Day in the Life: Retail Investment Sales Broker

Hi all - although I haven't posted much, I've been lurking in the shadows for a while now. After mooching off of all the amazing posts, I figured it was time to give back as there have not been any posts related to a Day in the Life of a net lease investment sales broker.

I've been in the business for two years now and work as a retail net lease investment sales broker at a boutique firm (about 30 agents) in a major market. The team of four brokers (including me) do on average $100M per year in transactions.

5:45 AM: I do my best to be in the gym by 6:15 AM three times per week. Although I'm not a morning person I found in this business getting a workout out of the way in the morning is much easier - you never know what will come up.

7:30 AM: Out the door to the office.

8:00-8:30 AM: Arrive to the office. Get coffee. Respond to any emails that came in since the night before. Listen to rants from other brokers as they walk past my office on the way to their desks - on any given day, the topics vary from the weather to clients who owe the firm six figure commission checks for leases our tenant rep/leasing department completed.

8:30 - 9:00 AM: I try to get a to-do list for the most important tasks that need to be completed and I catch up on any market news for the few tenants that I focus on. There has been a major merger pending for two of the companies that I focus on, so I have to on top of the latest news as it comes up in conversation a handful of times everyday.

9:15 AM: Time to hit the phone and reach out to owners of auto part stores. I recently closed a deal with a 1031 exchange client at a record cap rate in our market. The buyer I represented in the deal has expressed interest in purchasing additional auto part stores and asked if I could dig up any off-market deals.

10:00 AM: I make between 10-15 calls before I receive a call from a the owner of a new listing our team just got - he wants a copy of the offering memorandum of his property before he leaves for his trip to Europe tomorrow night. My morning of soliciting new listings just took a turn. I begin working on finishing the content for the OM so I can turn it over to the marketing team.

11:45 AM: Finally finish the outline for the offering memorandum and get it to our marketing coordinator. I've sent a few proposals and marketing pieces already this week and I can tell they are jammed up, so it was more like full-on groveling to have the OM completed by the following day.

12:00 PM: I meet up with a partner from our Tenant Rep group for lunch with a mutual client. I recently sold the client a property and he has asked me to list and sell a drug store he owns, but I've yet to meet him in person (he spends the majority of his time in Florida). Lunch goes well - we discuss a few possible deals but spend the majority of the time talking golf.

1:30 PM: Back in the office. In the last month and half, I've added two new drug store listings to our inventory. In addition to selling these particular properties, I'm hoping to leverage these listings into one or two more over the next two months, so I've been marketing these properties to drug store owners in the area. So far today, I've been getting mostly negative responses and admins that claim the principals are "out of the office". Who knows, it's summer, maybe they are sitting on the beach somewhere. I did get lucky when following up with an owner that showed an interest previously - he put in a verbal offer that will not be acceptable to the Seller, but hey, an offer is an offer. It's actually not a bad first offer. I call the Seller but only get his voicemail.

3:00 PM: Meet with a broker on my team I've partnered with on a low price point net lease listing on marketing strategy. He's new to the business and I want to make sure that all everything is being done on his end so we get multiple. The owner of this property is a merchant developer that builds and sells approximately five deals per year. This is the first deal we are doing with him, so we need to do well to win his other business.

3:30 PM: I get a call from a broker in New York that I know from college. He has a client that will be in a 1031 exchange and was seeing if I had any off-market properties I can put in front of him. I have one or two that may work, but I'm not going to hold out hope. He seemed to call mainly just to brag about the deal he's selling for them. Good for him - I hope it goes through for his sake.

4:00 PM: I received an abbreviated draft OM back from the marketing team that I submitted earlier that day. After a few changes that I picked up on right away, I sent it to the Seller and followed up with a call. Other than minor changes, it was good to go. I went back to the marketing team for changes.

**4:45 PM: ** Although I have my hands full with the listings I currently have, I'm always looking to add to our inventory. I went through my current pipeline and followed up to two owners that have presented with proposals in the previous weeks. I was only able to get one on the phone and he still was not ready to pull the trigger, claiming his accountant was reviewing the numbers.

**5:30 PM: ** Printed off a standard letter that I send to owners that I can't find a phone number. This time around, I print approximately 65 letters for AutoZone owners. Although the response rate isn't very high, I've sourced a $7.5M listing through this method already, so I'm going to keep going with it.

6:15 PM: Out the door and heading home.. Hopefully checking out for the night.

9:00 PM: Get a call on my cell phone from the Seller that I called earlier in the day regarding the offer. He keeps me on the phone for 45 minutes going through every possible sale scenario (he is older and just likes to talk). He asks if I can send him an analysis of the sale at a few different price points by tomorrow afternoon, so he can decide on a counteroffer. I've done this twice already for him, so it shouldn't be too hard. I have a meeting tomorrow morning, so I'll have to spend some time doing it tonight.

11:00 PM: Finish the analysis and send it off. Respond to an email that came in regarding a conference call for tomorrow and shut my computer for the night.

Comments (40)

 
6/23/17

Thanks for taking the time to write this! Posts like this are actually really helpful

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6/23/17

What analysis versions does the old guy need? Are we not talking triple net stand alone deals?

 
6/24/17

Still all STNL. It was pretty basic and was geared more towards how much would he net after all closing costs and how much of a down payment he would have left for the up-leg of his 1031. He was looking to get more specific about how much he would cash flow in a few potential purchase scenarios, after debt service and taking into consideration taxes and depreciation.

 
6/24/17

He gave you his personal tax situation? How can you help him calculate personal tax liabilities and depreciation repercussions? Am I right to say this is super basic financial analysis? The cash flow is the cash flow. The purchase price is the purchase price.

 
6/24/17

I'll check with my accountant = a blow-off excuse. I'm sure he thought he was being polite, or he could have been buying time to get proposals from other brokers.

 
6/25/17

If you're willing to chat about it, I would love to hear about your marketing strategy of sending letters. Do you just find the address of the owner and mail them a letter stating who you and your team are, and the services you offer? Are you sending them market info? What is your response rate?

 
6/26/17

Was going to ask similar question. Sounds like basically a direct mail marketing strategy. I was going to ask if he is using Costar or something more tedious like looking up property info on county parcel map websites.

 
6/27/17

Our firm has a service that we use to pull property owner data and that is what I use to find the owners addresses. Think Google Maps with ownership info and basic list export capabilities.

 
6/27/17

Typically am sending just the intro letter stating about our team/recent deals. Depending on the specific topic of the letter I will send our market research report. Response rate is low - 2% to 5% if I had to guess. But I can't tell you how many times I've followed up with the owners that they were sent to and they remember the letters.

 
6/27/17

This is a very good response rate. Direct mail fatigue with regard to real estate in my opinion happened in the late 90's. Many firms, especially lenders stopped direct mail campaigns. 1% today is considered exceptional, beyond fantastic. I still believe that targeted and refined DM campaigns can yield good results. 2 to 5% sounds high to me, but maybe you're doing something others are not.

Ratios used to be that you would close 1 out of 10 inbound calls off a DM lead.

 
6/29/17

Typically they are pretty targeted audiences that we are sending directly to. We also try to always include information that relevant to them.

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6/26/17
mogul_wannabe:

5:45 AM: I do my best to be in the gym by 6:15 AM three times per week. Although I'm not a morning person I found in this business getting a workout out of the way in the morning is much easier - you never know what will come up.

This is key. I don't know how anyone goes after work. I'm exhausted by then and if I take pre-workout to get myself up to speed I'll be up all night.

 
 
6/26/17

I start working at home around 6:45a.m. I send out lots of emails and questions for the day early. I also do all my technical work at this time when no calls or emails will come in to distract me. Most don't even respond to my emails until later that day after lunch. I dip out to boxing or muay thai at 10am mon-thurs and get back at 12:30. Most are still at lunch. By the time 1pm comes around I'm ready to go and most are just getting back from lunch.

After 1pm I'm mainly on the phones putting out fires or working deals.

 
6/29/17

Hey MNCRE, I think you deserve a response...heck, everyone does. We're listening, sorry about the delay ...my best guess at places on WSO that could help:

  • Day in the Life: Retail Investment Sales Broker been any posts related to a Day in the Life of a net lease investment sales broker. I've been in ... that came in regarding a conference call for tomorrow and shut my computer for the night. Day Life ... the business for two years now and work as a retail net lease investment
  • Investment Banking Analyst: A True Day in the Life tomfoolery on weekdays. A Day in the Life of an Investment Banking Analyst The work of the investment banker ... in 80-90 hours a week. Lifestyle If you want to be an investment banker, work will be your life ... in addition to everything you need to know about the in
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  • More suggestions...

If we're lucky, the following pros may have something to say: @msk66 @repe0902 @CRE

I hope those threads give you a bit more insight.

 
6/27/17

Damn your shop sounds way better than mine, what state are you guys in? I work completely alone, and am in need of a team.

 
 
6/29/17

Institutions will always use brokers. It is a way for them to go back to their board and say "hey...we got the highest price. CBRE / JLL/ Cushman sold the building for us. Don't get mad that we only go an X return or sold it at a low price." For the private guys, I cannot comment.

 
6/29/17

Very helpful, thank you. Maybe it is just our secondary (southern) market that's slowing down and not indicative of the rest of the country.

 
6/29/17

Brokers are a necessary evil and exist and will exist forever in some capacity. Even in the private trades there is is often a broker working behind the scenes.

Who else will push underwriting in the direction most Accretive to RE markets??

 
6/29/17

"Who else will push underwriting in the direction most Accretive to RE markets??"

Great point.

 
6/29/17

Great point? Broker's underwriting in the OM's are useless beyond the bare bones of rental rates and actuals. Everyone knows the assumptions are inflated. Who else will be aggressive you ask? 1031 buyers, acquisition desks, new funds, anyone who needs product to buy and can't sit and wait for rates to creep up.

In any primary market, investment sales brokers are getting out more product today than yesterday. It's hot.

 
6/29/17

I love all your comments @cre123. You helped me decide to take this job in the first place - thank you. You make a better point - the markets don't need brokers. But I'm glad to hear primary markets are hot, maybe I'll move markets in a few years. Or, as soon as I have enough experience to make me legit.

 
6/29/17

As other have said brokers will always exist but in the primary markets I think we are seeing/will continue to see more consolidation based on lead broker and asset type.

As an example you will see in a certain city that all major office deals will come from one brokerage shop X while all big multi-family deals will come through one brokerage shop Y.

 
6/29/17

I turn 39 in a few weeks. I'm not old but I think I'm older than probably half the members here. There was a time before the internet. Yep, it's true. Loan payments were tallied on ledger cards. Deals were written up in blue ink with carbon paper and so on.

When the internet came around and really picked up speed in the late 90's there was talk of all brokers in all sectors being wiped out. No insurance agents "the insured can go direct", no real estate brokers "sellers and buyers can meet online". There has and will probably always be talk of brokers or "agents" becoming useless or obsolete. Time and time again this is proven to be wrong.

Major banks have taken over from the days of local S&L's, yet loan brokers till produce 80% +/- of all loan production nationwide. Been this way for a long time.

Even the most savvy of investors at the highest level still list with brokers in all major markets. Most of the Acq Managers I know in San Diego are former CBRE guys. Without blinking, if necessary could rep their company on the listing or purchase but it's not what they do now.

I have some very capable mom and pop investors. Do they know the functions of closing a deal? Certainly. We've talked about all this at length over the years. They feel they would let their emotions get the better of them. They tend to rely on brokers to not only source for them, but to be a good filter of information so that buyer and seller won't hang themselves. Which happens all the time...

 
6/27/17

Thanks for this! I'm interning at a Retail Investment Group right now that solely represents the sellers and it was neat to hear some of the stuff they might go through on their usual day. Sounds very similar to what they tell me they deal with. I'd look forward to more of this if you ever get some days that are a bit different or unusual.

 
 
6/29/17

Finding buyers is easy. Sellers are the tough part. If you call someone and they're not a seller, ask if they're a buyer.

 
6/29/17

Yes, buyers are easier to come by it seems. Sellers is much harder. Especially right now.

Here is an idea. Pull up public record on a property you like. Google search the tax mailing address. More often than not you can find out who the firm is by their address. Mom and pop owners are much harder to find.

 
 
6/29/17

PM me. I work in the field and can give you some insight.

 
6/29/17

did you ever find out? I am about to do an internship in IS and want to know what it will be like

 
 
6/29/17

cold calling.

Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis - when I was dead broke man I couldn't picture this

 
6/29/17

Are internships in PWM realistic for fresh out of a college grads?

 
6/29/17

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