Best way to get to REPE

Hello @CRE

I am currently doing a commercial strategy job for a pharmaceutical distribution company but want to see if I can jump to the real estate side. My ultimate goal is to end up in a REPE shop. I've been talking with a few people in the industry and they were telling me to go for appraisal or valuation jobs in order to segway to REPE. Any thoughts?

Thanks in advance.

Comments (6)

Most Helpful
Nov 25, 2019

Plenty others here who could respond too.

I would not personally go that route because I see appraisal as too far removed from Asset Management and/or Acquisitions roles at a real estate private equity shop.

I think a MRED or MBA would do you well, but if you don't want to take 1-2 years off and spend a lot of money, networking into a role that allows you to underwrite deals, whether in investment sales or at a LifeCo or a REIT, etc., would be my preference for the transition.

    • 2
Nov 26, 2019

My firm recruits heavily from banks (REIB, IB in general) and brokerage (Cap Markets, IS/IA, Debt Advisroy) shops. I'm definitely biased, but I think brokerage is the best place to start. IB transition has a little more of a learning curve, and with brokerage, at least some terminology carries over. I agree with @CRE, and would say that appraisal exp. may end up hurting you more than helping. You wouldn't have full transaction experience, and generally i think shops want to see that. I'd try to network your way onto a brokerage team. Send out emails asking to get coffee with brokers/analysts/anyone at the firm, even the agency leasing guys (typically have good relationships with the cap markets teams), and voice to them you want to do brokerage and learn the ropes. Take some online courses, ask them for any quick sizing models the use, network network network.

    • 1
Nov 26, 2019

Agree. Appraisals/valuations should be your last resort. Join an entry level at a capital markets team. You will develop better understanding of how buyers think of an asset and why they acquire certain assets. Appraisals don't add value to a transaction imo. Also, the upside of being a broker is way better.

Nov 30, 2019

You mentioned that your firm (is it a RE PE firm by the way?) hires from brokerage a fair bit, with brokerage being a great place to start your career...

Would a CRE Debt team at an investment bank be included in this? How about a CMBS team at an IB? Or even DCM?


Nov 30, 2019

Yes, REPE firm. I'd say sure to all the above, but this is just from what I see looking at my firms composition. Not entirely sure what the difference between the CRE Debt team and a DCM team would be if they're both focused in RE, but assuming that CRE Debt/DCM group would be focused on larger transactions that wouldn't go the typical CMBS route.

When I said IB above, we typically recruit from RE IB teams. Think RE Gaming & Lodging groups that advise companies in the RE industry on DCM, M&A, and other transaction services aside from the asset level (sometimes on larger portfolio levels). We see a fair bit of these guys for a variety of reasons (tired of the sell side, work closely with PE firms and naturally transition over, so on). The idea is they know how to work, and have great attention to detail. See guys from CMBS, and large scale RE Debt Bank teams as well. Regardless, as long as you know RE terminology, and come from brokerages/banks having some RE exposure, you shouldn't have any real problems getting an interview opportunity.

    • 2
Nov 26, 2019