Real Estate Development Associate Comp

JackyD's picture
Rank: Senior Monkey | 79

I am currently finishing my second year as a development associate at a 65 year development investment firm. I came from a capital markets internship and gained very strong financial modeling skills in excel and Argus. I have been primarily supporting the managing principal in all development aspects, contracts, due diligence, underwriting, entitlements, operating agreement and term sheet review, coordinate third party engineers and architects, and ad hoc financial projects like historical performance tracking. I am coming up on a performance review and was hoping for some insight on an appropriate ask on comp. I currently believe I am tremendously underpaid, I am on $58k base and received a $1,300 year end bonus. I see second year asset management associates comping at $145k around me? Is this pretty common in the northeast tri state area? I am learning a lot and enjoy my role, just looking for better comp and want to come into the meeting with a number that is not obnoxious.

Comments (13)

Aug 13, 2019

You are probably underpaid, but it depends on your city and the size of your firm. If your principal is only doing so much business he can really only afford to pay an associate a relatively small amount. You may need to look around in order to get higher comp. Development is the least consistent in terms of comp. In my world development PM's top out at around 120k. An associate would start out at 60ish base.

Aug 14, 2019

If your experience is 2-years total, you are fine. It is more about learning in this stage, especially in development.

I've seen development/construction PM's make 120k all in to 160k all in. Usually with 10+ years of experience.

Aug 14, 2019

$145K seems too rich but your numbers are low. For having two years of experience I would expect you to be in the ~$80k base range.

Aug 14, 2019

Do you think asking 95k with the expectation of 85k is fair?

Aug 14, 2019

There is this thread on CRE compensation that could help give you some guidance. There's also other threads on this forum doing the same thing.

Real estate seems odd because the title's do not always match up with responsibilities nor compensation.

For example, a Development Associate at a Hines/Related/Greystar normally sees all in comp around 160-180k all in- but this is usually a post MBA position. Other Development Associates make $70-90k base.

So really it is more dependent on your responsibilities and level of experience to do more. Some Associates source deals and get a piece of the pie, others run models and manage consultants. Really depends.

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Aug 14, 2019

We're hiring a dev associate position (0-3 yrs of experience) for around 60k and have no shortage of qualified applicants (20 out of 40 total).

I'd say you're fairly paid.

Remember to build your life around the avg and strive for the exception. I once knew a guy who knew a guy who made $1M/yr when he was 19 out of state school in a 3rd tier market too.

Just prove your value at your current company. Go find a deal and I bet they'll pay you more.

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Aug 14, 2019
coolhandlucas:

I once knew a guy who knew a guy who made $1M/yr when he was 19 out of state school in a 3rd tier market too.

Just curious- how? Was he just an amazing broker or something outside of RE?

Aug 14, 2019

I made that up. Lol.

Case in point.

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Aug 14, 2019

I am currently not sourcing as the managing principal sees all deals in our market and does most of our deals off market. I am however the only person in the office that can underwrite in Argus as everyone else was using DCF and refuses to relearn AE. I have become the lead underwriter.on the development side, I am making the principals life significantly easier as I am the point man on most projects

Aug 14, 2019

You are underpaid by somewhere in the $15k-$25k range, in my opinion. A $60k-ish base is not irregular (although you could do much better elsewhere) but that should come with at least a $15k-ish bonus, not $1,300. A $1,300 bonus is a bit obnoxious.

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Aug 14, 2019

$90-120k all-in comp seems to be an appropriate salary range for experienced development associates at institutional firms without a top 5 MBA.

Aug 14, 2019
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