Is there an age limit for breaking into the investment side of real estate?

Is there an age limit for breaking into REPE or as an analyst at CBRE/Eastdil? Assuming you start off in a non investment role and are trying to lateral around into an investment role eventually, is there an age limit after which it becomes impossible if you don't go to a top tier MBA? I figure 25-26 is the latest you could be an analyst at a company like Eastdil/CBRE and you basically need to break into an investment type role before you're 30 or you're hopeless. I know it doesn't have to be REPE necessarily before you're 30, but at least REIT acquisitions or some other kind of acquisitions role. Is this true? If not, what do you guys think the age cutoffs are?

Comments (12)

Apr 6, 2016

No real age limit, but I look twice when I see someone in an analyst role that looks to be more than 30. There are times when a newbie is given an analyst title even through they are more experienced due to corporate restrictions (i.e. they have "a policy" or something like that). If you're looking to get into REPE at one of those two shops, and have some experience in a non-investment role, you might be slotted as a senior analyst or even associate (depending on the pay scales). Helps to know someone there as well.

Apr 6, 2016

I'm not sure it is hopelessness, but more about career entrenchment.

Say you were a 30 year old research or valuation associate working for a REIT, but you wanted to be in investments. The issue is that you are generally too well paid to go backwards to be an analyst (and a lot of people won't even give you the analyst interview knowing you already have the associate title -this isn't always the case, but it usually takes some explaining/work), and you are competing with MBAs fresh out of school for investment roles, but you don't have the education or experience they do.

But if you wait too much longer, you run the risk of getting promoted to VP/Sr. Associate, which makes it even harder to move because then you are transitioning at an even higher title/pay and are even more entrenched in your current career.

The MBA is sort of like the magic reset button that fixes everything.

Apr 7, 2016

I haven't seen too many people transfer into an analyst role later in life at a brokerage shop. That said, I have seen market research people in other industries transfer into top research roles as well as salesmen from other industries transfer to brokerage teams, so it's not like your situation is hopeless at all. What's your background?

May 2, 2016

I'll send you a PM.

Apr 7, 2016

We have a guy at my shop who started as an Analyst at age 28. He's a producer now 3 years later. He had a crazy background and got out of grad school when he was 27. I think if you show a genuine interested in RE, you'll be totally fine.

Apr 10, 2016

I have the same curiosity for REITs/REPE. I'm 34 with an undergrad 3.0 from a non ivy, Tier 1. Earned a Masters of City Planning in 12' with a 3.5 from a Tier 2. Several years in Applied Economics working with manufacturing, distribution companies, etc.

33 and considering either an MSRE or MBA-RE concentration.

Is it worth trying for at this age or am i de facto "boxed out?"

My reach school would be an T20 b school and I already know that I can get into U Florida for an MBA (I live in Miami).

Thank you in advance!

May 3, 2016

I have a "hack". If you look really old then this might not work.

Don't put year graduated on your resume. Drop some early non real estate experience from your resume. People will believe what they read on paper, e.g. if they see 6-8 years of experience they will expect you to be around 28-30 and probably won't notice you are really 34.

Employers really can't ask you well how old are you in an interview. Don't lie, that's not what I'm saying. Just don't willingly include non pertinent information in your resume on which employers will subconsciously weed you out.

May 3, 2016

While not a terrible idea, certain firms where "prestige" is a thing won't even consider a resume if it doesn't include GPA, let alone year graduated. Not saying it's right, and not saying I would want to work there(OP probably wouldn't), just saying that it happens.

May 3, 2016

I agree with what you said, this probably won't work with an CRE units within BB banks. It should work with small funds, medium funds, or just any company without a designated HR position. Or if you are able to network in, then it probably won't come up.

Also, is anyone putting GPA on their resume more than 2 years out of college? I need all the line space I can get.

May 4, 2016

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May 3, 2016
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