Multifamily Investment Sales @ Large Brokerages (CBRE, C&W, JLL, etc) vs M&M

In terms of multifamily investment sales at one of the larger shops (CBRE, C&W, JLL) vs a shop like M&M, what would you say are the main differences other than institutional vs mom-and-pop clients. (I know M&M has an institutional division but generally they're more mom-and-pop focused).

I know a couple people who worked at M&M so I'm aware of the culture there ("kill or be killed"). Minimum 250-300 cold calls a week to owners who've already been recycled through ten times in the past couple months. Would associates at CBRE, C&W, or JLL be cold calling multifamily institutional clients at this level too? If not, what's different in terms of how juniors do business development? Day-to-day tasks? Curious because I've never spoken with investment sales associates at the larger shops. 

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Comments (8)

Sep 13, 2021 - 1:06am

The big shops have some groups that focus only on the private capital space(usually a group that came from M&M), which their business development and the way they recruit doesn't really change. The institutional groups at CB,CW, etc. run it much different. Especially HFF, which is now JLL, they really grow all their employees from the analyst level similar to eastdil for the most part. So the analysts overtime are becoming familiar with their clients employees and analysts who will become decision makers. This makes a better or more organic transition to being a broker. Sure they will make some cold calls at some points, but mostly you will know the players you are working with and work on practicing for pitches to win a deal against other groups. The brokers at that level also understand the deal at a very high level, with the transactions being very complex at times, so they need to be very sharp on the underwriting and analysis of it. Its really not even comparable with the guys at M&M or any firm in that nature whose only job is too make as many calls as they can to set a meeting, it's almost a different job.

Sep 13, 2021 - 2:45pm

Ah, got it. Thanks for the insight. Yeah I see M&M as more of a pound-the-phone chop shop with no real emphasis on finance. 

Sep 13, 2021 - 12:54pm

Don't have any experience at M&M or other boutiques, but I did work at an institutional IS shop for several years as an analyst then associate. 

The way teams were set up at my office (and all the other offices across all asset types as far as I could tell) was that the analysts have absolutely zero responsibility to create new business through cold calls or client relationship activity, that is 100% on the broker you work for.  Your responsibility is mostly to do the modeling, research, and creating decks for OMs/BOVs on behalf of your broker.  You will have plenty of client interaction through tours, live pitches/meetings, and corresponding with acq/AM teams about deal info, but there really isn't any expectation to create new business unless you are trying to make the leap to being a broker yourself.

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Sep 13, 2021 - 2:48pm

Thanks for the personal insight, really helpful. Do most analysts at the larger firms transition into associates or do some just stay at the analyst-level and transition maybe to the principal side? As an associate, did you have to cold call institutional owners? 

Sep 13, 2021 - 3:15pm

I think it varies at different offices and firms.  In my group, I'd say like 1/2 do the analyst thing for a few years then either make the jump to the principal side in an Acquisitions/AM role or to another area of RE (lending, leasing, etc).  Of the remaining, maybe 1/4 try to become brokers and 1/4 go into another field.  Some teams push harder for analysts to either move up or out - meaning become a broker or get a job somewhere else - but I've also seen several teams with people doing analyst work for decades into their 30s/40s because they like being in brokerage but prefer the back-end analytical work over trying to be a broker themselves, which I honestly don't think is a bad career at all.  Also, titles often don't really make sense on the brokerage side, so a more senior level analyst could have an analyst/associate/director type title but still be doing analyst type work (but if their title is managing director or higher, they're probably a high production broker).

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Sep 13, 2021 - 3:17pm

And no, I never made a cold call in my life.  I rarely saw my broker make cold calls either.  Most of the owners/buyers/sellers in our market were repeat clients with long-established relationships with us, and honestly a lot of the time we would get awarded business on rotation more than anything - meaning owners want to spread the business around to all the major brokerages to keep everybody happy with them.

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Sep 13, 2021 - 6:16pm

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