Consulting to RE Acq/Dev

Hi all,

I am currently a b4 consultant working for RE, doing some strategic work as well as your typical process improvement / back office interfacing projects. I'm interested in transitioning to the RE acquisitions or development side soon (1-2 years out) if possible and would appreciate opinions on the following:

1) Is consulting > RE FO a typical career path? Have you seen it happen?
2) It seems like RE FO pays kind of shit at least in the early years compared to other areas in finance. I'm at $107k in a T3 city... is there any chance of not taking a pay cut?
3) What experiences can I pick up within consulting in the next few years to differentiate myself?
4) is a Masters helpful here at all?


Comments (12)

Jul 11, 2019

pay is same or higher at lifeco and banks

You can easily get more than $120k for analyst job at metlife in NJ, why take a pay cut working for smaller shops?

Jul 11, 2019

Really more than $120K? I worked as an analyst at an equivalent lifeco lender in a T1 city and it was more like $90K in year 1, $100K year 2. Also have a buddy at one of the largest bank lenders who's getting paid less in the same city.

Jul 12, 2019

Interviewed for a MetLife RE lending job at their NJ headquarters. This was 2017 but they said to expect something in between 60-70k (I had 6 months experience). Your pay seems really good compared to that

I dropped out because of the location though. The commute from nyc seems brutal.

Most Helpful
Jul 11, 2019

I came from BO consulting - first transitioned to D/E brokerage, then worked in REPE acquisitions, now in development. I've meandered because I'm trying to find my ultimate niche, not because I planned this exact route to end up in development. My thoughts below:

1) I would not say it's typical, but obviously possible. Per my career trajectory above, I think any lateral move in RE is attainable if you're a good networker/interviewer and hustle like a champ.
2) Yes, but honestly I would expect to take one in order to not further narrow the minimal job opportunities you might get serious looks for. You will price yourself out of most entry level roles, which is really what you need. You have minimal to no applicable skills to a development or REPE acquisitions role. I assume you know how to model but you have no deal chops. Why should someone overpay you over a cheaper analyst that actually know what he's doing?
3) Make sure you're a modeling whiz. Read Real Estate Game and Linneman's textbook so you start to understand the lingo and investor/developer thought process. Get REFM certification. Get Argus certification. Read bisnow / real deal to learn local players and deals. Go on adventures in CRE and learn how to do waterfalls and how real estate models work. After you do all these things you should be ready to crush your interviews
4) Will let others opine since I didn't get one, but I assume it will be helpful in getting most of the items from #3 above done in addition to getting a brand/network to help in your job search and transition. Both/either items 3 or 4 will signal to your networks and potential employers that you are committed to doing RE which was a key item I noticed i had to prove during my transition.

Hope this helps. Good luck.

    • 5
Jul 12, 2019

Incredibly helpful comment. You're spot on that I have modeling chops but no deal experience. Will start to work on what you outlined in #3.


Sep 20, 2019

you should become a WSO mentor and/or come on the podcast - PM me please if interested :-)

Jul 11, 2019

1) It's definitely a less common career path, but very doable especially since b4 consulting will look good on a resume. I can't think of anyone who took that exact path, but I have a roommate who's recruiting to move into CRE from corp fin and he's getting a lot of interviews.

2) There is such a range in compensation, it's hard to say for sure. But in a T3 city, chances of taking a pay cut are pretty high IMO. That said, you could get paid similar or more at a lot of firms. When I was recruiting earlier this year for analyst jobs in a major city, most employers were throwing out a number around what you're getting compensated.

3) Since you're already at a b4, could you lateral into one of the RE-focused teams? Transaction real estate at EY is legit and would set you up for acq/dev. Also have a buddy that worked in hospitality financial markets for PwC and had a lot of options in hotel RE when he looked to move on.

4) It could be! Not as familiar with how helpful it would be, I'm sure there are others who can provide more color.

Jul 12, 2019

3) I'm in one of the RE focused teams. We do a lot of work for major RE players, but it's not transaction related.

Jul 12, 2019

What kind of work do you do for them?

Jul 15, 2019