The Path To Work At An Institutional Real Estate Firm

The Path To Work At An Institutional Real Estate Firm

If your goal is to work for an institutional real estate firm, there are some steps you can take to get there. You can approach this career path in several ways, and the trajectory you choose may depend on your level of experience and background, along with your own preferences. You may need to gather a certain amount of education or a track record to become a potential candidate for a big real estate institution.

The following list will help you see the options that might be available to you. After reading through them, you’ll have a better understanding of what institutional real estate firms are typically looking for, and how to put yourself in a position that could help to open doors at these places.

A Knowledge Base

Oftentimes the way to start at an institutional firm is to have a position as an analyst, and to do that, you will typically need some hard skills. To learn how to underwrite, you may need to take courses. Some places could require a masters as well. There’s also accreditation opportunities such as courses at A.CRE. Even if an institutional real estate firm doesn’t require a masters degree, it may be needed in a challenging job market. Getting a master’s degree in real estate could also help you build a network of potential opportunities.

Starting at a Smaller Firm

Sometimes smaller real estate organizations are open to hiring individuals who don’t have an extensive background or experience in real estate. Taking this route could provide a job for you, along with the chance to learn about what’s all involved. You might work in different areas, as smaller firms with a dozen or fewer team members often don’t have the capacity for a full-time acquisitions position or analyst. This will give you the chance to get experience in many different areas, and you could find what interests you most. Smaller firms typically provide agility and flexibility too.

Connecting with Mentors

At a smaller firm, you might have the chance to work directly with the founders. This could give you the chance to have a mentor and grow in your knowledge. They could even help you make connections and build your network. These other professionals could help you get to know others in larger institutions and open doors for positions in those firms.

When I started my career, I worked for a smaller firm, Massey & Knakal, in New York City. I didn’t have experience or training in real estate at the time, but I learned a great deal by working with the founders of the company every day. They became my mentors and provided me with insight on how to handle different situations. I consider them to be incredible mentors, and they helped set the foundation for strategies that I still use now, 25 years into my career.

Ultimately, if you want to work for an institutional real estate firm, you’ll find there are several strategies you can take. The decisions you make will be based on where you live and what opportunities are available to you. With some time and dedication, you’ll be able to build a track record that could help you get a position at a bigger institution, where you could take on projects you find interesting and continue to grow in your career.