How do you get a job at a brokerage that works on large transactions

I want to apply to some brokerage teams who work on large transactions (10M+) in a tier 1 metro market. I have 1.5 years of RE Salesperson experience at a family shop and I've seen a good amount of mid-market (3-10M) deal flow. What do qualities and attributes do MDs want to see in an application? Any other tips on how to get on a top producers team would be appreciated. 

Comments (13)

Feb 22, 2021 - 8:58pm

Pick up the phone and cold call them like you would a prospect. It's all relationship based. Question for you: do you want to work on "lower middle market deals" as in, like $10 MM to $25 MM. Or, you mention 'big' deals: in tier 1 markets this might mean $100 MM to $500 MM
I would recommend networking into both of them, but just a distinction that if you want to work with big deals in tier 1 markets, it probably the big boys/girls of CBRE, JLL, NKF, etc. 

If you can find a soft intro through contacts, that is even better to get them to pick up your call and discuss potential opportunities. 

Feb 22, 2021 - 9:25pm


I'm open to working for both when it comes to deal size. I feel like it might be a stretch to get on a team doing 100M+ deals as a salesperson.   I think it might be more likely to get on as an analyst or a more administrative position. My goal is really to find a mentor I can work closely with and learn from while still sourcing my own deals and moving up in the transaction size my current brokerage focuses in (3-10M).

Feb 22, 2021 - 9:18pm

I remember a really good post with a lot of comments and back and forth asked by someone similar to you about joining a major team in NYC. Like just a month ago or so, if you can find it, may be very helpful. 

As pudding notes, you may want to reassess your idea of "large", maybe I'm biased by the size of deals we do, but I'd say that range starts north of $50 million (or maybe $25 in smaller market). That said, middle market ($10 to $25 million) can be very good area to target on a relative basis. 

Feb 22, 2021 - 9:44pm

Thank you for the response! 
I'd definitely want to go as high as possible, but I feel like on those types on teams with 100M+ deals you loose a large cut of the commission. I don't want to sacrifice too much of the split and control of the deal. Would someone with 1.5 years of experience even be able to negotiate any split on transactions that size? Or would they get salary and bonus?

Most Helpful
Feb 22, 2021 - 9:59pm

so, to be clear, I am on the buyside, and speaking from experience of using IS brokers to sell assets. So, how you would get treated by major firms as an associate producer is beyond my reach.

I will say, the more institutional you go (and frankly that can start low in dollar size, just depends on asset type/nature of the owner/etc.), the more assignments are only going to be given to a legit institutional team. Typically, those "top spots" get essentially inherited by the juniors via some form of succession or by some negotiated process (including being recruited by competitor). Thus, getting on the "team" is step one. If you think you will be allowed to prospect $100 million dollar type deals (or really even $25 million+) on your own without a lot of experience/training/tenure, don't bet on it (nor should you expect the clients to even consider your services). 

A client selling a large asset will invite the realm of IS shops with credibility in the market/asset type in for a "beauty contest", and then select the team that seems most capable/eager and ready to execute (prior relationships do matter). Fees get negotiated based on size, complexity, etc. (for very very large deals, not likely to be more than 25-35 bps, maybe 50bps for deals close to $100 million). How much gets split between the top names, the MDs/VPs, and the associates/analysts is beyond me. But you probably have to earn your way to get splits, living in the base + bonus world for while (this can still bring people like $250k + in earnings in exchange for very very long hours).  

If you are looking for more the "eat what you kill" form of brokerage, best to stay in the "private client" zone. More wild wild west, but if you are good it at, you can make shit tons of money (easier said than done from what I have observed, YMMV). 

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