best way to understand careers in real estate

Hey guys,

currently an undergrad, going into sophomore year. Was just wanting to ask the sorts of real estate career paths I could take with the industry itself, and what is the best way to learn more about them? all I've heard of what's best is REPE (once done with IB). but wanting to know more..

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Comments (13)

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May 2, 2020 - 3:06am

Generally the people on this forum are spilt into three main buckets:

Real Estate Funds:
- Equity: Your REPE players, raise capital into funds from investors. Invest that capital into real estate assets. This can be subdivided into LP and GP, i.e someone like Blackstone acquires the assets directly for their funds. LP investors include pension funds, lifeco that can either co-invest through a joint venture or invest into the fund that Blackstone raises.
- Debt : Debt funds that use the raised capital to invest into debt used by the funds or developers

Real Estate Developers
- Develops the real estate asset from scratch, typically contributes a small equity co-invest and raises debt/equity from investors to fund the development. Opportunistic funds also play in this space.

Real Estate Brokerages
- Brokers that facilitate transaction of real estate assets through sales campagins, leasing, valulation, etc.

May 2, 2020 - 1:50pm

Add-on to the above.. People also start in support service type and related roles like architecture, construction mngt, appraisal, banking, law, property mngt, and other fields that are related.

You can transition from those roles but it is not all that easy and often requires going back for an MBA/MSRE/D and sometimes taking a 'lateral' or even downgrade to get a real CRE job.

  • Prospect in Other
May 2, 2020 - 5:23pm

gotcha. but let's say, I'm currently interning at an IB. is it better to play out IB once graduating and then shift to REPE/AM? or should I just focus fully on RE right now? that's what I'm asking. like where can I intern as an undergrad to get the most exposure for my interests?

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May 3, 2020 - 7:49am

Hmm, good options to have. I would say you should probably apply and interview at both IB and REPE/AM, I mean until you have a set of offers in front of you it's just a hypothetical discussion.

That said, if you get offered a true IB analyst spot out of UG, I really think you should take it. That is some of the best training/experience you can get and it is really tough to get (plus it pays well). It will be respected in any area of CRE you may want to do later.

In reality, CRE likes older, experienced people. IB is way better at post-UG training and roles. Still, you may be able to get an analyst-type role at an REPE shop, so I'd dual track the hunt and hopefully the best option will be obvious.

May 3, 2020 - 8:59pm

If you're dead set on REPE longterm, I think it depends on where you're interning for IB.

If it's a BB/EB, then definitely do IB first for the credentials. It'll be a breeze getting interviews from there. But if its just a regional boutique, its not going to add nearly as much value later on.

May 3, 2020 - 4:30pm

Cliff notes from what I've gathered (doing due dil for my careers web app) - there's:

  • REPE firms: typical PE structure (i.e. time limited, closed-ended funds), invest into a range of asset classes/strategies and sometimes acquires RE operating companies. Main investing roles in Acquisitions and AM

  • REIM: this includes open-ended and closed-ended investment vehicles managed by major AM houses that charge on an AUM basis. REITs. RE divisions of institutional asset owners (think insurance companies, pension funds, endowments, family offices etc) that utilise the permanent capital base to invest mostly into income yielding RE (but sometimes do off-piste stuff depending on the firm's mandate).

  • Corporate RE divisions: teams housed within major corporates that manage their RE needs. Might be developing/redeveloping offices, acquiring properties that are needed to operate the biz (think data centers, retail outlets etc) or just helping to secure office space + overseeing the workplace design process

  • Government: Similar to corporate RE but wider ranging due to infrastructural RE projects, differences in tax reporting, etc

  • Non-profits: this can run the gamut from being similar to corporate RE all the way to conservation or heritage charities that are beneficiaries of protected land and real estate. Similar non-standard tax reporting as Gov RE

  • RE Brokerage: either the asset-level transactions teams (i.e. investment sales and acquisitions), leasing and tenant rep or asset-level equity/debt placement

  • RE Debt Funds: non-bank lenders that typically follow a PE style fund structure. Products can range from first/second lien loans to mezzanine to opportunistic lending

  • RE Bank Lending: originating, structuring and underwriting a variety of balance sheet driven financing products to RE investors, owners or developers

  • RE IB Coverage: typical corporate level i-banking coverage. Advising on M&A, capital raising, restructuring etc

  • RE Development Firms: secure funding from a variety of capital sources (usually a mix of debt/equity), acquire rights to land or just a building, oversee the design/development process with engineers/architects, oversee construction and then distribute out new units to investors/buyers or rent out and manage the newly developed properties themselves

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May 11, 2020 - 3:44am
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