Dress Code in Real Estate Asset Management

I want to share an experience I just had on my third week of being a first year analyst in RE AM. To give a little background, I work in a second tier east coast market (Atlanta, Charlotte, Miami, DC etc) working at a large AM firm. The dress code here is very business professional, as in casual Friday is tie with no jacket. So this morning I'm in the elevator with a first year analyst, a VP known to have a short fuse and we are all going up. When we finally get to our floor, the VP turns to the analyst and says "Mike, is there a cookout that I don't know about? Why the f***k are you wearing khakis?" Trying not to die laughing, I went to my desk holding it back with everything I had.

My question to you guys is, what is the dress code for other sectors of RE? I know my company is very formal, but what are dress codes like in your shops?

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Comments (42)

Jul 25, 2017

I work in REPE in a major east coast city. I work with the acquisitions team and generally wear chinos or jeans, loafers or dress shoes, and a shirt (no tie). We are suppose to wear a suit if meeting with a new operating partner but that never happens, especially in the summer.

Our AM associate is currently rocking sperrys, jeans, and a golf polo.

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Best Response
Jul 25, 2017

Your firm sounds totally douchey and I don't think I'd want to be employed there.

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Jul 28, 2017

We have clients come in every day, so it's expected to dress up. As for the VP, yes he is a douche.

Jul 25, 2017

Work at a large investment shop in a major city, extremely casual. Brooks bros button down, H Belt, brooks bros chinos and gamo loafers. Fridays is even more casual, polo, johnny-o mulligan shorts, omega belt and todds

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Sep 7, 2017

lol "todds"...

you have try hard written all over you. at least spell it correctly.

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Jul 25, 2017

REO AM: Fairly casual. A couple guys, myself included, will wear sport coats into work and get slightly ribbed for it. Khakis/Slacks with either button-downs or polos is normal, jeans fridays.

University of Chicago

Jul 25, 2017

It's going to vary wildly between company to company. I interviewed for a place that was purely suit and tie. Where I work now is anywhere from button down and slacks to polo and khakis to polo and jeans. Some days I shave, some days I don't.

Jul 25, 2017

Development seems to have fairly relaxed dress standards... When you've been successful with house money you don't have to impress anyone. Shorts aren't unheard of at my shop.

Jul 28, 2017

Fairly certain that the floor of around 50-75 people I work with would come to a complete stop if someone came off the elevator in shorts lol

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Jul 28, 2017

I work at a development shop where it's just me (associate) and the principal. He wears a country club polo everyday with chinos, jeans, or shorts.

I walked in one day wearing a dress shirt, dress pants, and dress shoes (clothes I had in my closet from when I was in banking not too long ago), and he looked at me and said, "Well, shit... You must be important."

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Jul 25, 2017

I worked for a REIT that changed leadership and went from suit and tie to slacks and a button down.

I've been interviewing quite a bit at principal side investors/developers/reits and every single one has been business casual (no ties, jeans and polos on Fridays). A couple others were so casual you can wear shorts to work which I've never experienced but think is dope.

Jul 25, 2017

T-shirt, White Blazer and loafer-no socks. Also your best friend is a black guy.

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Jul 25, 2017

Major market development. Slacks, loafers, button down dress shirt. Jacket or suit no tie when attending out of office meetings or having important people into the office.

Jul 25, 2017

How did Mike react? LOL

Jul 28, 2017

Mike shit bricks!

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Jul 26, 2017

I'm with a large CRE brokerage firm in a second tier east coast market like where you are and am required to wear suit and tie everyday. Interns all the way up to senior management is expected to be in suit and tie. I would say overall though that it varies firm to firm.

Jul 26, 2017

I'm brand new (second week) in RE public finance consulting on the East Coast; I am the only one in the office who doesn't show up in jeans, flip flops, shorts, T-shirts... ad nauseum. We work with dozens upon dozens of developers, who are not much more formal.

Jul 28, 2017

Not to throw shade at your firm, but I would not be doing business with anyone that showed up in flip flops, shorts and T-shirts. Call me old fashioned, but appearance is everything.

Jul 25, 2017

You're a first year analyst. Would you be the one making that decision anyhow? Chances are your boss will tell you who you do business with, just like chances are that the developers dress up a bit more when it comes to important meetings.

As I said above, my company is mainly button down and slacks or golf shirt and polo, so it's a bit more than shorts and flops, but I also know developers who look like Cali skaters. Blonde hair down to their shoulders, beard, skinny jeans, "fashionable" short sleeve button downs, forearm tats, etc. One in particular is absurdly successful and intelligent regardless of his appearance, so it would be financially irresponsible not to deal with him because he doesn't have a suit, tie, and a pinkie ring.

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Jul 28, 2017

No, I would not be making that decision, my boss would.

You can dress the way you want, but how you do says something about you. If you're absurdly successful and intelligent, it doesn't really matter what you wear because you are past proving yourself. Humans will evaluate based on first appearance, it is a natural instinct. Sure, a developer from California can dress like he just finished a SUPREME photo shoot, but it is a very very small segment of CRE that can do this. Most, but not all, professionals that work in CRE deal with clients on a day to day basis.

As for the comment that I replied to in regard to CONSULTING... its hard to imagine getting financial advice from someone in flip-flops and a T-shirt. Sure, I could be wrong about this, but you are really limiting your company to a very small segment of the market as mentioned above. I get that people dress up for special meetings, but flip-flops at the office just sounds like you could care less about your work.

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Jan 20, 2018

I agree with this. Whether you work with an institutional partner or with a private developer, you want to dress like you're serious. You may know you're highly intelligent, but the opposite party doesn't. Also, RE is a pretty conservative industry. You don't want to off-put the old israeli billionaire that wanders into your office.

Jul 26, 2017

Exactly my initial reaction. We do both structuring/consulting and bond administration, and I am learning it's mostly the admin folk who dress so poorly. Obviously nobody walks into client meetings that way, and being my second week I'm to the 9s every day.

Other analysts wear jeans/golf shirts as they are modeling all day and don't see clients. It's not my taste, but they seem to take care of business.

Jul 28, 2017

IMO, dressing nicely makes for a more productive day. My first job I ever had was waving a pizza sign at traffic. To this day, I have always held the mentality of dress for the job that you want, not the job you have. Good luck! Kill it man!

Jul 26, 2017

I would have to agree. Back at you brother!

Aug 1, 2017

I think that is true within reason. I dress to the level where I'm not self conscious about it (I never want to question if what I'm wearing is inappropriate or not be able to go into a meeting if necessary), but not be uncomfortable (to me that would be unnecessarily wearing a tie).

Additionally, If I'm going to be spending 12 hours in the office on a Sunday, I'm not going to be wearing a button down and wool slacks; you will find me wearing jeans and a polo.

Jul 28, 2017

Its hard to tell in NYC. RE cuts through so many comunities. Its a bit crazy to see. In my firm people show up from everything from shorts and a t-shirt to custom made suits. The guy in the t-shirt was making more money then the guy in the custom made suits. An extremely big developer I know wears yeezys,shorts,a few gold chains and a massive gold watch (looked like a kingpin). Most RE people dont care.

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Jul 28, 2017

"Looked like a kingpin" lol must be an urban developer

Just a thought... What do these highly successful people that wear shorts to the office, wear when they go to a club or high profile event? Dressing down for work and dressing up afterwards?

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Jul 25, 2017
Don Johnson:

Just a thought... What do these highly successful people that wear shorts to the office, wear when they go to a club or high profile event? Dressing down for work and dressing up afterwards?

Why is that so weird to you? Again, I don't go as far as to wear shorts to work, but for a high profile event I put on a suit or a tux and I don't go "to a club" because I'm not Pitbull. If I go to a bar after work I'm wearing the same business casual I wear to work and if I'm going to a bar some other time I'm either wearing shorts and a shirt or pants and a short depending on the time of year.

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Jul 28, 2017
CRE:

I'm Pitbull

I knew this day would come. WSO poster outed as Pitbull

Jul 28, 2017

Nobody has gotten a hand job in cargo shorts since 'nam

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Jul 25, 2017

Who said anything about cargo shorts?

Jul 28, 2017

I'm absolutely fine with casual wear.

But shorts? Get the fuck outta here

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Jul 28, 2017

Major PERE London: Suits every day but no ties. After lunch some people wear sports stuff (if they don't have appointments), because it is quite common to go the gym

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Jul 28, 2017

I'm confused. I thought everyone in RE AM wears Timberland boots and hard hats

And that all investment staff wear beer goggles

Jul 28, 2017

You might be confusing RE AM with the after party of a Sean Paul music video

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Jul 28, 2017

I am glad to work as a data scientist for a west coast tech firm - shorts, t-shirt and vans.
If I am sent to met with clients to discuss technical items, I'll wear jeans, button-up and a sports coat. Even then I feel to dressed-up - I would do terrible on the east coast.


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Jul 25, 2017

Just the northeast. The south isn't shorts, t-shirts, and sneakers casual, but it's way more relaxed than the people with bad weather

Aug 1, 2017

I'm at a lifeco in the NYC area. We are business casual (Chinos/slacks + a button down; a polo is acceptable, but I've only seen it once in my group in the last 2 months). If a client is in, people will wear a jacket or suits. No jeans on Friday, except for the summer.

Aug 1, 2017

Acquisitions in a major market - business professional daily, no tie on Friday in summer.

Jan 20, 2018
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Jan 21, 2018
Jan 26, 2018