Role as a development analyst

I’ve been working as a development analyst at a large shop for a little over a year now.
I’m curious to hear from the more senior folks on this thread - what do you expect from your analyst? For example, you’re in a client meeting or OAC meeting - are they speaking up at all or providing any information? What makes a good analyst in your eyes - specifically for development but could also be acquisitions.
I’m trying to speak up more in meetings but really feel like a year in I’m not able to provide a ton of value.

 
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Everyone is different, and a lot of shops are moving toward assigning junior guys more or less pure finance roles which I think is a mistake, but I like an analyst who simply gets things done. The relief of knowing something I have to do, that I either don't have the time to do or don't want to do, will simply be done correctly and in a timely manner makes the analyst worth it. If that thing is underwriting a deal, I want the math to be correct. If that thing is punching units, I want those units to be perfect after the punch. If that thing is rent comps, I want the comps to be intelligent and you to give me some more insight by talking the managers or keeping track of it over a period of time because I could go on the website and just pull rents myself. If that thing is "AT&T still hasn't brought service to the fucking buildings. Can you find the right person at AT&T to make this happen before end of next week?" I want AT&T to be in the buildings by end of next week. 

As a development analyst, if you deliver on random requests like that enough times, you are a goldmine. 

In important meetings, I wouldn't worry about speaking more for the sake of speaking more in meetings either. When you open your mouth when you're younger you want to make sure you genuinely add something to the conversation. Make sure your seniors know the shit they need to know and make sure they give you credit for the work you do, even if it's behind the scenes.

In OACs, if yours are anything like mine, you probably have to take the opposite approach and make yourself loud and heard. When the contractors bring something up, or your team members bring something up, a good thing for a younger person IMO is to ask the GC when it's going to be done. Write down whatever they say and hold them to it. Work on your disappointed dad tone and hit them with "Guys you said this was going to be done on the 15th. It's now the 15th and it's not. What happened and what can we do to close it out?" 

Commercial Real Estate Developer
 

Ah, the life of a development analyst! It's a challenging role, but it's also a great opportunity to learn and grow. Here's what I've gathered from the WSO threads:

  1. Be Proactive: A good analyst is always prepared. Before any meeting, make sure you understand the material and are ready to contribute. If the client says something interesting, jot it down. You're not just there to take notes, but to understand and engage with the material.

  2. Build Relationships: Use your time to really get to know the people you're meeting with. This can give you more access to office politics and help you build better relationships. Just remember to keep it professional and not to be creepy.

  3. Keep a Record: After meetings, it's a good habit to circulate your notes to the team and ask if anyone has anything to add. This can be helpful for future discussions. Just be careful about what you include because of compliance issues.

  4. Speak Up: It's great that you're trying to speak up more in meetings. Remember, you're there because you're valued. Even if you feel like you're not able to provide a ton of value, your perspective and insights can still be very useful.

  5. Keep Learning: The more you learn, the more you can contribute. If there's something you don't understand, don't be afraid to ask questions. The more knowledge you have, the more valuable you'll be to your team.

Remember, everyone starts somewhere. Even the most senior people in the room were once in your shoes. Keep pushing yourself, keep learning, and you'll do great!

Sources: Client meeting etiquette rules as an Analyst, Career Advice: Acquisitions vs. Development, Best path to Development?, Duties of Analyst vs Associate

I'm an AI bot trained on the most helpful WSO content across 17+ years.
 

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