Is my comp in line with the market? (CRE Asset Management Analyst)

I've been trying to look online for some comparisons, but I can't find anything good for my specific title.

 

I'm currently at a family office GP with around $1bn of property worth, operating right outside of NYC.  Hours are around 60 per week.  Right now, I'm at about 2 years of experience and have a base of $70k, but when recently speaking to a co-worker my non-Covid bonus looks like it would be around $3k (not sure how the pandemic will affect bonuses). 

 

After seeing a lot of other posts about much higher pay across finance, it has me wondering: is CRE asset management just not a position that pays particularly well?  Am I being underpaid or are my expectations way too high?

 

I've been looking for more quantitative jobs where I'll be able to use my python skills and math degree to do more critical thinking than my current role, but is it worth hanging in there for now or should I be looking to jump ship from here as soon as possible?  Thanks!

Comments (40)

 
Nov 11, 2020 - 10:22am

Unrealestate  this seems a bit more market to me. Your base isn't abnormal, but a $3k bonus is. 

Commercial Real Estate Developer

  • 1
 
Nov 11, 2020 - 1:07pm

Thanks for the input!  You're right though, the base isn't my main concern but the bonus.  My first job out of college was at a CRE debt fund with $65k base and $10k bonus which was for half a year since I started in June.  The bonus here seems way off and it seems like I'm leaving a lot of potential income on the table if I stay for a long time.

 
  • Prospect in PE - Other
Nov 11, 2020 - 11:02am

If you're in the NYC area, you're getting ripped off. The AUM isn't that low and you're still working a decently long work week. If I were you, I would expect at least $100K to $120K at this point (because this is the city we're talking about). You're literally making less than back office folks at banks make right out of undergrad.

 
Nov 11, 2020 - 1:08pm

That's a really interesting point, and actually exactly where I'd love to be comp-wise.  Would it be worth it to hit a year here and then start looking for something new to try to get a huge bump into "average" territory?

 
Nov 11, 2020 - 11:30am

So, 70K base 2 yrs out of UG is not bad on a broad national scale, NYC area area it is on the low side. I mean 60-70K as starting for UG was reasonable expectation (at least pre-covid). Now, if you are really in outer part of NJ, or even CT, then it's closer to that reasonable range. 

The bonus is small, but are you referring to max potential or just expected earnout? I'd think a range of 10-20% bonus potential is reasonable/market. But, the earnings amount can be affected by annual performance, thus maybe getting $3k this year is great all things considered (I mean some in NYC area will get zero bonus and even pay cut if not laid off given covid). If in a normal/good year, you would get 7-14k, or more, that is then reasonable. 

 
Nov 11, 2020 - 1:14pm

I see where you're coming from.  I asked another analyst that has been here a bit longer though and he said that his half-year (pre-covid) bonus was about a half month's pay when he got the highest marks on his review.  From that I'm just extrapolating that for me, a year long bonus would be around $3k-$4k but that's max and pre-covid.  It's much lower than my previous job where the bonus was about 15% and even that was for when I was there for 6 months (started in June).  Overall, a low bonus due to covid isn't going to deter me much, but from what I heard it seems like this bonus amount of ~5% may be the norm and I'm not sure I want to stay for the long haul if I'm giving up that much potential income.  What would you do in this situation?

 

You also mentioned location.  To be more specific, job is Westchester area and I live in Greenwich so I kind of consider all of that to be "NYC suburbs."

 
Nov 11, 2020 - 7:22pm

Well, not sure if the extrapolation is valid or not, mid-year bonuses (which are not universal) may not be 1/2 of total (in fact, I would expect them to be smaller than annual, maybe significantly). Then again, every firm sets their own rules, so no way to guess. I'd look for more real guidance, but it is a weird year so I wouldn't ask to directly. 

Westchester is the burbs and a job there is really not comparable to NYC (my personal opinion, I live in Westchester, work in NYC... well now pretty much just from home lol). So I think 70k is fair for base, still think 10-25% bonus potential is more "market". 

 
Nov 11, 2020 - 12:33pm

70k for 1B AUM for 2 YE in NYC is...normal, albeit, I've seen higher for that high cost of living market. But since you mentioned "right outside of NYC" it might be ok.

Your bonus however - man you need to have a conversation with your manager. 3k is ridiculous for a firm with 1B AUM. You need to be looking at 10-50% (depending on so many factors - investment strategies, performances, etc...) of your base salary or else they're seriously fucking you. There are threads that talked about strategies for bring up this conversation. Since the year end is coming, I think you should give that conversation a thought. I get its pandemic time and all, but worth a thought. No idea what your firm's performance, investment strategies or balance sheet looks like so I can't comment further.

To your original question, AM does tend to pay less bonus than Acq, but in a pandemic year like 2020, I bet that dynamic would flip and AM is probably the place to be. Bonus comp I mentioned for someone with 2 YE is totally reasonable and market rate. You should be looking at close to 100k in total comp, that'd be my guess.

Last thing we want as an industry is having folks start accepting lower pay and drag down market pricing....

Array

 
Nov 11, 2020 - 1:17pm

Thank you so much!  I really thought that I might just be crazy or seem "ungrateful" in a way by thinking that bonus is low.  Also, since I'm only about 2 years out of school I feel like people will consider me entitled if I try to have a conversation like what you mentioned, but I'll definitely look for the threads on how to bring it up, those would be incredibly helpful.

 
  • Analyst 2 in RE - Comm
Nov 12, 2020 - 12:22am

I think it makes sense that a family office GP runs lean. If we assume 65% Leverage, and 10% of equity in each deal, $1bn of real estate means they're managing $35mm of equity. I guess they could take a lot in fees from the LPs in their deals? Meaning take an asset management fee, an acquisition fee etc.

 

I guess I just don't understand how you can have a large team and pay them well if they're technically only managing $35mm? Excuse my ignorance, I should know this by now. 

 
  • Analyst 3+ in RE - Comm
Nov 11, 2020 - 1:01pm

Salary seems to be fair, but not great either, for NYC. Bonus does look a bit light though. As for using python and math more extensively, a lot of the roles described on the RE forum typically don't call for those types of skills. I'm in asset management and part of my job requires me to read lots of data, I'm generally using SQL and more advanced techniques in excel to complete my analyses. I've rarely needed to use other programming languages in my job, at least for now. RE FinTech is probably the space where you'll find overlap of RE with python and math the most.

 
Nov 11, 2020 - 1:20pm

Thanks for the input, and yeah the base isn't bad by me but the bonus seemed way less than what I expected.  You're right though on the programming and quant side of things.  I don't think people in the industry use it much, and I'm looking into possibly switching into some kind of quant research or fintech role (possibly still real estate though) before I get too pigeonholed into one place and lose the chance to ever use those skills.

 
  • Analyst 3+ in RE - Comm
Nov 12, 2020 - 7:49pm

I have looked for other roles in real estate that have called on more skills with programming or dealing with lots of data and find it's mostly with residential. They're usually startup FinTechs buying up mortgages or some derivative and evaluating how those products perform, this does begin to sound a little 2008ish though. Residential is such a broad market though with LOTS of data and more investors coming in compared to commercial. Commercial is just filled with imperfect info and big select players and I think FinTech firms and quants are still figuring out how they could fit in or how to have bigger presence. I could think of crowdfunding platforms that might use quant abilities but I don't know if they truly demand those skills.

 
Nov 11, 2020 - 7:32pm

Not sure about everyone else but I actually don't think they will be much at my place.  We got hit hard by covid but we've also been bringing on a lot of new software initiatives and have hired multiple people during the pandemic so things don't seem dire for us.  My only problem is if there's even a bonus for covid to affect haha.

 
Nov 11, 2020 - 7:33pm

entry level staff at the big 4 (tax, audit, consulting) now start at 65-70k right out of undergrad, and get 10-15% annual raises (so 85k after 2 years 120-130k after 5 years).

These people know absolutely nothing, and are getting paid more than you....

just google it...you're welcome
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Nov 11, 2020 - 7:47pm

Interesting...my friend is right at the 2 year mark for big 4 and is at $70k (no raise due to covid).  Your comment puts things in perspective though, think I'm going to start looking a bit harder for something new.  As much as I don't want to be a job hopper, I don't want to be taken advantage of even more.

 
Nov 11, 2020 - 9:01pm

i know a bunch of senior managers and partners at the big4.   15% raises do indeed happen for some top performers...but agree they are rare.

just google it...you're welcome
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