Commercial Real Estate Analyst/Appraiser

3 Replies

Does anybody have some advice/opinions/connections with getting involved in Commercial Real Estate Sales or possibly an analyst position?

For example, determining cash flow on an apartment building to pitch to a potential investor.

My dream job/career would involve finding good deals that appreciate and cashflow for investors until I can afford to one day do so myself.

I'm super interested in the more RE specific aspect of things , Cash flows, pro formas, cap rates, investing etc. I want to do this because I believe I need two things to succeed in RE investing. First, I need the specific knowledge of a targeted market. I hope to gain this by getting a job in the industry where I'm doing valuations on a daily basis. Secondly, I believe I need capitol, or the ability to raise capitol, to get in the game for myself. So I'm figuring while I get a job in the industry, while getting to know a market, I can save money and network with private players.

Any opinions? 


An analyst and appraiser are two very different jobs. Analyst can be a good stepping stone, but if you get hired to do that full time, you'll probably be underwriting much bigger deals than you will first purchase. That said, go apply and see the local guys who are buying and offer some spreadsheet work

Can you explain to me the differences?

An appraiser is a very defined career that requires specific education and licensing (same format as becoming a broker, but very different jobs).

An analyst is a broad-stroke definition often used to define a junior member of a team or organization, the definition / scope / roll of which can very greatly depending on the company or team. More often than not an analyst has a financial background and will spend their time underwriting transactions. An analyst at an RE development firm might spend their time modeling pro-forma analysis for ground up developments whereas an analyst for a REIT would be geared more towards the financial markets, financial products and fiscal performance of real estate projects.

The career path of each is very different and it would be a good use of your time to network with both analysts and appraisers to understand the nuances of each.

In very general terms an analyst position will open more doors into the RE world and allow you to pivot your career as you learn the industry. An appraiser by contrast is a defined career path and your growth will generally be dependent on growing your book of business as an appraiser. This is not to say you cant pivot your career as an appraiser but the barriers to entry are much higher so those who become appraisers tend to stay in the field. 

If an appraisal is the route you want to go then start taking classes, get licenses and there should be relatively easy to find an entry level / Jr. roll at one of the big shops (CBRE, JLL, C&W, Colliers etc.) or you can focus on residential. If you go Analyst you have some decisions to make: Do you want to be more on the institutional side (developer, capital source, REIT etc.) or do you want to be on the brokerage side? What product type interests you most (industrial, office, retail, capital markets)?

I am not an appraiser nor did i get my start in real estate as an analyst so i'm far from an authority on either. Network your way into the industry, cold call the leaders in the field and ask them questions, do your research then make a decision. I think you'll find that the decision more often than not makes itself for you once you start having meaningful conversations about it. 

Good luck. 

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here