10h case study/modeling test?


I have a 10h test coming up at a large real estate PE group. Has anyone seen a test in the 10-15 hour range? Group does direct equity acquisitions.

I expect it to be a single asset acquisition (multifamily I guess most likely?) with a high level of granularity in the model, and a deck with market info, comps, etc.

Still, 10h feels like too much time to get all of that done - I think that is doable in 5h with a few years of transactional experience under your belt. Not sure what else could be involved. Any experience/ideas welcome!

Comments (17)

  • Analyst 2 in RE - Comm
Dec 5, 2021 - 7:34pm

When you say direct equity acquisitions, are you meaning that they take down the whole equity portion of the deal? Therefore, there is no waterfall structure?

I have seen this type of format, model and then a deck 5 to 10 slides long...

Executive Summary, IC Request, Market Research, Property Details Financials (Capitalization & Returns).

Would pay attention to formatting and ease auditing in the model (less tabs = better). Simple flexibility over complex formulas. Articulate concisely on the memo and show basic/above average formatting skills. 

Feel free to DM me the firm and I can tell you whether i've heard anything / have done it myself

Most Helpful
Dec 5, 2021 - 8:06pm

While I have no clue who the company is, I'll add one thought. Unless you can do it on a weekend, you have to take a day off for this. It's extremely rude (in my opinion) of the company to even request this. It actually says a lot more about the company than you may realize - if they are asking you to take a ten hour test just to get the job - how bad are the hours going to be, and more importantly, will they have any respect for your time (and life)? Having you take a ten hour test-the answer is no. 

I'll add, if they give this to you and give you 3-5 days to do this, I might feel otherwise. 

  • Associate 2 in RE - Comm
Dec 5, 2021 - 8:25pm

Point taken, but I'll add that they let me choose whatever 10h window I wanted in the upcoming week. Could have picked a weekend day presumably.

One way to spin this is that it could be more like a 6h assignment (not unusual) and they're giving extra time to accommodate for current-job responsibilities. Maybe thats me being an optimist.

  • Analyst 2 in RE - Comm
Dec 6, 2021 - 3:41pm

An institutional shop I once interviewed for, called me at 5pm on a Friday that I moved to the final round and needed to complete a case study and come in to present the following Monday morning at 10am. This was during quarter end and we had our presentation to RE head that morning and told them it was too short notice for me. They basically told me to F off.

  • Associate 2 in RE - Other
Dec 5, 2021 - 9:11pm

Dude..WHAT? 10 hours is egregious. 

Based on your title, it sounds like you've probably got a few years of work under your belt, so you're most likely a good modeler. The company knows this, and they're just trying to confirm. A model test shouldn't take more than like 3-4 hours, if you do it in one sitting. I wonder if you could push back and just say (in a professional way), "Look at my past experience and companies -- do you really think I got this far without knowing how to model?"

EDIT: Clarity

  • VP in RE - Comm
Dec 5, 2021 - 10:36pm

We make it known to our candidates how thankful we are they spend 2 hours to do a test for us. This is ridiculous and from a 3rd party POV, is borderline disrespectful for the candidates time.

With all my years in this industry, I cannot think of any test subject that'd take you 10 hours to do - the point here is show your understanding of the key terms/subject matters of RE. Even if you go full blown development model with interest reserve and complicated JV structure, that should take 2-3, top. You're not editing anything to make it look pretty. It's a chance to show case your technical ability, not a pitch to investors.

I'd beware with whatever company this is to be honest.

Dec 6, 2021 - 9:25am

Absurd. If they want to do that in-depth of a test/case study it should be a weekend take home, at that point they'll get a much better idea of the quality of your work anyways.

  • Associate 3 in IB-M&A
Dec 6, 2021 - 12:40pm

10 hour case study is just plain disrespectful of a candidate's time, what could they possibly need that can't be done in ~2-3 hours? I'd run far away from this company.

Dec 8, 2021 - 1:44pm

Do they actually time you for the 10 hour window? You say 10-15 hour range so wasn't certain.

I was given a case study where I was sent an OM, ARGUS file and asked to come up with a valuation and an IC deck, but I was given 3-5 days to do it as they knew I had a relatively demanding full-time gig. 

Agreed with other posters that a timed 10-hour test seems quite disrespectful. 

  • 1
Dec 25, 2021 - 9:02pm

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