Real Estate Investment Sales Analyst Interview

Hi Everyone,

Next week, I have an RE IS Analyst Interview w/ a major firm (CBRE/JLL/Eastdil). I was wondering if anyone has had experience either as the interviewer or the interviewee with this type of interview. If so, any light shed would be greatly appreciate.

Things that I would expect would be covered
-Financial Modeling at Asset Level
-Key Metrics of Covered Market (Cap Rates, Interest Rates, etc)
-Key Trends of Covered Market (hot property types, hot firms and capital partners)

Wondering if I'm on the right track, and, if so, where are some good places to hone in on that? I have Linneman (textbook), REFM (Modeling), etc.

Comments (19)

Sep 9, 2015

Also, does anyone have an idea what range the comp would be in?

I was thinking $65-70K but not sure about bonus amount or structure.

I'm asking so that I'm not blindsided when they ask what comp I'm expecting.

Sep 9, 2015

This will vary greatly depending on the city and company. I know someone who started at CBRE in IS at around $50k with ~10% bonus (this was several years ago now). I know others at Eastdil that are closer to the numbers you have described with larger bonuses.

Without giving us more information it will be hard to say where this job might fall in that range. Calling around to friends or other contacts in the market would probably be more informative.

I have not looked through your history, do you have prior CRE experience or is this interview for an entry level position?

Sep 9, 2015

Thanks for the reply, pickleM.

Market: L.A.
Graduated UG: 2013
College: (think Wisco)
Previously worked 1-2 Years in Corp Fin at a BB Bank
This summer, transitioned to a small RE Investment Management Shop. Majority of work consisted of Acquisition Analyst work (Underwriting, Modeling, Due Diligence preparation, etc).
Currently working on REFM course (for modeling) and reading Linneman for general CRE knowledge to close experience gap.

The role is requesting about 1-2 years of Real Estate or General Financial Analysis experience.

Sep 10, 2015

I think the range you listed above is very reasonable given everything you have listed about yourself/your experience. Sounds like you have a solid background and if you are able to talk about deals you have worked on you should be in front of the rest of the herd, like @ThatGuyBalls said.

With your background it should be less about if you are qualified for the position and more about how much they would want to work with you. Good luck and be sure to let us know how it goes.

Sep 10, 2015

If you've read Linneman and are comfortable with key terms then you're more ahead of the pack than you may think (in my experience). Also, based on your exp, you're ripe for the picking. Go into the interview prepared to speak about a deal you worked on.

Lastly, try and show passion and personality in the interview. You cannot teach these qualities and they're hugely important on the IS side.

Sep 10, 2015

If you've read Linneman and are comfortable with key terms then you're more ahead of the pack than you may think (in my experience). Also, based on your exp, you're ripe for the picking. Go into the interview prepared to speak about a deal you worked on.

Lastly, try and show passion and personality in the interview. You cannot teach these qualities and they're hugely important on the IS side.

personality and fit is huge.

Real estate can be learned

Sep 14, 2015

Just finished the interview.

Met with about half the professionals at the office. Met with everyone from recently hired analysts out of Undergrad to the Co-head of the office. Really had a positive experience and liked every single person that I met with.

Most Common Questions
- Walk through your resume
- Are you more interested in Investment Sales or Debt Equity Placement
- Is there a specific property type that you are most interested in.

Sep 15, 2015

Any technicals?

Sep 16, 2015

+1 on technicals?

Sep 17, 2015

There were no technicals. Only fit/behavioral questions. I'm not sure why this was the case. (Perhaps, it could have been due to me being referred by a respected buy-side firm in the region so they assumed technicals were in line).

I think there mindset is, "'Person A is smart enough and we have confidence that he can learn everything that is necessary to succeed on the job. What we can't teach or guarantee are the soft skills. So that is what we'll look for..."

Sep 17, 2015

Thanks for the response.

Just to clarify, by soft skills I'm assuming you mean personable, social, someone they can see joining the team not only professional but personally?

Sep 17, 2015

Yes. You're going to be spending a lot of time together, they want to make sure they wouldn't mind being near you on a regular basis and that you can actually talk to people. Hell, I had a buddy(broker) that was taken to a bar by the principal at a small regional firm because he wanted to see him interact with randoms. Sounds crazy, but if you can walk into an unknown situation and come out with new bros and a date for next week you likely the confidence and personality to handle an office full of sales brokers. The math is the easy part.

Long story short my buddy got the job(and a bunch of phone numbers) based on his social skills.

Sep 17, 2015

Yes, doubling what thexaspect said. Honestly, if you're like a 7 out of 10 smart and are a diligent worker, the technicals should be easy to pick up. It's the personality and ability to connect that isn't as easy. Being in Investment Sales is like the the 5 biggest men on campus at Brown all gaming/scheming their way to bang Emma Watson her first day on campus.

Best Response
Sep 17, 2015

In no particular order:
What is their deal flow like? How many deals do they close per year?
What is the average size of their deals?
What property types/geography do they specialize in?
How is the team structured?

One of the best aspects of working in brokerage is the strong deal flow. You see tons of deals and learn how to underwrite and work on most product types. If one of their top producers left, you want to make sure you are still stepping into a team that does lots of deals.

Where you add value: you have applicable experience so you will be able to pick up new product types and concepts quickly. You have the financial modeling experience. You have strong writing skills (get good at writing quickly if you aren't, it's a huge part of the job). You have tons of experience interfacing with other developers, equity partners, lenders, appraisers, lawyers etc.

Good luck.

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Sep 17, 2015

Thank you for the response. I do have a few follow up questions for you:

  • One of my weaknesses is limited ARGUS experience. I have only used it once at my old brokerage firm, and that was just sitting in on a free class. I have modeled complex transactions in excel, as well as waterfall/dstribution models - is there anyway to dance around the limited ARGUS experience?
  • You say writing is a big part. Beyond OM's and BOV's, where else would writing be significant?
  • Would it be intrusive of me to ask him how the team develops new business? Maybe follow up with how someone of my experience could help with that effort?
  • From my understanding in brokerage, deal execution is one thing, but securing the listing is just as important. I am not sure the decorum or legality of this, but for a few of our projects I have pitch books/presentations from this team as well as their competitors. Would it be unethical to discuss their work as it relates to their competitive landscape?


Sep 17, 2015

From my experience so far and from having an in person informational at a brokers office (and this IMO goes for any meeting) is to approach it in a casual fashion. Talk about your background, ask them how they got to where they are. One guy I just met with, got to his position from a cold email. Ask some questions about their firm and such and any advice they can offer. Don't start diving into making a sales pitch on your experience as if it's a job interview. Also, I end all my interviews with two questions.. can you connect me to anyone else? Also, I ask about their interests outside of RE, specifically what sports they like. The goal of these should be to develop relationships.

Sep 17, 2015
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