REPE Chicago

Chicago guys, what are first year associates in Acq/AM making at firms like Harrison Street, Oak Street, Waterton, Walton Street, and JLL IM?

I thought this would be around $150k all in but after reading comps posted under "Harrison Street Chicago" it looks like they're only paying ~$67k + 20% bonus for a total comp just over $80k.

Wtf is that? I make 25% more in brokerage as an analyst. I thought REPE would be a natural step up as it's buyside compared to the sell side role of brokerage.

Is Harrison Street an outlier? REPEs of similar size (and even smaller) in NYC look like they pay double.

Lastly, I interviewed with a very small boutique (less than 50 people) REPE firm in Chicago back in late 2021 and they were paying somewhere between $120k-$150k all in for an acq associate. I'm hoping Harrison street is an outlier but please share your opinions.

Comments (40)

Most Helpful
  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Jun 19, 2022 - 8:46pm

Received offer at Harrison Street and Heitman. Was coming from a year and a half at a BB. Turned down offers bc of comp and expressed shock to hiring manager. They said it was standard.

Look into PGIM for street pay think it's 85k base first year (straight out of college) or Oak Street which pays PE pay so probs 100k. Am sure at developers like Hines or Greystar you'd get paid more but spots very limited.

Interviewed with Oak Street and got a very negative vibe. 100% could tell they got worked extremely hard.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Jun 19, 2022 - 9:01pm

Yes ended up doing REPE in Chicago at one of the larger firms but negotiated higher comp and target bonus. This was during the great analyst shortage a few months ago and massive deal flow due to COVID so power was on the employee. Given the environment not sure how much wiggle room there is but am sure you can make your case for increased pay.

  • Analyst 1 in RE - Comm
Jun 20, 2022 - 12:10pm

Oak street has terrible culture this came from a VP that's worked there. The firm is very snobby and they think of themselves too highly even though all they do is net lease deals. Extremely toxic culture avoid at all cost.

  • 2
  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Jun 20, 2022 - 12:12pm

Haha couldn't agree more. Keep getting hit up by them on LinkedIn and from recruiters to join them. No thanks

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  • Investment Analyst in PE - Other
Jun 20, 2022 - 8:44am

Idk about you guys, but even 150k all in in Chicago now feels too low for an associate. Rents are skyrocketing and pay doesn't seem to be keeping up. Though to see I could get a 50% pay bump in another city.

Jun 20, 2022 - 1:36pm
CRESF, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Harrison Street offered a friend of a friend more than $150K all-in for an associate role, FYI. Not sure where that comp came from. First year analysts at a Chicago REPE firm should be pushing $100K all-in. 

  • 1
Jun 20, 2022 - 2:25pm
CRESF, what's your opinion? Comment below:

They have to be paying north of $80K for an associate in acquisitions or they would never be able to hire anyone. Been a few years, but I was at a REPE shop in Chicago that is not known for paying people well and was making double that as an associate. I made more than that as a first year analyst by quite a bit. $80K feels way off to me, but maybe I'm wrong. 

  • 1
  • Analyst 2 in RE - Comm
Jun 20, 2022 - 1:55pm

HS adjusted their comp, I think it's 80 to 85k base + 20-30% for 1st year Acq? Chicago still pretty affordable tbh relative to other markets so you can live pretty comfortably on that

Other firms similar, the Heitman or LaSalle type firms. Walton has always paid the highest in Chi, unsure what it is now but I think total comp was somewhere in the $130-150k all in for 1st years.

Wouldn't focus on the short term pay. If you go to any of those firms, you can exit pretty well and get multiples on your current comp. HS in particular places well for on-cycle recruiting at the MFs

  • Analyst 2 in RE - Comm
Jun 20, 2022 - 2:18pm

Just typical of Chi which I think someone else previously noted, has tended to lag other major markets.

You can still land $200k+ all-in gigs for an associate (3-5 yrs ) in Chi, they are just far and few between compared to let's say a SF, NYC, Boston, etc.

Chi also has a better WLB and COL again compared to those markets. Always going to be trade offs.

Also, you hear about the MF comps at like a BX, Apollo, SCG etc but think about how many people get those jobs. People tend to cheery pick those data points with tunnel vision on spots, WLB, and COL adjustments ($200k in chi stretches way more than $300k in NYC)

Jun 20, 2022 - 3:01pm
PEIBRE, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Don't think Harrison Street has ever placed at a MF in on cycle recruiting lol. Walton Street definitely has great placements though (TPG, Centerbridge etc.)

  • Associate 1 in RE - Comm
Jun 23, 2022 - 12:43pm

Where do we think comp would be for Chicago REPE at the senior associate / AVP range (I.e. 5 YOE)?

I'm in Chicago doing RE balance sheet lending at a super regional bank making $150k all-in. 5 YOE. Hours are great but considering trying to switch over for more $.

Even if Chicago REPE pays less than other markets, safe to assume with 5 YOE, one would be making at least $200k? Talking about the same shops people have mentioned (Heitman, Harrison, LaSalle, Oak Street, Blue Vista, CA, Green Courte, etc)

Jul 27, 2022 - 11:47pm
Financial Analyst 2.5, what's your opinion? Comment below:

There are 2 main reasons:

  1. Cost of Living
  1. Using NYC as a comparison point makes pay seem low everywhere else. People in commercial real estate in a city like NYC work long hours at most places. At many places, close to IB hours; this is just the deal culture in NYC. In Chicago, everyone I know in CRE there works 60 or less hours, with many working 50. For any MFPE RE arm in Chi, maybe this isn't true…idk…but you get my point. Cheaper Living and less work = less pay.
  • Manager in RE - Comm
Jul 29, 2022 - 4:12pm

That's because Chicago is cheaper than living in the Sunbelt these days and the work culture is insanely slow. I think Chicago REPE firms "associates" are actually 1st year post college students as well, so the title's different.

  • Analyst 1 in RE - Comm
Aug 4, 2022 - 9:52am

Walton Street compensation ranges below. They only hire for the acquisitions group out of college though, rarely hire laterally.  

- Analyst: ~$80-85k base and 50-100% bonus. 2nd year analyst will get a slight bump in that base, same bonus structure (~$120-160k all in)

- Associate: ~$100k base and 80-120% bonus  ($180-220k all in)

  • Analyst 2 in RE - Comm
Aug 4, 2022 - 12:36pm

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  • Analyst 1 in RE - Comm
Aug 4, 2022 - 12:41pm

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