REPE Acquisitions NYC - Hours

I'm currently a 1st year Analyst at an REPE firm in NYC. Before starting, I expected to work maybe 45-55 hours, but now that I'm settled I'm constantly pulling 65-70 hour weeks. I can somewhat manage this for now, but I know long-term I'm definitely going to want a job where I spend less time in the office and have a better lifestyle.

I know there has been a thread on hours in real estate before, but I wanted to focus more specifically on the principal side, especially in major markets like NYC. In that other thread, I saw a few responses where the hours looked similar to mine, but also plenty of answers more along the 40-50 hour range where people were still earning decent paychecks at reputable firms.

The issue I'm having isn't even that I myself work so many hours - I know as a 1st year analyst I'm expected to grind, eat shit, and prove my value. But even some of the VPs and associates are in the office until midnight to 2 AM on a regular basis. I know if I stay here, this is the lifestyle I'll be expected to maintain and there's no way that I'm going to want to be in the office all night when I'm pushing 30, let alone 25.

For a little more color, without giving too much information away, I work in acquisitions and my firm, although established, is in a high-growth stage with heavy deal flow. Part of me thinks that this is the main reason for the long hours, as someone needs to manage all of these deals, but then again I wonder why if we have so much money coming in that they don't just hire more people so that we don't all have to slave our entire lives away.

I know that REPE is still "finance", but I never expected it to be this bad. My question is - is it reasonable to think that I'll be able to exit somewhere working in the same role in the same market but with better hours? Or is this the reality of working in acquisitions in NYC?

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Comments (21)

Aug 19, 2018 - 12:21pm

Those hours are not bad at the Analyst level, but if Associates and VPs are constantly pulling similar hours, then it is probably not a "cushy" place for the long-term. In my experience, comp and work hours (at least in NYC) are highly correlated, but there are some outlier firms if you are patient for the role to arise.

Development firms and some smaller REPE shops might work you a bit less, but as noted above, your comp will likely be negatively impacted.

Aug 19, 2018 - 4:17pm

How are things over on the REIT side? I know that everything is still firm dependent, but from what I've seen on this forum, REPE firms tend to pay more so I would assume that the people there tend to have the longer hours.

Comp is important to me - don't get me wrong, but I'd rather top out at 250-300K and have a more balanced lifestyle than make way more in exchange for giving up my free time and relationships.

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Aug 20, 2018 - 10:05am

NYC REPE or Buy Side RE Debt analysts at my shop usually 80-90 hours per week. You have it pretty good tbh. I don't thtjnk you're gojng to find any good shop that only requires 45-55 per week in average. Even senior people who don't appear to be in the office a ton are always working, whether at home by email or when they travel. I think 60-70 is more typical and really can be done without weekend work.

Aug 20, 2018 - 10:42am

wow, 80-90 hrs/week. how much of that would you say are they actually busy and how much of that is sitting around waiting for work?


Aug 20, 2018 - 7:14pm

I find it very hard to believe acquisitions analysts in an institutional level REPE shop can get away with 40-50 hours per week...I'm sure it exists at places that run less lean or are smaller. That unlikely for PERE 50 nonetheless the elite firms. I'm just a big believer in the benefits of getting those reps when you're youngp

Aug 20, 2018 - 11:53pm

With all due respect I now realize you're still at the summer analyst level (or just finished your internship), so I'm going to take what you say with a grain of salt compared to some of the more senior members' responses. Your firm's culture may be tough but it doesn't seem to be representative of everywhere else. And as I mentioned earlier, I too believe that working hard and proving your worth is important, but I don't believe in forcing people to work 80-90 hour weeks just for the sake of doing it. This may be an unpopular opinion but there's no point to life if it's entirely consumed by work, no matter how much you love the field you're in.

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Aug 21, 2018 - 11:13am

Im going to agree with everyone else. I work in acquisitions at a very well known REPE thats been on the PERE 50 a few years, $15B+ AUM. I have worked in the NYC/CA office. NYC analysts typically work 50-55 hours, west coast is even more laid back. Comp isn't that great (no on par with banking), but the work-life balance is definitely there even at the junior levels. Most people analyst-director work from 8-9am to 6-7pm, with some variance when things pick up of course.

Aug 24, 2018 - 11:55pm

Just to add a few examples to the board, the analysts at the NYC REPE firm I worked at this summer averaged something like 50-60 hour weeks on average, counting occasional weekend work.

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