Alternatives to REPE Acquisitions
I've got a few years of CRE experience. I spent some time doing fp&a stuff, spent a year in REPE acquisitions at a boutique, spent a year as a debt/equity broker at a pretty well known shop / for a well known group, got canned due to Covid and have spent the last year-ish as one of two in-house capital markets guys at a homebuilder.
I'm pretty desperate to get out of this gig for multiple reasons. The firm has had a ridiculously strong 12 months but is still overall a piss-poor performer (I'm talking corporate bonds that are rated cc) and frankly...it shows in the quality of the people I work for. I'm smarter than my boss and I have never been anything more than a middle of the road performer at previous gigs. I'm not learning anything and I don't have much of a pathway to move up either other than sit here for 10 years and wait for people to retire / die.
I've been making a pretty concentrated push to find an acquisitions job. While my ideal job is at an LP that invests across geographies and food groups, I'll basically accept anything at a shop that is even semi-institutional as long as I'm working for a guy who's smart and whom I can learn things from. I've had former bosses sending my resume around, I've hit up half the alumni base from my MSRE program, cold messages on LinkedIn, etc. I'm getting absofreakinglutely nowhere. I'm starting to worry that if I stick around much longer I'm going to become branded the "Homebuilding Guy", and its just too niche IMO.
So, after 6 months of swinging and missing, I think I need to expand my horizons, especially as I approach 4+ months from graduating the MSRE. I'm trying to understand from the perspective of the group here if anjob or a job on the debt side would serve me better if the goal is to ride it out for 1-2 years and then hopefully take another whack at the acquisitions side when the economy is a bit less volatile. I'm evenly split on this - on the one hand transactional experience is better than non-transactional experience, but on the other hand, being in the equity seat and working from that first dollar risk mindset beats putting deals on a conveyor belt and checking boxes until committee says yes.
So monkeys, what say you? What is more likely to successfully allow for an associate level pro to make the switch to acquisitions? A year or two as an AM associate / senior associate? Or a year or two at a debt fund origination role as an associate / AVP ?
Thanks in advance!