Real Estate Research to REPE/Acquisitions

How easy/difficult is it to go from real estate research at a brokerage firm to joining a REPE firm or join the acquisitions side of RE at a brokerage firm or be an acquisitions analyst at a smaller real estate investment firm? How would you go about breaking into this side of real estate? Thanks.

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Comments (14)

Mar 21, 2020 - 9:26am

When you say "real estate research at a brokerage firm", do you mean you work in an actual research department (like headed by a director of research/chief economist type person) or do you mean a research person working for a broker/producer/team?

Depending on which, you would have different potential tracks. In general, your experience should translate, at least at the junior level. The easiest track would be to join the research team at a REPE/institutional investor track if you have the skills they want.

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Mar 26, 2020 - 9:41am

I would transition internally to Debt/Equity/IS before considering the principal side. I think the general skills in REPE are rather straight forward and you'd be fine without the debt/equity/IS experience, but transaction experience is so important, and the pure volume and diversity of deals you will see in that type of brokerage environment isn't something you'll find on the principal side.

edit: It will likely be easier to interview/get your foot in the door coming from a team that is well known in the market. Research doesn't have the same exposure to clients inherently.

Mar 26, 2020 - 11:11am

Agree with above posters about getting deal experience first. Any higher-tier role that involves transactions (re: acquisitions or asset management) will most likely require you to have prior deal experience - not saying you can't break in from research by networking hard and practicing your technicals, I just haven't seen it.

One of my mentors always clamored "eat deals while you're young" and I think that applies. You should look for any deal-related roles such as IS, d&e, or lending to get your reps up, develop more contacts just by nature of your work, and then after 2 or so years, you should be ready for acquisitions.

Mar 26, 2020 - 11:20pm

Thanks to everyone, appreciate all the responses. As far as transitioning to the I/S side of a brokerage firm, how long would you guys take to apply from the research to I/S within your firm or at another firm? 12-18 months? Longer? Thanks.

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