Real Estate Entry Level Positions and Career Opportunities they create

nerfherder's picture
Rank: Chimp | 2

I'm a senior undergraduate at an Ivy League school and I am looking at jobs within the Real Estate field.

I have a pretty good understanding of how the different entry-level positions actually function within the industry, but I'm not sure how they would translate to jobs in the future. I was hoping you, the lovely people of Wall St Oasis, could offer some advice.

If I end up sticking around in real estate, my dream job would be working at one of the premier firms, like Hines or Tishman Speyer. I'm more interested in the actual development part of the industry than the financial/investment/REIT aspect, but on the whole I'm not too picky as to the exact nature of the job I eventually get.

So my exact question is: which potentially attainable positions within the industry would put me in the best position to eventually get that Hines or Tishman Speyer type job?

Among the types of entry level positions that appear to be available, there's positions at.
1. Firms that do Real Estate Appraisals. From what I understand the work is hard and the pay is low, but you learn more of the nitty gritty of the business.
2. Real Estate Investment Trusts: Here the analysts positions would also be nitty gritty, but they would be of a more financial bent. Not sure how much of a differentiation there is otherwise.
3. Mortgage Brokerage Firms
4. Everything in between, including places that perform a variety of tasks.

So what do you think is the best kind of position for bolstering my resume long term? It's tough to gain an understanding with these more ambiguous but important questions, so thank you for your help!

Comments (31)

Jan 8, 2013

bump

Jan 8, 2013

bump

Jan 8, 2013

- if you haven't yet, read the M&I on real estate.

- look into whether tishman/hines/related recruit on campuses. maybe that's only for grad students, so maybe i'm totally wrong, but i swear i've seen young analysts at Tishman without a graduate degree or any prior experience. most of the guys i've talked to who have been project managers at Hines got in from a top graduate program.

- you seem like you might realize this, but entry-level jobs are not limited to those three areas. also, of the options you mention, i'd avoid appraisal. for general real estate purposes, people here will tell you real estate M&A or a respected opportunity fund are the best places to start, and i'd tend to agree. however, if you are SURE you want to be a developer, you could try to go work for a developer. doesn't even have to be a big one. could be a family friend.

other than going straight to a developer, i would just try to get the most prestigious real estate experience you can. unfortunately image matters in RE. that could mean anything from Eastdil to Boston Properties to ING. then you network your way over to development, hopefully without having to stop for a MSRED.

Jan 11, 2013

As an ivy league guy, Tischman-Speyer and Hines might be open to you now if they have spots. Might also look at other big names like Trammell Crow or Greystar (apartment building is still hot) etc. might be willing to take a swing at you if you don't care about geography (e.g. Houston).

Also, I wouldn't push out REITs so quickly. The big guys develop right alongside Hines and the others: Brookfield, Vornado, Kilroy, and Boston Property come easily to mind. They are vertically integrated down to leasing and do more than their fair share of developing.

The problem you're going to have is that there's not a ton of development going on, especially outside of multifamily. It may make more sense to jump into a large REIT doing something outside of development and then angle into the development shop when times get better. Easier to move inside a company. That's if you're really sold on development. Otherwise, just try to land a job. Not having RE on the resume is the toughest hurdle to the next job. It isn't easy out there.

Jan 22, 2013

I personally love the hustle of brokering. Good starting pay if you can swing some strong deals with a good firm/team. Allows you to network with the big guys instead of having to cold call/resume drop through the normal channels. Might be able to impress a big wig enough to make him hire you if you offer.

Jan 22, 2013

also just one last q, anybody here did their masters in real estate? I am looking into the Georgetown's program, and did u have people with no real estate experience in your class? how did they manage and what kind of jobs did they get after grad. When I start my masters, I will only have residential RE experience, I know that it does not mean much in CRE, but thats why on my own in the next year or two before I start my masters, I really plan to study some real estate financial modeling, and Argus. Would learning that give me a leg up especially as I am interested in analyst type roles in reits/or development firms?

Jan 22, 2013

You started a post on a real estate forum with "would starting out at an entry level real estate analyst be a horrible thing?". I would edit that out.

Aside from that, this reads horribly. Edit your post using correct grammar and make it readable.

Jan 22, 2013

sorry!, meant to say starting out as an analyst without any RE finance work experience. I will edit it, really sorry!

Jan 22, 2013

this has to be a troll

Jan 22, 2013

I would generally try and offer advice anywhere I can however this post is brutal.

"a big REPE firm like Blackstone (I would imagine it would be pretty competetive) or a small REPE shop or a development firm"

You think Blackstone could possibly be pretty competitive?

"I do know that they pay less and less prestigious than finance jobs in wall street, but thats totally fine with me, as I come from a non finance background, and I like real estate."

If Blackstone offers you a job in acquisitions make sure you turn it down and hold out for a wealth management gig at UBS.

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Jan 22, 2013
CREPATH:

If Blackstone offers you a job in acquisitions make sure you turn it down and hold out for a wealth management gig at UBS.

A couple years ago Tony James publicly stated that he considers Blackstone more a "real estate firm" than a private equity firm, given the size of their AUM. I suppose this means that Blackstone pays less and is less prestigious than more traditional investment banking firms like Compass Point.

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Jan 22, 2013

This is really hard to respond to. Scattered progression and too many questions all at once.

Jan 22, 2013

I'm assuming you're really young and thinking about what you want to do when you grow up, based on your posts, and will respond that way. If you are not young, or foreign...well either way your writing is rather terrible, especially if I take you at your word that you're a sophomore or junior in college...

Anyhow...

adrian-monk:

Hey Guys!, new user here, would starting out at an entry level real estate analyst without any RE finance experience be a horrible thing?

Nope. If you don't have any real estate experience, you almost always start out as an analyst.

adrian-monk:

Whats the general career path for an analyst, could he move up the ladder, and which in your opinion would u target if u were staring your career today? a big REPE firm like Blackstone (I would imagine it would be pretty competetive) or a small REPE shop or a development firm.

The career path for an analyst is "literally anything he or she is capable of" since it is generally the starting point for everyone. No, I would not target Blackstone...

adrian-monk:

Any particular pros/cons that you would pay attention too. I do know that they pay less and less prestigious than finance jobs in wall street, but thats totally fine with me, as I come from a non finance background, and I like real estate.

Liking real estate is key. They pay less on average starting out, sure, but almost every ridiculously wealthy person I know owns property. Don't worry about starting pay as much and certainly don't worry about "prestige."

adrian-monk:

As I dont have any CRE finance experience, is it really unrealistic for me to expect a gig at REPE firms like Blackstone?

Christ, yes.

adrian-monk:

and I should target small development firms/REIT's instead?

Those are good targets, but they also usually like people with experience. A brokerage is a good place to start.

adrian-monk:

Also, I am planning to do my masters in real estate in another year or two, but until then I will not be having any direct real estate finance experience. However, I do not want to waste time though, and I love learning, so would u reccommend in the meantime before I start my masters, on my own learn some real estate Fin Modeling,

It's not that big of a deal really - many people go to graduate school for real estate for the purpose of learning exactly what you want to learn. You do need to be able to write intelligently, however, as well as show a proven interest in real estate.

adrian-monk:

If possible, I could also learn Argus and look into the certification. So, would learning this give me a leg up when it comes to hiring, when I start my masters, I dont want to be completely lost, and would u also reccommend during my masters (which would most probably be part time) I should also try to find some analyst assistant/internship gig to really get some work experience/pad my resume ? Really appreciate any help!

Argus would 100% give you a leg up when it comes to hiring, but it's rather difficult to just sit down and say "I'm going to learn Argus!" without access to the program or any real reason to. Working on Excel modeling would be a better starting point. You should definitely try to find an internship to prove your interest, learn some stuff, and find out if you like that exact type of real estate job. They are many and varied.

Jan 22, 2013

does that mean that the subject has been discussed many times already?

Jan 22, 2013

again, sorry for bothering

Jan 22, 2013

What school? NYU? Network with alumni, talk to professors, I'm sure the program has recruiters come or a career development center, no?

Jan 22, 2013

In a very identical situation myself.. little RE experience and took a job I wasn't very interested in for the paycheck. It is going to be difficult to distinguish yourself on paper, but I highly suggest making some networking calls/emails and reaching out to anyone you know in the industry (friends/family/etc). Small connections like these can go a long way.

Jan 22, 2013
undefined:

In a very identical situation myself.. little RE experience and took a job I wasn't very interested in for the paycheck. It is going to be difficult to distinguish yourself on paper, but I highly suggest making some networking calls/emails and reaching out to anyone you know in the industry (friends/family/etc). Small connections like these can go a long way.

Fantastic advice. @squeegee", join an industry group too and get involved. I love ULI, for instance, but NAIOP, ICSC, CNU, etc. are all options. Usually "young leader" memberships are far less expensive too.

These groups look good on your resume because they reaffirm your interest in the industry and they also typically have online "member databases" with the contact information of everyone you need to network with.

Jan 22, 2013

If you are looking in Seattle PM I know of a few jobs out there.

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Jan 22, 2013
Squeegee:

My only semi-relevant work experience was two years working for a property manager of a large office building doing maintenance and tenant/ contractor relations.

There's your in. Commercial property management, facilities management, and project management are all within range. Property management and project management will use excel, but no real modeling. Analyst roles within the industry (even at brokerage firms) are always an option too, but you have less of a "clear path" to those and they're fewer in number.

The real question is what do you want to ultimately do in the industry? That will help determine which path to take.

Jan 22, 2013

Thanks @cre for the response. Ultimately I would love to work in acquisitions and be able to work on deals, and that Is why I am kind of weary of getting back into property management. Correct me if I am wrong but I feel like property management could be harder to transition out of then then other possible avenues. I was hoping to get in at an analyst position but like I said Ill do what I gotta do.

Also I thought of joining ULI but was trying to hold out to avoid paying the fees associated but I may just have to bite the bullet and go for it.

@tengleha thank you for the advice

Jan 22, 2013

You might be able to transition from CRE management, to leasing manager. Once in leasing you can really start discussing options with that company about possible AM roles. portfolio management tends to have some exposure to Acquisitions. Gotta work your way up.

I just interviewed for a CRE Portfolio Manager position. The job description is very broad with exposure to all departments.

Jan 22, 2013

If you're moving to Minneapolis I'm more than happy to help.

I would start with property management or brokerage. I wouldn't expect any modeling tests for either.

Of those choices brokerage will set you up better for development and moving to the investor side after a few years there (if that's what you choose to do.)

Jan 22, 2013

I concur with most of what is said above. You already have an in on the AM side so leverage that to your advantage. Once you spend some time in that role you should have enough contacts to switch over if you'd still like to pursue a different sector.

I personally just landed an acquisitions analyst role with a reputable developer, and that was with 0 CRE experience (3 years of residential lending though) and pure networking. This is after 5-6 months of networking consistently. You have a good starting point, goodluck!

May 31, 2020
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Jan 22, 2013