Who moved into RE from IB?

Wanted to see general consensus of those who moved in RE from a traditional IB analyst/associate position. What kind of work are you doing in RE (acq, AM, development, PE, etc) and did you come from a generalist group in IB or a RE industry group?

Are you happy with the change, are the hours better and is the work more exciting?

Appreciate all feedback.

Comments (29)

Aug 24, 2021 - 1:39pm

Edit: Hah, I am clearly not paying attention

Commercial Real Estate Developer

  • 1
Aug 24, 2021 - 1:42pm

Yeah that was a swing and a miss from me hah

Commercial Real Estate Developer

Aug 24, 2021 - 2:11pm

I went from MM REIB-->$30BN AUM REPE-->$35BN REIT. Hours declined in each progression and I work(ed) on the investments/acquisitions side in each of the buy-side roles. REIB is more about capital markets transactions that happen to be made by REITs with a focus on portfolio level metrics. I really did not understand the economics of owning commercial real estate until I got into the buy-side. The work is more exciting by far, but everything becomes somewhat stale after enough repetition.  

  • Analyst 1 in RE - Other
Aug 24, 2021 - 3:48pm

what was the comp progression like from each role?  declining with your decline in hours or was there a natural increase because of your seniority?

Aug 24, 2021 - 4:11pm

I moved out of IB and into RE several years ago.  Came from an unrelated field (which I hated) and eventually moved into a development role at a large affordable housing developer.  Being in development is a major improvement in just about every conceivable way except net pay, though I'm happy to take a 25% haircut to do something interesting and challenging, and not to mention have an extra 15 hours a week to myself because I'm not expected to sit at my desk until at least 10pm, busy or not.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Aug 24, 2021 - 5:28pm

How was the transition for you overall - did you learn enough on the job that the jump was not too crazy? From my sense of real estate models - they really are not that hard and someone from IB who runs models wouldnt have an issue picking up. Overall - how has the pay been in development, did you get any carry at your position or does that come farther down the line?

Aug 24, 2021 - 5:34pm

How was the transition for you overall - did you learn enough on the job that the jump was not too crazy? From my sense of real estate models - they really are not that hard and someone from IB who runs models wouldnt have an issue picking up. Overall - how has the pay been in development, did you get any carry at your position or does that come farther down the line?

Transition was interesting.  Look, being a junior banker is easy and requires little intelligence, just a lot of work ethic and hours spent.  There is a reason this site refers to you/us as "monkeys".  Being in real estate has meant taking on a different attitude towards my job - I'm not just following orders in building an underwriting or fixing a pitchbook/investment memo, I have to think about what is driving value and why.  I'm sure a lot of that would have come in IB too, had I stayed, so some of this is just the circumstances of when I was in each position relative to my career progression.

From a modeling standpoint, IB was harder.  I'll also note, as I have elsewhere, that underwriting/modeling is relatively unimportant in real estate and becomes less and less so.  Being organized and on top of things, and self-motivated, is far more important, because a lot of my job is making sure that appropriate information gets sorted, condensed, and then relayed out to other parties in a concise and easily understood format.  

Pay has been fine.  Carry comes along a lot later, it's not something that principals give up/out easily or willingly, for obvious reasons.  I do have some carry, and I have had a co-invest structure which was nice and gave me a greater sense of ownership, literal and figurative, over my work product.

Aug 25, 2021 - 1:48pm

MM IB Lev Fin -> Development Analyst -> REPE Associate. Agree with Ozymandia on all points, development is a great move from IB if you want more interesting work and better lifestyle. 

Before you make the jump think through what you want. If you want to be really in the detail on a handful of projects and driving them forward, pursue op partner roles. If you want to be constantly analysing new opportunities and occasionally dipping in and out of portfolio deals, go with capital partner roles. I found development too slow paced, but the constant transactions of REPE can be pretty tiring when they're blowing up weekends or holidays. Vertically integrated groups with discretionary capital seem like a great combination of both as long as the teams aren't heavily siloed.

  • Associate 1 in PE - Other
Aug 25, 2021 - 2:10pm

What did an average day look like as a development analyst? I have an opportunity to move to a development focused REIT at the associate level but not sure if I want to

Most Helpful
Aug 25, 2021 - 2:41pm

Average day depended on what was most pressing. I was lucky in that I joined a well capitalised team so I focused a lot on acquisitions, I spent a lot of time underwriting new opportunities and producing materials for internal staff / capital partners which helped me pick up a lot of basic knowledge quickly. As I had a good financial background but no technical background, my project workstreams focused on assisting with investor reporting, raising debt, and keeping the model up to date. I attended key project meetings 2-3 times a week (meetings with design team, contractors, internal project team etc) to ensure I knew of any potential changes in the business plan so that this would be captured in reporting / project model etc.

If the team you're joining isn't involved in acquisitions / investor reporting, my guess is you'd spend a lot of time at project meetings, keeping track of the project vs. Business plan, making sure it's moving forward etc. How the role of the development team is defined seems to vary a lot by company so make sure you get a clear view on this, at the firm I was at they were commercially focused and technical support was provided by the construction team, for other firms they can be the technically focused team and commercials may be handled by an investment management team. My firm's approach was that by the time someone in the development team reached director, they would have picked up enough technical knowledge to lead projects. Associates would be commercially focused but have enough basic technical knowledge to work under a director without significant oversight.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Jan 14, 2022 - 2:42pm

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