tail winds of “I have a million options so pay me”, but you can still be impactful even in a soft market. It’s a lot harder to make big impacts to business right now but assuming you are keeping money coming in the door you provide immense value. Many operators are busy with problems right now and can’t afford a slip up anywhere. That includes turn over of GOOD employees.

if a company gutted your team and your the last man standing they need you, and should not use the market as an excuse not to pay you. Like anything in this industry use leverage when you have it. Most people have no leverage right now but some will and should use it.


This is super helpful just knowing it's okay to have and use leverage when you're a good/essential employee in a bad market.

Do you have any tips for taking advantage of that leverage? What sort of things should you do or conversations should you have to start leveraging your importance to the company, short of a "give me a raise or I quit" ultimatum?


The best leverage is to get another job offer to substantiate where you think your pay should be. Job offers are far and few between but contrary to anecdotal evidence a lot of us use, some companies are still hiring for some jobs (you might have to get creative here though on who you look at). If your firm needs you they will match or pay more.

Easier path is to just talk to your boss/owner and present the case why you think you should be paid more - it’s not as bullet though. I don’t think you have much to loose here though as some might suggest…it’s just business at the end of the day.

Your millage will vary on this depending on specific situations - if your at a larger or publicly traded company these strategies are much less likely to be successful.


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