Altus Group

CREntrepreneur's picture
Rank: Chimp | banana points 10

Just a quick question, what is the general consensus regarding Altus Group's research, valuation, and appraisal department as an entry into CRE for recent undergraduates?

Comments (24)

Dec 29, 2013

Got a buddy I used to intern with who works for them down in their ATL office in their valuation group. Last I spoke to him, in October, he really enjoyed it and was spending a lot of time traveling to different clients. They even flew his girlfriend out to see him on his first work trip since he was out in Cali working with a client for about 2 weeks. If you've got any specific questions feel free to message me. I'll forward them to him.

Dec 3, 2014

bump this topic. Any direct experience out there?

Jun 23, 2016

From what I understand, I have heard the same as above. The RVA group is a solid place to be out of undergrad to learn the basics and springboard to a REIT.

edit: reworded

Jun 22, 2016

can anyone else chime in on this? Interested in their RVA group.

Learn More

Side-by-side comparison of top modeling training courses + exclusive discount through WSO here.

Jun 23, 2016

It's ok. Decent place to start out of UG. Would not want to use an MSRE / MBA trump card and land there though.

The people that I've come across are pretty smart. The skills that you learn (underwriting and valuation) are valuable.

I think the top exit op would be investment sales if you're at the analyst level. Followed by Asset Management. Maybe lending but most lenders don't really respect appraisers and that could hurt you.

Jun 23, 2016

Appraisal is a fine spot to start. Learning valuation you could move to acquisitons, or investment sales. Could also move to Asset Management, but could potentially be a hard sell as you're learning valuation, which asset management does to an extent, but you're not learning how to manage the business plan of a building.

Jun 23, 2016

Between a analyst role at altus, a commercial lending credit analyst role, or a corporate rotational program which would be the best?

Jun 23, 2016

IMO lender and it's not even close

Jun 23, 2016

Bumping this because I have an interview with the RVA group tomorrow. Any other opinions or insight on working here?

"There are only two opinions in this world: Mine and the wrong one." -Jeremy Clarkson

Jun 23, 2016

Any words of wisdom or thoughts on Altus RVA group? How did that interview go?

Feb 5, 2019

Have an interview for RVA there coming up. Interested to hear how the interview and any other details or insights.

Feb 6, 2019

When I interviewed at Altus Group the in-person interview was pretty easy going. Nothing too crazy/technical. However, there was a three-part test:

1) Excel proficiency (nothing fancy here at all...)
2) Writing skills (appraisals are all about writing... which is funny because almost no one gives a shit what they say, all they care about is NOI/cap rate/valuation)
3) Proofreading.

I would recommend that you are aware of some transactions that occurred in your region so you can talk about them if they ask. Looking at the most recent quarter broker reports would be a good idea...

Also look into the AACI/P. App designation and be cognizant that you will be required to get this.

Be prepared to bend over and touch your ankles on salary though...

Feb 5, 2019

Thanks. How bad on salary? For NYC? And what do their bonuses typically look like

Feb 6, 2019

Well, in Western Canada it was $45k, and don't expect a bonus to write home about. I am sure salary would be higher in primary markets. That said, I think that starting a RE career in Altus' RVA division is fantastic. Take your lumps on the salary now and you'll be rewarded later.

Learn More

Side-by-side comparison of top modeling training courses + exclusive discount through WSO here.

Jun 23, 2016

When I interviewed, it was just basic why real estate questions, no Excel test or Argus testing. I was told $60k with a small signing bonus was the norm. This was in their Houston office.

"There are only two opinions in this world: Mine and the wrong one." -Jeremy Clarkson

    • 1
Feb 8, 2019

I wouldn't say its a bad place to start out of undergrad. The ex-Atlus folks I've worked with all have a leg up on the rest of us when it comes to Argus skills since they have to get certified.

    • 1
Feb 8, 2019

What are those ex-Altus people doing now? Curious about the exit opportunities.

Most Helpful
Feb 8, 2019

Former Ex-Altus Groupie here. I spent a year there working in the RVA at the Houston Location.
Salary was $65K + $2500 signing bonus, this was out of my MSRE program. The bonus for the first years was between $2-$7500, mainly determined by how hard you worked.

Lots of long nights depending on the team you worked with. Some great people and some bad managers. I was lucky to be paired with a good group who was micromanaged by a MAI so we were always being pushed to finish tasks on a weekly basis. This was great (even though it wasn't as fun being micromanaged) since we wouldn't be there as late during the quarter ends.

Some groups had managers who weren't bad, but they weren't managers so near the deadlines for quarters, you'd have those people there late till 11PM or later some nights for weeks on ends.

Overall, it was a good experience in learning institutional real estate and seeing all the assets types and underwriting them. Plus I got Argus Certified so that helps too, but I haven't used it since. Ended up jumping into a lending group doing origination's so it helped to have that appraisal background. Most people that jumped went into Investment Sales, or consulting with EY/Deloitte/PWC on real estate transactions.

    • 4
Feb 8, 2019

This is super helpful. I genuinely did not know that Altus actually underwrote properties; I thought it was mainly selling/teaching the software. Are there any differences from an appraisal gig at Altus vs. a brokerage firm like NKF/CBRE/JLL? One of my family members actually used to work at the Houston location so you might have known her lol. I'll have to talk more to her about any opportunities there.

Feb 8, 2019

Underwrite is a "loose" term lol. We focused mainly on the quarterly valuations for the JPM, Wells Fargo, USAA, Invesco, etc's. We would just take their quarterly P&L statements -> reconcile them into the Argus model w/adjustments for capex, etc-> Export to Excel -> Update the report with valuations and send out. We'd also do alot of scrubbing Argus models and walking people through how to use the AE versions or pushing their models from DCF to AE since Altus was phasing it out.

Then we'd have to deal with our respective counterparts at the JPMs/Invesco's, and just like at any other appraiser dealing with lenders/clients and make adjustments to the valuations or reconcile so that we could hit their expected value internally.

I would say there really isn't much difference from the CBRE's/NKF's/JLLs. I would look at the appraisals all the time (I liked CBRE's layout the best) and use that info. At the end of the day, I think we would just be providing them with the quarterly appraisal they would circulate internally and make their decisions based off that support. They would still hire external appraisals for certain properties and fact check us like that for compliance reasons. But then again, I was a lowly peon at the company and more focused on moving the properties through the pipeline and less focused on the higher decisions. I was also green as hell besides my masters so I didn't have much exposure to the entirety of the real estate market as a whole. I did enjoy having the argus people on the other side of the office and being able to ask them questions about why an argus model wasn't working or setting up the confusing AF TI/LC's assumptions buried deep, deep, deep in the AE.

Was your family member's name starting with an M? lol

    • 3
Feb 8, 2019

Damn, that sounds like some pretty good experience. I'm graduating in May, also very green to the CRE industry, so this sounds like a great place to start. Would eventually like to transition to Debt origination/IS then eventually possibly development/REPE. And yes, how the hell did you know? lol

Feb 8, 2019
    • 2
Feb 8, 2019