Archive for October, 2013

Job Hunting Tip #9: Don’t Negotiate Salary Before an Offer

Sometimes a prospective employer will ask a candidate how much they are currently making or how much you are expecting to make should you be offered the position. I recommend that you do not get in a discussion about salary until you have an offer in hand, although you should have an idea as to the compensation range being offered even prior to your first meeting. In general we are seeing the following compensation ranges:

Analyst: $45,000 to $60,000
Senior Analyst: $60,000 to $75,000
Associate: $70,000 to $90,000
Vice President: $85,000 to $155,000
Asset Manager: Varies significantly depending on the market

If you are using a recruiter like ACG to schedule interviews, leverage off of the recruiter to provide all negotiations. That is part of the value-add of having a broker involved in the deal and it could insulate you from a potentially uncomfortable or even disastrous situation.

Sept. Boot Camp Sold Out – 2 Left in Dec.

Just like the previous week-long Argus Boot Camps, our September 16-20 program has sold out! I was asked by a couple of clients this week why our Boot Camps are selling out even when the transaction market is still below average and the job market has shown little more than a slight improvement. I believe that the primary reasons for the program selling out include:

  • The Boot Camp is the only week-long intense training program in the country
  • CPAs receive 45 credit hours toward their CPE training requirements (and several of the people who have signed up for the program cited that as a huge advantage to take the course)
  • The program covers exclusively the components of Argus that analysts regularly use (office, retail and industrial cases, lots of time on recoveries, learning how Argus calculates, portfolio analysis, etc…) and very little time on the features that are frequently not used because Excel is a better tool (like partnerships, debt, construction budgets, multi-family).
  • We have offered a $1,000 scholarship to students to help out with the enrollment fees
  • Our instructors are fantastic and expert users of the software
  • We personalize every class and meet one-on-one with students during the week if they need additional assistance understanding specific concepts

We thank all of our clients who have sent their analytical staff to our class and who continue to refer others to us. We are humbled by the confidence that they have shown in choosing ACG to be their educational partners and look forward continuing to expand and improve our course offerings.

If you are interested in registering for our December 9-13 Argus Boot Camp, go online today at as we are confident that this class will also fill up in the next couple of weeks.

Three New Jobs in Atlanta!

ACG is actively looking to fill three new positions in Atlanta. Two of the positions are entry-level with private equity firms. Interested applicants must have a minimum overall GPA of 3.5 and have graduated from a top 20 school. Applicants must not only be analytical but must be excellent writers. Expect long work-weeks in a highly entrepreneurial, fast-paced environment.

The other position is for a seasoned analyst with 4-7 years of experience. Superb Excel skills are a requirement with strong SQL, macro and waterfall / fund level experience a requirement. Argus is a plus but not required.

All three positions offer top pay and will be filled by the end of the year. For more information please send your resume to

Job Hunting Tip #8: Include The Years You Received Your Degree(s)

More and more frequently we are receiving resumes that exclude the year when one’s degree(s) were earned. I imagine that the primary reason candidates are omitting this key piece of information is that they do not want to bring attention to how old they are; however, omitting this information actually is bringing attention to this very fact. Employers understand that many candidates have had career changes and perhaps have less experience in the industry for which they are trying to land a job then the total number of years of work experience. At some point in time the employer is going to find out approximately how old you are when you interview. We have placed 35+ year-olds in analyst positions many times. If you have 10 years of related work experience and you are trying to land an entry level analyst position, no employer is going to hire you as they know that as soon as the market turns around you will be among the first to jump ship for a better salaried position.

List the year you received all degrees and embrace your age and experience. If you apply only for those positions that are in sync with your age and experience then you will be competitive.

Argus Analyst Tip 1

Although there are very few jobs that need to be filled today, almost all of them require Argus competency. In response to some reader requests, we will be offering a daily tip each of the next two weeks. Here is the first Argus tip:

Did you know that you can copy and paste directly in the Rent Roll? This can be used for a lot of different things. We have used this when we have information contained in an Excel spreadsheet and we want to reflect it in Argus. It also can be used when you want to copy “down” from one tenant to another. Thus, if you want to rename a whole group of tenants, you can do this by copying the first tenant name and pasting it to several rows below.

Did You Know? Argus Tips & Tricks

Did you know that under the reimbursement methods, an Admin Fee can only be charged before or after deductions for the entire model? This cannot be adjusted based on individual tenants. The input for this is found on the home screen under Options > Calculation > Detailed Reimbursement Method.

Excellent Valuation Textbook

Dr. Fisher is a superb real estate professor at Indiana University and has co-written a fantastic real estate textbook:

Jeffrey Fisher and Robert Martin
Income Property Valuation

Check it out…will be worth your time reading it, especially for those who are new to the industry.


Job Description: Head of Acquisitions / Investments

Responsible for the solicitation, review, underwriting, market research, and negotiations consistent with the investment management agreements and guidelines.

  • Responsible for the oversight of the department and the sourcing of all new acquisitions.
  • Oversee and coordinate the underwriting and due diligence of each transaction to include financial modeling; market surveys; tenant credit analysis; broker interviews; interaction with property management personnel, tenants, and local government officials; and order, coordinate, and analyze third-party due diligence reports.
  • Manage the preparation and presentation of Investment Committee presentations for all acquisitions.
  • Oversee the administration and clerical processes and procedures for acquisitions.
  • Write and maintain all policies and procedures for the acquisition department.
  • Prepare and give written and oral presentations to staff, management, existing and potential clients, and sellers of commercial properties and members of the real estate community.
  • Prepare market surveys and questionnaires for various related commercial real estate publications and marketing groups.
  • Participate as a senior member of the management team in setting firm-wide goals and objectives and in preparing and implementing tactical plans to meet those goals.
  • Develop long-term goals with respect to the Acquisition Team and ensure that the team is growing and developing enhanced real estate skills.
  • Hiring, firing, disciplining, training and motivating the team of people who work with the Director of Acquisitions.
  • Source and identify new joint venture partners to create relationships that will provide a consistent pipeline of suitable investment opportunities in the future.
  • Generate offers for both direct and joint venture investment opportunities and negotiate and execute Letters of Intent with prospective sellers and/or partners.
  • Direct legal counsel in the preparation and negotiation of purchase and sale agreements, partnership agreements and related legal documentation necessary to complete transactions.
  • Arrange property financing.

Job Description: Assistant Property Manager

Functional Responsibilities:

Work closely with and report to the Property Manager to maintain, enhance, and create value for the assets under management.

• Assist the Property Manager in implementing strategies to maximize shot-term return-on-equity and increase long-term economic value.
• Actively manage the relationships wit vendor community, tenants, and management as necessary to ensure the assets achieve maximum value.
• Work closely with third-party service providers to ensure that assets are managed to yield optimal returns.
• Be familiar with and assist the Property Manager with reporting on performance, budget variances, tenant arrears, tenant retention efforts, significant changes in the market and property conditions in general.
• Assist with the process of preparing property business plans, operating and capital budgets and updating or re-forecasting same as necessary.
• Analyze and monitor capital improvement and renovation programs, as required, for property maintenance, competitive positioning, or market repositioning.
• Communicate continually with the senior members of the firm to apprise appropriate individuals of issues/decisions impacting the property.
• Follow contractual guidelines for managing the asset as prescribed in the management and leasing agreements
• Assist with building operations and manage staff.
• Determine specific service contract requirements, develop scope of work, solicit bids, evaluate proposals, and monitor contract performance for all service vendors.
• Periodically review performance specifications and pricing for all existing building contracts.
• Oversee nightly and weekend access memo reports to control all work in building.
• Coordinate all capital and building projects with appropriate staff and vendors.
• Manage day to day problem-solving and deal with building issues as they arise.
• Evaluate current operations and implement necessary changes.
• Work with leasing on any necessary items, including updating floor plans.
• Manage and work with building on updating and streamlining policies and procedures.
• Be prepared to fill in for Property Manager whenever needed.
• Responsible for maintaining tenant relations and ensuring tenant satisfaction
• Day to day contact, issue resolution, and general dealing with tenant representatives in conjunction with Tenant Service Rep.
• Assist in planning a tenant relations program, including individual and building-wide events as deemed needed by Senior Mgmt.
• Work to create and regularly update tenant handbooks, and design criteria and emergency procedures.
• Coordinate all tenant move-ins and move-outs with leasing, accounting, and building staff.
• Review plans and coordinate tenant improvement projects according to SOPs and building standards.
• Draft correspondence to tenants regarding building issues and events.

Assist with financial management for property.

• Budget research and preparation in coordination with building staff and accounting.
• Assist in the quarterly reforecast and detailed variance reporting.
• Assist PM in monthly reporting: management and investor reports.

Essential Functions:

• Knowledge of MRI and Yardi Financial experience, including costs, budgets, executing contracts, service contracts, and arrears.
• Demonstrates potential to move to next level within the Company
• Ability to effectively listen to co-workers and respond to their requests
• Ability to travel between buildings in order to effectively communicate.
• Ability to understand and communicate in English, both verbally and written.
• Knowledge of the budgetary process as it relates to operating and capital expenditure budgets.


• Provides clear direction
• Expresses self effectively one on one and in groups
• Clearly expresses ideas and concepts in writing
• Facilitates conflict discussion and resolution, minimizes recurrent conflict
• Able to relate well to all people regardless of personality and background
• Ability to communicate effectively with senior management
• Develops and maintains excellent tenant relationships
• Knows leases, anticipates tenants needs in order to retain tenants
• Continually demonstrates initiative

Other Skills/Requirements:

• Exceptional computer skills utilizing Microsoft Office is required. Proficiency in MRI & Yardi is a must.
• Strong interpersonal skills coupled with effective oral and written skills are required.
• Knowledge of NYC building mechanical systems & construction management is preferred.
• Strong analytical and effective problem solving skills. Ability to work independently.
• Excellent organizational skills.
• Must be reliable, flexible and versatile
• 3 to 5 years of Commercial Management experience

Job Description: Vice President, Brokerage

Primary Duties and Responsibilities
• Valuation Underwriting / Argus Models: Input Argus models, run reports for presentations, pitches, and Broker Opinions of Value (BOV).
• Must be proficient in Argus modeling of office assets, expense passthroughs, and rent steps, as well as occupancy adjusted variable expenses. For retail assets, must be proficient with expense pools, and detailed expense passthroughs customary for retail.
• Typical Property Types: Office, Retail, Industrial. Occasional Multi-Family Analysis.
• Valuation Models: Import Argus model cash flows into Excel based pricing models.
• Obtain financing terms from loan teams/and or broker – input in model.
• Size loan using market Debt Yield and cross check with DCR divided into cash flow.
• Run interest only and amortized scenarios, as well as refinancing scenarios during mid-term hold of asset.
• Possible split/structure financing – discuss with broker– Permanent and Mezz financing incorporate terms into pricing Excel model.
• Broker Opinion of Value Preparation: Using firm’s BOV template, populate all narrative sections, work with research to input market sections, populate property data and overview sections, as well as introduction section.
• Oversee buyer database – Access Program
• Deal Summary: Create deal summaries for properties that we have been engaged to sell.
• Offering Memoranda: Prepare following sections:
Property Description
Market Overview
Financial Section
Read all leases and input Lease Abstracts
Work with and coordinate with Desk Top Publisher to oversee creation of graphics, maps, and labeling of aerials and photos.
• On Line War Room: Analyst will set up on-line war room with all due diligence materials electronically provided.
• Photography: Coordinate with photographer all ground shots and aerials for Offering Memoranda and Flyer.
• Site Visits: Analyst will visit projects and drive market regarding new offerings, and select pitch or BOV opportunities.

Qualifications/Skills and Knowledge Requirements:
• Excellent planning, organizational, analytical, negotiating and time management skills.
• Knowledge of purchase and sale agreements, partnership agreements and loan documents
• Highly proficient with complex financial calculations and applying valuation methods utilizing ARGUS/Excel. (Advanced knowledge of real estate cash flow modeling is an important requirement).
• Bachelors degree in Real Estate, Business, Finance, or Accounting.
• Minimum 6 years full-time related prior work experience.
• Well-developed interpersonal, communication and management skills.
• Work under tight deadlines and in a team environment.