Confusions about RE

I had an interview with LaSalle Investment Management, which is one of the leading investment managers in the world. But I failed. This was my first interview in the Real Estate area. My background is quite normal, had several internships in banking (CB) and PE, studied at a business school but I did not have any courses in real estate. That is why I was very surprised that they wanted to interview me and ask me questions why real estate. I guess as an analyst your main tasks are about projecting cash flow models, creating pro forma and analysing risks using debt & liquidation metrics, which is similar to the corporate finance model (or maybe even simpler).

TBH, I have no idea about the motivation of working in RE, why LaSalle? (Just saying you are the leading investment manager in RE, is not persuasive). I am also very curious why they invited me?

Can anyone please help me to give me any suggestions to answer such questions or shed light on RE? Thanks in advance.

Comments (8)

Oct 29, 2021 - 2:25pm

What exactly are you asking? why they interviewed you? For analyst level, it's not always critical to have direct RE experience. we have hired people from other financial backgrounds that are well spoken and intelligent enough to learn the basics.

Oct 30, 2021 - 9:30am

How to define well-spoken and intelligent enough? Someone who has quick learning ability?

I am wondering if they invite someone with no RE background, how could this candidate stand out, there must be some candidates who already have previous internships experience in RE.

Oct 29, 2021 - 2:34pm

Why would you accept an interview for a RE related role and not have an answer prepared for why you want to work in that role with their firm, esp. given your background? Just because they interview you doesn't mean they have to connect all the dots - the goal of your interview is to help connect why you are a good fit, and vice versa.

It sounds like it worked out the way it should have. Take it as a learning experience for next time, and you'll be better prepared. Everyone makes interview mistakes.

Oct 30, 2021 - 9:45am

I accept the interview because I want to give myself an additional chance to get a job. Maybe it sounds ridiculous, but who can reject a career chance bringing well-paid salary with more work-life balance opportunities? Although I didn't have any RE working background, it is still a part of the financial market. When we talk about investment, RE is always there. If I can switch to RE and adapt my analytical modelling skills, it would be a great opportunity for me to start my career anyway. No? Then I am curious about what other candidates without RE background tell the interviewer.

  • Associate 1 in RE - Comm
Oct 29, 2021 - 3:35pm

"Why" is THE essential question behind it all. Why do you do what you do? What are you trying to accomplish? Whether you want to pursue a career in CRE (or any other field), you need to have your why to continue to drive you. The question shows them what success means to you, why you want to succeed, and why your presence/potential will help them succeed if they where to give you the opportunity to explore the world of RE. You don't need to know what you're best at or where you want to end up yet, but you should know why you're embarking on this endeavor.

Most Helpful
Oct 29, 2021 - 9:55pm

Why did you apply? If you say to real estate person... "I applied because your firm is prestigious"... they will kick you out pretty fast... that's not the motivation to have. 

Are you fascinated by real estate? Think buildings and cities are cool? Find transactions, deal making, and investment management exciting... 

The truth is all real estate firms of any degree of "prestige" get TONS of applications from generic b-school/finance types... we want to weed out/eliminate those from the stack as fast as possible and only find those that really want to work in real estate (why I give advice about joining real estate groups like ULI/NAIOP, etc... they give instant credibility and dramatically up chances of getting an interview at a lot of firms). 

So, we can't answer this for you.... its your motivation, but do practice this question... if you want to land a gig in this field! 

Oct 30, 2021 - 9:26am

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