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A Day in the Life: Associate, Development Company

7:45 a.m.: Arrive at work, grab some coffee, and collect my thoughts for the team meeting in a few minutes. I want to have all the facts straight on the condo development that I’ve been working on.

8:00 a.m.: Development team meeting gets the week rolling. The development company president starts with his update and then the ball moves around the room to discuss each project underway. My project is particularly thorny in that there is a vocal minority of local citizens who are trying to block our conversion of an apartment building to condos. They’ve been able to get a hearing to potentially landmark the building that’s happening tomorrow. The team discusses strategy.

9:30 a.m.: I check my voicemail and I’ve got a few calls. I call a broker about some land I’ve been researching and may want to bid on. Then I gather some of his input on the site and update some assumptions in the back-of-the-envelope model I had put together in Excel to see if the project pencils. Naturally, the price has to be right. I give the broker an indication of where I stand, and he says he’ll check in with the owner for me.

10:00 a.m.: I check my e-mail and see that I have some new construction figures for different development scenarios on the condo deal. I stop by the analyst’s desk to ask him to update the financial model with the new information I received and build in some pricing sensitivities.

10:30 a.m.: A development manager asks me to handle a request by one of the equity investors. I call the associate at the fund and find out they are looking for an updated pro forma to help them with a portfolio performance update. I get off the phone, open the model, input some updates, and e-mail to the investor.

11:15 a.m.: The broker returns my call about the land. Unfortunately it appears the owner is firm at $15 million but my numbers don’t support more than $12 million. I double-check my assumption and reaffirm. Just to have it in my back pocket, I look at a scenario where I offer the owner some upside on the backside of the development deal should it prove successful.

12:00 p.m.: Lunch break time. I head out with the development manager and analyst to pick up something to eat, and we bring it back to the conference room. We discuss the condo deal financials.

12:45 p.m.: I call a few of my consultants on the condo deal, and get an update from our traffic consultant and tenant relocation coordinator (evictions). The building is almost empty since we’ve been offering a generous relocation package but there are a few hold-out tenants.

1:30 p.m.: A former business school buddy at a competing development company calls me to chat. We catch up a bit and make plans to meet up at a networking event later.

1:45 p.m.: I head out of the office to sit in on a zoning hearing for one of the company’s developments.

2:30 p.m.: Traffic was awful but I just made it. My project is just about to come up on the agenda. My company president gets up and presents the plan. Some of the local residents that attended voice concerns about the development, and the city planning officials ask my team to address the issues. I respond to some e-mails on my phone while listening passively.

3:45 p.m.: The zoning hearing is still underway but I have to head back to the office to handle some more pressing items.

4:15 p.m.: Arrive back in the office. Circle up with the analyst to get the new scenarios on the condo deal. Take the info back to my desk to review.

4:45 p.m.: Follow up with architect on where they stand with their renderings. I arrange for them to present to my development team next week.

5:00 p.m.: I start working on a financing request package that I will eventually pass on to some of my banking contacts to obtain debt for the deal.

6:15 p.m.: I save my work, shut the computer down, and head to the real estate networking event for young professionals. I meet up with my business school buddy and commiserate with him about his company’s development deal that went awry due to zoning issues. Our conversation brings back the stress I’ve been feeling about tomorrow’s landmark hearing for the condo project. I start to sweat – another drink, please!

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