Hours in REPE

Curious about the hours people work in Real Estate Private Equity. Seems like a great industry as far as a good work/life balance that still has solid compensation. People seem chill too. What does a typical day/week look like for you guys, and what does your compensation look like?

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Comments (87)

Most Helpful
Jun 24, 2021 - 7:24am

When I was in traditional private equity (fund) I was starting at 8:30 AM and working until 10-11 PM most nights Monday - Thursday. Friday I was done by 7:30 and than I worked a full day generally either Saturday or Sunday. I had plenty of weekends where I also worked a half to full day the second weekend day as well. 
So that put me in the range of 70-80 hour weeks. It was absolutely brutal. Personally, I was not built for that and have always been aware of myself that I need time to myself to decompress. I didn't know I was getting into hours that bad when I joined. 

Prior to the PE firm, I was at a Life Co, where I worked 45-60 hour weeks. Usually it was around 50. I never worked both weekend days and if I did work weekends, it was 75% of the time driven by the fact that I chose to go home each night at 730-8 the week prior and had planned to use 5 or so hours on Saturday or Sunday to get my work done. 

Due to the stupid hours I had in PE, I jumped to a developer. While I'm still new at this developer, my hours will probably be 45-60 with some weekend work maybe. I've also made the transition from acquisitions to development which I'm really excited about. 

  • Analyst 1 in RE - Comm
Jun 25, 2021 - 7:27am

Damn, was the PE fund a corporate PE fund or a real estate PE fund? What kind of workstreams did you have that required you to be putting in those hours? Was it just modelling and putting together slide decks?

Jun 25, 2021 - 7:51am

It was a real estate PE fund. The work streams were underwriting new deals, asset managing current deals, and portfolio management work. The firm had zero process or templates. The hours were driven by management who felt A) if we weren't working long hours we weren't doing our jobs and B) management setting unrealistic deadlines to 'keep the business moving.' Effectively doing a full underwriting in 24 hours. And the problem was, although possible, when 4 deals become 'urgent' (from the same acquisition officer) and everything needs to be a full underwriting, you can't do all of them. Plus, it was a heavy meeting culture, so being in meetings for 5-7 hours of 9-5 didn't help - you started your work day at 5 PM. So it became this brutal cycle of always trying to catch up on the new 'fire drill' and having someone breathing down your throat not caring if you were in meetings all day. And than another acquisition officer thinking their work should take precedent over someone else's deliverable. So…it was great fun to manage! :) 

  • VP in RE - Comm
Jun 24, 2021 - 8:50am

Middle market fund - 50 hours a week (pretty much nonstop days of grinding, half hour for grabbing a quick lunch/going for a walk), but every other week or so I would have to travel 2-3 days which were long days of flights, tours, meetings, then dinners and drinks (sounds fun, but gets exhausting).

RARELY worked weekends, maybe a few emails or finishing up/preparing for a presentation, but nothing that would ruin my weekends.

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Jun 24, 2021 - 8:43pm

Not in PE, but one of the brokers at the firm where I'm interning took me with him to meetings with a bunch of clients and property tours, it was a lot of fun running around the city for the day but can totally see how it can get exhausting after a few years of doing it.

  • Director in RE - Res
Jun 24, 2021 - 6:45pm

Similar to others I work 50-60 hours per week, very minimal weekend work. And I generally set my own working hours (I come in around 9, leave around 5:30, and hop back on if I need to around 8).

From a comp perspective ~$250k all-in and another $150k-$250k in carry.

  • Intern in RE - Comm
Jun 24, 2021 - 7:28pm

That's like 42 hours if you're working through lunch haha. Soo are you just logging on for 2-4 hours every single night? I feel like I would rather just stay at the office at that point.

Also, how many years experience do you have? And what exactly is the nature of the carry - realized at end of fund life?

  • Director in RE - Res
Jun 24, 2021 - 7:37pm

I have kids so I go home for dinner and yeah then I hop back on for a few hours. Also this is an average, when there's a live deal/deadlines then hours can get higher, typical non-stressed week is somewhere in the 40s.

8 years of experience. Carry vests 25% per year starting from when we close each deal.

  • Director in RE - Res
Jun 24, 2021 - 7:11pm

We're almost exclusively multifamily. Fund is ~$2b AUM.

CEO is an ex-lawyer, but more of a politician than anything (he'll be holding a position in the current administration). Of the other partners 2 are lawyers, one is home grown, and the other 3 are RE guys.

  • Analyst 1 in RE - Comm
Jun 24, 2021 - 7:12pm

Do you guys do mostly value add and opportunistic deals? This comp is insane. What was your prior work experience.

  • Intern in RE - Comm
Jun 25, 2021 - 10:51am

Damn this thread is pretty depressing haha. I think people really underestimate just how bad a 60 hour week is. That means you have just 2 hours or so each night to decompress and exercise (god forbid you didn't eat dinner at work). I don't know how long I could sustain that lifestyle. At that point what are you as a person besides a vessel for work

Jun 25, 2021 - 10:58am

Welcome to WSO, where 60 hours is an easy work week - real estate hours are generally considered manageable compared to PE/HF or especially banking (where analysts notoriously work 80-100 hours on average).

Remember, the 50-60 hours people here are citing are averages, so a lot of the time you're working 40 hours one week then 70 another week. When you're only slammed one week a month and otherwise working 45-50 hours its not that bad (and for any high paying career, very normal - nobody's going to pay you multiple hundreds of thousands a year to work 40 hours a week).

  • Intern in RE - Comm
Jun 25, 2021 - 2:35pm

nobody's going to pay you multiple hundreds of thousands a year to work 40 hours a week).

Tech. There's a reason they're winning the most talent these days

Jun 25, 2021 - 5:58pm

Not to mention a big chunk of those 20-30 extra hours above the standard 40 often consists of meetings, conversations, general "face time", etc. A lot of the time you aren't actually "working", or using your brain and doing actual analysis. Still exhausting though, don't get me wrong, but often isn't necessarily as bad as it sounds. At the end of the day, it's role/company/cycle dependent.

  • VP in RE - Comm
Jul 14, 2021 - 12:27pm


nobody's going to pay you multiple hundreds of thousands a year to work 40 hours a week).

It's not so much the hours, but the facetime. At my firm, folks leave at 5-6p, but will log on and email at night at home with their kids/families. Tons of RE companies out there with good WLB and culture. Anything above 50 hour of facetime a week in the office average falls into the category of a "sweat shop" - in my opinion.

Jun 25, 2021 - 11:03am

I think it depends. I've had many 60 hour weeks when we are busier, but I'm also fully remote, so I might work 8am-7pm M-F and then 4-5 hrs scattered on the weekend, this is versus my 40-50 hour week in corp dev where I had to wake up at 7:15am to leave 8:15am to get to work in the office, leave at 5:30pm and get home at 6;30pm. So my days are really no different even though I am working 1-2 extra hours a day, most of that time would've been sitting in traffic.

Long work hours are magnified if you are in an office and have to commute though. And like CREnadian said, I've had plenty of weeks post-mortem of a deal that I work from 10am-6pm and don't do anything on the weekend. Every job in finance that pays $200K+ will have  some 60 hour weeks, many 50 hour weeks, and some 40 hour weeks. 

  • Analyst 3+ in RE - Comm
Jun 28, 2021 - 12:50pm

Keep in mind that during those 60 or so hours a week, you aren't using your brain all 60 hours

Most days I work about 10-12 hours, but sometimes I'm just monitoring my inbox/chats to make sure no fire drills came up. I've spent whole days doing just that. So take the hours with a grain of salt and it certainly varies by firm/team

  • Analyst 1 in RE - Comm
Jun 25, 2021 - 1:13pm

At a $2B family fund. All GP capital. My boss works 25-30 hours a week. Due to the learning curve, I'm working 50 hours a week. 

  • Analyst 1 in RE - Comm
Jul 10, 2021 - 12:58pm

Nice, fancy doing a small write up on the role? how you got it, comp, risk type, responsibilities etc? I'm at an institutional developer right now and would be really interested in hearing about this kind of shop!

Jun 28, 2021 - 11:47am

For everyone that worked in a corporate REPE firm, what were some of the financial levers/analysis that made upper management pull the trigger on properties? What were some key financial takeaways that are important when analyzing each deal besides the typical IRR etc.?

  • Director in RE - Res
Jun 29, 2021 - 3:34pm

The key metric most shops are going to look at is your stabilized Yield on Cost and Cash on Cash, or in other words, what return am I going to get on my money after I've done all of the improvements I'm going to do to the asset.

Jul 7, 2021 - 6:12pm

Not too many REPE shops really solve for a COC return. The pension funds and endowments that are coming up with 95%+ of this money tend to care more about total return.

YOC / ROC is definitely an important metric for development / deals with heavy lifts. May not mean quite as much / be markedly different from cap rate on many deals.

Jul 7, 2021 - 6:10pm

IRR (and how much of it you're juicing with a bullshit exit cap) and Price per Pound (both entry and exit relative to market) are some of the main items for overall supply and demand products (multifamily, select service hospitality, self storage, parking assets, etc). Retail and Office can become a whole different animal depending on the asset and I've really only done those deals from a debt perspective so don't have much to constructively add.

  • Analyst 1 in RE - Comm
Jul 6, 2021 - 8:59pm

How many years of experience? I'm going into a MF this year and have been trying to figure out comp (base and bonus) progression through analyst years. Happy to do a pm as well

Jul 7, 2021 - 6:18pm

Senior Analyst at a GP with megafund REPE LP's (so lots of deal volume and roll up your sleeve kinda capital). Tough to benchmark as I had a very non traditional path through and through, but comp all in is $175-$200 range. 9:30/10-10/11 M-Th. 10-6/7 Friday. Limited weekend work. So something +/- 60 hour weeks. The IB board tells me this is a light workload, but frankly, it isn't easy not being able to make any plans to do anything on the weekdays. Packing your entire social life into the weekends can be difficult. Worth it for me right now, but I don't see myself being able to keep this up past a 2-4 year kinda run.

  • Associate 1 in PE - Other
Jul 8, 2021 - 3:00pm

A1 at MF REPE was doing 70 hours/week on average, 60 being light weeks and 80-100 sprints for 4-6 weeks at a time every quarter. 160 all in, and averaged ~4 hours of sleep/night due to insomnia along with long hours. 

Now at a LMM/MM REPE working 40-50 and making 100 all in. Much prefer the better hours, and quite frankly better/chiller team since nobody is stressed out from not sleeping for months on end. 

  • Analyst 1 in RE - Comm
Jul 10, 2021 - 1:02pm

Awesome, congrats mate. Out of curiosity what's it like at lmm/mm? what is your typical deal size? is there higher return potential because its smaller deals and less institutional?

Jul 8, 2021 - 10:11pm

If I'm an analyst in a non-real estate banking coverage group - is there any chance of getting into REPE for an associate role? Or do REPE funds really prefer those coming from REGL etc. backgrounds? 

Jul 9, 2021 - 10:08am

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  • Analyst 1 in RE - Comm
Jul 10, 2021 - 4:09pm

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