Building networks as an RE/debt fund analyst?

Hi everyone,

I'm an analyst at a RE debt fund - I've been in this role for almost a year now (straight out of school). I haven't really been proactive in building relationships with people in the industry but would like to start doing so for multiple reasons (e.g. mentorship, potential exit opps, help build business).

My responsibilities are primarily underwriting, so most of my external interactions have been through email exchanges with borrowers/brokers (may occasionally meet on property inspections).

For those who are or have been in junior positions, how have you developed your networks? (e.g. directly on the job, cold emails, conferences)

Thanks!

Comments (4)

Feb 27, 2019

I too am trying to work on developing this. Too often I fall into the trap of working long hours and falling into a revolving hampster wheel. It takes effort, no doubt...and let's face it sometimes when its a weekday at 7am or after a long day and a happy hour, we just don't feel like going...but it does pay off. I worked with an executive level position in a prior job who I, and everyone else at the company, really didn't like nor have a lot of respect for. But gosh darnit did he have a network. A lot of it was his ego, but there wasnt an executive or deal going on that he didn't know SOMEONE involved in it. This came from constant networking.

how to do this? Things I've noticed he and others who are good at this have done...
- get involved in local orgs...ULI is a great one and is low hanging fruit for this subject
- keep in touch with deals that you have done. It doesn't come quickly...it will take time and require deal flow...but don't lose those contacts. Touch base every once in a while, grab drinks, etc.
- understand that this is a small industry...and reputation goes a long way...know that in one way or another from the day you start you are molding your reputation.

lot of this sounds obvious I know...and I think the key thing is understanding it takes time. It's easy to look at that senior associate or director who has been in the industry for 10+yrs and wonder how they seem to know everything going on and everyone involved. I've reasoned the large fact is they are good at there jobs and have spent a long time doing it. Dont be an asshole, and in time it'll attract a large rolodex.

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Feb 28, 2019

If your working on underwriting there is probably someone in an originations role superior to you. Ask him to take you to a networking event or suggest you go to one. If you want to interact with brokers interact with brokers. People want to help young people out, it's not hard. Really understand your market or asset class and you will succeed. People want to meet you for your perspective and you will gain a strong network and good relationships. This makes you invaluable in the industry. I have found over the last few years that anyone will talk to you, if you have something real to talk to them about.

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Most Helpful
Feb 28, 2019

I was in a similar position as you were, when I was just starting out in the industry. Here are the 3 things that helped:
1) I prioritized going to every ULI and NAIOP evening event. I treated the events as if they were 100% mandatory.
2) If you are working with a local sponsor directly, reach out to the younger guys in the email chains and recommend grabbing drinks. If you are working through a broker on a deal, reach out to the younger guys there instead. Perhaps recommend a happy hour for all of the young guys to meet up and hang out to celebrate the deal closing.
3) Connect with sales guys early. I find that the best types of people to be connected with are Title Sales guys. They tend to know all of the players and can make good introductions.

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Feb 28, 2019
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