Developers: How much time do you spend on excel vs other tasks?

Cadmonkey117's picture
Rank: Baboon | 126

Wondering about the typical day of a developer and how much time you spend crunching numbers on the computer vs. talking to people / getting your hands dirty on-site, and if this amount of time is different or if there is a progression for entry-level positions vs. higher ups, or at small firms vs. bigger firms. I'm angling to do a job search in a year-ish and personally I'd love to spend most of my time doing hands-on face to face work vs. at the computer.

PS To be honest this profession has so many blurred lines, multi-hat wearing jobs that it's hard to find out with a job search for "real estate developer". Am I missing something with the job titles?

Comments (6)

Mar 12, 2019

10-20% of the time I am working in excel. The rest is on the phone, emails, site visits etc.

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Mar 12, 2019

5-10% excel and concept site planning with my acquisitions guy for the purpose of helping put together an initial YOC to see if a deal can pass muster, then we kick it up for approvals and direct analyst to run IRR models
5% paying bills and invoices
10% legal agreements/documentation/calls with attorneys
10-20% Meeting City council members/City Managers/planning commissioners/planners
15% coordinating issues with design team, making decisions on how to mitigate cost and schedule impacts
25% responding to entitlement comments or conditions
5% reminding all consultants/vendors of their deliverables and calls with them
15% thumb turning construction drawings and providing mark up/annotations

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Mar 12, 2019

Thanks! Sounds like every day is different. And do you work at a big or small firm? Are you many years into your job or relatively fresh from school? And do you think those would be factors in how your day is structured?

Mar 12, 2019

I have about 3-4 years RE but in my 11th year post UG in my career. Every day is different and can swing dramatically. All ends of the spectrum really. Larger firm that runs lean, $1-3bn of equity being deployed at any given time on average before they sell a large portfolio and are into the next fund. @Cadmonkey117

Mar 12, 2019

I think this really depends on the type of shop you are at and the levels of support you have on the development team. In my experience working for two private developers, excel time was higher and not limited only to modeling, but also to include preparing rent comp matrices, formatting charts for deal decks, even accounting requisitions. As oher have mentioned, excel time is much heavier on the front end of deals when you are building the project budget and forecasting cash flows, or when you are going through an IC approval process and need to dust off your numbers.

In my experience the public company required much less excel maintenance. Model template is already fully built out and is really just data input that gets dusted off periodically for IC events. Other groups handle accounting issues, cost reconciliations, and other problems you will have to deal with on your own at a smaller shop.

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Mar 12, 2019
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