how to break into Real Estate Finance?

yankss101's picture
Rank: Orangutan | 363

little background on myself...

-graduated from reputable school
-currently analyst at a massive corporation's Corp. RE department where I do project budgeting, handle project financials, etc (no specific modeling). basically a financial analyst for projects
-had 3 months internship at small RE investment firm, not really any modeling..mainly did acquisition research, touring sites ,property management

I would like to work at small investment shop specifically residential (apartment complexes, multi family, etc). how the hell do you find these jobs?

Comments (71)

Jun 2, 2016

Anyone?

Jun 2, 2016

Hundreds of posts in this forum that have already answered your question.

You've got relevant experience. Find the names of the small companies and send some emails/make some calls/show up to the office with resume in hand, if you're so inclined. Oh, and use the search function...

Jun 2, 2016

Looking for a "small investment shop" might be your problem. A lot of these shops are purposefully small to keep overhead small and hire someone maybe once every 5-10 years. If you want to do multi-family, find the big multi-family shops and try to get into one. Your experience seems relevant enough to get your resume looked at.

Join the Urban Land Institute, attend some events, read all the free material, and use the member database to find tons of email addresses for you to email.

Jun 2, 2016
CRE:

Looking for a "small investment shop" might be your problem. A lot of these shops are purposefully small to keep overhead small and hire someone maybe once every 5-10 years. If you want to do multi-family, find the big multi-family shops and try to get into one. Your experience seems relevant enough to get your resume looked at.

Join the Urban Land Institute, attend some events, read all the free material, and use the member database to find tons of email addresses for you to email.

Thanks.

I'll research places and shoot out emails. Was also planning to attend RE network events.

Jun 22, 2016

I realize acquistion role is a stretch but I'm interested in like an Asset Management role. Are those more realistic to land interviews with?

Learn More

Side-by-side comparison of top modeling training courses + exclusive discount through WSO here.

Jun 22, 2016

Every city has a few investment shops. I live in Cleveland and we have dozens; from 1-5 man operations to larger firms like NRP, DDR and Forest City.

Start locally, find the guys on linkedin and buy them coffee.

Jun 22, 2016

I'm in tri state area. NYC is ideally where I want to work.

Some networking RE events in area I'll take a look at and go and network.

Jun 22, 2016

Let me put it to you this way.

Whenever you decide to transition to the buy side, you'll be competing with kids who have years of experience underwriting and analyzing real estate. Yes, in one year you may be THE best at raising capital, but you won't be calling investors as an analyst. Honestly, you'll just be inputing assumptions to argus (do you even know what argus is?), editing financial models, reading leases, researching the local market and doing investment memoranda. Very few firms will train analyst. Many hire analyst who can contribute from day 1. I say leave now, learn, and try NYC in the future. NYC isn't going anywhere any time soon you know...

    • 1
Jun 22, 2016

Fez, I appreciate the candid response.

Jun 22, 2016

you seem to think you have an offer locked in with a strip mall developer in Ohio as well as Missouri. have you looked at the strip mall developers HQ'ed in these states? and these guys have a payroll big enough to simply add someone who's never worked in real estate before?

you mention leaving the big city. what makes you think that the guys building strip malls in Ohio aren't based in NY (or, say, LA? http://www.nbc4i.com/story/21770041/battle-continu... )?

Jun 22, 2016

prospie, thanks for your response. I have looked at firms throughout the Midwest, where I feel like the competition might be a little thinner. Pace Properties is an example of the type of firm I was referring to. Certainly, I would have to bring something to the table in order for these firms to bring me on...(raised $Xmm for top 5 NYC REIT, proficient in Argus, Finance & Econ Major, etc...) Many of the owners of these properties are NYC based or Orange County, CA based or whatnot, but I feel like that shipped has sailed to a certain extent. Tishman isn't exactly looking for 24 year olds with no real estate experience from State U haha. Either way, I appreciate the input, and wish there was a little more real estate content on this site.

Best Response
Jun 22, 2016

Wait, I don't understand the question exactly. Are you asking if:

1 your PWM experience will be valuable because you worked with a REIT, or

2. if working at an NYC REIT will help you become a better developer, or

3. if it's best to forgo the NYC REIT job and move to some shitty little town to work

I'll just answer them all in order ecause I can't really tell which one you're asking.

1. Look, is it the number one skill set you could have leaned out of college in order to position yourself to be the next hotshot at Brookfield or whatever? No, but it definitely isnt going to hurt you in the long run if you can make the transition to a real analytical real estate role soon.

It's certainly better than working in PWM and not working with any REITs - you've deloped connections in the space with your clients, which is very important because its a pretty small world and people tend to turn up later. You'll be able to make your resume look more "real estatey" by focusing primarily on that aspect o your job in the section on PWM, and it will give you a believable point orally to when you get asked "why real estate?" In interviews. You can say something like "oh, I worked with this REIT and really enjoyed what they were doing and wanted to do it myself blah blah blah." Also, while you're still at your PWM job, maybe reach out to the junior guy or whoever you have the best relationship with at the REIT and ask him to send you some publications on the real estate market so you can get up to speed. There's a lot of lingo and unique concepts in the RE world you should be familiar with if you're going to be competitive for jobs. Read through them and anything else you can find in terms of RE industry publications and feel free to pm me with any questions around acronyms or concepts you don't understand. You can get really good free research on RE from the Fitch, Moody's and S&P web sites if you make a free log in - just go to the CMBS section. Plus I'm sure all the big brokerages like CBRE or whatever have free research on their websites. Read stuff like that and try to understand it, once again, feel free to ask me if you don't. You should be reading that type of stuff rather than the "mass media" stuff like the FT/WSJ because real estate is sort of ghettoized in finance so generally won't get in-depth treatment in mainstream publications.

2. Yes, working at a commercially focused REIT will develop a skill set that would be valuable as a developer even if they aren't actually "developers" themselves, and is certainly astronomically more accretive to your end goal than staying in PWM. This is assuming you will be in a real estate focused role such as leasing/management or acquisitions rather than cleaning toilets or something btw.

Look - the basic skill set of a developer and a classic REPE "owner" type who doesn't develop is identical. The goal of both is to make money on real estate. The only intrinsic value that commercial real estate has is its ability to produce future cash flows in the form of rents. That's all that CRE is - an asset that throws off cash, which must be purchased. Like a bond with an address instead of a CUSIP.

Therefore, in order to make money off of CRE, one must first predict the amount of cash that a building can/will throw off, and second how to obtain a claim to the largest possible amount of that cash for the smallest possible equity outlay. That's really the name of the game, and it's a calculus that both developers and buyers of real estate must perform. You get good at that, and you'll have the basic skill set for either job. Whether to develop or to buy is really just a tactical question around the "how to obtain those cash flows cheaply" side of the equation, not an overarching theme that will shape your understanding of real estate in such a profound way that you can't jump from a shop that specializes in one to a shop that specializes in the other, especially at the junior level (and I'm obviously talking about it from the financial side, clearly if you're like a construction project manager for a developer or something you're stuck at developers.)

Not to mention the fact that real estate is a pretty "sticks and bricks" business, even if you're not building it yourself. I know you've never closed a real estate acquisition or loan, but the level of diligence with respect to the things you mention wanting to lean about like air rights, zoning, title law, liens, engineering reports, environmental issues... the nitty-gritty shit basically. That's all still a big part of your job even if you don't build the property yourself. If you do a job that invokes acquiring or financing real property, believe me you will become intimately familiar with things like engineering reports, environmental reports, property zoning reports, title insurance policies, which types of asbestos carry a risk of litigation... just because you didn't build the property doesn't mean you don't care about whether or not it's been legally constructed and is up to code. Do you really think people go out and make multi-hundred million dollar acquisitions, don't bother with diligencing the zoning, and then when the city says "hey buddy, real sorry but this $400 million mall you just bought is zoned residential - it's gonna have to come down." They just throw up their hands and say "oh well, there goes that investment. You can't really blame anyone for losing half a bil because we didn't nother to read the PZR though - I mean, it's not like we're developers or something!" Not a snowball's chance in hell - if you play in the real estate space you're going to have to be familiar with real estate law, no matter what kind of shop you're at.

So look, long story short I think working in a financial analysis role at a REIT is a great opportunity to get you where you want to be and you'll learn a lot. Certainly much better than the PWM role.

3. What you want is first to be as close to the real estate analysis as possible, second to work at a shop that is stable/isnt goin to collapse around you and will offer you long term training/investment in your growth, and third to be at a name people recognize. If you have another job offer in some Podunk little town that meets these criteria better than the NYC job, take it. Real estate is a weird animal - it's not as "elitist" as the rest of finance in terms of geography.

The fact is is that there's money to be made in real estate all over the country, which is different from many securities/markets roles where if you aren't in London or New York you're out of the loop. In real estate, people know that there's money being made on both big deals and small, so nobody with a brain looks down on people who play in secondary markets or do smaller deals. If anything those guys are more respected - they have a lot smaller margin of error and need to be a lot more sophisticated in terms of actual real estate knowledge than the dumb money that buys landmark buildings in NYC or whatever. Like... A retarded toddler could earn at least a mediocre return buying class A office in Manhattan. Even MetLife does it! But to make big money running shitty malls in Tuscaloosa takes real skill. I mean... The number 2 retail shop in the country is probably Simon, and they're in what Indianapolis? Forest City Ratner, the guys who easentially own downtown Brooklyn - built metrotch center, the Atlantic terminal complex, and the Barclays Center, and possibly the number one developer in the country right now, is based in Ohio somewhere right? You know how they say "in real estate, location is everything?" In real estate finance, it isn't.

For example just look at Larry Brown - probably the guy with the largest personal fortune of any of the old farts still kicking around in the conduit CMBS space who somehow managed to not get blown out in 2008. The cockroaches that survived the nuclear holocaust, if you will. But yeah, he's definitely the richest, and last I checked was running a little shitshop out of Miami called Archetype that does shitty little ~$10-20mm loans. But who would you rather be? Larry Brown who makes 10 points on $20mm ($2m profit) and personally pockets the whole profit because he happens to own that little shitshop himself, or Mr. Fancypants head of CMBS at GS who goes to work in his big fancy office in TriBeCa every day, makes 2 points on $75mm ($1.5mm profit) and has to beg his boss for a significant cut of the profit. In RE, bigger, glitzier, fancier doesn't mean better.

So yeah, I guess what I'm trying to say is that in real estate, nobody is going to look down on you for being in a secondary or tertiary market if you learned your shit and were at a shop they recognize. That being said, there are more real estate jobs in New York or other primary markets just because you're dealing with more volume so need more bodies, and that's where the capital markets activity is which is an important part of the equation - CRE is a levered cash flow business at heart, after all. In this space, leverage drives IRR. And it's pretty hard to interview for jobs in cities you don't live in, especially if you are trying to keep the interview secret. Plus a side effect of there being less of a stigma against non-primary markets means that it's easier than you would think to induce highly qualified candidates to move there, so you have less of an advantage than you seem to think. If you show up on Simon's doorstep and said "hey, I'm willing to live in Indianapolis. Hire me!" They would laugh in your face.

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush - if the New York job is your only guaranteed explicit offer in CRE, take it without question. If you're choosing between that and another job somewhere else, you've got to weigh your options. Take the job that is offered, don't bank on moving and magically getting one.

Keep in mind that if you want to pull this transition off without having to go to B-school, your next job is extremely important. You get pigeon holed pretty quickly in this industry - you definitely want to transfer to something CRE related ASAP.

Good luck dude, read what I told you to read, and don't be afraid to reach out.

    • 5
Jun 22, 2016

great post - much more thorough than mine.

Jun 22, 2016

WOW! Phenomenal post, man, I absolutely appreciate it! So much great info here I don't even know where to start with follow up questions. I will definitely PM you a couple times along the way - but again thank you so much, very very insightful!

Jun 22, 2016

Wow, this post made my day! Pls keep it coming.

The Auto Show

Jun 22, 2016

Yes, my post was amazing. I am a golden god.

    • 1
Jun 22, 2016

If you want to develop buildings in larger markets a la Donald Trump, as the picture attached to this thread implies, you should probably inherit a large real estate fortune. That would save you a lot of time and effort, plus it's the way all the cool kids do it.

The very condensed version of what bandar told you is that if you want to work in real estate, you should start working in real estate. Get out there and find a job where you think you'll have the opportunity to learn something. There are a lot of different ways to make cash in this business.

Jun 22, 2016
Slothrop:

The very condensed version of what bandar told you is that if you want to work in real estate, you should start working in real estate. Get out there and find a job where you think you'll have the opportunity to learn something. There are a lot of different ways to make cash in this business.

Ha, well said. Brevity was never a strength of mine.

Sweet name btw, Tyrone.

Danger is over. Banana breakfast is saved.

Jun 22, 2016

Fortunately, your long-winded posts are full of good information. If I wrote out a novella like that it might make Pynchon look accessible.

Jun 22, 2016
NYCbandar:

Yes, my post was amazing. I am a golden god.

Hah, great post and great response. I love it

Jun 22, 2016

OP, start at the bottom. Be willing to accept an entry level job into real estate. Understand that, by and large, real estate salaries are pretty crappy. If you go in knowing that from the beginning, then you'll be free to develop your skill set for future entrepreneurial endeavors.

However, at the end of the day, skill set is not how you'll sell your services. People with nice resumes and legitimate skills in the business are a dime a dozen. RE development fundraising is, more or less, sales. You start with your family and closest friends and you work your book out from there. You start with small projects financed by family or friends and you build your resume from there. You "sell" yourself through a network of people that you amass over the course of a decade or two. For those of us who are from wealthier families, we were able to start developing real estate quicker than most others. I was 24 when I acquired my first lot, for example.

That's how it's done. Working your book like any other salesman. The skill set is just the cornerstone--it's not the silver bullet. The immutable law of sales--people do business with those that they know, like and trust. One portion of "trust" is skill set. But people won't do business with you unless they know and like you.

Jun 22, 2016
DCDepository:

Understand that, by and large, real estate salaries are pretty crappy.

Ugh. This

Jun 22, 2016
DCDepository:

I was 24 when I acquired my first lot

I was 21, and I'm fuckin poor. Well, I'm less poor now.

Jun 22, 2016
SureThing:
DCDepository:

I was 24 when I acquired my first lot

I was 21, and I'm fuckin poor. Well, I'm less poor now.

You acquired property without a job/income or cash? That must have been in 2005 when you could just lie on an application.

Jun 22, 2016
DCDepository:
SureThing:
DCDepository:

I was 24 when I acquired my first lot

I was 21, and I'm fuckin poor. Well, I'm less poor now.

You acquired property without a job/income or cash? That must have been in 2005 when you could just lie on an application.

What makes you assume no job/income or cash?

Jun 22, 2016
SureThing:
DCDepository:
SureThing:
DCDepository:

I was 24 when I acquired my first lot

I was 21, and I'm fuckin poor. Well, I'm less poor now.

You acquired property without a job/income or cash? That must have been in 2005 when you could just lie on an application.

What makes you assume no job/income or cash?

You just said you were 21-years-old and poor...

Jun 22, 2016
DCDepository:
SureThing:
DCDepository:
SureThing:
DCDepository:

I was 24 when I acquired my first lot

I was 21, and I'm fuckin poor. Well, I'm less poor now.

You acquired property without a job/income or cash? That must have been in 2005 when you could just lie on an application.

What makes you assume no job/income or cash?

You just said you were 21-years-old and poor...

Poor in reference to background. You were speaking of people being from wealthier families being able to invest in real estate sooner. I was simply providing an example of someone investing at an early age without coming from a wealthy family.

Now reading back, it looked as if I was trying to one-up you. Wasn't my intent so sorry if you took it that way. We'll both do alright.

Jun 22, 2016

Either way, real estate investors are never cash rich. Most of their net-worth is tied up in illiquid assets. The passive income is nice though.

Jun 22, 2016
SureThing:

Either way, real estate investors are never cash rich. Most of their net-worth is tied up in illiquid assets. The passive income is nice though.

Real estate investors are only not cash rich because they choose no to be. When you're a private CRE investor, there's no punk ass little bitch regulatory body demanding that you hold retardedly conservative amounts of capital because whatever redneck closeted-homosexual congressman happens to have avoided foot tapping scandals for the time being and is therefore temporarily popular with the idiot unwashed masses has demanded a pound of flesh from the big evil financiers.

Private CRE investors could become cash rich pretty quickly if necessary without regard to the liquidity of the entire fee simple interest in the assets themselves.

Like, even if we assume that the current capital structure of the entity is such that, at every level, its impossible for me to either issue vanilla commercial mortgage paper against one of my properties or relever some existing financing vehicle, I could just sale-leaseback either a full property or the land under a property or something to raise the needed cash in the short term.

And if that doesn't work or whatever reason, then I can get cash through a swap to loan type structure, because If I'm prevented from issuing vanilla mortgage paper, then by definition there must be existing mortgage paper in place. I can just decide that, assuming this is fixed rate paper for example, I need to swap it to floating, and my counterparty's leg of the trade is going to settle today while mine will settle a year from today (with interest, of course). Or vice versa if its floating rate.

So like... I guess my point is that when you've got hard assets like CRE, short term cash is pretty easy to obtain if and when necessary. I wouldn't say that it's a "cash poorness/locked up" thing. They're confident that they can obtain cash if and when necessary, so no need to trade return for liquidity by leaving cash on the sideline.

    • 1
Jun 22, 2016

I don't disagree. Basically what I was saying is what you finished with. RE investors don't leave cash on the sideline. I didn't mean to imply cash can't be had. Good post.

Jun 22, 2016

Settle isn't really the correct word - trade will settle at T=1, their leg will pay at T=1, and my leg will pay at T=12

Jun 22, 2016
SureThing:
DCDepository:
SureThing:
DCDepository:
SureThing:
DCDepository:

I was 24 when I acquired my first lot

I was 21, and I'm fuckin poor. Well, I'm less poor now.

You acquired property without a job/income or cash? That must have been in 2005 when you could just lie on an application.

What makes you assume no job/income or cash?

You just said you were 21-years-old and poor...

Poor in reference to background. You were speaking of people being from wealthier families being able to invest in real estate sooner. I was simply providing an example of someone investing at an early age without coming from a wealthy family.

Now reading back, it looked as if I was trying to one-up you. Wasn't my intent so sorry if you took it that way. We'll both do alright.

I don't understand how you can obtain real estate at age 21 without it being through the old system of stated income. I'd love to hear it if there's a way.

Jun 22, 2016

I provided proof of income, bank statements, tax returns, etc.

How is it so hard to believe? Let me be clear, I didn't buy a business park. It is just a multi-family property.

Jun 22, 2016
NYCbandar:
SureThing:

Either way, real estate investors are never cash rich. Most of their net-worth is tied up in illiquid assets. The passive income is nice though.

Real estate investors are only not cash rich because they choose no to be. When you're a private CRE investor, there's no punk ass little bitch regulatory body demanding that you hold retardedly conservative amounts of capital because whatever redneck closeted-homosexual congressman happens to have avoided foot tapping scandals for the time being and is therefore temporarily popular with the idiot unwashed masses has demanded a pound of flesh from the big evil financiers.

Private CRE investors could become cash rich pretty quickly if necessary without regard to the liquidity of the entire fee simple interest in the assets themselves.

Like, even if we assume that the current capital structure of the entity is such that, at every level, its impossible for me to either issue vanilla commercial mortgage paper against one of my properties or relever some existing financing vehicle, I could just sale-leaseback either a full property or the land under a property or something to raise the needed cash in the short term.

And if that doesn't work or whatever reason, then I can get cash through a swap to loan type structure, because If I'm prevented from issuing vanilla mortgage paper, then by definition there must be existing mortgage paper in place. I can just decide that, assuming this is fixed rate paper for example, I need to swap it to floating, and my counterparty's leg of the trade is going to settle today while mine will settle a year from today (with interest, of course). Or vice versa if its floating rate.

So like... I guess my point is that when you've got hard assets like CRE, short term cash is pretty easy to obtain if and when necessary. I wouldn't say that it's a "cash poorness/locked up" thing. They're confident that they can obtain cash if and when necessary, so no need to trade return for liquidity by leaving cash on the sideline.

Terrific answer

Jun 22, 2016
SureThing:

I provided proof of income, bank statements, tax returns, etc.

How is it so hard to believe? Let me be clear, I didn't buy a business park. It is just a multi-family property.

It's hard to believe because I currently run a bank branch and we lend out on properties like that. There are very few examples I can think of where a person that young has a steady job and the required down payment to acquire any house, let alone an investment property. I think I've seen one 19-year-old who had access to a Veterans Administration loan, which is a 100% LTV product, acquire a primary residence. I think I also saw a 21-year-old use a USDA loan, which is another 100% LTV product, to acquire a primary residence. I also recall a 22-year-old who had a trust fund acquire an investment property.

So that's why I'm skeptical that a relatively poor person could acquire an investment property, full document, at the age of 21 in the United States in a year that is not 2002-2006. Underwriters would almost immediately toss out a file that was for an investment property from someone who had less than 2 years of steady employment and presumably minimal credit history.

There are programs that allow for what you're saying, but most UWs wouldn't allow it to get through without borrower having steady work history. That's why I'm shocked since I don't know anyone who is 21 with steady work history other than soldiers.

Jun 22, 2016

I'm aware of your position, which is why I was so surprised at your skepticism. You answered your own question. At 21 I was active duty military.

Jun 22, 2016
SureThing:

I'm aware of your position, which is why I was so surprised at your skepticism. You answered your own question. At 21 I was active duty military.

Fair enough. If you're a soldier you can do pretty much anything in this country, which is fine, but that's very atypical.

Jun 22, 2016

Thankfully not serving anymore. Unfortunately though, now I'm in the situation you thought I was in at 21. I'm finishing up my degree and don't have steady income. So for now I have to postpone my real estate investing. It'll be a lot easier once I've got the steady income though as I'll have a few years of rent rolls to help with underwriting.

Jun 22, 2016

PM'd you

Jun 22, 2016

Howdy,
I have a similar background. I did an MBA prior to leaving active duty, but I don't work in CRE finance. I transitioned to brokerage, which was... interesting... at first. With your stats you should be able to get into at least a top 20 if not top 15 or top 10 school. Plenty of schools out there give you massive W/E credit for your service, plus you're coming from an Ivy, even with a lower GPA, and a solid GMAT. Just be able to tell your story, but most of the schools love the prior officer with a solid GMAT and Ivy background. I mean, you've got more leadership experience probably than anyone else applying. The problem is that it sounds like you already got out and as far as I know all of the acceptances are out.

I have to ask, why take quant classes since you got out? Trying to do med school or something? They're going to want an explanation for that. If you're looking at BB REIB though, or Eastdil, that's an uphill battle man. Especially without an MBA or just coming out of undergrad or something. Their recruiting, from what I understand, is relatively organized much like the rest of the BB and unlike the rest of RE.

Real estate is all about your network. At this point it sounds like you don't really have one, and you're past the point of attending school in the fall. If you can wait, try to go next year to either a real estate focused MBA or MSRE. If you cant wait, get on LinkedIn and start trying to reach out to people in your target city. Look at the BIWS and REFM finance courses. Read the Linneman book. Try and familiarize yourself with Argus if you can. Start reading astudentoftherealestategame.com. Keep reaching out to people.

Good luck!

Jun 22, 2016

I totally agree with this. My brother followed a similar path.

Jun 22, 2016

Since RE is all about networking you should definitely reach out to any ex-military at big shops. No way they wouldn't help out an ivy league guy that has the same background as they do. You can build your network from there as they'll introduce you to others. Ask them for candid opinions in regards to your goals.

720 is not far off from the average at many M7's. Don't sell yourself short. Can you retake and get a 740? That along with your additional courses and you'd be in a very good position to be accepted into an M7 program as long as you tell a good story in the app process. By the way, your story of immature @ ivy -> military -> successful officer is a golden ticket IMO.

The question then becomes what do you do in the interim for the next year. I'd try to get an analyst position at a mid-size shop with some cred. If the senior execs have all gone to M7's then they can write recommendations or, more importantly, make phone calls for you when the time comes.

Take GETREM's courses and learn how to build a model from scratch. Then dig up some offering memos through google or loopnet and practicing modeling them in excel.

Jun 22, 2016

Remove your profile, better to be anonymous. Additionally, your resume is all over the place, pls form a coherent story in order for us to give you better advice.

Jun 22, 2016

Agree with Bob, you have like 20 entries for education and experience. Very overwhelming.

One solid piece of advice- take some of that early non-relevant stuff off. For any job, not just real estate. I really hope your actual CV is only 1 page.

Jun 22, 2016

Whoa, you literally have the longest LinkedIn profile I have ever seen! I agree with the above statement, you don't need to detail every single job you've ever done. I've even removed internships from my LinkedIn.

To answer your question - I haven't ever worked with analysts / entry level people, however, I would say yes you 100% have a shot at breaking into real estate. You need to have a story though. And be ready to take a tremendous pay cut, assuming you make decent $$ being 30+.

Going off of the whole story thing... What really is your story?

Jun 22, 2016

Dear Gentleman and Scholar,

Thank you for your response it is sincerely appreciated. In your post you wrote: "Going off of the whole story thing... What really is your story?"

Do you have any advice on how I craft my story? I think I'm also going to pay to subscribe for career advising services through my university. They also should be able to help with this!

Sincerely,

1 Billion Bound Stallion

1_Billion_Bound_Stallion
B.A. Political Science
Pursuing A Financial Analyst Position In Investment Banking

Jun 22, 2016

For sure you have a shot. You graduated from Berkeley so that's a good start. I was a poli-sci major too btw. But I agree with all the comments above, cut ur linked in profile / resume in half and then cut it in half again.

Jun 22, 2016

17 bullet points for a 5 month position at Cinnabon. That is beyond excessive.

What took you 11 years to graduate from Berkeley?

    • 2
Jun 22, 2016

Dear Mr. Fuld:

Thank you for your post. It took me 11 years to graduate from Berkeley because I had to study part-time and take time off in order to take care of an ill family member. How do you think companies will respond to this?

Sincerely,

1 Billion Bound Stallion

1_Billion_Bound_Stallion
B.A. Political Science
Pursuing A Financial Analyst Position In Investment Banking

Jun 22, 2016

For clarification, are you planning on applying to grad school immediately after undergraduate? And are you looking to make a career in real estate or just use it as a stepping stone to get to somewhere else? If you can get into a big PERE, investment and or development shop out of undergrad it's not uncommon to bypass grad school (unless of course you're dead set on it). For example if you look at a lot of the associates and MDs at places like Blackstone and Carlyle they've been there for years and don't have MBAs.

But in regards to how to get good experience, I would first join your school's real estate club and network with those who are interested in the field is well. Take as many real estate, finance, investment, and development/planning related classes as possible - you can never learn too much and should always take advantage of every educational opportunity provided to you. Learn Argus, learn how to do DCF and development models, etc.

In regards to wanting to end up in development, here's a good thread to read through. Generally it seems easier to go from development into PERE rather than the other way around but some may feel differently about that. "http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/pick-one-cap..."

Overall though if you can show potential employers that you love real estate and are intelligent I'm sure you can score a few great internships at brokerage/development/investment shops between now and your graduation. I mean you have 3 years which is tons of time. You can also probably roll a summer internship into a part time one during school if you find the work rewarding/a potential for a full-time offer high/likely.

Hope that helps!

Jun 22, 2016

That is great advice. I would like to apply for grad school right out of undergrad. Ive noticed that the top schools I intend on applying to like NYU, Cornell, USC, and MIT all have a minimum requirement of 2-3 years of experience and I would like to make sure I meet those requirements. I like real estate, period. I intend on staying in the field. So I'd like to be able to have a holistic understanding of the industry.

Jun 22, 2016

Glad you found that helpful.

Generally when schools say 2-3 years of experience they mean 2-3 years post undergraduate. They don't often (if ever - I'm sure others can chime in on this, could be wrong) take people straight out of undergrad, or at least I'm not aware of anyone who's done that. Also, if you're looking to get an MRED (which it sounds like you are) quite a few people I've talked to who got that degree felt it wasn't worth the time/expense. As I'm sure you've heard other people say, real estate isn't rocket science. First-hand experience almost always trumps classroom experience.

My advice would be to work hard in school, have a strong GPA, get a few solid internships in different segments of the industry (development, investment, brokerage, etc), land a full-time offer out of undergrad and reevaluate your trajectory from there. I wouldn't put too much weight on graduate school at the moment. And if you do want to get a graduate degree many would recommend an MBA over an MRED, especially if you've already been working in real estate as you can still take real estate courses but it will make you a more well-rounded employee overall since you take management, finance, and other unrelated courses. Unless you want to get into the academic side of real estate then graduate school could be a better option. I've jumped around quite a bit which has honestly been really helpful as far as seeing different sides of the industry. Feel free to PM me too.

Jun 22, 2016

@RealEstateNerd

Hey, I've been reading WSO RE forums for awhile trying to find a answer to my own question. I really enjoy reading your feed backs and would love to hear your thoughts on my situation. I am MBA/finance student at non-target school entering my second year. For post-grad, I want to work in CRE shop or developer company as a acquisition analyst full-time and residential investing part-time on weekends. At the moment, I am not sure how I should purse this path. My only experience in RE is flipping residential properties; I shadowed a local investor learning the nature of the work. My question is what should I be doing now? I've been looking for a summer internship since the beginning of May and only gotten interviews but no offers. I want to get a position in the summer/fall where I can get my hands dirty but I'm not sure where to look. Love to hear your thoughts.

My 5 year goal is to pay off my student loans, build capital, gain experience in both Commercial and Residential RE, and build my network.

What I'm doing for my career aside from the MBA courses: read RE forums, taking online RE modeling courses, honing into my excel skills, networking at local RE investing meetups, and reading RE finance books. What else should I be doing?

What I'm doing for my part-time RE investing hobby aside from the above two: studying for my Sales Agent Licenses, and looking for internship/part-time experience. What else should I be doing?

Jun 22, 2016

In most cases people who break into it later will be breaking into it in a junior role. Unless it's a special case (capital markets job maybe) RE guys don't like to hire people to senior positions who have no RE experience. Comp for an RE analyst isn't up there with M&A, but all-in in NYC is still likely to hit 100k, which isn't bad for a 22-year old if you ask me.

Banking your bonus and investing is definitely feasible, but depending on where you live, you'll probably need a bunch of buddies to come in with you unless you don't mind waiting until you're in your 30's. It takes a lot of money to play in RE.

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Jun 22, 2016

I thinking about RE because of the lifestyle it grants but I'm not sure if I'll like the job itself. So maybe it's better to start with i-banking and if that's so bad I can move into RE

Jun 22, 2016

A lot of hiring managers really look for passion for the asset class when picking people to join their firms. RE isn't like I banking in the sense that people come here to turn and burn - they tend to be lifers in the industry.

That isn't to say you should be compelled to stay if you hate the asset class, but if you don't have a compelling story as to why you love RE, then nobody will ever hire you from banking.

Jun 22, 2016

I'm struggling to understand how you think any entry-level job, nonetheless a government job, will provide you with enough income to start buying investment properties

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