Out of Brokerage --> Into Ownership Side (Acq/AM/Dev, etc)

Hi All,

Appreciate everyone's insight on this forum, has helped me a bunch. This is my first post.

Quick background on me:
Went to mid-tier UG with VERY avg GPA with degree in Sports Mgmt (wish I could go back ha)
Worked 1.5 years for Marcus & Millichap in major northeast market - sold mainly multifamily assets (middle market $1m-$30m)
I had zero real estate experience/internships prior to this job.

My goal is to get on the ownership side of the business. I just applied to NYU MSRE to start in the summer. I've been told by many industry professionals that modelling is very important, so I'd love for some top recommendations where I can start practicing as I only have basic knowledge on how to manipulate a model --- I have no idea how to create one from scratch. I've heard NYU's modelling content is basic as well so I would need a supplement.

My other question is: How difficult will it be for me to get internships with top firms (think Related, Lightstone, Extell) given my background? ...so that post-NYU, I will have some nice experience that will propel me to a solid full-time offer upon graduation. I've heard salaries in NYC for 1st year analysts range from $60-80k with bonuses anywhere from 20-50% depending how active the firm is.

During this whole process, should I leverage the fact that since I was a broker, I have very good relationships with other brokers (all asset types) aka access to deals?

I would appreciate any insight - thanks guys.

Comments (47)

Jan 9, 2020 - 9:10pm
the_mantis, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Can't speak to location since I'm west coast but I think NYU MSRE is a good step, taking modeling courses like adventures in CRE or others (I think WSO has a discount for courses on break into wall street but it's not cre specific like a.CRE), and just networking during your time at NYU with professionals. Lord knows us MM troglodytes should be able to crank out some cold calls and set some bullshit meetings. One thing I've done is find people who worked at MM but now work at your desired firm/job and ask them what it took.

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Jan 9, 2020 - 8:50pm
redever, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I am in NYC, I have a lot of first hand knowledge of NYU's program. Ask your fellow students about which classes and profs make you do more modeling, it's not equal, but they have huge elective flexibility including an Argus modeling course (in addition to the two day certification class thing). Still doing more modelling training is a good idea if you want to work as an analyst, I've heard of people speaking well of REFM (but I cannot personally recommend as I haven't done).

NYU has people interning at all those firms and others, so you just need to network/apply, etc. The profs there can be very helpful. I'm actually hiring an intern from NYU's MSRE program for the summer (assuming my HR dept doesn't F it up), many firms hire all the time from them because they are large.

Your range of comp is accurate and maybe a bit low, but if you are okay with $60k and 20% bonus, you will get a job. You can prob get more, but again, first job is tough. I think your brokerage exp. will help, but don't act like your were some BSD, especially if with MM. Just be humble and talk about what you learned, it is going to give you a leg up vs. those with no RE experience.

Finally, network like crazy. Join and actually be active in many organizations (student memberships are cheap). Best in NYC are ULI, MBAofNY (great mentor program for students), and CREFC (NAIOP is good too, but a bit broker focused in NY, great nationally). Also, look up YREPNY, Young Real Estate Professionals of NY, they have free happy hour/socials, legit networking (more junior people, but still legit).

Good luck!

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Jan 10, 2020 - 1:59pm
redever, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Since your PM function is limited, I'll extend my two cents on this question.

The reality is that AM or Acq will look very different firm by firm. The larger the firm, the more narrow and silioed the role. The trend in industry is to make these teams more cross-functional (i.e AM people participate in acquisitions, at least from DD onward), but there is no universal rule.

Most say Acq is the "better" side as more excitement, deal doing, and potentially pay. In truth, it's really personal. Given that you are coming from brokerage, I would venture to say that acquisitions is the more "direct" fit. AM requires a lot more accounting and even PM/operations skills where Acq. is more deal/negotiating/finance.

Still, don't be shocked if like 99% of the world's MBA/MSRE students say they want an acq. role. It's worth exploring both. There are also other sides of the house like research, investor relations, capital markets, development (a whole field really).

Reality is that when starting in a junior role, it doesn't matter, you can float to other departments for awhile. Just get the best job that's offered, it won't be your last job.

Jan 10, 2020 - 2:04pm
re_monkey3, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Makes a lot of sense. I think from being a broker I probably "belong" in acq more because I enjoy the negotiations/dealing with people as opposed to just staring a computer screen all day in AM. I also like the fact that bonus potential is much greater on the acq side. That being said, what do you think are the top 3 most important skillsets to have in order to be most marketable to to the big firms for 1st year analyst in acq?

Jan 10, 2020 - 11:31am
maineiac42, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Why don't you try to learn some modeling on your own and make the transition without dropping 70k in tuition? I'm not NYC based but I am always blown away by people thinking they need a masters degree to get an analyst gig.

  • 2
Jan 10, 2020 - 1:25pm
Gerry_Garner, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Wanted to expand a little bit on this and tell you what I'd do if I were in your shoes.

You have a very relevant background for the roles you are talking about. If you are worried about your modelling abilities, hit up Adventures in CRE for a few weekends and watch their videos / rebuild their models. This will have you covered for almost all excel based case studies you'd face in your interviews (which is how employers will determine if your technical skills are adequate). Take an Argus class / certification if you can find one to check that box and can say you know Argus. Set up job alerts on LinkedIn and SelectLeaders. For anything you're interested in, reach out directly to someone at the company and ask them for an informational interviews. This often allows you to insert yourself in the formal interview process. Also make a list of target firms and pound the pavement trying to get in touch with someone from each of them. This will result in job leads at the best and additional industry contacts at the worst. Lastly, you need to get a little better at selling yourself. You have a good background and can make the jump right now. Most junior level employees aren't modelling wizards or technical masters. Do a little bit of work to shore up your weak spots, and start spinning your experience as positive as you can. You do that and you'll get something. Good luck!

Jan 10, 2020 - 2:04pm
redever, what's your opinion? Comment below:

The flip side of this is that institutional employers get bombarded with resumes of people with MBAs/MSREs who also have relevant experience (but not direct experience), it's super easy to weed out those with a grad degree. Thus, if you go this route, you may be limited to smaller firms with less fixed comp and bigger portions of variable/success based comp.

After many years of experience and success, lack of a grad degree won't matter at all, but it can make a big difference in early trajectory.

To note, many people who apply to MBA/MSRE programs are those doing this exact thing looking for a leg up on competition. It is costly, but why would "earning big bucks" be easy?

Jan 10, 2020 - 9:15pm
re_monkey3, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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