Part one of this two-part series focused on the responsibilities of various real estate private equity jobs. In part two the focus will shift to specific real estate private equity skills associated with each of the five entry points.
As the name implies, an analyst must be good with numbers. Further, a quality analyst will also be able to think in terms of the big picture while simultaneously maintaining attention to detail. Investment committees want a summary of the transaction, while having confidence that you know the details inside and out. Microsoft Excel skills are a must, and experience with Argus is a major plus with larger firms.
Again, the name says it all. Portfolio managers are responsible for multiple properties, which means they need to be organized. The reporting requirements occur on a regular schedule, whether to investment managers or investors, so establishing routines and deadlines are key skills. Communication with property managers and accounting staff is essential to ensure reporting is accurate, both quantitatively and qualitatively. Finally, portfolio managers must be comfortable amassing data and extracting actionable conclusions from that data.
A skilled property manager is perhaps one of the most difficult positions to fill because of the unique demands associated with the job. Property managers must be very hands-on, organized, and capable of holding vendors and suppliers accountable for their work, timelines, and cost. Property managers are also the face of the company to tenants, so a pleasant disposition and a focus on customer service is also key. On the flip side, tenants may be demanding, or may be delinquent in paying rent, both of which must be handled tactfully.
Like many accounting positions, a fund accountant needs to be comfortable with regular routines, and very precise with numbers. There are monthly, quarterly, and annual cycles to real estate, and accounting follows those cycles with some entries required monthly, quarterly, or annually. Accountants are generally the first to spot irregularities in income or expense, or may be tasked with research into the financials of a property. So, an investigative streak can be very helpful. Significant experience in accounting or a degree in accounting will help open the door to these real estate private equity career paths in fund accounting.
Networking and financial analysis are important real estate private equity skills for this position because they directly correlate with the quantity and quality of deal flow. Developing a deep list of industry contacts and maintaining good relationships can help win deals when the competition is fierce. That deep list can also generate leads for properties that are not on the market, but may still be for sale. Being able to build a real estate pro forma isn’t necessarily a requirement for this job, but it is necessary to be able to read one and understand the key variables that influence property value.
A Final Word
Real estate private equity jobs are exciting and fulfilling. There is a wide range of opportunities for different personality types, skill sets, and experience levels. Best of all, there are opportunities in every corner of the globe and with firms of all sizes.