REPE Internship Interviews

What do they really wanna hear during an interview? What are some things that you can talk about that will instantly land you a role? I am so tired of all these firms i've been interviewing for not realizing the potential I am willing to put forth because I am passionate about the industry and the private equity deal process as well.

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crerepe21, what's your opinion? Comment below:

During an interview we want to hear confidence, competence, and most importantly someone that we want to be around constantly. You might be extremely passionate about real estate, but if you don't know what you're talking about when asking about investment strategy or technicals then they aren't going to feel inclined to choose you over someone who already knows how to model. There's also a fine line between confident in yourself and coming across cocky or entitled. You want to come across as "you wouldn't regret hiring me because I'm qualified and want to work for you", instead of "you should hire me and if you don't it's because you don't realize all the potential I have". And as I'm sure you know, since you're passionate about the private equity deal process, during the process you are around your team 10+ hours a day and sometimes much longer if you're in the middle of a live deal. Someone who is hiring under them is going to want to bring on a new hire who they want to be around for 50-80 hours a week for the foreseeable future. Think of it this way, would you want an intern or analyst under you that is extremely annoying and horrible to be around? No. So sometimes you might be the most qualified and passionate candidate available to them, but if the hiring manager or executive doesn't like you or like someone more, then you aren't going to get the job. 

There's nothing you can say during an interview outside of "I was a C-suite of Blackstone/Brookfield/Starwood/etc" that would land you an entry level or mid-management position at a REPE instantly. There's no cheat code or shortcut outside of connections, and even then you still have to go through the process and be a top candidate. Connections don't guarantee a job, just your foot in the door. My advice would be continue to make connections, tidy up your modeling skills and technical knowledge, stay up to date on macroeconomics and recent CRE news, and as un-fun as it sounds, pay your dues in brokerage or another part of CRE until you have everything you need and more to be a top candidate for REPEs. You'll get there eventually, but you're going for a job that is the end game for a lot of finance people who like real estate and it's heavy competition.   

  • Developer in RE - Comm

I've been working in development for about 4 years and am basically a development associate. Education background is great but don't work for a brand name developer, even though the projects we do are in the range of $100-$150MM. I previously interned in acquisitions for awhile and can model any deal.

Am I a viable candidate for a REPE associate gig with my background? How might you recommend improving my chances or best framing my experience?

crerepe21, what's your opinion? Comment below:

If you were doing modeling on those deals in development then you can easily pivot that into acquisitions. You would have exposure to DD from ground up development,  but slightly different modeling since you wouldn't have a construction loan and draw schedule plus the dev costs wouldn't be needed but you would model in renovations and capital improvements. Making the jump to associate shouldn't be too much of a stretch, but to improve your chances a senior analyst role should be relatively easy to land then spend a year or so there before a promotion. I would just focus on the financial expertise you would bring to the table as well as the deep industry knowledge you've gained from being exposed to dev for the last 4 years. I'm sure you've gained some exposure to the WHY of location and market fundamentals in dev that are very helpful in selecting assets to UW in REPE. 

If you have been on the side of development that is predominantly calling and managing 3rd parties it might be a tad trickier to spin your experience. Not impossible, but since REPE is more "traditional finance" and pure modeling compared to Dev it is much more valuable to have modeling skills over the other soft skills from managing a deal process in dev with architects/surveyors/civil/etc.

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  • Analyst 1 in RE - Comm

Got multiple REPE offers from 20bn+ AUM firms out of undergrad. Just be likable and know your technicals and how to talk about real estate concepts. You may want to reevaluate how you're presenting yourself as you might be getting dinged on fit.

  • Developer in RE - Comm

What were some of the technicals and other RE related stuff came up in the interview? Gotta start prepping.

  • Analyst 1 in RE - Comm

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