Real Estate Job Market - What's the Temp?

Have been looking to make a lateral transition in the institutional acquisition/asset management space for some time now (analyst/associate level). Turned down a few offers towards the end of last year think I could get something better, it feels like the opportunities are definitely a lot lighter now. Anyone feel the same?

I'm looking in a secondary market (think Dallas/Chicago) - but friends looking in gateway markets (SF/NY) are also saying the same.

What's going on? Would expect more activity given bonus season should have been paid out across the board.

Comments (50)

Apr 12, 2018

Based on my resources, I'd characterize the temperature as "tepid" at best. People in my network are slowing down on hiring, but safe to assume this trend is widespread.

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Apr 12, 2018

As someone that paid close very attention to the job market over the past year while I was reading for my transition to the acquisitions side, I can confirm that the market has died down significantly at this point. I will caveat that I've stopped paying attention over the past few weeks since I started my new job.

What I saw last year was that between now and September, there were very few quality opportunities for analyst/associate roles. Starting in the fall and especially Q4/Q1 is when I saw the highest caliber and most coveted roles hit the market (whether through actual job posts or the grapevine).

If you think about the timing it makes sense. Most RE hiring is need-based, not structured like IB. Most people turn out of their roles at the end of the year or in Q1 after bonuses hit, so that's typically why the job market is busiest when employees are trying to backfill vacated roles. Important point regarding bonuses - this isn't IB - many firms (including my last one) paid out bonuses in December. Some firms are also just growing and filling new roles, but this also happens in the same time frame since budgets/business plans for the year are usually done in Q4-Q1.

TL:DR - temp is lukewarm at best and will likely remain this way until Q4. This is where the classic bird in hand reference that's thrown around here really applies to your situation. It's important to be selective with your hunt/offers, but don't hold out for the "perfect" job that might never come around. Initially, I wasn't super excited about the offer I just took and thought about passing, but I'm glad I didn't, because now that I'm here I see that the opportunity is top notch even though I had doubts from the outside. Best of luck and don't give up.

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Apr 12, 2018

Do mind speaking about what gave you doubts? And what has changed your mind now that you're on the inside? Just curious about what to be looking for/thinking about in my search

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Apr 13, 2018

What property type?

Dallas/Chicago are hot. Go to one of those. SF and NY will not get you the opportunities you seek. SF and NY are oversaturated. Hell, if you knew your MF in Dallas or Chicago I'd do a deal with you for $5-20M.

Opportunities "feel" lighter now because everyone is more aware of them, but in reality they're more. Check RCA or CoStar transactions past 12mo. I'd expect hiring to pick up 2Q-3Q18.

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Apr 20, 2018

Maybe I am looking in the wrong spots but I have only been able to find upper level jobs in Dallas markets

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Apr 24, 2018

TCR is looking for a Development Analyst

There were some more openings in Dallas that I knew of last month, however I am sure those have now passed.

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Apr 23, 2018

Just curious, since I don't spend much time analyze transaction data in my current job. Can you drill down all CoStar transactions which originated from a Sponsor in a geographic region? For example, all transaction by LA based Sponsors? (or I guess, inclusive of Sponsors which have an office in LA, but maybe an HQ elsewhere).

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Apr 13, 2018

You'd want to look at RCA for that. PM me and I'll do a run for you.

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Apr 21, 2018

The job market looks awful. I've had success with just applying in the past. I'm on the hunt right now though and can't find jack shit.

SelectLeaders has barely anything posting everyday for the whole US and Indeed barely has anything. It's concerning because since Feb (when bonuses are usually paid out and people then leave) it's been very slow.

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Apr 13, 2018

Have you read The 2Hr Job Search?

Apr 21, 2018

In New England, it seems that banks have slowed down on hiring this year. Therefore, I've been thinking about making a move to NYC. Does anyone have any insight on NYC's job market for credit and lending professionals?

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Jun 21, 2018

1). I hear new timelines for "this cycle" all the time. It's usual 7 but here you're saying 18 so my point exactly. Usually there is a baseball analogy too which is pretty annoying after a while. Bottom line no one really knows.

2). With respect to underwriting cash flows most people use market knowledge / market research reports for rent growth in years 1-3ish (5 max) and then just grow rent at "inflation" after that. Also, note in markets that are over built or having economic issues or both (i.e. Houston) the rent growth can be negative in the early years which will really hurt the unlevered IRR and valuation.

Jun 21, 2018

Same thing with general vacancy. Use market vacancy for years 1-5 and stabilize at your year 5 GV for the rest of the hold.

Most Helpful
Jun 21, 2018

To expand on IRRelavant's point (and to be a little more hardline about it), there is only one market that you care about when underwriting a deal--the specific market that your Subject property is in. The rest of the information is just noise.

I'd also add that there aren't enough data points to conclude to an 18-year cycle. The real estate market crumbled in 2008/2009 for very specific reasons not related to a regular cycle. Same thing for the real estate market in the early 1990's--it crumbled for reasons not related to regular cycles. Go back 2 decades to the early 1970's and you have all kinds of fundamentals in the economy that impacted real estate--final death of gold standard, oil price shocks, stagflation, the Vietnam War, etc. The reality is, a specific market (i.e. San Francisco, Washington, D.C., New York) rises and falls with the balance of supply and demand.

Jun 21, 2018

Agreed. By "market" in my post I was really referring to the "submarket" and city that the property is in thanks for clarifying for the OP.

Jun 21, 2018

Thanks very helpful

    • 1
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Apr 21, 2018

It seems like it's pretty hot, a lot of people in my office have been getting poached to competing firms.

    • 1
Apr 21, 2018

So which is it? Hot or cold? Thread seems to be saying conflicting things. I'd assume it's pretty regional as well so Chicago might be good whereas the West Coast/NYC/Boston might not.

Given we're approaching the late stages of the business cycle, the Fed continues to raise rates (and will probably raise us into recession yet again. lol) and the US is due for a big time equity market correction (and maybe another real estate breakdown, at least in the higher-priced markets) sure seems like we're potentially heading into a slowdown in mid to late 2018. So businesses need to be careful here I'd guess.

If and when we do get a big correction in the markets obviously that will be a catalyst for layoffs too, so making a move at this point to a new place where your internal political capital isn't so good is also a potential issue.

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Apr 23, 2018

Your if and reasoning is all very correct.

It's all on the Fed. Do they overhike or do they hike appropriately and maintain trend growth.
I think the Fed has gotten smarter and won't cause a recession but the big money is betting they will.

Array
Apr 23, 2018

After talking to a few recruiters/headhunters - market is slower than last few years across the board. The few I talked to were surprised with the lack of movement given February bonuses were paid out. It seems like most firms are taking their time and are not really desperate to pick up just anybody - certainly being a lot more selective with candidates. They think it might open up a little bit once the first few sets of people move, causing a chain reaction to reshuffle/hire to fill needs.

We will see...job postings in my markets seem to have picked up I have noticed. Maybe just a slow start after the February bonus reshuffle? Here's hoping the tax cuts = more aggressive hiring!

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Apr 23, 2018

You have to think about what is driving revenue right now. At this point in the cycle I don't think it is acquisitions. It's asset management - how do we drive value at the assets we own - it is portfolio management and research - how do we strategically position our portfolio at this point in the cycle, which assets do we dispose of, where do we deploy capital, how are we managing upcoming debt maturities. If you do an attribution analysis in 5 years for the past 5 years, you will see this is where a lot of the revenue came from...not from capital gains. So in my opinion that is where the jobs will be for the next year. And they are important jobs!

Subscribe to trippple.net for real estate news / research / economics

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Apr 24, 2018

+1. recently had an informational interview w the head of RE for a $20B+ HF and he said the same thing. market priced too high by historical standards to be hiring for acquisitions personnel

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Apr 24, 2018

In TX, have interviewed in the last month/ will interview for the following:
- Investment Sales Analyst (CBRE/ Cushman/ JLL)
- Debt Analyst (ARA/ NGKF/ HFF)
- Asset Management Analyst (Middle Market REPE)

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May 6, 2018

Bob, I got interest from some similar firms. To be pedantic it's NKF now.

I'd like to get your input on why there are no acquisitions positions, yet a plethora of capital markets brokerage and asset management

Apr 24, 2018

I'd guess because RE looks to be near the top of the market and good deals are harder and harder to find. As a result, companies are pivoting towards getting the most out of their current assets rather than acquiring new assets.

Apr 23, 2018

How are people doing in their hunt? Market feels dead. Even the recruiters I have talked to say it's slow.

Unemployment sub 4%, feels like an 8% unemployment market.

May 4, 2018

Hard to believe what the market would be like if there was actually a problem lol

Apr 21, 2018
blank020202:

How are people doing in their hunt? Market feels dead. Even the recruiters I have talked to say it's slow.

Unemployment sub 4%, feels like an 8% unemployment market.

96 million people no longer looking for work in the good ole US of A. They keep fudging with the numbers and the data is meant to paint everything in a better light. Economic reality outside NYC, Boston, Silicon Valley, SF, LA and Seattle is a lot different than the rest of the country.

Also, Big Tech has created a few very wealthy areas and people but the vast amounts of Americans have not benefitted from their wealth.

May 6, 2018

I just got 3 offers, however none of which were acquisitions. It seems a more asset management/finance environment, however brokerage capital markets are picking up.

Apr 21, 2018

NYC and three offers currently? Damn, congrats.

Unfortunately, I have had terrible luck since January. Turned down two offers then and since, can barely even get any interviews.

May 6, 2018

appreciate it, but if you had seen the groundwork and networking I have put in you would be saying about effin time.

When it rains it pours, as you can attest to. I also had 3 more final interviews lined up I had to cancel. Because one in the hand is worth two in the bush, and I thought the culture fit was amazing.

May 6, 2018

Until pricing corrects, why would firms bring on more people to buy assets that more groups than ever before are showing up to bid on? Pricing is above 07 peak levels and people are understandably cautious. Once you lock in a basis, you have to live with it and with interest rates on the rise I'm sure investors are watching to see what cap rates do. Pricing could theoretically come down gradually and thus there is no real urgency to deploy capital right now if say in 1-2 quarters the same asset may be available at a 5-10 bps discount to today.

May 11, 2018

It seems as though AM roles are what's being hired for right now. I just had a recruiter submit me for 3 (in a gateway city) even though my "title" is technically acquisitions. Did an all-day interview for one very recently (pretty sure got dinged). But it appears AM jobs are out there.

May 21, 2018

The job market definitely does feel very quiet relative to last year. One year ago the market was pretty hot, a lot of activity and interests from firms to move quickly in the process, but this year so far is definitely slower. I've seen a lot more asset management roles compared to acquisition roles, but for both those roles firms aren't quick to just add anyone as mentioned in some of the other posts on this thread. Many hiring processes seemed to have stretched to months, compared to weeks this time last year.

Not to hijack the thread, but are most able to see an improvement, the same tempo, or worse in the market since this thread first started a month ago?

Apr 23, 2018
jayflip21:

The job market definitely does feel very quiet relative to last year. One year ago the market was pretty hot, a lot of activity and interests from firms to move quickly in the process, but this year so far is definitely slower. I've seen a lot more asset management roles compared to acquisition roles, but for both those roles firms aren't quick to just add anyone as mentioned in some of the other posts on this thread. Many hiring processes seemed to have stretched to months, compared to weeks this time last year.

Not to hijack the thread, but are most able to see an improvement, the same tempo, or worse in the market since this thread first started a month ago?

Still pretty slow. I have been on a few, but number of postings definitely down across the board and going into the summer lull isn't going to help at all.

Definitely no "new" positions are being created, almost all of the roles I've talked to are just backfilling for someone who is going back to school / another firm.

Fortunate to have a job now - can wait out the grind...can't imagine doing this without a job. Just wished I jumped when the market for analyst/associate was hot.

May 21, 2018

If there's a dip, the acquisitions folks will be hiring like crazy. Asset management for me right now would be a tough sell to get started in. You gotta think of it this way - if there's a dip or a boom (any type of volatility) that's good for disposition, acquisition and brokerage teams because there's movement/volume being traded. The time in the cycle that sucks for those types of roles is when it's stagnant (which it feels like is starting to happen now). If you're on the asset management side, if people start selling off your portfolio, you can be out of a job real quick, whereas if a firm is buying/holding assets, you're pretty safe for the time being.

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Apr 21, 2018

It's still terrible.

I said it before in another thread, but I'm just not seeing many postings for anything. Just do a national search on selectleaders and your answer is there. Have heard from some contacts it is indeed slow. As mentioned above, it's even more concerning how we are more approaching the summer where hiring is usually at its slowest even at a high peak market. This is going to suck. Fully expecting to still be at my role now for another 3-6 months before finding anything.

Stay strong boys! We're gonna make it

May 21, 2018

Yeah, the downtime in the summer is certainly not going to help. Its just going to be a tough road ahead. Hopefully, the market bounces back to a favorable environment for all the job hunters here.

Apr 21, 2018

Wow..this is bad

Jun 19, 2018

Market sucks donkey balls.

Jun 19, 2018

Looking in two markets (DC/NYC). The job postings have seemingly slowed down a bit. Recently had a phone interview for Acquisitions, but they were transparent when I asked what their thoughts of the market were/what their purchase pipeline looked like: essentially they said they were still looking to acquire smart, core assets if it made sense for their portfolio but were also looking to utilize the Acquisitions hires in performing current hold/sell/refinance analysis.

Might play into the capital markets/brokerage a bit? Even if no new acquisitions, debt refinancing might still be active. Who knows thought with the rising interest rates. Set to rise at least twice more by year end from what I'm reading.

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Jun 19, 2018

I've had two recruiters reach out to me about three Acquisitions roles in the past week. These are Associate - Director roles in Los Angeles for an institutional multifamily owner/operator and a $5B REPE Fund. I've also had acquaintances at the analyst level land Acq. LA-based gigs recently.

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May 21, 2018

Think everyone needs to temper expectations a bit this summer but not hit the panic button yet. Most groups don't want to hire someone during summer and then really only have them be productive for a few months before they'd be expecting a partial bonus for year end. I'm fairly confident the job market for CRE will pick back up in Q4 for Q1 '19 starts.

Think a lot of acquisition groups are also pumping the brakes waiting to see how things shake out. A few brokerage/CM groups I know well are ramping up in anticipation of some panic selling, though.

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Jun 19, 2018

I'm on the West Coast and feel like the hiring market is quite strong right now. That perception is based purely on reach-outs from recruiters and talking to them about what they are seeing. The last recruiter I spoke to stated that acquisitions/underwriting positions have slowed, and a lot of firms seem to be pivoting towards asset management and development at this point in the cycle.

Jun 19, 2018

Agree with @Ricky Rosay. There are a ton of quality jobs in LA right now. Go to Glocap or Select Leaders and you'll find a few very solid Analyst-VP Level roles for large shops.

Jun 19, 2018

Seems like Dallas over to the West is relatively hot. LA is blowing up lately. Had a recruiter reach out to me for a Development position and I have no LA/WC experience whatsoever.

Apr 23, 2018
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Jun 21, 2018