How Long is Long Enough

bigbob123's picture
Rank: Baboon | banana points 127

Currently working as an analyst with an investment sales team. Pay is solid, decent deal flow but I would like to transition either to a brokerage working on larger deals or somewhere on the buy side. I've only been with this group for a short time so I'm wondering how long for it to be acceptable to jump ship? I'm networking at available opportunities and am somewhat confident I'll be able to find a desirable position I just don't want to feel like I'm screwing over current employer

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Comments (22)

Dec 27, 2018

Interested in this as well, but how long is a "short time"? I've been in my current spot for a year now when the position is meant for 18-24 months. So I'm pretty curious as to what others think is acceptable.

Dec 27, 2018

I've been in my current position shorter than you have, it would definitely be too early for me to leave I just wanted to know at what point it would be acceptable to actively pursue other opportunities

Dec 27, 2018

Worthwhile opportunities never come at the "right" time. I've jumped ship after 10 months at one group and don't regret it (albeit, I was also changing markets, so I didn't have to worry about relationship impacts).

If you feel qualified to transition and have plateaued on your learning curve, then I would stop wasting time and start looking.

    • 1
Dec 27, 2018

If you're sourcing a few deals a year, and in brokerage, that means 250k+ of fees, it's time to at least poke your nose around town for other ops.

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Dec 27, 2018

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Dec 27, 2018

I appreciate the response, I'm not currently sourcing any deals which is why I feel like it would make sense to jump before I start sourcing deals and developing an expertise in an area im not as interested in.

Dec 27, 2018

Are you not interested in brokerage long term? If not, you should probably wait at least a year and a half in my opinion. If you want to stay in the same market, presumably doing acquisitions, you don't want to piss off a brokerage team that could be a significant contributor to your deal pipeline.

If you want brokerage, then obviously it depends on a lot of things. Is there a spot on your current team, is there an opening on a larger, more profitable team, etc. What's your logic on transitioning to a brokerage with larger deals, though? Unless you are trying to gain some type of product/deal experience that you aren't currently getting (like if you're only doing retail and want to get office/industrial/multifamily/hotel, for example - or if you are only doing stabilized assets and want to get exposure to development deals), doing 'bigger deals' isn't going to get you much more except for exposure to bigger players. If you do a 20 tenant suburban office building that's $20 M, for example, it's pretty much the same as doing a 45 tenant CBD office building worth $100 M, all else being equal.

    • 2
Dec 28, 2018

My current team has a focus on single tenant net lease assets, its a great way to make money but the multi tenant deals I've worked on I find much more interesting.

I also enjoy brokerage and intend to be there for some time but I want to make sure I'm marketable for a buy side role should I change my mind. Also wouldn't mind spending a couple years in acquisitions, making some contacts learning some things and then going back to brokerage

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Dec 28, 2018

So I'm guessing that you're either in industrial or retail then, since those are really the only to STNL property types (might have missed this in one of your earlier posts). If that's the case, then the realities of both of those property types are very, very different.

Retail, for better or worse, has largely been a shrinking sector in the last few years. I think eventually it recovers/evolves, but it could be a ways off until that happens. That being said, it might be tough to 'ride it out' in brokerage for a while then try to flip to the buy-side, as I would imagine that your deal flow won't be gangbusters and won't look particularly awesome on your resume.

Industrial, on the complete 180, has been on fire, and all signs point to that space continuing to expand favorably (likely upcoming downturn aside). This would not be a bad place to earn some $ for a few years then try to make a jump to the buy-side.

With respect to the buyside, as someone who's been on both sides of the aisle, I would say that you learn a lot in acquisitions, but if you're just going to go back to the brokerage side after a few years anyway, it won't be that beneficial. You'll learn how to run a DD process, and how to own property, and how to think like an investor, which will be beneficial, but I'm not sure it outweighs the several years you'll be behind with respect to your network. Remember, when you're on the brokerage side, you are constantly talking to people on the principal side. But when you're in acquisitions, you're mainly talking to brokers. You won't be doing a ton of networking with other principal firms, unless you make a concentrated effort to do so. So basically, if you want to eventually own your own properties/go out on your own, it would be worth it, but if you eventually just want to get back into brokerage, I don't see any real benefit to side-stepping yourself just to then come back and give up seniority on the team.

You also may not know exactly what you want to do yet, and that's OK, too. No harm in going to the buy-side other than an investment of time/opportunity cost.

    • 3
Dec 28, 2018

Thats a really helpful summary of what I'd be looking at going to the buy-side. I was mainly thinking about how helpful the whole 'thinking like an investor' thing would be.

Main reason I'm thinking about switching brokerages is because like you said I'm only working on these industrial and retail deals with a single tenant and I'd be interested in doing things like shopping centers or office buildings. End of the day I'm pretty happy in my current role so I probably wont rush things.

Dec 28, 2018

Shopping centers/malls are a dying breed. Run, swim, fly away from that segment as fast as you can. Grocery anchored is a slightly different story, but I'm not bullish on that either. Experiential/entertainment centers are where it's at in retail, and those are few and far between. A lot of people like office buildings, but they get monotonous AF. Personally that's my least favorite asset class, but to each their own. If you like the 'sexiness' of new CBD product, I personally would look into multifamily. There aren't a lot of really, really good brokers in that space and I think it's the most transferable if you want to own your own property one day (multifamily is typically easier to own/operate than some of the other product types for private folks).

I think you are right not to rush into anything. All options aren't bad, just take some time with it. Good luck!

    • 2
Dec 28, 2018

Thank you

Dec 27, 2018

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Dec 27, 2018

Are you based in NYC?

Dec 28, 2018

Dallas/Atlanta/Charlotte/Houston type

Dec 30, 2018
bigbob123:

Currently working as an analyst with an investment sales team. Pay is solid, decent deal flow but I would like to transition either to a brokerage working on larger deals or somewhere on the buy side. I've only been with this group for a short time so I'm wondering how long for it to be acceptable to jump ship? I'm networking at available opportunities and am somewhat confident I'll be able to find a desirable position I just don't want to feel like I'm screwing over current employer

1 year, roughly, always feels like a proper benchmark. I have absolutely nothing to back this up other than knowing other people who also think 1 year feels like a proper benchmark.

All that said, don't bounce around unnecessarily and don't make a habit of it and few people will question a 6 month stint that didn't work out as long as your resume as other much longer stints

    • 1
Jan 4, 2019

I agree--one year seems justifiable to anyone you may speak with.

Be aware though--working on "larger deals" doesn't always mean more money. A lot of times it means more work for the same amount of money. Make sure to properly identify what asset class you are most interested in. If you pursue what you genuinely like (rather than what is most glamorous), the money will eventually take care of itself.

Jan 6, 2019

I appreciate the response. I am less considered with the money aspect. I really enjoy real estate but the deals I work on are about as straight forward as they can get. When I say I'm looking for bigger deals I mean more I want something a little more interesting/complex than an absolute NNN walgreens with 20 years of lease term left.

Jan 6, 2019

Dollar General is hot right now, I get it. I understand the monotony. And the cold calling.

Don't worry about feeling like you are screwing over your current employer---it's business and as long as you can look people in the eye and show gratitude, you will be just fine.

Jan 7, 2019

Agree with 1yr being an acceptable minimum. 18 mos to 2 yrs is ideal but only if you aren't hurting yourself by staying that long. When the right opportunity comes, take it. Important to exit with grace and express thanks (even if you don't necessarily feel that way).

Jan 7, 2019
Jan 7, 2019