Hours/Work-Life Balance for Capital Markets

Have been networking with the some brokerages (JLL, CBRE) and have heard a couple different anecdotes. Eastdil obviously has the most hours, they are working similar to an IB workstyle, but have talked with the Miami office of JLL/CB and heard they also tend to work 60-70 hour weeks, but their pay is more like $120-$150k. 

In terms of T2 cities (Boston, Seattle, Chicago) what is the expected work life balance for JLL/CBRE analysts within IS or D/E? Should I expect most of my weekdays to be 9am - 9pm if I pursue them?

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Comments (25)

  • Associate 1 in RE - Comm
Jan 7, 2021 - 6:14pm

I'm thinking as much, the Miami office is apparently highest volume for debt for JLL, and the associate says most brokers are making $500k, but the job is like IB lite.

The IS office in Seattle seems like a much more relaxed office, but the pay is almost identical, so trying to understand if I should expect similar hours.

  • Associate 1 in AM - Other
Jan 8, 2021 - 3:21pm

I think it definitely depends on the team/product, as well as the location, but I'm familiar with the Seattle JLL office, and am pretty sure they put in some late nights... I would say on average it's probably around 9-9ish, but there will be nights where you're working until midnight or later (as well as some nights where you go home at 6.

  • Analyst 1 in RE - Comm
Jan 8, 2021 - 2:52pm

Am a current analyst at one of those firms in NYC, regularly work from 9am-10,12pm M-TH with some weekend work. Working on some deals with our regional colleagues seems like they work slightly less. I think 9am-9pm would be reasonable. If it is JLL analyst pay is around 100-150, there is a fee revenue split for all deals with the juniors (adopted from HFF), just from speaking with some friends. I would imagine associate to break 200k in any of those markets.

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  • Associate 1 in AM - Other
Jan 8, 2021 - 3:26pm

I'd be curious if anyone knows how JLL's hours compare to some of the other firms.... CBRE, CW, NKF, etc.

Do these firms have similar hours across the board? Or do they have different hours/culture?

Mar 4, 2021 - 5:02pm

The market I'm in (South East) all the CBRE, JLL and Eastdil analysts are a pretty tight knit group. The running joke is we've never actually met a CW analyst.

Also as always, hours depend on the teams production. One Debt team here runs 8-10pm consistently M-TH while some IS analysts can check out at 6pm most days. I would say a fair estimate is to expect ~60 hours a week with some weekends if a deal is going live or about to close.

Jan 8, 2021 - 8:37pm

Hours are completely team (Read: Director) dependent as an associate at CB/JLL/CW. If your MD is in the office by 7:30 am, strolling in at 9 will leave you looking for a new gig in short order even if you were working till 12 the night before. High powered individuals get to work early and working till the wee hours is rarely commendable and usually detrimental. 

On a team like this expect to work from 7-8 AM to 6-8 PM. 50-65 hours per week sounds about right. In my experience, 9 am - 5 pm were the "money hours" where you should be slamming the phones and running deals. BOVS, news, call lists and any busy work should be completed outside of these hours. It was NOT a good look to be working a BOV in the middle of the day. An associate's work is never finished. There's always another thing you can do to get ahead and the ones who recognize this and strike the right balance succeed.

Don't miss this type environment in the slightest and find myself more motivated and working harder than ever. There's better ways to inspire hard work and success than someone breathing down your neck constantly. 

Mar 5, 2021 - 12:26pm

Brokerage is a "make hay while the sun shines" kinda business. Because it is so cyclical and dependent on economic factors outside of your control, you can't ever let down when the times are good and have bust ass even harder during bad times. Definitely a fast paced, competitive, and intense business if you've got a ripe niche/opportunity to exploit.

The vast majority of brokers are ex-athlete Type A personalities, and thus the market expects an aggressive approach to survive. It's not my cup of tea personally, but I am an ex-athlete and have only been able to survive by reverting back to sports mentality and treating it like a professional athlete (and TBF, we should, as we can make as much as most professional athletes). I don't see myself staying in this forever, but the money is too good to pass up not be willing to suffer a bit for a few years. The work can be quite fun and exhilarating, it's just exhausting.

Some smaller local brokerage shops can sometimes have a slower pace where you can do the 20-30 hour a week $200-$300k a year thing, but typically only after you've busted ass making over $1m in previous years at a different shop.

  • Analyst 3+ in RE - Comm
Jan 8, 2021 - 9:33pm

Team dependent which is usually the answer to a lot of these questions, but you can assume to be working at min 50-60 hours a week, max can be like IB hours, even at firms below the big three. Comp (read bonus) makes up for it. I'm at a middle-sized brokerage doing d&e and have taken home $180k+ two years in a row. 2020 - we'll see.

Jan 9, 2021 - 11:10am

Varies a lot between firms and teams.  When I worked in IS (big shop, big city), I only worked about 9-7 Monday-Thursday and very rarely worked late or on weekends and often went home early on Fridays to either WFH or just start the weekend early.  There were analysts in my bullpen that worked for other brokers that would only work 9-5 and one that regularly stayed later than me and worked weekends.  We were structured in a way where basically each analyst was paired with a broker and did 100% of their work, so it totally depended on who you were matched with.  In other offices at my firm, the analysts were a pooled resource for all brokers, and some offices would be 40-50 hours and others were borderline  IB hours, so again totally all over the place... this was at CBRE/CW/JLL/HFF.

I think it would be a waste of time to try to gauge how other teams/offices work and just try to find out what its like for the position you are interviewing for.

  • 5
  • Associate 1 in RE - Comm
Jan 9, 2021 - 12:38pm

I definitely agree, I think within IS it will all come down to the team structure and the brokers that you are working for. With that in mind, I have the opportunity to move jobs to IS in Seattle from REPE that I'm working remotely. I really like the job I'm in, but we do about 5 deals a year and I make ~$75K in comp (I get equity when we hit $1B in AUM though). The offer in Seattle is with a team that does $3B in sales a year and analysts make $120-$150k/yr, but I'm not sold on having to cold call when I become a producer. I don't mind sourcing deals from the capital side or raising funds, because we have solid network with my fund, but is the comp worth it to double my pay considering I'm at a pretty small firm?

Additionally, because the REPE firm is small, benefits are kinda hazy, no 401k or a set PTO schedule. Much less structure which is good and bad.

Most Helpful
Mar 5, 2021 - 12:44pm

Anything that gets you closer to the actual deal is a valuable opportunity in this business. If it comes with a pay raise, even better! Working in IS will typically get you closer to the deal than any other path at a young age, and deal-making and relationship building is at the very core of real estate. Learning how to cold call is one of the most valuable skills you will ever learn. Sales in general really because if you ever want to get into a position to start making deals happen on the principal side and make real money, you are going to have to learn how to sell, meet new people, and find unique opportunities.

Great opportunities don't just fall in people's lap, so if you want to add value you are going to have to go find those deals. Primarily by calling because nobody likes to do it. But also, almost everything a high-level real estate principal does is some form of selling, networking, delegating, or prospecting. They are constantly meeting new specialists, capital sources, brokers, etc and selling all these people on their vision and investment philosophy to get deals done. All this is done either over the phone or in person. Real estate is fundamentally a relationship business and you can't build relationships and a track-record without meeting new people and selling. 

May 8, 2021 - 3:03am

 I want to share this advice because I genuinely had no clue what I wanted to do for work before I got this job and with no family in real estate. 

I'm an analyst on the debt team in LA. People generally leave the office from 9pm to 2am, . It was more intense before COVID people would very rarely leave before midnight from what I've heard from my co-workers. And some work on the weekends too. I love the culture and the team and the job itself though. You get paid a low base salary plus commission on deals you close plus bonus 2x a year, the pay ends up being similar to IB at the analyst level, but you don't make much for the first say 7 months until you have a deal pipeline going.

LA office is known for being more intense than all other offices. HFF culture was similar to eastdil and after the merger JLL kept the culture of HFF and the people. I never imagined myself having an intense job but there is no place I would rather be, the upside potential is infinite with JLL specifically. I used to want to work for Blackstone and similar companies, but I don't see how it could be as profitable or fun in the long run. Not to mention its the nicest office in LA, we have like 5 restaurants onsite, 24/7 private gym and clubhouses, and its one of the tallest buildings in the state of California, floor to ceiling glass wraparound windows. And they cover dinner expense up to a certain amount. All their offices are beautiful look up their Hong Kong, Warsaw, Irvine and other offices but I think the LA one is the nicest. All brand new upgraded offices, most of those they moved into in 2019 or later.

Also if you are young I recommend studying real estate at USC as it will open many doors if you are trying to be in Southern California

May 10, 2021 - 11:52pm

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