Training at Marcus and Millichap, or similar firm.


I am a new agent at a boutique firm in an outer borough of NYC. While I was told that I'd be mentored before signing on, I feel like I'm getting sub-par basic training, at best... and I feel like this is a wannabe boss; not a mentor..... if anyone from a larger, reputable firm would like to share their experiences, as a new agent, in reference to training, it would be more than appreciated....

There's zero education. This person could care less if you have no market knowledge, in regards to what you're calling about. No metrics. No data. No stats. No reports... simply get on the phone and have a conversation. That's not teaching me anything. Why should I give you 2% of anything I ever make? Let alone 50%. 

Moreover, I'm forbidden 🚫 to text this "mentor."   Perhaps because he's married and I'm a woman. His prior infidelities, and his spouse's insecurities, has absolutely zero to do with my money 💰 and my business. My texts are always business related, and at appropriate times.... that may not be the reason. Not quite sure. It's an educated guess. He fails to text other (male) agents. So maybe that's not it. 

I'm not about to jump ship. I would just greatly appreciate to be aware of other firms training programs, as a reference tool. Because this a joke to me. 

I would also like to be aware of typical hours, because I've been told contradictory things. One CRE broker will say 12 hour days, in the beginning. Another will say, 9am to 5pm. 

Obviously, what you put in, is what you get out!!!  Here, it's limited hours. Feels very limiting. 

Any feedback would be appreciated. Thank you so much. 

Comments (12)

Feb 22, 2021 - 2:49pm

Hi. I appreciate your response. To answer your question, because I still acknowledge them as a reputable firm.... I know what the owner grossed last year; I like the other agents there, they're positive; I see the type of exclusives that the owner has, which goes up to 30 million... and it's necessary for me to work 3 days/week, so I can support myself with another job... I offered to come in 12 hours, instead of 8, so I can be more productive, but he didn't approve. I wanted to work 7am to 7pm. So that's a little off putting. I fail to understand...  further, I don't think the more major firms will permit part time agents. Thats not the ideal investment for most.... That's kinda why I'm asking!! What should I expect for training?  Because I can have ridiculously high expectations in general. So I just want to make sure that I'm not out of line, or expecting something that's not normal.... I have very little to compare it to.  Thats why I'm asking. 

Feb 22, 2021 - 3:25pm

Go find a senior broker who is building out their team and wants to invest in junior agents. 2 days per week is never going to build your business. You can go to reputable brokerages in NYC and get a draw so that you can work 5 days per week. They say if you leave, you'll have to pay it back - but disregard it. I've never seen anyone pay a draw back, it's just a way to try and put teeth on it. I started my career as a broker and was told you can work any 12 hours per day that you want, you just need to work 12 hours. I've never heard anyone say you can't work longer. My only question is, this broker could be worried about burning you out (which is really nice). If you have no listings and no relationships, it really is only a 9-5 job because it is so difficult to cold call all day. Cold Call 3-4 hours per day and do research the rest. Is this broker putting you on listings?

Feb 22, 2021 - 4:40pm

It really sounds like this is just how this broker works and it works for him/her. Some people have their own company and shape their company after what worked for them. It sounds like this is the case here. It also sounds like this is not a place you personally can succeed. Some people do well in this environemnt, some don't. It's okay. Go find a broker that specializes in one aspect (very common in NYC) and learn from them. Find someone who will teach you, help you secure listings, and put you on there listings if possible (it isn't always possible). Brokers are their own breed so to speak and many formulas work for success. It's about finding a successful formula for you. And market research is great! So go use your contacts to get it. If not, cold call and make those contacts. Or just look for a bigger firm as many of them will provide research as their brokers will bring this to meetings to talk through the market and pitches, etc. 

Feb 22, 2021 - 8:41pm

I also work for a boutique brokerage and have a similar situation. My MD is not very present and I had to figure out how to win business through trial and error. There was no real training just occasional advice. I took some online financial modeling courses to make up for it. Pretty sure M&M has a 6 month training period that focuses on financial analysis, cold calling/pitching, and as an introductory period to pairing you with a compatible team. I feel like some of the other big brokerages will typically have you start as an analyst or in marketing until you learn the business.

Feb 22, 2021 - 9:38pm

What "reputable" outer borough firm is this? Residential and commercial, freedom to do leasing and investment sales... I'm not doubting that ppl at your firm make money but it sounds like a bottom-tier brokerage to me. I don't mean to sound rude, and I clearly don't know the whole story, but shops like these are fit for an independent and scrappy broker with some experience, not a novice working 24 hours a week. 

First question to ask yourself: "Am I cut out for this?" The answer is no for most people regardless of what firm they work at. This is outer-borough CRE and the majority of people you would deal with are Joe Shmo's who don't care in the slightest about a research report. Not true for all, but all you need is a general understanding of the market and anything to chat about. There's nothing glamourous about middle-market outer-borough sales. Those who grind the hardest/smartest and make the most calls early on in their career tend to succeed and it's that simple. 

With regards to training, you learn by observing and then doing. Formal training, seminars, coaching etc. exist but aren't where you actually learn to earn. This is true at any shop whether it's Keller Williams commercial or M&M. that being said, having a mentor with a track record of success to lean on and learn from is critical. If you're mentor is telling you you can't work more than 24 hours a week then you have bigger issues. Also, if you have to ask about hours at a firm like M&M or just about anywhere else then it's not the right fit. 

Again, I don't intend for any of this to sound rude but you need to understand the nature of the business and I speak from experience. Don't kid yourself and keep your head up. If you want to be in the industry then you'll find a way and team that'll make it work but don't expect anyone to create your own success. 

Feb 24, 2021 - 9:28am


I love the anonymity of this site, so I'm not about to state the firm. If the owner stumbled upon this post, I'm sure he would recognize me right away.

I'm confident with my ability to succeed in the industry. This is a very deliberate entry. Not impulsive at all.

"General understanding of the market, and anything to chat about." Thank you. That's useful.... FYI, I don't see anything quite glamorous in the real estate industry as a whole. Which facets are glamorous?

Also, how would you define reputable, in this industry? Perhaps I use the term loosely. Honest, is what I meant. Hard working and not a scumbag. Loose definition.

I don't consider him a mentor. He's an amateur boss, at best. Which is fine. People grow in their role as owner/leader, as well, so some things can be forgiven.

Lastly, I greatly appreciate when the 2 charming, advanced, properly educated agents/brokers are in the office, because I do learn by osmosis. I can absorb what they say, and observe. However, my boss did not train them. They came from other places, and are receiving a (probably much) higher split, which they would absolutely deserve. They're just not here alot. So it's a dearth of stimulation/information, if you will.

I don't find you rude, at all. Perhaps abrupt, forward, and honest. But definitely not rude. 

Feb 22, 2021 - 10:08pm

Hey I started out in a similar situation, was told the same thing and it ended up my boss was very hands off. Unfortunately you'll have to do a lot of learning yourself. What you have to do is read about the market everyday (The Real Deal, Commercial Observer). Join online networking groups to meet people such as Young Real Estate Professionals of New York and reach out to alumni on Linkedin. Work on your modeling through programs such as REFM, etc. Use that to underwrite every deal that comes across your desk, learn the fundamentals such as what is a cap rate, how to value properties, what's IRR.

For sales specific work pick an area or asset class. You're in NYC so say Brooklyn or you want to focus on multifamily x units to x units across all boroughs. Write yourself a script you can go off of "Hi x, I'm x and work in investment sales at blank firm, I focus on multifamily properties and wanted to introduce myself and see how I can help you during this time". Talk to them, do not just ask them if they want to sell. See how you can help them at this though time, bring them market data in the area from what's sold (Traded NY and there's one more follow on instagram). Read reports from firms like CBRE, Marcus and Millichap's Institutional Property Advisors (more multifamily related). Podcasts The Stoler Report (Michael Stoler) and The Nelson Report (James Nelson Alison Young) are great. Get real estate books and read them (there are threads on here).

If you have access to CoStar or Real Capital Analytics there are market reports out there read those as well.

On hours what you put into it is what you get out of it. It's not about facetime in the office, to be honest you need to get in probably around 8am and leave no earlier than 6pm maybe 7pm. What you need to do is get in at 8am, setup your day and have 20-30 calls for the morning. Start making calls from 9am to 5pm. Take diligent notes in Excel, what you spoke about, the date, etc. Try to build relationships with these people and follow up every month with something. If you pick Brooklyn and know multifamily similar to x owner trader yesterday and you haven't spoken to him/her in a few week give him a call or shoot him an email with the info. After 5pm prepare for the next day with any follow ups, etc you need to do. Goal is 300 calls a week, try to do 2-300 a week it's a numbers game. Follow up with emails if you do not get them on the phone (ex: hi x, working with an institutional or active buyer looking for x in your market. Are you availble to meet or get on a call to discuss our buyers inteest). See what they want to sell for, don't give a number yet ask for a rent roll and expenses and go from there. Learn how to calculate NOI and get a cap rate (NOI/Purchase Price), play around with that and usually the owner will want more than it's worth fyi.

You have to focus on trying to bring in deals and meet people. Your boss will get involved when they're interested in selling or he may have a buyer. 

Lastly, I know you said you aren't leaving, but depending on your future goals you should try move to a more reputable shop. I was at a similar firm and you can get stuck based on reputation and lack of deal flow. Reach out to any alumni you can and see where they work/if there are opening on other middle market teams at well known shops like Cushman Wakefield, JLL, Newmark, or even CBRE. If not, reach out to people on those teams and pitch them, ask for a call. They may like the hungry, young, driven person who does that and wants to learn. Avison Young is good as well, also B6. Get into one of those places because name brand matters with certain owners. Even at those shops it may be tough to close deals, but you will see a lot more deal flow which is what you will learn from and can use that to move on. Also, the name helps when switching to a new area in the industry such as development or acquisitions.

Feel free to PM me with any questions.

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