Recently hired Analyst who just lateraled from another role. Getting no deals while new intern who knows nothing is getting staffed on live deals. What should I do?

Just started a new firm a couple weeks ago. Have just over a year of experience. Work in acquisitions and development. They hired me for development deals. Last couple of weeks I've just been writing investment memos and working on development budgets. Haven't even done an underwriting yet. I've underwritten over a billion dollars worth of multifamily and commercial.

An intern started last week who just graduated from college but has no work experience in an office and knows nothing about real estate has been getting staffed on live acquisition deals. He's working on 5 right now. After training last week. I guess he got hired since the VP of Acquisitions knows him as a family friend. It took him 10 hours to input 1 deal in argus and excel whereas it would take me about 30 minutes. He also constantly butts in and interrupts whenever I'm in a meeting or discussion to ask stupid questions he can figure out on his own. His questions are stuff he should've paid attention when they went over it last week.  Also I've tried to help him but he just acts like I don't know what I'm talking about or ignores my advice. Or will just argue with me because he doesn't like certain facts.

There's only 2 development deals but like 10 active core acquisitions deals in the pipeline. I can easily help underwrite them but they seem keen on throwing all the deals at intern who makes minimum wage. While I'm just sitting around looking for extra work. He's also definitely screwed up on inputs.

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Comments (28)

  • Director in RE - Comm
Sep 7, 2021 - 10:09pm

You got hired to work on developments and have been there 2 weeks. Just relax and let it flow. You don't want to get office politicy after 2 weeks, when the kid is connected with key people at the firm. 

Most Helpful
Sep 7, 2021 - 10:31pm

Analyst 2 in RE - Comm

They hired me for development deals.

So, clearly can only guess at full context, but I think you statement above answers the question as to why you are not given these deals. Other observation, they see this as intern work.... Overall, really only one mature thing to do here... Go to the intern and offer to help them. Be the mentor, if you have extra capacity, you can join in, but this is not your job. I see you say he is uninterested, so maybe just let it be. If they want you to do it, your manager will tell you. Otherwise, I'd advise seeking to punch up on your responsibilities and tasks, not down (meaning, you want to get the tasks of the managers/vps or whatever title is above you, not crawl back to intern land). 

Also, are these 5 deals really legit good deals? Could this be busy work/trial by fire. Some places purposely (or by semi-lack of planning tbh) to bury the intern and see if they survive or even thrive. Do you think the manager of this intern is stupid? Because you are implying such. Anyway, you are still new and figuring this place out, try not to let it stress you. Focus on the value add they hired you for, take the clue that is implied.....

General caveat, I'm making MANY assumptions that could be wrong about your firm and the situation, so take all with major grain of salt! 

  • Analyst 1 in RE - Comm
Sep 8, 2021 - 12:54am

You come off as totally insecure in your post. Let the intern do intern stuff while you find ways to add value to your company. If you are adding value, it will be noticed soon enough and that intern will eventually be cuddling up to you for advice. Just chill.

  • Analyst 2 in RE - Comm
Sep 8, 2021 - 11:36am

They said I would be doing both acquisitions and development and this is a new product type I'm working with so I want to learn. Can't blame me for being irritated.

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Sep 8, 2021 - 2:17pm

Offer to the seniors to help out with the acquisitions underwriting, or even just to look over the intern's work, but frankly they probably just feel it's above your pay grade and want to give the intern actual reps and valuable experience while he's there. They're likely confident you know what you're doing.

You've got the chance to position yourself to do real value add work instead of just pumping out models here. Think it over and try to find a way to take advantage of that. Use your free time to get exposure to more work - find areas the firm's processes can be improved, ask to work on other things you're interested in, etc. etc.

Sep 10, 2021 - 2:25pm

Your attitude sounds off. Working through your various points:

- they hired you for development deals, hence why you're not working on core acquisitions and are working on development budgets.

- modelling work isn't that important, particularly for low risk stuff like core. The IC memo is the more important deliverable of the underwrite process. 
- you staff an intern on multiple deals so that they learn how to do Argus in 30 minutes rather than 10 hours, if you're doing this work how will they  learn it? Also, you don't staff interns on deals which are genuinely important to the firm. You staff them on slow burns or processes you don't really care about.

- intern butting in, asking stupid questions, arguing back etc, sounds like you've a bone to pick with this person. Are you sure you're really being fair on them? Are you being constructive in your feedback or coming across as unhelpful to them? I'd be worried about the latter based on your post.

- screwed up on inputs. Interns do this, inexperienced analysts do this, hence why you don't staff them on meaningful deals until you trust them.

It sounds like the intern is being given grunt work that isn't important to the firm, and you've been hired to focus on stuff that is more important. Focus on your work, build up trust with your team and wait till your staffed on meaningful acquisitions. Let the intern develop in the meantime by getting their reps in. Modelling really isn't that important once you've gotten your head around it despite the hard on this forum has for it. As pointed out by others, focus on taking on workstreams above your station rather than below.

  • Analyst 2 in RE - Comm
Sep 11, 2021 - 3:58pm

I was hired mostly for development deals but would also help on core acquisitions if needed. There is a ton of core acquisitions deals in the pipeline and they need help. I asked at 5 pm when everyone was leaving on Thursday and they said no. Still stayed and tried to learn as much as possible. I volunteered to look at some inputs or start on a new deal. Core associate said no intern has it covered. Even though I know he's super behind. Intern also leaves whenever anyone else leaves so he's not doing any learning on his own. The core acquisition process is also more complex model wise then the development process. I've been nothing but nice to the intern. He's been quite rude to me. Maybe its a cultural thing. But he acts like we are on the same level. Not really sure what work is above me as well? The associates/vp guys all do the same work as me.

Sep 11, 2021 - 4:40pm

If the more senior staff say the intern has it covered, the intern has it covered and your help isn't needed. Chill out, focus on your work and stop second guessing more experienced team members. They know you're there to provide help if they need it. If you keep pushing it, you'll come across as a hardo and most likely start to irritate people. Another important consideration, they may see modelling for a core acquisition as an inefficient use of your time, have you considered this? What happens if these processes go properly live and you're underperforming on your development deliverables as you're flat out on deals which aren't your responsibility?

I also don't buy that there's no difference in workstreams between an analyst, an associate and a VP, that doesn't make sense. There's no way all 3 levels are doing the same tasks / have the same responsibilities, otherwise you'd just replace them with analysts and cut a lot of unnecessary cost. The reality is your just in the door and still learning how this firm works. It sounds like you're trying too hard, just chill out and let the work come. Development can move a lot slower at times but you can end up covering a lot more deliverables with a lot more responsibility / impact than a model for some potential acquisition. The development team could well be in a lull now and are ensuring they keep your capacity free due to more important work coming down the track. Make sure you're nailing your deliverables in the interim and check with the associates / VPs is there any work / responsibilities you can take on from them rather than trying to take over an intern's workload. Make life easier for them and they'll continue to give you more and more meaningful work as you prove capable of taking it on.

Sep 11, 2021 - 6:41pm

When the internship is done, the work will fall to you. It's two weeks in - they could be letting you get up to speed on the actual important work. IMO creating a dev budget is significantly more important than plugging the rents in for each unit type and pontificating if it will leave in 10 months or 11 months. If you miss on the development budget, you're toast. Most senior people in the business can't use excel and don't know the first thing about modeling. They do know that if my revenue is $7 PSF, my expenses are $3 PSF, and I can build the deal for $66, I just built to a 6% and I can sell it for a 4.75%. So I can make a lot of money. Great let's do the deal. 

  • Analyst 2 in RE - Comm
Sep 11, 2021 - 6:50pm

They will hire him full time in 5 months. Right now even though I have 1.5 year of internship experience and 1 year of full time I'm doing mop up duty for him. He can't even finish the models on time or correctly for me to get information from them to do my work.

Sep 14, 2021 - 9:51am

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