Current Junior at Liberal Arts College with Nonprofit Experience Who Wants to do Real Estate Investment Sales

axre12's picture
Rank: Senior Chimp | 24

Hi everyone,

I'm concerned about breaking into the real estate investment sales and would really appreciate some insight from those in the industry. I am a junior at a prestigious liberal arts college majoring in Urban Studies. I didn't realize I wanted to do real estate until the second semester of my sophomore year. If I had known I wanted to do real estate earlier, I would have transferred to a business school. As for my internship experiences, I have worked at a small nonprofit financial services firm in the lending department for low-income people to start businesses. I was a real estate development intern for a small but successful real estate developer and did acquisitions and research. Currently, I am working for a nationally known community development firm within their consulting division and have honed my market analysis and data analysis skills as I focus on revitalizing neighborhoods through real estate investments.

My family does not have any connections in real estate and we aren't rich. It has been difficult for me to find an internship for the summer. The place I'm currently working for offered me to come back over the summer but I feel like it would not be worth going back considering I'll have already worked there for two semesters by the end of the school year. One thing about me is that I am very persistent and hard-working. I have been reaching out to real estate professionals in all types of firms by cold-calling or emailing them. Many have agreed to informational interviews, but I feel like this is not really helping me that much to find an internship.

From what I have gathered through reading threads as well as going on LinkedIn and real estate firms' sites, that many real estate professionals went to business school and have had at least decent internships in for-profit real estate/finance firms. I feel like I am kind of f*cked because my lack of experience and academic training. I was recently admitted to an Ivy League Masters in Urban Planning with a concentration in real estate development program, where I would also get a certificate in real estate. I know this would not help me get into sales right off the bat, but maybe if I started in development I could transition into sales?

Sorry for all of the information, but basically I would greatly appreciate insight from successful people in the industry on these two questions: Have I already shot my chances of succeeding in real estate investment sales because of my background? Would pursuing the aforementioned masters help me out or should I apply to a real estate masters or MBA?

Thank you very much in advance.

Comments (2)

Feb 7, 2019

Why investment sales? If you want to leverage your community development and development experience you could try getting into LIHTC. I'm biased. Syndicators, investors, lenders, developers. You'll work with some nonprofits but also get in the weeds analytically. Any will be a good starting point. You could even do investment sales for a LIHTC group like Greysteel or cbre Seattle. Regardless of which product you work on, I'd encourage you not to go to business school at this juncture. Full disclosure I don't have a masters. But the idea is you should get some experience and figure out what you like and dislike first. You're very young so don't worry, be happy.

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Feb 7, 2019