Graduating without a job offer

Looks like I will be graduating without anything lined up. I have a family connection to a large brokerage and may possibly be able to land an appraisal role there, but not going to rely on that since nothing is set in stone. Anyway, what should I be doing this summer? My plan is to:

1) Get certified in ARGUS. I know it is expensive and I know there are mixed opinions on if it is necessary, but I am coming from a non-CRE background with no prior relevant internships. I'm doing this to a) show interest and b) gain some experience. Also get certified in REFM 1-3, since I already have the courses.

2) Network heavily. Cold emails and coffee meet ups. I did not network much this semester since I'm hours away from my home city and had an intense work load; am now regretting that decision. Would love some networking advise if anyone has any.

3) Study technical interview questions. I went into an interview the other day with a SMD whom I had briefly met prior (was at his office for an ARGUS training), and was not expecting to be asked some of the technicals he threw at me. I answered them, but I could tell my answers were not as detailed as he was hoping for.

Would like to hear yalls feedback if there is anything else I am missing, or any experience with graduating without a position lined up. Also, if anyone is willing to review my resume, that'd be awesome. Thanks.

Comments (48)

May 11, 2019

I'm in the same boat man

May 11, 2019

It's definitely a bummer, but I'm ready to get out there and grind. What kind of positions are you targeting? And I think I saw your name a while back in a groupme, so we might be in the same market lol.

May 18, 2019

Only going for acquisitions roles. I have had a few interviews in last 2 weeks since graduation, but I'm going to send out more emails to keep the ball rolling/make future connections. Considered brokerage and lending, but acquisitions is what I found fits my skillset best.

May 12, 2019

That all looks good, depending on what you want to go into Argus can be very useful. I recently graduated as well (December) and I was in the same place. For networking and cold calling I'd suggest target the bigger shops for brokerage (if that's what you want to do), but also look into boutiques in the city you want to be in. I had some previous RE exp and was a non RE/Finance major and it was hard, but keep going. Also don't rely on your family friend (which it seems like you aren't doing), I did that in the beginning and was waiting for people to get back to me which was a mistake.

Whenever you get on the phone/meet with someone try to get another contact or two to reach out to and see if you can use their name in the intro. That helped me get in touch with a lot of people I wouldn't have, I used the mutual connections name in the email and got a better response rate. Everything on the list is great, it's going to be hard, but keep reaching out to people. Good luck and let me know if you have any questions, I'd be happy to help in any way I can.

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May 13, 2019

Looking to get into ARGUS in case I land up doing retail/office really. And thanks for the networking tip, that sounds great. Back when I first was doing cold calls with people last summer, that was one of the things I always either forgot to do or asked kind of awkwardly.

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May 13, 2019

I sometimes didn't want to ask, but even when I did some people said they would help and then not give me anyone else to reach out to.

May 13, 2019

Don't be afraid of doing a post-grad internship. Something that is not completely uncommon in RE, although you may see kids list it as an "Analyst" stint on their resume or LinkedIn.

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May 13, 2019

Oh for sure. The SMD I met last week was actually for what I thought was an internship position, but turned out he was only looking for a FT analyst. I can't work as a FT analyst there because I'm moving back to my home city after the summer. I'm waiting on him to get back to me about possibly having me come on as an intern.

May 14, 2019

why would you move back to your hometown if you locked down a job in another city??????

May 13, 2019

Maybe take the adventuresinCRE accelerator class as well? Sign up for CFA Lvl 1 December?

ULI and NAIOP are good things to sign up for as well.

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May 13, 2019

How is that course? I already have BIWS and REFM 1-3 to keep me busy, but have been curious about accelerator. And will definitely be joining those as well and possibly ICSC.

May 13, 2019

Dude don't sweat it too much. You're just starting out not everyone lands a gig immediately out of school. You may need to start out as an intern somewhere for a little bit but work hard at it to convert to full-time.

In terms of your strategy:
1). I don't recommend focusing on Argus too much. Work on understanding how to build a basic excel model and the finance concepts before spending on Argus. Argus can be a lot of money to shell out when its not the widely used in the industry. However, maybe others can change my mind on this if they have a different experience.
2). Network heavily. Yes focus on this. You're still young enough to pull the student card even if you are graduating in a few weeks. Leverage it that way with as many coffee chats as you can. If they don't have any opportunity for you, ask for who you could talk to next. Also, make use of the phone and make calls. This doesn't mean you immediately need to call someone on the spot, but be comfortable with it. Making a follow up call to someone you sent an email to can grab their attention sooner than resending an email to go to the top of their inbox. Be ready to make your pitch when you do get on the phone with them. Consider buying the WSO networking guide, i think its only $49 but can be money well-spent for now.
3). Technicals. The degree of this can vary quite a bit. I've been through some interviews where it was entirely fit and just gauging your interest in RE, not a single technical, or only basic ones i.e. what's a cap rate, describe what NOI is. Don't neglect studying technicals but make sure you understand them the basic ones at least.

Is there something specific you're targeting or are you not sure where in real estate you want to be?

May 13, 2019

No where too specific; I would like to start in appraisal, IS, or debt/equity placement, and hopefully able to cover several asset classes. I would eventually like to end up in acquisitions/development.

May 16, 2019

Sorry for the late reply. If you're interested in acquisition and development roles too, don't be afraid to network with those guys as well. IS and debt/equity placement are "traditional" in terms of the prior experience, but there are people I've seen hop into it right away out of school.

May 13, 2019

I'm in the exact same boat. I have made numerous final round interviews, but my problem was that a lot of jobs were looking for 1-3 years experience and I only had a summer analyst position under my belt. My main approach to this summer is going to be networking. I'm going to move to the city I want to work in and just network the shit out of my connections there. I was looking into ARGUS as well but decided against it mainly due to the financial constraints. It is way to expensive for me and I would rather get a job and if they want me to learn it I will ask for a sponsorship, or wait until I make enough money. I am going to focus heavily on not only the technicals, but also applying them to the underwriting spreadsheets that I already have.

I'm definitely bummed and it is a shitty place to be in, but just have to keep working at it. Like many people said I may take a internship just so that I can stay in the industry instead of working some job that isn't related to what I want to do.

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May 13, 2019

Good luck my dude, you got this

May 13, 2019

.

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May 13, 2019

Thanks for sharing your experience, glad to hear you landed somewhere good. And I would definitely consider volunteering, I think. I know I for sure would work for free if I was still in college, but part of me also feels like that would make people think I don't value myself as a college graduate? However, I can definitely see the benefits of doing this.

May 30, 2019

I don't think people would think you don't value yourself, but that you're willing to do whatever it takes to get the experience. In my eyes, I'd at least hear you out and see if you were worth the time. It's not even really about them paying you, it's them taking time out of their day to train you.

Also, def recommend doing the WSO resume review, I did it, and it sucked to pay $200 when I already had a strong resi, but I started getting a lot more traction afterward.

Jul 13, 2019

Don't forget constantly lying on your resume! You where an intern at Related!

May 14, 2019
CodyParkey:

2) Network heavily. Cold emails and coffee meet ups. I did not network much this semester since I'm hours away from my home city and had an intense work load; am now regretting that decision. Would love some networking advise if anyone has any.

This is far more important than 1 and 3. You need to know 3, because a base level of knowledge is required, but if you aren't actively seeking people out you're wasting your time.

You should be aiming for 2-3 phone calls or coffees a day and reaching out to as many people (literally hundreds) as it takes to lock those down. Get a short and to the point email put together (feel free to post here so people can give you advise), find a way to personalize it, and blast it to anyone you are interested in working for.

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May 14, 2019

I got some good responses to emails and good phone calls when I was trying to learn more about CRE a year ago. Basically "how did you get into this industry" type questions. What approach should I take to these emails, now that I'm actually actively searching for a job? Should I make them aware that I am trying to work for them?

May 14, 2019

Always best to get a reference/ email intro to that person from someone you already know in the business. Go meet them, don't ask for a job at their company (they know you want one). If they like you and they have an opening , they'll ask you to send them your resume (may ask before you meet them) and they'll take you to the front of the line. If they don't have an opening they may send you to one of their friends... always ask who else you should talk to and ask if they mind introducing you. Never ask for a job directly, everyone knows you need one, but they want to see that you're thoughtful about how you're approaching this and you don't want to look desperate.

I always used some tailored iteration of the email below:

Dear Joe (Blow) - hope your are doing well.

I had breakfast/lunch/coffee/beers with Billy Brokedick last week and he mentioned I should reach out to you to learn more about tenant rep/ investment sales/ development/ acquisitions/whatever it is they do. I just graduated from _____ University with a degree in Generic Business Studies and had done a real estate internship at ______ Partners, and I'm taking some time to explore which area of real estate I'm looking to get into. I'm most drawn to _____(whatever field they work in) , and I'd love to grab coffee or lunch with you next week to pick your brain and learn more about your experience in _____ (their field) in XYZ city. I'm pretty wide open so just let me know if there is a time that works well for you.

Cody

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May 16, 2019

If you want to get into real estate...why not start off as a broker?

just google it...you're welcome

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May 16, 2019

If you search around, there's a lot of info on this forum on the various reasons why starting as a broker is not ideal for everyone.

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May 16, 2019

my sister in law was a personal trainer for years...recently switched careers to become a residential real estate broker (selling single family houses). She's making over 300k/year. Seems like a great way to break into the industry to me

just google it...you're welcome

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May 30, 2019

one does not simply "start off as a broker"

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May 16, 2019

I'm also in a similar situation. Just graduated and applied to FT positions this past fall and spring, but only got one interview. I wasn't really sure what to do - didn't want to go back home, so I'm doing one of those internship abroad programs for the summer. I made the mistake of focusing on school too much instead of getting more experience (only did one internship in school & caddied during the summers).

I figure now is a good time to do some traveling and try and brush up on those high school language classes. I'm also doing ILTS to keep myself busy and thinking about signing up for the SIE or CFA when I get back.

May 16, 2019

With your last game against the Eagles, I wouldn't hire you either.

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May 22, 2019

I've been thinking about writing a thread about this the past couple of days, but figured it will get too much shit. Just came across this and felt it was a good opportunity to share this. Before I get around to this personal topic that many won't care about, I'm now two years into acquisitions so feel free to DM me any questions you may have about your search in acquisition.

As I graduated a Midwest state school with an okay business program, I had zero job offers after working my ass off networking. I'm originally from the tri-state area so had a decent amount of connections in finance, as well as alumni.

I interned at a MM bank, think Piper, Cowen, etc. Figured I would get my return offer and have a fun relaxing senior year.Unfortunately my group traditionally gave low return offers and I did not receive one. Networked immediately and landed several first round interviews and even made it to superdays at Guggenheim, Lazard, JPM, and two MM banks.

Rejection after rejection and talking to pretty much any size IB, I had nothing by the time summer rolled around. It got to me and I really questioned if I had any solid career trajectory and what I would end up doing with my life.

Finally, I had an alum who my relationship started with entering junior year, connect me with someone in acquisitions at a firm in Texas where I am now. Could not be happier and truly enjoy my job each day.

My advice to you: While you may think now that it's acquistions or bust, as I though with IB, open up your search and cast a wider net. I had never really thought of this as a career path and am kicking myself for my narrow-mindedness in college. While I know it's stressful, just continue to look hard and things should work out.

Sorry to hijack your thread, but have been meaning to post about this given that it's graduation time.

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May 22, 2019

This is awesome.

May 23, 2019

I'm in the same boat. Getting interviews for AM/Acquisitions roles because of a great junior year internship at a major reit but honestly surprised at how many excel modelling tests I've come across and I think I haven't been doing well on those. I just recently signed up for the ACRE accelerator and kicking myself for not doing a RE modelling course earlier, I just think I didn't realize how prevalent it would be in undergrad recruiting but I guess it just that competitive.

Also to people saying to take a full time unpaid internship, I would but its honestly harder to get those since I've only seen like 3 openings for positions like that. Haven't even gotten interviewed for one and not surprised given that amount of volume of applicants they get.

May 30, 2019

Yeah, I've seen the modeling test in case study form a lot on the hunt for FT. This was the traditional IB side tho. For the CRE side, I had to take a written exam comprised of finance and real estate finance and an actual writing portion for the offer I just accepted.

You'd be surprised how many companies HR department sucks at posting stuff. Teams will often have "off-market" positions available and then fill them before HR gets a chance to post it. So just reach out for coffee chats, I've even offered to buy them Starbs so they wouldn't have to leave their office. Do what you have to for networking and always ask whomst you should speak to next after the chat.

May 25, 2019

Even though every job hunt thread emphasizes this - the importance of networking cannot be stressed enough. I've taken two jobs in my career, an offer was made before HR even posted the bs job req to the internet to fulfill the company requirement of fair chance to everyone. I don't know what percentage but I would say a large faction of the real estate jobs have a list of a few guys they're going to bring in before they even blast out the job req on LinkedIn or SL. What I'm saying is, figure out a way to at least be one of the 4-5 guys they think of bringing in before the job req goes out.

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May 26, 2019
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May 28, 2019
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