Burnt out @ Bx REPE

Hi everyone. I'm a second-year at Bx REPE. I joined after 3 years of working on the commercial brokerage side and now work on the acquisitions side. I've been in my role for 2 years and am burnt out... I don't know if it's the demands of the job as much as it is my inefficiency and overthinking every little step but I've learned that the pressure on the acq side isn't for me but I don't love the idea of going back to brokerage either. I know in whatever I do next given that I'll likely be taking a pay cut but no clue what's really available to me at this point.

Any thoughts and anecdotes would be helpful for me to brainstorm around!

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Comments (59)

  • Analyst 1 in RE - Comm
Mar 11, 2021 - 11:35pm

I'm a first year analyst myself but what about the role dont you like? Acq at bx repe is about as elite as it gets so you're obviously not being underpaid. Hours? Culture? The actual acq work? If you want to stay in real estate there's a lot more low stress gigs to choose from like AM, consulting, hell if you really want to keep it chill, go work for an LP - you'll never work more than 40 hours and have a chill pension afterwards lol

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Mar 11, 2021 - 11:38pm

It's the culture I guess which translates into the hours worked. Fwiw I don't think it's unique to Bx based on convos with friends at smaller shops or even culture itself as much as it is me knowing I don't want to climb rank and make a long term career with the persistent stress that comes with it.

Any clue what LP roles pay?

  • Analyst 1 in RE - Comm
Mar 11, 2021 - 11:47pm

all public pension funds have to disclose salaries so it's easy to find, but the answer is significantly less - IIRC when I did an internship at one the associates were making like 120ish? MD's were making like 300k base?

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  • Analyst 1 in RE - Comm
Mar 14, 2021 - 3:03pm

LPs are the investors putting up anywhere between 90-100% of the capital for a given fund, JV, etc. Most LPs are public pension funds (majority), insurance companies, or sovereign wealth funds.

Mar 14, 2021 - 9:56pm

I'm a first year analyst myself but what about the role dont you like? Acq at bx repe is about as elite as it gets so you're obviously not being underpaid. Hours? Culture? The actual acq work? If you want to stay in real estate there's a lot more low stress gigs to choose from like AM, consulting, hell if you really want to keep it chill, go work for an LP - you'll never work more than 40 hours and have a chill pension afterwards lol

It's silly to say you'll never work more than 40 hours at an institution.

Having worked at one, at least until Director level you're still working 50 hours a week on average, 60 or more during crunch time.

  • Assist. VP in RE - Comm
Mar 19, 2021 - 1:39am

I'm a first year analyst myself but what about the role dont you like? Acq at bx repe is about as elite as it gets so you're obviously not being underpaid. Hours? Culture? The actual acq work? If you want to stay in real estate there's a lot more low stress gigs to choose from like AM, consulting, hell if you really want to keep it chill, go work for an LP - you'll never work more than 40 hours and have a chill pension afterwards lol

Sounds like you don't really have an understanding of what LPs are nor what people who work for them actually make.

  • Investment Analyst in PE - Other
Mar 12, 2021 - 7:35am

Just find a different repe fund that's not a shit environment like bx, not hard just go somewhere smaller

  • Analyst 1 in RE - Comm
Mar 12, 2021 - 11:19am

Is the environment that bad? Genuinely curious. Are the hours just trash?

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Mar 12, 2021 - 1:54pm

My worry is I make this move and end up at a fund with personalities that don't mix with my own, have heard from friends at smaller funds that their life isn't much better, some worse (some do have better lives but also know of friends at larger funds that say the same)... Always a tough gamble so have been thinking to exit the space completely where the mean/median is simply better WLB (acknowledging there are outliers in all verticals)

  • Investment Analyst in PE - Other
Mar 12, 2021 - 2:03pm

Other option would be to move cities, but I would not recommend this if you'd be moving somewhere where you don't have a social base/network, not worth the tradeoff

Mar 12, 2021 - 3:38pm

Totally understand your worry and it is a very real one. I will comment in all my friends who work in real estate, and I have a half decent network due to grad school, my PE fund has by far the worst hours. The majority of my friends work 50 hours per week (plus or minus a few) unless it is a live deal. This is a mixture of people working at funds, developers, institutions, etc. For lower hours, if you decide to stay in the business, maybe look to a developer. You may have to do some asset management work as usually these roles do a bit of everything, but as developers just do less deals each year, you may find the hours to be significantly better. Also this whole WFH thing has made life miserable for many in finance and hours have creeped up by 20%-30%. 

Most Helpful
Mar 12, 2021 - 9:09am

If you enjoy the work but not the culture, I would try to change to an acquisitions role at a lifestyle firm - AKA a life co. Hours will be 40-60 per week. Deadlines exist; but the majority of deals are fully marketed, so you'll know 6 weeks in advance you have a bid date coming up. Also the firms are generally better staffed and senior management won't expect you to stay up all night. On top of that, the most opportunistic the deals will get is spec development; which is simple to model. You won't be looking at extremely opportunistic single assets or portfolios that can be sliced and diced into stupid amounts of scenarios. 
If acquisitions isn't your thing, maybe try asset management. Much more predictable hours and the only time it gets crazy is budget season, but that's once per year for a quarter. After that it's usually a 9-5 job, especially if you run your own buildings and can work things on your own schedule. 

Regarding pay, at a Life Co, figure it's a 20% cut across the board to market comps for REPE. I have no clue if BX pays better than other REPE firms, but I'm guessing you'll have an indication of what your friends make and can extrapolate. If not, I'll add additional color. Life CO's are definitive lifestyle firms, people tend not to leave. It's harder to move up, but the lifestyle is fantastic. 

I would also like to add, I would bet you are probably not inefficient, but it is the superiors on the job having unrealistic expectations on how fast things can get done. I left my old firm and was the best modeler in the shop out of 20 associates. Consistently praised for it. Moved to a new firm to be told I'm too slow and not a good modeler, don't know many shortcuts, and they can't believe I got by at my old firm...talk about dichotomy. Point being.. you're probably not inefficient, it's more expectations of those above you being unrealistic.  

  • Analyst 1 in RE - Comm
Mar 12, 2021 - 3:56pm

Seconding this. Would love to know what a top firm like Bx is paying. I'm a 1st year analyst out of UG at a relatively small repe shop in a high COL city making 140k all in. 40 hour/week average.

Mar 12, 2021 - 5:07pm

I work at a very large REPE shop. We have really good hours, work with very smart people, no asshole policy, work on some good deals (but deal flow could be better). There are other shops like mine that you could easily lateral to if you want. Downside is the pay is shit, and I happen to know it's not much better at the other shops I'm alluding to

Mar 12, 2021 - 8:10pm

So, I have never worked in the whole "mega fund" PE deal, but have run into plenty. I'd say that 2 year mark is common for this feeling. TBH the first time a person disclosed to me they quit a job like this after the second year where they made $200k all in (note, was not BX, was also pre-MBA), I was kinda shocked. I didn't make that money at that person's age. But they hated the job, culture, hours, etc.

My two cents..... that's all perfectly fine. If you don't like it, run... don't walk. Prestige firms is a BS concept, few care, and only you can decide if it's worth the money. I will say, the marginal gains between years 2 and 3+ might be large, in terms of what you can get from the next job. But if you are feeling this way, time to get looking!!

I'd not leave until the new/better job comes along (which may be something totally different from PE world), easier to hunt with BX as "present" on the resume. 

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Mar 15, 2021 - 11:32pm

Heard that as well... are the different RE groups at BX quite independent from each other or is it common for people to move from one group to another?

  • Associate 2 in RE - Comm
Mar 16, 2021 - 8:26pm

Can't speak to BX in particular, but it's pretty standard across REPE firms for AM to pay less than Acquisitions

Jul 21, 2021 - 10:41pm

In your role are you working in direct investments on the buyside, as in Blackstone is buying assets directly or are you working on joint venture deals where Blackstone is a partner (ie. 90% of the equity) and is considered the L.P in the overall asset / project / transaction. I consider the two to be widely different, as the first is more real estate acquisitions / operations based and the second is more real estate finance / investment management based. This may clear some things up based on the previous comments. I currently work on the REPE side (middle market $8B AUM), as an investor (LP) partnering with GPs/ developers and investing on behalf of our fund, which is comprised of pension funds, college endowments, etc (our LPs).

I came over from the debt/equity brokerage side and I'm considering going back to the brokerage side or to the GP/Operator side. The REPE LP job itself in my opinion is much more finance and less real estate and I cant imagine negotiating JV operating agreements on every deal for a living and just getting a carry in a fund that takes 3 years to invest and 5-6 years to harvest. You spend your early career looking to validate Sponsor/GP assumptions/vet out markets, structure a deal/term sheet that allows you to hit base case returns, and negotiate and protect your downside as much as possible through structure within the docs. The pay is solid but there is more upside in working with a GP/Operator or betting on yourself and making it work on the brokerage side and investing in your clients deals in the GP position. At the end of the day, when a deal goes well, and our GP partners are making 80%+ IRRs 10x EM and were getting a 20% and 1.85x EM, its an easy reminder of where the real money can be made (principals of GP are making even more as they're promoting over their own investors or "B shares"). Also to note, most REPE shops were started by folks who made it big on the GP/Operator side and had the ability ($$$) and track record to attract LP capital to invest more passively (investing into JVs with Operators) by providing LPs (pension funds, endowments) with a  8% pref and getting a 20/80 split of profits over that in addition to fees on commitments and AUM. This my sparknotes version on my personal experience and viewpoint, feel free to PM to discuss further. 

  • Investment Analyst in RE - Comm
Aug 21, 2021 - 3:06pm

anyone happen to know what headhunter BX RE uses? i know they post positions on their website, but i've heard they use recruiters as well.

  • Investment Analyst in RE - Comm
Oct 14, 2021 - 12:15am

Anyone happen to know general hours for BX acquistions associates?

  • Analyst 1 in RE - Comm
Oct 14, 2021 - 7:09am

Know a guy working in the London office at the analyst level. From what he told me, hours for juniors are pretty long (comparable to IB, maybe slightly lower)

  • Analyst 2 in PE - LBOs
Oct 14, 2021 - 7:41am

Yeah, from what I have heard, BX RE Lnd is quite hard... They work most weekends etc. However pay is also very good

Surprisingly, I heard that BX PE Lnd is quite "chill"

  • Investment Analyst in RE - Comm
Oct 28, 2021 - 12:02am

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