Breaking In - Taking Any Role?

Hello all,

I graduated in December (3.7~, Finance, Top50 school, no finance internships, engineering / pre-med transfer) and am looking to break into South Florida CRE.

I've gained a lot from this forum and firstly I'd like to thank everyone for their contributions. As a result of this site, I joined a real estate finance club, took courses (including ARGUS), gained REFM & Bloomberg cert, found minor experience in a warehouse ReDev project by building "models". 

I've networked at a decently high level though of course can always do more, while grinding out a sales job that I could work from home during my job search (immunocompromised). I'm interested in CMBS/debt, capital markets, and asset management at the analyst level and would eventually want to pivot to REPE buyside. From the outside, my passion in real estate lies in deal structuring and property-level management. I've faired OK in getting to final rounds of interviews but I understand my experience limitations (and have avoided 100% commission roles due to financial constraints), I understand that real estate is incredibly network contingent and that many careers are circuitous, as well. If anyone would be willing to weigh in, I'd greatly benefit from advice on:

1) Taking anything real estate related to forego waiting any longer without the words CRE on my resume.

2) Potential paths to refine my story and interests to guide my search and timeline after taking said loosely connected position .

3) Any general advice, as I know I have a long road ahead to catch up with my contemporaries.

Thank you all so much in advance

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Comments (3)

Jun 11, 2021 - 12:21pm

I'd just be ripping out apps to everything on LinkedIn etc. Apply to any real estate investment analyst, portfolio management, FP&A, bank credit analyst, or brokerage job you can find. The market is pretty hot right now. Look only at entry level positions. I saw a real estate credit analyst position at US Bank and there are tons more like it. You may have to move. If that is a deal breaker, you may be waiting a while. The universe of jobs in the northeast and DC and Charlotte and Atlanta and Florida is huge. If you are only willing to live where you are now, things are going to be much, much harder to find.

Jun 11, 2021 - 11:34pm

As someone who also came into the industry from a non-typical background and had no pre-existing connections, the path I took in is a fairly common one: I started in research at one of the big four brokerage firms. It's an analytical role that gives you exposure to multiple asset classes and overall market conditions.

From there, you can springboard almost anywhere with good networking skills. I moved over to a financial analyst role on our investment sales team, and I could have done the same with our in-house debt team. I do know some people that jumped directly from research to the principal side, though it can be a harder sell without a year or two of legit financial analysis under your belt. Generally it's easier to get in the door with asset management than acquisitions.

At the end of the day, though, it really comes down to making those connections. Even with a stronger resume now, I've rarely gotten interviews from a cold application--when you're trying to move sideways, you're always going to be competing against people with direct experience. You need those connections to help ensure your candidacy gets the time of day.

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