How many of us are making over $250k?

I have seen this question bandied about on other analyst/investment forums and was curious about what percentage of us WSO Real Estate members working in the industry pass this benchmark (and at what title/position and asset class/investment method (PE, Development, Owner/Operator Acq shop etc).

I am doing half that so I guess curiosity mixed with perhaps seeing what else is out there -- is the reason for the post.

Best Response

On the institutional "employed" side it appears that making 250k takes a long time to obtain. But consistency matters. A nice salary and bonus appear attractive to me at times. 50 hours a week doesn't seem very attractive to me at all though.

In brokerage, you should be hitting 250k 7 out of 10 years with many over $400k. Mind you this is gross income. For me, in a decent market to routinely hit 400k or 500k, I had to have a full time assistant, office space, insurance blah blah blah. That can bite into a third of your revenue.

So now I sling deals from my living room and train Muay Thai from 10am to Noon 4 or 5 days a week. Gross is down, net is down a bit. But my lifestyle is so simple now.

After having a $4500mo house payment for 10 years and then spending $300k on remodel, only to divorce and leave with nothing...renting my 1br by the beach is so much less stress and so much more rewarding. I take pride in being cheap.

I really like making a lot of money. Now I like not spending a lot of money even more.


Backyard is a decent spot. I think it was PB Bar and Grill about 10 years ago. I'm about a mile north up Mission Blvd (North PB)'s a bit more chill by me. The summertime around here is bananas. Getting to the highway can take 15min. Around Garnet and Mission Blvd. the streets are flooded. Sidewalks and crosswalks are full for 4mo.

I think the secret is out around the country about San Diego. It wasn't like this 10+ years ago.


I can't imagine the types to earn $250k+ to share that info on a forum. This industry is small. If you were more curious what firms pay $250k+ at various stages, here's generally how I think of it: - Analysts - NONE. - Associates - real estate arms of mega funds, or real estate arms of true middle market funds (with corp PE arms) - VPs - excluding carry, I would still say the finance-heavy firms are mainly the ones to pay this for annual comp. Generous developers or operators will compensate well on the back-end in terms of promote carry, given you stick out the vesting period - Anything above the VP pretty much will make their comp off of commission/promote, with little weight towards base/bonus. Obviously take this with a grain of salt and do not apply this to all firms


Just stop masturbating to your paycheck already. Your worth is more than a number. Throw monkey shit at me if you want, but the guys that make that money or more are generally not going to talk about it on some web forum. Because they don't have time to look at web forums. Guys in that range are busy doing deals and being more entrepreneurial. You're not going to get there as a salary wonk, you get there by going out and getting it. This is the real estate forum, by the time most of us have reached that level we've started our own shop. The guys running their own shop(like me) aren't going to talk numbers. Ever. That's for my wife, my accountant, and my lawyer. =)


It's better to define standard of living in terms of consumption basket rather than income figure.

If you're a family of 4:

Austin, TX Gross: 115k Net income: 91k (no state income taxes really help) Average 3BR rent: 33k ( Net income after rent: 58k

San Francisco, CA Gross: 200k Net income: 137k Average 3BR rent: 79k Net income after rent: 58k

Washington, DC Gross: 250k Net income: 167k Average 3BR rent: 45k Private school costs: (32k * 2) = 64k (unless you want to send your kids off to a school with a metal detector) Net income after rent and private school costs: 58k

So for a family of 4, 250k in DC is roughly equivalent to 200k in SF and about 115k in Austin.

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