35 Yr old hoping to work for a REIT upon graduation

optimistprime's picture
Rank: Monkey | banana points 35

Helli all. I am a 35 year old returning student at Kaplan University. I am studying finance with a specialization in real estate. I have 2 years until I graduate. Upon graduation I hope to work for a REIT. My question is what are my job prospects being that I will be 37 upon graduation?What are some things that I can do to get on at a reputable firm? Any feedback is greatly appreciated.

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Comments (35)

Best Response
Dec 9, 2017

REIT jobs are very tough to get; in a sense, some might even say it is comparable to landing a gig in a real estate private equity firm. It's very competitive, and to be blunt you'll be competing against many younger folks coming from higher ranked schools than you. Some shops value pedigree more than others, but I can tell you a few things to internalize should you want to go down this path: 1) you will need to be able to model/underwrite lights out and will most likely be given a test at any interview you are invited to 2) you will need to network your ass off/hustle to even land an interview, meaning reach out to as many people as you can at various shops you're interested in and request a few mins of their time via phone to learn about their career path, request advice, explain your aspirations, etc.. 3) do not have any preconceptions about your 'intrinsic value' or what you deserve to be paid as you will be starting at the bottom most likely; you might even be upfront with your interviewers and explain you are fully aware and are hungry to learn/work hard. Being 35-37, I would guess you might have a family and priorities/financial overhead that most millennials do not, and I think this could work to your advantage i.e. you could sell yourself as being in it for the long haul vs. job jumping, you are more mature and can demonstrate a higher ability to get work done/focus/engage with others, etc.. and the list goes on. Understand you are at a disadvantage given your age, competing against younger people who can probably take a lower salary, and might be willing to work longer hours (I could be wrong on all three-apologies for generalizing). Work hard, treat recruiting/networking like a full time job, and hustle. Investment sales could be another way to the REIT space as well, and may have a lower barrier to entry. There are a variety of ways to end up in any given role in real estate, and for the most part all experience is good experience in the grand scheme of things.

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Dec 9, 2017

I don't have a wife or kids so I really don't have much overhead except the basics like rent, insurance, student loans, etc.

I appreciate your response. What is your experience in real estate?

As far a reaching out goes, how would you suggest I do that? Linkedin? Cold calling?

Ive never heard of investment sales. Could you give me an example of what a person would do in investment sales and some companies that have positions in that field?

Dec 9, 2017

Investment Sales is simply brokerage, or the buying and selling of buildings if you will.

Top Companies that do this on the institutional level are JLL, CBRE, C&W, HFF, Colliers. Then there are mid market and small tier national shops, and then there are regional shops.

Dec 9, 2017

What is your experience with real eatate?

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Dec 9, 2017

why does it matter?

Dec 10, 2017

I live in a real estate.

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Dec 11, 2017
trojanusc11:

I live in a real estate.

i loved this. kinda mirrors his phrase above, "As far a reaching out goes," whether or not that was intentional

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Dec 10, 2017

I don't have a wife or kids so I really don't have much overhead except the basics like rent, insurance, student loans, etc.

I appreciate your response. What is your experience in real estate?

As far a reaching out goes, how would you suggest I do that? Linkedin? Cold calling?

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Dec 10, 2017

what do you mean by underwrite/ model lights out?

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Dec 10, 2017

i mean you need to know what you're doing, if someone hands you an OM and says do we buy this or not? REIT jobs just don't fall out of the sky and land on people who would like to work in real estate...

Dec 10, 2017

Thank you for the feedback. I'm new to this but still love real estate. Forgive me for asking but what is an OM?

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Dec 10, 2017

Offering Memorandum?

Dec 10, 2017

Correct

Dec 10, 2017

Besids my degree, where can I go to learn more about the technical side of real estate (like what an OM is etc)? Im guessing that to be in the position to be asked to review an OM and decide whether or not to invest you would need a bit of experience first. What is the best way to acquire that experience? Thanks!

Dec 11, 2017

You are in way over your head.

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Dec 10, 2017

From the sound of everything, and I don't tell this to most people but maybe consider getting masters in real estate, or development, or architecture.

Also with your background I would try to start out in brokerage, any brokerage in an associate role where you are trying to originate business. It won't pay a lot or anything unless you close deals but you'll get a quick exposure to real estate and more importantly how the pieces fit together.

Dec 11, 2017

Ive thought about continuing on to get my masters. Thanks for the suggeation. As far as working as an associate in a brokerage, would I need a brokers license, a real estate license, or could I become an associate without having to get either?

Dec 11, 2017

Nevermind. I googled it. Im not interested in becoming a real estate agent or a broker. I want to work as an acquisitions analyst / associate. What are some ways I could gain work towards going down that path as I finish my degree?

Dec 11, 2017
optimistprime:

Nevermind. I googled it. Im not interested in becoming a real estate agent or a broker. I want to work as an acquisitions analyst / associate. What are some ways I could gain work towards going down that path as I finish my degree?

jesus christ dude you go to a for-profit college. there are people with ivy league degrees working in REIT acquisitions. it's a cake job. people like mitt romney's kids go into acquisitions (that's a real example). you're 35 and you don't even know what a fucking OM is. i don't even know what to tell you.

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Dec 11, 2017

Kaplan is being bought out by Purdue. Just FYI.

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Dec 11, 2017

And what is your experience in this field. Just so I know where you are coming from.

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Dec 11, 2017

I live in real estate.

Dec 11, 2017

Not trying to be an ass here, but you have a 0% chance of landing an Acquisitions gig with a REIT. To be even more blunt, you probably have a 0% chance of landing an Acquisitions gig with any firm with where you stand with your knowledge of RE at this point. Also, your age does play a role, but that doesn't mean you're screwed. It's never too late to start.

My advice would be:

  • Get your Masters. If you really want RE, cough up the dough and do a 1 year full time program.
  • Get an internship.
  • Join RE organizations (ULI, NAIOP, etc.) and network with people and tell them your story. You could probably land an internship just by doing this and showing your ready to get to work. If you have a good work track record, someone will give you a shot.
  • REITs are in general extremely tough places to land. I would explore other opportunities in the industry that be of interest of you. If you have your eyes set on Acquisitions, then type better get to work and start learning some basic RE finance to start.
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Dec 11, 2017

What is your experience in this field. Just so I know where you are coming from.

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Dec 11, 2017

I understand that my knowledge is lacking at this point. I don't expect to land a gig at this point in time. I hope to land something after I graduate. You suggested I start learning some basic RE finance. Do you know of a good place to start other than traditional school?

Dec 11, 2017

I came on here looking for positivity, encouragement, and direction. I've gotten a lot of hate and negativity because of my school of choice and my age. I am pretty disappointed in the folks that I've come across so far here on WSO. I'm just someone who took a little longer to get going in life but believes in never giving up! I will never give up! If anyone has anything good to add please comment.

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Dec 11, 2017

I'm not THAT far off in age, and definitely don't have a VP title in my name. The negativity is coming at you because you are questioning everyone. IF you came here for advice, everyone so far on this thread has given VERY realistic advice to you. Some of it is negative, and well yes, you knew that by what you posted. If you take a more humble approach on this forum people will bend over backwards to help you.

Dec 11, 2017

It's not about your age. You just don't seem to know shit about the industry you seem eager to break in to. I'd start with learning about careers/ career paths in CRE and general CRE industry terms etc. before worrying about getting an acquisitions job.

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Dec 11, 2017

You're right. I don't know much about real estate although I did have my real estate license before (so I know enough to pass that test). Where can I go/what can I do to learn more about this subject? (besids get my degree)

Dec 11, 2017
optimistprime:

I came on here looking for positivity, encouragement, and direction. I've gotten a lot of hate and negativity because of my school of choice and my age. I am pretty disappointed in the folks that I've come across so far here on WSO. I'm just someone who took a little longer to get going in life but believes in never giving up! I will never give up! If anyone has anything good to add please comment.

the reason i mentioned your age is because there's a lot of room for forgiveness when a 19-year old on here doesn't know what an OM is, but when you're 35 and come on here asking what an OM is, that's kind of disappointing.

also, i think you are unwise to respond to someone's advice that you look into brokerage (which is a good idea) with "no, i want acquisitions."

Dec 11, 2017

You can't help but be negative can you... Lol

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Dec 11, 2017

Google John Crossman guide to CRE. It'll help you with the basic and areas of specialization in CRE.
Also, Adventure in CRE is a great website.

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Dec 11, 2017

Thank you kettyetty! Finally! Somebody who is providing me a resource that will help me out. I appreciate your response!

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Dec 11, 2017
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Dec 11, 2017