What is the travel portion of your job like for RE guys?

wb93's picture
Rank: Baboon | 168

After years of working in real estate, I still haven't gotten tired of the travel. It's actually one of my favorite parts of the job. Wondering what its like for everyone else. How often are you traveling for work? Do you travel to fun cities? What kind of expense account are you working with? Are you free to explore the city after your meetings are over for the afternoon, or are you heading straight to the hotel room to work off your laptop until midnight?

Granted for me, I've always covered fun cities with decent expense accounts. I also am free to do whatever after 6pm ish most of the time (from time to time when we're busy I'll be plugged into a laptop all night). I probably travel once per month for a day or two but wish it was more.

Comments (20)

Jun 28, 2019

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Jul 1, 2019

We do OAC (Owner-Architect-Contractor) Meetings on-site every two weeks during construction, so if my projects are out of town, I'm traveling. Right now, I'm lucky enough that 3/4 of mine are in-town and my other is complete and 92% leased, so I'm not traveling much.

Work travel is fun at first but it gets old very quickly.

Jul 1, 2019

Could not agree more...

It seems a lot of people romanticize work travel but in reality is wears on you pretty quickly. Especially if you have a family, kids, responsibility.

Sure, it can be fun to do a trip with one or a few of your partners, take care of business, hit the bar, get a nice dinner, etc. but in my experience it sucks the majority of potential productivity out of the remaining days of the week when you return. We have pretty okay expense policy and generally are not glued to the laptop after touring or whatever we are doing. Being low man on the totem pole, I sometimes bring my laptop to the hotel bar/wherever we are to show some things real time to the more senior guys. Best to address things we picked up on the property tour while its fresh in our heads.

I travel probably once a month as well and am for the most part over it; however, no doubt it is a requirement of an acq guy (as well as many other RE functions).

More power to ya OP. Wish I still dug travel like you did.

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Jul 1, 2019

Work travel sucks - I used to think it was cool until I started to travel 2-3 times per month. It wore me out.

Thankfully I only travel a couple of times per year now and my new gig has a private jet. Still would rather sleep in my own bed at night though. I also miss my dog too much.

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Jul 1, 2019

Traveling is one of my favorite things about my job, too. I travel about once or twice each month which is plenty for me. I think anymore than 1 or 2 trips per month would get old quickly. What keeps the travel interesting is that it is almost always a brand new city that I haven't been to or would never think to travel to. I also like that I get to collect points/rewards from business travel and then use those points/rewards on my personal travel. That's the true benefit of business travel.

Jul 1, 2019

Travel is fun for the 1st year or two and then it's lame.

The older I've gotten the more I've concluded that travel is highly unproductive and so I do everything I can do not to travel. Plus, no one likes to be away from their family and home life (unless you're a real asshole.) Most of the private co CEOs I know think the same way - I'll hire a gopher to do all that travel stuff for me.

That being said, when I do have to travel Bdev stuff is my favorite because I enjoy meeting new people and hearing their stories. Ironically, visiting the real estate we develop and own is like nails on a chalkboard to me now.

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Jul 1, 2019
coolhandlucas:

Ironically, visiting the real estate we develop and own is like nails on a chalkboard to me now.

Do you mind expanding on this more? I feel like that would be one of the best/most rewarding parts of the trip

Jul 1, 2019
CodyParkey:

Do you mind expanding on this more? I feel like that would be one of the best/most rewarding parts of the trip

@coolhandlucas can respond too, but essentially when you're on site for work you're working and you're in work mode. It applies even when you're in the same city. There's a massive difference between enjoying/appreciating what you've accomplished and work.

I'm one of the developers for a very high-end town center deal in my own city. It is a fantastic place, if I can toot my own horn a bit. You have to remember though that when you're there for work, 95% it's because something is going wrong or someone who should be handling something either can't or won't - otherwise they wouldn't need you and you'd only have to go check on it to show your face as the owner and make sure everything is still smooth. There's a list of things you need to accomplish, and more likely than not, you'll stumble upon other things as well. You're there to work.

This is a thoroughly different experience from how much people interact with your property and you can see that difference yourself. If I go there with my fiancee for brunch on the weekend or tour my out of town family through it when they come to visit, it's completely enjoyable - because I'm not there for work and I can experience it holistically.

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Jul 2, 2019

Have clocked up 40+ flights since the start of the year and every trip is 2-3 days long, same expenses as everyone else really (some guys I live with have insane expense accounts but different industry/story). It's been a real pain for me as I want to get into the routine of exercising/dieting and struggle due to much drinking/dinners out. I'm not bound to host/attend things and entertain people but I feel inclined to. I also can't really bring my hobbies abroad which sucks.

Apart from that I enjoy the work travel and feel like I accomplish much more face to face with others and like going for site visits. I can also take a day off after meetings or such and stay in the city, company will cover my flight back but everything else is out of my own pocket which is fair.

The other main drawback is airports...I fucking hate airports.

Jul 2, 2019

Are you still in REPE in London? Some of my friends there in PE or restructuring do a lot more travel than those in America.

Jul 4, 2019

I am indeed. Damn Brexit forcing us to look pan Euro for those IRRs.

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Most Helpful
Jul 10, 2019

You always want what you can't have. Another job I was traveling Sunday-Fridays for client visits. I got to travel to cool cities so it was awesome but it did get tiring. I'd come back home on the weekends and sleep and not hang out with my friends because i had to do it all over again.

Now I don't travel as much and I miss it.

Unsolicited advice: anyone who is traveling should get the best credit cards for travel rewards, rack up the hotel/airline points and statuses, and definitely have all things Clear/TSA Pre-check/Global Entry. The less amount of time you spend in the airport the better.

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Jul 10, 2019

Sun-Fri is fucking awful. I'm in consulting and do the Mon-Thurs grind but would quit pretty fucking close to immediately if I had to travel Sun-Fri.

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Jul 10, 2019

Yeah, it was a bit of a grind. In all honesty, though, it was mostly easier at the time to just get in late Sunday night, get a good night's sleep and wake up rested vs. Monday morning and then getting out first thing Friday AM. Client paid for it, so no sweat off my back.

Jul 10, 2019
babybaboon:

Unsolicited advice: anyone who is traveling should get the best credit cards for travel rewards, rack up the hotel/airline points and statuses, and definitely have all things Clear/TSA Pre-check/Global Entry. The less amount of time you spend in the airport the better.

Likewise, if you are going to spend time in an airport, get an AmEx Platinum or your respective airline's high end card (like the Delta Reserve) so your time spent is in a lounge, not the general population.

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Jul 10, 2019

Touche. Valid argument. With the amount of weather delays I've had to endure lounge access is a godsend. Ideally, Clear and all that stuff is the go-to for me...skip as much line time as possible and jump right aboard. All else fails and there's a delay, definitely worth the fee for lounge access.

Jul 10, 2019

The Centurion Clubs alone are more than worth the annual fee. I am 100% coming out ahead based on how often I eat at them before trips.

Jul 10, 2019

I'm not traveling as much for work anymore, but when I did it was about once or twice a month and mostly local. Mostly driving, so no flights or hotels, thank goodness. The longest drive was no more than 2 to 3 hours away which worked out fine, but I'd have to turn around quickly before the day was gone. Some of the other guys I've worked with have had it worse where they've had to fly to some other city and then drive X hours because of how remote the property was and then turn around on another flight same day or stay one night in a hotel and then fly back to be in the office by the next day.

Even though I was local with most of my travel, I got to see some pretty interesting small towns/cities and be able to try some popular restaurants that would normally be too far or too much of a cost for me to get to on my own time . You do have to remember that you are either by yourself or with coworkers, which means going to happy hour or somewhere with someone you've probably been with the entire day.

There's not a true expense policy where I'm at but spending for meals and other transit has to be reasonable. The traveling can be fun and also bad just because of how much you have to plan ahead in packing, figuring out where to go, and then in general not being able to go home at night and do your own thing (gym, cook, sleep in your own bed, etc.).

Jul 11, 2019
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