Research Associate at (CoStar, REIS, Axio). What's the exit ops looking like?

Hey guys,

Got an interview with one of the mentioned companies. Reviews ain't looking too good. I feel like the role will be like working at some sort of call centre since alot of the work is compiling data from brokers.

I'm trying to be positive about this since I am still trying to break into CRE after all however I feel like research at a brokerage like (JLL/CBRE/Avison Young) would be much different.

There's been alot of research openings lately and I think it'd be nice knowing people use the information that I generate in order to drive business decisions. Some other positives would be somewhat networking via phone/being able to say "hey check out that report I just produced the other day" i suppose

Any thoughts are appreciated

Comments (25)

Jan 31, 2018

Research is good to pivot into leasing or brokerage as you build relationships and have better access to information assuming you are cover the same market. I heard 12 months is typically enough before you can move on. However, the pay is probably very low ($40K-$55K). Low pay likely will impact the $$$ for the next job. Leveraging research offers to other roles e.g. asset management, development, debt, equity will be more ideal.

Your route probably will look like Research -> Brokerage -> Buy Side.

Feb 10, 2018

I also have an interview with a brokerage coming up however it's doing models for industrial properties (investment sales i think?). The only concern is that it's in a HCOL area and i'm being paid the same if not less than the research role.

It could possibly be my first role in the CRE industry and i'm not too sure i'll be able to negotiate on the salary...how do you guys approach relocation negotiations? i'm in Canada possibly moving from East coast to West coast

Jan 31, 2018

Research is always a great role to develop analytical and critical thinking skills. There's no reason why you shouldn't be able to pivot directly to a buy side / sell side role, but that will depend more on your networking prowess and personal motivation/ambition. The culture at a REIS/Axio/Co-Star, I would imagine, would be much more collegiate and generally, a better learning environment.

Research at brokerage houses is more geared towards including the data into offering memorandums, teasers and research blasts (sent via e-mail to clients on both the buy- and sell-side).

Generally, unless you're head of research or in more senior positions, the compensation for research positions tends to be lower than other roles, as timothyjh15 mentioned. In any case, you should always refer to the CEL National Real Estate Compensation and Benefits Survey to ensure you're being offered a competitive salary. Here's a link to real estate compensation:

https://www.realestateanatomy.com/what-compensatio...

"Helping you break into the commercial real estate industry"
http://www.realestateanatomy.com

Jan 31, 2018

TBH I can't find much on research roles. there was one ama on wso for head of research analyst i believe however that's about it. I just don't know what the transitional skill set would be to a brokerage.

Jan 31, 2018

I've seen quite a few CBRE research analyst/associates move into valuation, capital markets and valuation internally. It seems to be a good place to poach talent that has been vetted over the course of 1-2 years.

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Feb 1, 2018

Oh this is internal move though. Have you seen or heard of any external moves?

Jan 31, 2018

skip research unless you want to build a career in research analytics. Working at Costar blows--you are expected to spend all day calling brokers who don't want to talk to you to verify comps, availability, etc. Working research at a brokerage isn't as much cold calling, but you will be updating the same quarterly reports, tenants in the market lists, transaction lists, etc. and running BS research studies for individual brokers to help them win business. From my experience working in brokerage and being friends with the research guys, none of them really liked it and it sounded bang your head on the wall boring.

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Jan 31, 2018

Where did most of the research guys move to afterwards?

Jan 31, 2018

i recently talked to a young kid who escaped costar for a decent job (investment sales analyst at a CBRE/C&W/JLL type place). he didn't make it sound like the hardest thing ever. some people stay there out of complacency. others GTFO.

Jan 31, 2018

RIP I know i'd only stay a year if I took it but i'm just wondering the ops and a year seems so far away.

Feb 5, 2018

Lol at "escaped CoStar"

Best Response
Feb 1, 2018

Don't take the role. Assuming you want to move into the investment side of the market, given that you are on WSO, the odds will be stacked against you if you take this position.

As Ricky Rossy said, your job will revolve around confirming market comps with brokers who have no time for you in addition to collecting and processing data. Your best/easiest exit from here is research at a brokerage.

With respect to research at a brokerage, again, Ricky Rossy hit the nail on the head. Your days will involve updating reports, writing supportive commentary for brokers, general data collection/processing and the occasional presentation. There's nothing wrong with this, and you can build a strong stable long term career in research, but if you have aspirations to be on the investment/development side you won't be happy.

Let's say you take this position but your adamant on moving into the transactional side of real estate, your likely exit path is research at a brokerage. If and only if you network heavily and develop your modelling skills in your own time, you can then move into IS and from there jump to REPE/REIT/Development.

Jumping from research at a brokerage to REPE/REIT/Development is just about possible, but I feel starting in research at the aforementioned firms will put you too far away from the end goal. You will need to put in at least a year at costar and maybe 1/2 in a brokerage research role before you can think about IS. At this point you will need to work 1/2 years in IS before making the final jump. Problems with this journey include being pigeonholed in research and if you network out of research into IS, by the time you start applying for REPE/REIT/Development roles, you will be fairly old. I don't beleive for a second that age makes a difference in your ability but unfortunately ageism exists.

Your best option is to take the industrials role, provided you get an offer. Yes it's a hcol area and life may suck for a while, but it will pay off. If you are good at your job, you may even be able to renegotiate your salary - you make your own luck so once you're in the business, what happens is down to you.

If you take this role however, my advice is to learn to model and network, network, network.

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Feb 1, 2018

Thanks for the response. I had similar thoughts about that as well. I've done the REFM courses/read the Linneman book. Any other further prep?

I've never had to rush companies on an interview or bluff that I have an offer...What's the plan of action? They've been quite accommodating in terms of scheduling interviews

Feb 1, 2018

Don't bluff that you have an offer elsewhere - especially in the world of real estate which is smaller than you think. Assuming you're talking about the industrial role

Download some IMs off Google and try model them out
Familiarise yourself with key metrics, ie what's a cap rate, what is the cap rate in your market, irr, em, noi etc etc
Read up on deals advised by said company
Read up on market
Come across as someone you can go for a beer with.

Easy :)

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Feb 1, 2018

What about an MBA approach?

Feb 1, 2018

I can't imagine an MBA will be good value for money in jumping from research to say IS. Leverage your network and make use of all the learning material online before you spend thousands on a degree which won't fill the gaps in your cv ie

a) transactions experience
b) real world financial experience

Feb 5, 2018

Currently working at CoStar.

Feb 5, 2018

Day to day responsibilities? Hours? Growth and development? What's your background/experience? where have your colleagues moved onto?

Feb 10, 2018
Comment
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