Location change

What's it like when wanting to change locations in the industry? If I apply to jobs and recruiters see I'm from another area is it a turn off? If I make it clear I'm committed to moving is it fine or will it be very difficult. I'm talking like LA to NYC or Midwest to SF type move

Real Estate Modeling Course

  • Real-life RE Modeling Tests from actual Interviews
  • Various asset classes including multi-family, commercial and more
  • Huge discount - until more tests and cases added

Comments (9)

Dec 11, 2020 - 10:10am

It's difficult, but not impossible. I have worked in 4 different states and might be making another move on top of that. I do not recommend bouncing around that frequently, but clearly it can be done. You're simply going to have to put a lot more effort into it. 

The hardest part is giving a reason for making the move outside of "eh, it might be cool." In each of my moves, there was a clear family or career incentive to make them, so the rationale I gave to the interviewer made sense. Moving to be closer to family, or because your significant other got a job in the target city, or because the target city is a clear market upgrade from where you currently work are all good reasons. 

Commercial Real Estate Developer

Dec 11, 2020 - 10:28am

So, the "industry" has two sides.... One is more HQ centric (most of the institutional investor roles, capital markets, most of lending, DE brokerage, etc.) and one is more local/regional market centric (general brokerage, prop mngt, some development roles, somewhat IS brokerage, etc.). 

If your skills/job are centric around a market, then moving could be like starting over and thus difficult. If you skills/job are nationwide in focus, or not market specific, you can move all over (many jump from NYC to LA all the time). It is more difficult to job hunt in a distant market, as networking and even going to interviews is just more logistically difficult, so you need to invest a ton more time (and some dollars in airfare/hotel from your account) to make it work, but it happens all the time. 

I will say, going from "mega" market to other mega market is easier than small market to big market. Big market to small market can be extremely easy as you get "prestige" points at times from some prospective employers coming from a place like NYC.  

Dec 11, 2020 - 11:16am

I did it as well, it's difficult. The biggest hurdle is proving you are actually invested in moving and not someone who thinks XX city "might" be for them. The easiest way to clear that hurdle is to actually move, which is a lot easier now in the remote work environment. If you can't do that, I would recommend making it a strong emphasis point in interviews that you are not playing games and will be moving, whether that's letting people know you are shopping apartments, etc. 

  • Analyst 3+ in RE - Comm
Dec 11, 2020 - 12:47pm

Not very easy, but possible like others have mentioned. You really have to give a good committed reason why they ought to pick you over someone who is local. I'll agree that it might be best to already have moved to the area you are looking to be in. Removes a lot of doubt. Regional relocations are a bit more common. I'm in SF and it's not unusual for people to move interchangeably between LA, OC, SF and even Seattle. Still hard to accomplish, but easier than cross country. I've interviewed for roles in Dallas and Boston, but logistics in last minute flights and time off from work to interview don't work well.

Edit: I'll also add, relocating to NYC seems a lot harder than relocating from NYC to elsewhere. There are too many good candidates there already. It's pretty much a longshot if you're not in the area already.

Learn More

300+ video lessons across 6 modeling courses taught by elite practitioners at the top investment banks and private equity funds -- Excel Modeling -- Financial Statement Modeling -- M&A Modeling -- LBO Modeling -- DCF and Valuation Modeling -- ALL INCLUDED + 2 Huge Bonuses.

Learn more
Dec 11, 2020 - 1:04pm

Edit: I'll also add, relocating to NYC seems a lot harder than relocating from NYC to elsewhere. There are too many good candidates there already. It's pretty much a longshot if you're not in the area already.

This is so true! I did it, but was found via headhunter for a specialized/senior role, I wasn't even trying to do it. But OMG, you get attention from any/everywhere once you are in NYC (it's like the world knows people want to GTFO of NY!!!). Perhaps it is that old adage of "if you can make it, you can make it anywhere".

  • Analyst 3+ in RE - Comm
Dec 11, 2020 - 1:08pm

I was in this position - used to live in Minneapolis and was trying to get out to NY a couple years ago.

Most recruiters/firms I spoke with wanted to make sure that if offered, I wouldn't move to NY and end up hating it, just to move back to Minneapolis. You have to sell why you are leaving X city and relocating to Y city - and you better have a solid answer because as stated, there is plenty of talent in the major markets across the US - why would they bother on some kid in flyover country?

I ended up submitting a cover letter for each job and at the end, made a point about how I know I am in Minneapolis, but want to be in NY for xyz reasons (for me it was family in Queens and North Jersey, grow NY RE connections, be closer to institutional $$, etc.). I also told most recruiters I would be living in NY for at least 5 years, which is true. So after awhile, some firms were open to it and eventually got an offer after convincing the firm I wouldn't dip out on NY within a year. 

Edit: the process took over 9 months and probably hundreds of applications, so you really gotta put the work in if you want it. Utilize work/school connections if you can, I had next to none except for a couple of brokers I knew out here, so that made it a bit harder. But if you hustle, firms see it and respect it. Just got to prove your worth.

Start Discussion

Total Avg Compensation

June 2021 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (9) $911
  • Vice President (35) $364
  • Associates (204) $233
  • 2nd Year Analyst (115) $151
  • Intern/Summer Associate (97) $145
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (27) $145
  • 1st Year Analyst (420) $131
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (339) $82