Buyside -> Sellside? Is leaving a REPE Analyst gig for IS/DSF silly

Just as the title states. Tell me I'm dumb for thinking that leaving my REPE analyst job (asset management) to go to a top IS or DSF group is a good idea.

My current role is cool- bosses are great, hours are chill and the pay is ok for the market (primary city on west coast). The work isn't very stimulating and I'm concerned I'm nearing my learning ceiling as an analyst with my particular group.

I feel that my skillset/personality isn't best suited for AM. I've always thought of myself as a deal guy and I would love to be in a position where I get to see transactions and communicate with clients. I've interned with a DSF group and in acquisitions and I think those types of roles in the industry suit me better.

Eastdil and HFF/JLL are the top of the stack in my market and I was thinking it would be great to see some serious deal flow and really hone in on my underwriting skills to eventually add some serious value to a principal shop (like the one I'm currently at) in the future. Is this crazy? I could always lateral to acquisitions straight off the bat, maybe I'm crazy but I get caught up in the allure of working on the sell-side (cool transactions, big bonuses, potentially better exit ops).

Not the first time this topic has been brought up but as a 22 year old (10 months out of school), I'm still figuring things out.

Thank you for reading. 

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Comments (7)

  • Prospect in RE - Other
Apr 6, 2021 - 2:04am

Is it a regional/family shop REPE? Also, do you have an in for an analyst postion at one of the mentioned firms? Since you have an internship in DSF, I'm sure you know the levels and hierarchy of the business at the larger brokerages. You can make good money as a broker, but when working at one of the larger firms it takes a couple years to even be put in a production role. Debt brokerage at one of the big shops can be lucrative, but you kind of have to wait your turn in line since the deals that they're doing are so huge. If you look through linkedin and company websites, all of the debt brokers that are senior positions within the large firms are pretty old. For the most part from what I've seen, there is more succesful young investment sales guys than debt brokers. While some of the senior debt brokers are "well off" there are few that are rolling in it. It's definitely something to consider though if you have confidence and want to be more client facing. You can have more control of your financial destiny per se, but just be ready to work your ass off and make prove to the team that hires you that you deserve to be a junior producer. 

I"m in a West Coast Market too BTW and I have a feeling we're in the same area lol 

  • Analyst 1 in RE - Comm
Apr 7, 2021 - 4:03pm

The current shop is fairly national. Smaller in employee count but large in portfolio scope. We look at deals in every state and every niche of multifamily.

I have some tight connections at the big brokerage shops here and I think getting in wouldn't be an issue, I'm just hesitant to make the switch in only to exit back to the principal side again after a year and half. 

l agree with your notions about DSF producers skewing older, less deals in a very relationship driven world will leave the young guys hung out to dry. I'm leaning towards IS as well, but the deals I would want to be doing are more institutional in nature and I feel that I would be in a 'support' (analyst/associate) role regardless of IS/DSF.

  • Analyst 2 in RE - Comm
Apr 6, 2021 - 7:44am

There are some heavy hitters in the sell-side that started out their career from the buy-side for sure.. I guess it's just depends on if you enjoy selling/producing vs. principal investing. Not really about if it's silly or not.

Most Helpful
  • Works at Jones Lang LaSalle
Apr 6, 2021 - 9:42am

Sounds like you want to eat some deals. If that is the case, then by all means make a move. You are only 22 and have plenty of time to get back to the principal side.

Also, junior pay at the sellside level (albeit, you need to be on a good team) blows buyside out of the water. In my three years at JLL, I have not taken home less than $150k/year.

  • Analyst 1 in RE - Comm
Apr 7, 2021 - 4:05pm

Thanks for the reply- I have buddies with comp inline with what you're mentioning. I'm slightly disheartened after grinding in college and landing a buyside gig only to be making half of what some of my sell-side counterparts are pulling in.

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  • Associate 1 in RE - Other
Apr 7, 2021 - 5:39pm

Yup, this is what the kids in school gunning for real estate don't realize.  Best advice I got was to look in the opposite direction "brokerage' as everyone else and link up with a heavy hitting team. Join them and see a tremendous amount of deal flow, become excellent at modeling, make a good amount of coin and then be able to make the decision to move up the ranks of brokerage or have the talk with head broker about moving to buyside and asking for help. 

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