I am a long-time reader but first-time poster and hoping to get some career advice.
For the past five years, I have been an active duty military officer. As of today, I am 90 days out from starting my first civilian job. I love the entrepreneurial culture of CRE, and I'm looking forward to starting my career in this industry.
I am 29 with an undergrad in business from a military college in the SE. I graduated with a 3.1 GPA.
I am currently considering two options, and I'm not sure which one I "want" to do, because I have limited exposure to the industry.
Option 1: Brokerage
I have been networking with some industrial brokers in my target market (a major city in the SE). I haven't been offered anything, but I am making good progress with some guys at Colliers, C&W, JLL, CBRE type firms. This would likely be tenant rep on a draw, a lot of cold calling, etc. I am ok with this. I understand the grind aspect of brokerage in the beginning.
I've been advised to get a B2B sales job for two or three years before trying brokerage. I get the logic, but I am anxious to get started in CRE, and don't like the idea of "sitting on the sideline" any longer. Thoughts?
Brokers seem to take some heat on this forum from time to time. Particularly when they are compared to REPE guys or developers. On one level, I get it. On another level, they can make a lot of money, build meaningful net worth, and have a great work-life balance. I respect that.
My gut tells me that I would like brokerage and that I could make it work long term. I realize there are a lot of variables with this though. Nothing is a sure thing.
Option 2: Short term: Construction management with a GC
Long term: Development
Development seems to be what a lot of people want to get into, and I can see why. It's highly unlikely (impossible?) that I could break into a development role now. The plan would be to work at a GC for 2-3 years and get an MRED to break in.
I just wrapped up an internship with a GC, and they asked me to work with them full time once I officially exit the military.
The road to success seems longer in development. It seems less risky in some ways but riskier in others. It seems very hard to break in without a certain profile, but I've been told that the GC experience + MRED will get me in the door.
My gut tells me development is more suited to my personality but a lot harder to see success. On average, It may take years before you start to have equity in deals, correct?
I could always start with brokerage, get the MRED, and then break into development later (like a lot of other people do). Is the GC experience that valuable? I've gotten mixed opinions on this.
I acknowledge that there are a handful of threads that compare development to brokerage already but there are a lot of "it depends", "do what you want", etc.
I was hoping to focus the discussion and assume both paths lead to success (advancement to the principal level).
What are the objective realities associated with both career paths at this level?
-Income potential in the short term and the long term?
-Barriers of entry
Feel free to correct, add to, or critique my current understanding of either landscape. Still learning.
Thanks for taking the time to read and respond.