Life at Mega Developers

decrebepro's picture
Rank: Baboon | banana points 158

Can anyone speak to what it's like working at a Hines/Tishman/Related in a flagship office (NY/LA)? Somewhat curious about comp, hours, culture and all that, but far more interested in the actual quality of the work and what the impact is on your career.

As an analyst at one of these firms, are you holed up in a cubicle cranking on models all day? Or do you get to participate in marketing/design/project management/capital raising etc. Do you sit in on meetings/phone calls where you're pitching a deal or negotiating a JV structure? Do you get to voice your opinion on a marketing decision or picking a cabinet spec? Or are you just a really expensive human calculator?

Furthermore, what is the progression at a place like this? At what point do you actually get to run a deal or get a piece of the carry? As someone who would like to break off on their own sooner rather than later (or at least be a principal), and who works at a smaller shop where I have the inside track and have exposure to everything, should I even be considering taking a job at one of these mega-shops? Having the brand name on my resume would go a long way in raising capital for myself down the road, and working on blue-chip deals would obviously be an absolute blast, but I'm worried that you don't learn the skills you need to be an entrepreneur at a place like this. Of course, I could be completely misguided. Anybody who could provide insight would be greatly appreciated.

edit: Also please feel free to PM me if you don't want to identify that you work for one of these firms

Anonymous Monkey, Upload Your Resume - Land a Job

Members that upload a resume get 2.3x the number of interview invites through the Talent Oasis. Learn more.

Comments (53)

Mar 7, 2018

Curious about this as well.. thanks for the post

Learn More

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

Best Response
Mar 7, 2018

I work at a large top 30 developer managing large institutional size mutlifamily developments.

I am in charge of 6 developments for a total of 862 units. I am currently interviewing at other firms and I am in compensation negotiations now.

If you are able to break into development and to start managing developments, expect high stress, ever changing job descriptions, and lots of baby sitting engineers, architects, and by far the biggest babies of all, construction guys.

Site Acquisitions: Know your area, be up to date on all comps and market trends. Find a site that fits your criteria. Negotiate LOI and sale agreement terms. Run a back of the napkin model.

Due Diligence: You are responsible for making sure the site is not a festering mess of unknown crap. That means you are in charge of checking all easements, soil conditions, environmental, title, zoning, on site and off site as builts, site feasibility (can you actually build anything here), underwriting (can the deal pencil), You need to figure out the fees, any special BS requirements that will cost you money or time, what is the city timelines, etc.

Entitlement: You are responsible for making sure the City loves you. You are BFFs with the City Council, the building officials, the head planner, the plan checker.. all the way down to the admin who takes in your plans. You need to convince the planner and city council that this project is great and wonderful and everyone will love it. During this time, you will lay the site out, figure out how many units you can put on it, how you are going to retain your storm water, etc. You will typically be in a Design Phase portion of plans right now. You get to hire all your consultants! Negotiate the architect, the engineers, the LEED guy, the MEP, etc You will also start talking to your equity and debt partners here. Start negotiating terms with them. Get a term sheet. Draw up the business plan for your equity partner. Negotiate. Lawyers are involved. Close with equity partner. Close on land. Do all the land closing calls and checklists with the different responsible parties. More lawyers.

Post Entitlement/Construction Docs: Oh boy, you got your entitlements! Great! Now read the 80 pages of conditions and make sure you dont forget any! Oh, and make sure their are no conditions that will ruin your site's feasibility (this should have been negotiated in entitlements already). Get a kick off meeting, where you need to tell these people who you hired what you are building...make sure they are coordinated with eachother..make sure they are doing what they are told. You will get usually half assed coordinated plans... now its up to you to review the 350 page set of construction plans and coordinate them!

Make sure that your plumbing lines are not going through sheer walls! Make sure you have meter locations for all of your unit meters. Make sure your soils guy is okay with the foundation plans, make sure structural is taking into account the boiler load on your roof. x1,000 other coordination issues that you need to look at. Now submit the plans back to the nice admin lady at the counter that you are BFFs with so that the plans can be plan checked again. Wait 2-4 weeks. Get plans back; your consultants missed a bunch of corrections and the plan checker added a bunch of bs corrections. Meet with the plan checker and talk things through. Plan check wont budge, have a meeting with the building official.

You are bFFs with the building official and he gives you some leway. Great. Fix plans. Rinse and repeat until you have all your permits. You may have to do this for 3-10 different permits. During this time you are also following the conditions that you received.. you are incorporating those conditions into the plans, you are hiring a bird/owl guy to go check to see if their are any owl nests on your land, you are calling up the local tribe so that they can tell you what they want in order for you to build there, if anything, etc.

You are also talking with your debt so that you can close on the construction loan. This is lots of talking and lawyers again. Bunch of lawyers. They all love to get on phone calls multiple times a week so that all 20 lawyers can run up time and talk about something or other. Eventually you will pull the permits and close the construction loan. You start grading.

Construction: Your GC are the biggest babies. Nothing is their fault and it is always development and the consultants issues. You baby sit them. You make sure they are on schedule and that they are buying out trades correctly. You review their payapps. You hold weekly or biweekly meetings to go over issues. You baby sit more and listen to them complain. You make sure they are building the building to spec and plans and if they change anything that they are recording it correctly. You make sure they are in contact with your LEED guys. You review RFI and Submittals. You sign off on owner items. You are an interior designer also cause even though you have an ID, nothing is ever done correctly and you end up having to handle it. You figure out where you are placing TVs, light fixtures, etc.

You contact gym equipment companies and figure out gym layouts. You figure out your community area amenities (game rooms, etc). You hire the branding company so that you can pay them $50K to come up with a name and logo that everyone and their mom can come up with. Punchlist items. Model units. Eventually the building is built..hopefully on time and under budget.. which doesnt happen today.

Post Construction: Perm loans, lawyers, yadeeyah. Same thing as your last two closings. Lease up. Need more leases. Stay on top of your property management company. Lease up and hold or lease up and find a buyer. If you need to sell the building, you are going to handle finding the company to sell it for you and all that goes with that.

Compensation? Crap.

    • 39
    • 1
Mar 7, 2018

How do I become a bird/owl guy?

In all seriousness, great post. Thanks for the info.

Mar 7, 2018

Fucking spot on.

Mar 7, 2018

Solid write up. Not to be a dick but I already work in development and know all of that, but am interviewing with one of these behemoths and am wondering what it's like specifically working for them

    • 1
Mar 7, 2018

hah.. my bad! Well, see my other post below. I know a couple guys from Related California's affordable side. They seem to be solely focused on the debt/equity/modeling/tax credit application side while holding the Development Associate and Development Manager title. I know the Development Manager does not get a piece of the deal. They seem to have a team of AIA and Owner's Rep/Precon guys on payroll. Associate seems like an excel/application monkey. Manager seems more involved, but in a higher level overview of the project, especially once it is turned over to precon/construction teams. I would be surprised if they are involved in the deal all that much once its turned over.

Related is a huge name on your resume. I think without a doubt it will help you raise money. But as I said below, I am not sure it prepares you to run your own down and dirty shop. If you are only focused on the debt/equity/modeling side of the business.. .you barely scratched the surface. If I wanted to start my own shop, I would get into a role that allows me to be responsible from start to finish. Someone can correct me if they know better.

    • 4
Mar 7, 2018

+1
Such a solid overview.

Mar 8, 2018

Hah, this is fantastic.

6 projects though is nuts - no wonder you're burnt out. I have 3 and that's pushing the upper limits. Couldn't imagine more than 4.

    • 1
Mar 8, 2018

What position do you have?

Mar 13, 2018

By far the best development post on this forum.

Mar 30, 2018

This man speaks the truth especially regarding the owls. I can't tell you how many projects have been mothballed due to wildlife regulations

Mar 7, 2018

If you cant tell by my post, I am a bit burnt out by development. It really is truly a ton of work for little money. I am interviewing now for jobs in SF -- struggling to find a job that will pay 130K-150K base. Remember, I have institutional size projects under my belt. The pay is crap for a development manager position.

I know a couple Related/CIM type of guys with the title of Development Manager or Development Associate. To be honest, these guys really only seem to know / do about 5-10% of the above work. They seem to be more involved with the financial modeling/equity/debt phases. I would not consider these guys developers but more guys who work for a development company. Their is nothing wrong with that, but just know... you probably wont be prepared for starting your own development company from one of these roles.

Compensation for a VP/SVP, I know ranges from 200-250K with equity in the deals. Equity works differently in many companies.. I know one SVP who gets 6% of the deal. They do not bring in outside equity, so his 6% is a good chunk. I know another VP who gets 10% of a deal, but thats on the GP side.

Associate / Analyst: I would expect base salary in the $65-85K range.

Construction side (I am involved in this and know this is a fact the salaries): Superintendent are making $150-200K + bonus of 20-30K. Project Managers are making $120K-175K + bonus of 20-30K.

    • 6
Mar 7, 2018

In my opinion, if you're a developer doing all the stuff you say you do you're doing it wrong, especially if you're not making money.

You don't want to CM the project? Fee the project 1% of hard costs and hire an outside group to do it. If you want to CM it, take the dough.

You don't want to get into the nitty gritty of entitlements (you probably shouldn't be in most circumstances, especially if you're an outsider,) you should hire a land use attorney and local civil and budget for their fees.

You don't want to deal with design review/coordination, hire a dedicated expert or pay your architect to do it. Budget for the expense.

You don't want to deal with title review then your attorney/paralegal should do it, while coordinating with your civil/surveyor, and you should budget for their fees.

You don't want to deal with as much closing bullshit, you're capital markets group and legal team should handle the lion's share of the work. Budget for their fees.

The common thread here is that you're the quarterback of the team. Trying to be an expert at everything is a recipe for disaster. Budget prudently and you can make your life a hell of a lot easier with significantly less drama while delivering a higher quality project.

All of my comments notwithstanding, being a developer is challenging/complex work. But, from my experience, the pay/comp is easily commensurate with the work if you know what you're doing.

I always think of it this way: do you think Donald Trump, a billionaire RE developer, gets down in the weeds (with the exception of his love of interior design, lol) on his projects or do you think he hires a bunch of technical experts to do it it for him and budgets for their expense?

    • 8
    • 1
Mar 7, 2018

I was thinking this too...Im not so sure guys like Harry Macklowe, Steve Witkoff, Barnett, etc do or ever did stuff like that. I imagine they contract it out.

Is it ever worth it to do all the stuff the OP of the comment you are referencing does? Maybe when you are just starting out you need to know all of that to save...?

Array

Mar 7, 2018

In my opinion, no. As a developer you literally are supposed to be an expert at finding sites, underwriting markets, and managing the development process. If you get too far down into the weeds you are going to shoot yourself in the foot 10/10. You won't make any money and you'll be so busy doing stuff you have no idea how to do you won't have time to build a pipeline.

    • 5
Mar 9, 2018

Yes, developers need to be experts in those areas, but they also need to be knowledgeable enough to be dangerous in the other areas mentioned above. Knowing when you need to engage third party and what it might cost is key. It helps to have in-house people that are experts, but depending on what you develop and how often you do it, it often makes sense to third party them out.

Mar 9, 2018

In my estimation, here's a good rule of thumb for this: If your investors are going to lose their shit on you about a mistake you should have caught in a specific discipline within the development process, then you should be an expert, or close to it, on that specific discipline. If you can't sue your service provider/consultant over the mistake and win, you should have known better.

With that being said, I'm just a struggling new developer with no mega-fund experience so take it with a grain of salt.

EDIT: This is a great thread, btw.

    • 2
Mar 7, 2018

The question is: (1) How does one accurately budget for these fees without a decent level of experience hiring third-parties to do this work? and (2) How does one accurately account for the quality of work being done without having considerable experience themselves?

Mar 7, 2018
  1. Sure, if you are out on your own and it's your first deal with no prior experience, your guess is as good as mine.
  2. Hire a CM, like I said above.
Mar 8, 2018
The Duke of Wall Street:

The question is: (1) How does one accurately budget for these fees without a decent level of experience hiring third-parties to do this work? and (2) How does one accurately account for the quality of work being done without having considerable experience themselves?

  1. I have developed in a number of different cities. Finding the correct fee amounts, especially early on in the process when you may not know exactly what you are building (a lot of fees are based on units, SF, number of X), it can be pretty challenging. In these cases, you would want to go to the City website and get the fee schedule's for each of the departments (engineering, building, planning, public works, fire, etc) and run down the list there to ball park it. You can also try to ask the City what kind of fees we should expect, but they will almost always want to see a plan submitted first before they will estimate your fees (this is where good relationships with the admins in a city can help). Another option is to find a deal in the same City and see if you know anyone at that developer and give them a call. At the end of the day, ballpark and cushion the fees. You will end up getting estimate fee amounts once you begin the entitlement and/or plan check processes with the City.

This obviously gets easier to estimate once you have done a deal or two in that city, as you will have a cost per unit or sf to go off of for your next project.

  1. Quality of work - I assume you mean quality of work done by the GC. Yes, you can hire a CM. You will also have multiple 3rd party consultants walking the site - architect, waterproofing, leed, structural observations, soils observations, etc.
    • 2
Mar 8, 2018

Got it. Thanks @jjacobs06 . Digging a bit further, how do you go about estimating costs for the project itself? For example, if I want to do a Value-Add Multi Rehab (estimate $15K - $25K Interior Reno), where would you begin to look to get accurate costs for the various renovation costs? Further, how would you go about doing this for larger developments?

Mar 8, 2018

Not to hijack the dudes response, but if you have a fairly consistent unit renovation scope, you could simply scope it out (construction CSI division by division), put an exhibit together (don't even need an architect, do it yourself in bluebeam and annotate), then send it out to a GC to provide a budget ROM. A decent GC can put together a really good ROM with a simple scope of work and basic floor plan exhibit...

    • 1
Mar 9, 2018

Thanks for the response @pere797 . I am entirely unaware of what 90% of those development terms mean (i.e. Construction CSI, Bluebeam, ROM). Could you explain?

Mar 12, 2018
The Duke of Wall Street:

Thanks for the response @pere797 . I am entirely unaware of what 90% of those development terms mean (i.e. Construction CSI, Bluebeam, ROM). Could you explain?

I did not see a response, so thought I would help out.

Construction CSI: Construction budgets from your GC are broken out into project divisions of 1-16; each division is a major trade. For example, Division 1 is General Conditions (salaries, food, admin, toilets, temp fencing, etc) and Division 16 is Electrical (Building Electrical, site lighting, light fixtures, etc). Construction CSI is the standard cost code that these items all fall under and their respective divisions. These divisions are very important, many legal documents for the project are drawn up on these divisions - and transferring between divisions is not always easy or allowed depending on your agreements between different parties.

Bluebeam: Bluebeam should be a standard for anyone in the industry. Everyone should be using this. It is basically Acrobat PDF on steroids. I do a ton with bluebeam from manipulating plans, to clouding changes, to measuring my bedrooms, etc. Some developers may still not know about Bluebeam, or have it as a default product, as this was typically used by construction and architect teams. I would make sure to ask and get this being used by all. It is an invaluable developers tool, especially if you do all the work I mentioned in my first post. My first company would not buy this for me, so I shelled out the money myself. Worth it. I just bring it to any new company.

ROM: Rough Order of Magnitude. Basically, this is a very rough price on the rough set of plas you showed us.

    • 2
Mar 12, 2018

Awesome. Thanks sir.

Mar 12, 2018

bingo!

Mar 12, 2018
jjacobs06:

Bluebeam: Bluebeam should be a standard for anyone in the industry. Everyone should be using this. It is basically Acrobat PDF on steroids. I do a ton with bluebeam from manipulating plans, to clouding changes, to measuring my bedrooms, etc. Some developers may still not know about Bluebeam, or have it as a default product, as this was typically used by construction and architect teams. I would make sure to ask and get this being used by all. It is an invaluable developers tool, especially if you do all the work I mentioned in my first post. My first company would not buy this for me, so I shelled out the money myself. Worth it. I just bring it to any new company.

This, 100%. I'm not sure how one would go about their job as a developer effectively without bluebeam. It would be a lot of printing, writing, and scanning with a lot less clarity.

The bluebeam iPad app is also incredibly solid for on the fly markups.

    • 1
Mar 7, 2018
coolhandlucas:

In my opinion, if you're a developer doing all the stuff you say you do you're doing it wrong, especially if you're not making money.

You don't want to CM the project? Fee the project 1% of hard costs and hire an outside group to do it. If you want to CM it, take the dough.

You don't want to get into the nitty gritty of entitlements (you probably shouldn't be in most circumstances, especially if you're an outsider,) you should hire a land use attorney and local civil and budget for their fees.

You don't want to deal with design review/coordination, hire a dedicated expert or pay your architect to do it. Budget for the expense.

You don't want to deal with title review then your attorney/paralegal should do it, while coordinating with your civil/surveyor, and you should budget for their fees.

You don't want to deal with as much closing bullshit, you're capital markets group and legal team should handle the lion's share of the work. Budget for their fees.

The common thread here is that you're the quarterback of the team. Trying to be an expert at everything is a recipe for disaster. Budget prudently and you can make your life a hell of a lot easier with significantly less drama while delivering a higher quality project.

All of my comments notwithstanding, being a developer is challenging/complex work. But, from my experience, the pay/comp is easily commensurate with the work if you know what you're doing.

I always think of it this way: do you think Donald Trump, a billionaire RE developer, gets down in the weeds (with the exception of his love of interior design, lol) on his projects or do you think he hires a bunch of technical experts to do it it for him and budgets for their expense?

Im sorry... but, I am very curious as to how much experience you have in the development process... Who do you think coordinates and is responsible for each of the points above? Sounds nice.. pay someone else... reality is that yes you can pay for someone else to do some of the leg work, and I do often, but that in no way shape or form puts less on the manager. That is not how that works.

Do you think Donald Trump hires the land use consultant, civil, mep, architect, title? Come on.. he hires someone to do that for him. Someone is ultimately answering to Donald for the land use attorney, MEP, architect, and GC fuck ups. The development manager has to know and understand each of the mentioned aspects of development process.. and that means getting in the weeds. Your Development Manager not reading the title report? Not reading and understanding the soils report? Not reviewing site conflicts and conditions? That is how you end up in a lot of trouble.

I highly disagree with your assessment. Someone representing the Owner is getting in the weeds...regardless of how much money you throw at it.

    • 3
    • 1
Mar 7, 2018

I design build or design assist everything with a GMax. 90%+ of the design coordination issues are covered under the scope of my design builder. They hire and manage all design consultants under their contract, including MEP, code, envelop, structural, civil, VDC, etc. Generally, I give them a date I need to be in the ground and budget and we figure out a way to make it work. I review plans as we work through the process to ensure everything is as correct as possible, although we mostly work from a book of standards that dictates the vast majority of owner requirements. If there is a coordination item that is missed, it is corrected in the field via the superintendent with oversight from a CA architect and/or owner's rep. If it costs my contractor more I don't care, because they guaranteed me a total design build cost. If there is an item missed due to my oversight, a blown allowance, or an unforeseen, I carry a 3-4%+ x TPC dev contingency through the project to resolve.

I head up other development related issues though my legal and environmental team. They coordinate direct with the GC and civil on things such as survey, title review/objection, easements, enviro, and misc items. If there are business related issues that aren't mentioned in the PA my legal team alerts me and I discuss with the seller. We often hire an outside land use attorney in markets we are unfamiliar with, who then coordinates with the civil and GC and I'm pulled in as an owner representative for any public hearings, neighborhood meetings, or presentations. The legal team also spearheads the closing process (who often subs out JV or LLC docs) with our capital markets team, accounting and any loose ends from the GC.

Generally speaking, you missed my point. From my perspective, there is a way to build a better/more efficient process while mitigating risk and, for whatever reasons you may have, you do things differently. Under my process, I'm at the top of the pyramid and manage teams of many other people to get things done. Under yours, you're at the bottom of the pyramid (maybe the middle?) trying to play along with everyone else. Just a matter of opinion, I guess.

There is a reason John D. Rockefeller didn't believe in technical aptitude as much as he did charisma, leadership, and strategic abilities. The technicals can always be hired out and managed by someone else. What matters most is that you limit your downside.

I'm super inexperienced though so take everything I say with a grain of salt.

    • 6
    • 1
Mar 8, 2018

What type of product you are building? will be very surprised if you are making infill multifamily pencil using a design build model where your GC is taking on all design and construction liability. You are paying a hefty premium for it. Design build is usually left for very complex projects (such as building a prison).

What I describe above is by far the most typical way of developing multifamily. We mitigate risk by having our consultants indemnify us, maybe having the architect take on the structural, have the envelope/modeling be carried by the MEP engineer, etc. We do not, and no other large developer that I know of, has their GC take on the design build and consultants for multifamily development.

I have enough very close personal relationships with large developer's, as well as my equity partners being all pension and PE shops, to know that what I describe above is pretty much standard here on the West Coast.

Again, as i described in another comment, their are development manager positions that focus solely on excel, pitch books, and debt/equity, but IMO that is not a developer but someone that works for a developer. Once you hit VP/SVP/MD, then you get equity and do not have to focus as much into the weeds if you have a good DM under you...but IMO if you are going to be able to source, underwrite, and negotiate good deals, you have to be intimately familiar with the processes that I describe above. And, to be frank, in a lot the shops the SVP/VP do not have a DM and will be doing what I describe above anyways.

    • 2
Mar 13, 2018

What happens when the GC goes over the timeline that the project is expected to be completed?

Mar 13, 2018
yayaa:

What happens when the GC goes over the timeline that the project is expected to be completed?

Depends on the agreement, but typically they have liquidated damages where they have to pay a fee for each day they deliver the project late

Mar 27, 2018

Agree with @coolhandlucas, 10,000%.

@jjacobs does a great job explaining (quite humorously) the development process, but not the job of a developer. Frankly, I find it difficult you can execute what you described on ONE project, let alone six.

You should be able to review any of the things you mention in such a way that you can spot check and not miss anything. Plan coordination and expediting are not good uses of your time, if you're a good developer - those are things you can hire people to do for relatively small amounts of money, and spend a couple hours spot checking every few weeks.

Mar 28, 2018

I guess it all depends and juts shows how different it is company to company as a 'developer'. On one side of the spectrum you have all this technical execution that is required, the other type of 'developer' is the guy with millions of dollars who spends his time with capital guys and mayors then has a team of the dude above doing everything for him..and only shows up at groundbreaking. I know a couple hours spot checking on a project means you a FAR removed from the project. It can be done, but you sure as hell won't know whats going on.

    • 1
Mar 29, 2018

And I'm telling you it's not physically possible to run 6 projects at once at the level you're describing.

Being a GC, or an expeditor, or a structural engineer, are full time jobs. And there are dozens of those people on any given job.

It is not physically possible to review every single part of a development at the level of detail you describe. You're supervising the actual buys on construction subs? Every one? Great. You're also site supervising, dealing with community boards, dealing with local electeds, reviewing bank requisitions, keeping investors in the loop, etc? It's just not possible to do anything more than a brief review of these things, even on a daily basis. Again, take a deep dive into one or two of them every so often, so that you cover all aspects of the project a few times over through the process, but you can't do everyone's job for them, which is what you are describing.

Mar 29, 2018

Well sure, 6 projects are a lot. I have 4 and it is over whelming for sure. The dude didn't say he was supervising sub contractors and signing time cards to that level. Its everything else in between those 3rd party guys and the capital waiting to be deployed.

Mar 7, 2018

@jjacobs06 What was your previous gig, and how did you get into this one?

Mar 8, 2018

I LOL'd at your first rant, I can relate to all of it and am in a very similar role. Regarding comp, yes its a lot of work and I think honestly the only way to start hitting 200K+ is to grind and get a Senior DM/director/VP title at the minimum and have a couple PM/DM's under you, start to get some carry in the fund or on the deal level or reach some kind of partner level....OR if you are lucky, one of your MD's or other VP's want to go raise some money and start their own thing and take you as a partner. Hit me up if you end up in the bay area

    • 2
Mar 8, 2018

I work at a Megafund REIT developer, and what you said above is very true. Our breakdown is something like this where one person is the Developer and then you have the development finance team/ Design team/ Equity team/ JV Team. That all get staffed on the project, The developer, in this case, would do what was mentioned by getting entitlements etc. The rest of the team models assumptions he brings in/ Sends data to partners on what he said. All of these roles get similar titles, but very different responsibilities and working on the same project with the same title may give you very different experiences at my company.

When developments are happening the Developers are busy when Finance is needed JV teams are busy when shit it in PreDev the finance team/ Design team are busy working together to model cost and proforma rents.

Again this is why RE is very not cut and dry about titles unlike how other Corporate structures are very cut and dry about what you do.

Learn More

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

Mar 7, 2018

I know a guy working on the Hudson Yards team at Related. Works pretty long hours, usually in the office on weeknights at 9-11pm. I haven't spoken a ton with him about specifics of the job. He is more analyst/associate level and to reiterate what the other poster said does a fair share of modeling debt/equity/excel stuff. I believe he is also involved with negotiating the leases and finding tenants (mainly working on the office projects). He does get down to the job site relatively often

I have heard some negative things about the culture at Related in regards to comp on the low end, long hours, tough to work for, demanding, etc.

I would still work there in a heart beat

Array

    • 1
Mar 7, 2018

Can confirm this.

I know someone who spent a year at Related as a Project/Development Manager and then jumped ship to a small Developer. Told me it is night and day and Related it was a heavy "corporate" culture and didn't really even feel like you were technically in development.

Said it was a massive learning curve moving to a smaller firm as you are way more into the weeds and at Related it was much more heavy Finance vs project/boots on ground development experience. There is a reason why if you look at any Development Analyst position from a Related/Hines they are likely to have previous investment banking experience in the details.

    • 1
Mar 7, 2018

Yeah I talked to a recruiter from Related and they told me if I worked in IB for a couple years I would be a good fit as they tend to hire guys after a couple of years in either Investment sales (Eastdil) or IB. They hire from undergrad (Im currently at a non-target UG) but not as much

Array

Mar 7, 2018

Happy to provide some context.

The work is far more broad and involved than being holed up in a cubicle cranking out models. While Analyst -> Associate (and sometimes VP / Directors) are responsible for the financial modeling, development is far more encompassing than you may think. I personally am involved in all of the 'activities' you list regularly, though most large groups do have capital markets divisions and/or point people who manage relationships with certain capital providers. Preparing debt and equity OM's for use in pitching is very common, though the pitching is usually done at Director/VP/MD level and up. At analyst/associate level, you're educating your boss on the granular points of the deal so he can speak intelligently about it--you have to remember that you know the model and levers better than anyone above you. At my shop, my voice is heard for marketing and cabinet spec type topics, though one must understand that these firms have very capable (i.e. industry leaders) running their deals and so to think your voice/opinion matters 100% of the time as an Analyst/Associate is foolish.

Progression is typically Analyst (U/G; rare but happens) -> Senior Analyst/Associate for 2-3 years (Usually Post Top-Tier MBA) -> VP/Director for 2-4 years -> MD/Similiar -> Senior MD/SVP/Etc..

Typically MBA grads are assistant project managers (Senior Analyst/Associate level) and spend a great deal of time on pursuit analysis and due diligence. Once a deal 'makes', this person's role effectively shifts into a project manager type gig and he/she works directly with the MD/SMD running the deal. Director/VP level typically can run deals with minimal supervision, though the senior people always need to be aware of (and opine on) key decisions.

    • 8
Mar 8, 2018

As an associate at one of those firms in a gateway market I'll try and answer your questions one at a time (for background on what a developer does throughout the development process, albeit with a bit of hyperbole, look to the response from jjacobs06).

1. Comp: Analysts (depending on experience) $65-$75K + 30% bonus, Associates $100-$125K + 30%, VP/Director not positive but likely $130-$160K + some unknown bonus; honestly not really sure what's after that but associates and above start participating in deals so comp can go into the millions when a deal pays out (usually upon sale, which may be years down the road from when it started).

2. Hours: Usually get in around 8-8:30am and leave around 5:30-6:30pm most days. If you're cranking on a deal or were in meetings all day you may leave closer to 7pm or as late as 11pm-12am if you're working on an investment memo for committee, however those hours are few and far between. Weekend work is almost unheard of, unless, again, there's a deal in play.

3. Culture: Hard to describe but everyone in the office is well-educated (usually from Ivy League or top public/private universities a la Stanford, Dartmouth, UC Berkeley, Harvard, Columbia, etc.) and thus it's a bunch of smart, down-to-earth people who get their job done well, but still have great lives outside of work (kids, vacations, networking, golf, etc.). No big egos or assholes, at least in our office, although I've heard it's not quite the same for some other offices in the firm (think East Coast). People get lunch together, hang out outside of work, grab drinks after work, and generally get along quite well (I'm sure there's politicking at senior levels we don't see).

4. Analyst Work: most analysts seem to spend their first 6-9 months working almost exclusively on models, underwriting, and market research, as well as ad hoc projects (presentations, etc.). This is mainly to earn trust from associates and above in their modeling/Excel/Argus abilities; you're certainly not chained to your desk though, and you're not expected to work crazy hours. At the same time, it really depends what's going on in the office and being in the right place at the right time. Some analysts will get dropped right into a development project to help with design work, entitlements, financing, operations, etc. if they're lucky. Given that I haven't been around through a full cycle it's been a ton of development work and acquisitions underwriting so that's mainly what analysts and associates work on. Have definitely seen analysts doing more associate/VP/Director-level work as opportunities arise when more senior folks leave projects mid-stream, which is fantastic for getting dropped in the deep end and learning to swim. Really allows one to take responsibility and effectively run a project (you don't see too many twenty-somethings running quarter billion dollar development projects but it's happened here).

5. Analyst Responsibilities: while you're mainly responsible for underwriting and modeling, market research is important as well. You'll also almost certainly be on all calls related to the deal(s) you're working on whether that's with counsel, JV partners, capital partners, brokers, banks, architects/consultants, contractors, investment committee, etc. which gives you great visibility into the process. The teams are super lean (usually an SMD, VP/Associate, and an analyst) so everyone has a lot of responsibility and needs to know the deal backwards and forwards. Opinions are definitely welcomed if you're willing to speak up and most people will listen, although they might not heed what you say. Relevant opinions come with experience, however if say you're a millennial working on a student housing or multifamily project geared towards millennials they might look to you for your thoughts and opinions.

6. Progression: depends on the office but usually 2-3 years from analyst to associate assuming they like you (have seen some dragged out to 3-4+ years which is usually a sign you should jump elsewhere), and then another 1-3 years to VP/Director level. After that it's a crap shoot and can take many years (i.e. decades) to get to MD/SMD levels. However the caveat here is luck and being in the right place at the right time. If a bunch or even a few senior folk leave an office, backfilling can be exceptionally hard and often not worth it so lower/mid-level people, assuming they're successful and productive, are often promoted quickly. Seen people who were once in the same office diverge to different offices - one is now MD/SMD and the other still VP/director. Crap shoot.

7. Carry: starts at associate level and grows based on title or what your manager wants to throw your way. Takes a while for any of that money to be realized (often years, sometimes 10+ for big deals or those dragged out by the GFC) but payouts can be handsome. Even small deals/payouts to associates/VP/directors are well into 6 figures with larger paychecks for senior management clearing 7 and 8 figures (the latter being very rare).

8. Entrepreneurialism: definitely a lot of entrepreneurial types here, but will say that at a really small firm you may have more responsibilities since a big firm has resources to help with things (HR, capital raising [to some extent, a lot of this is done through senior level relationships with capital partners], counsel, consultants, construction managers, property managers, etc.). That said, once you have the name brand on your resume, years of experience, and good connections at banks and PE/AM shops, you can certainly strike out on your own if you're still up for it. A lot hang around due to the comfortable nature of not having to risk all your own money and resources to make even more money. Really up to the end user as to where they want to go and what they want to be doing. You won't necessarily be private-jet wealthy (e.g. Gulfstream), unless you make it to a C-level position, but you'll be very, very comfortable and have a great work-life balance.

Anyway, hope that was useful to you and others. Happy to chat more about it so feel free to PM me.

It is what it is.

    • 20
Mar 8, 2018

This is an excellent thread and an example of why WSO is valuable

    • 7
Mar 8, 2018

One of the best threads I've seen. Bananas all around.

Mar 9, 2018

This is exceptional. Thanks gents.

Mar 9, 2018

Very nice thread. I know this is geared towards REIT/Development side of Finance/Real Estate. However, this actually is similar to what a Project Manager in Information Technology is compensated.

The work is quite similar and they are responsible for milestones completion. I know PM's have had to get their hands dirty working the basic coding/building of the infrastructure from the architecture down to the wiring/cabling of the server rooms.

So, getting in requires an MBA? Or this is a typical pattern from Analyst in RE?

No pain no game.

Mar 9, 2018

That is the beauty of development. You can take many paths to it. Some have technical backgrounds (architects/general contractor) and some are more finance (RE finance analyst or acquisitions). As long as you build a skill set where you can know enough about everything to be dangerous.

    • 1
Mar 12, 2018

What about the cycles? I imagine there's massive lay-offs during downturns...

Go For Chambers

Mar 12, 2018

1-Click to Unlock All Comments - 100% FREE

Why do I need to be signed in?
WSO is a knowledge-sharing community that depends on everyone being able to pitch in when they know something.
+ Bonus: 6 Free Financial Modeling Lessons with 1-Click Signup ($199 value)
    • 2
Mar 26, 2018
    • 1
Mar 27, 2018