Real Estate Investment Banking

Real Estate Investment Banking vs. Real Estate Investment Trusts

People may be perplexed by the phrases Real Estate Investment Banking (REIB) and Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) because they both contain the word "Investment." However, in finance, they are divided into different categories. Real Estate Investment Trusts are on the Buy-side, whereas Real Estate Investment Banking is on the Sell-side.

Business Model

REIB - Investment Banking is an umbrella word for capital raising and strategic transaction advising services for real estate enterprises. They make no real estate investments. The operation of a REIB is deemed less sophisticated than that of a REIT, as the REIB only provides advisory services and the beneficiary pays a consultant fee in exchange.

REITs, on the other hand, can be widely regarded as a sort of real estate private equity because they are categorized as buy-side entities. REITs' products are properties rather than companies, and they make money by selling those companies. The business concept is straightforward: REITs buy a building, invest money to restore and upgrade it, then lease the space and collect rent on it, or sell the asset at a profit.

REITs Capital and the Scheme of Payout

Most REITs are traded on major stock markets and provide a variety of incentives to investors. REITs typically seek money through the equity market and rarely through debt instruments. REITs give all investors the opportunity to own valuable real estate. REIT stockholders enjoy a share of the income generated by real estate investment without having to buy, own, or finance a property.

To qualify as a REIT, real estate corporations must meet a number of criteria. REITs are required to distribute at least 90% of their taxable revenue to shareholders in the form of dividends; in practice, the vast majority of these firms do so. Dividends are taxed at the shareholder level.

Clients of Real Estate Investment Banking

Real Estate Investment Banking Clients are divided into four categories: Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), Home Builders, Lodging Companies, and Gaming Centers.

Real Estate Investment Trusts

As previously stated, REITs are similar to private equity firms. While private equity invests in enterprises, real estate investment trusts (REITs) invest in real estate. REITs invest in a variety of real estate property types such as offices, apartment complexes, warehouses, retail centers, medical facilities, data centers, cell towers, infrastructure, and hotels.

Most REITs specialize in one type of property, but some have a diverse portfolio of properties. The interest in these investments provides them with income. According to the regulation, 90% of their profits must be paid out in dividends to avoid corporate income tax, leaving only the remainder in cash. That explains why they have so little money.

Furthermore, REITs are constantly making purchases and require financing to continually invest in the construction of new properties, making them excellent clients of Investment Banks. 

Home Builders

These businesses construct, develop, and sell homes. Their construction projects range from creating residential homes and apartments to building structures and condominiums. Population growth, personal income, employment rates, interest rates, and the ease of access to money all influence the development of this sector.

Because of the huge demand for residential real estate, these companies rely substantially on investment capital to present and deliver new projects to clients, which is why stock and debt offers are popular in this industry. 


Lodging is a travel and hospitality-related industry. Lodging specifically refers to hotels and resorts. Pricing, promotion, and occupancy rates are the primary drivers in the sector. Hotels and resorts are constantly striving to expand their presence in new markets, improve their services, and expand their capabilities. For these reasons, Investment Banks become involved in providing finance to these businesses.

Gaming Centers

Gaming centers are big gaming hubs, such as casinos, that exclusively operate in wealthy sections of the world. Las Vegas, Macau, and Singapore are among well-known destinations for this type of real estate.

The industry is fueled by the number of gamblers, their willingness to spend money, and the availability of pricey restaurants and extravagant entertainment performances within a Casino. Due to their significant finance requirements to expand and operate, these companies may issue offers to attract additional cash.

Big-leagued Real Estate Investment Banking firms

Bulge Bracket Banks are always present in any industry, and real estate is no different. These Bulge Brackets have the largest deals in both M&A and capital advising because to their extended history of development and high-quality service.

Big names in the top ten include:

  • Goldman Sachs
  • Morgan Stanley
  • J.P Morgan Chase
  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch
  • Credit Suisse

Real Estate Investment Banking: Career, Salary, Working Hour, Responsibility

A real estate investment banker, like other groups in an Investment Bank, begins as an Analyst and progresses to Associate, Vice President, Senior Vice President/Director, and Managing Director. The working hours in Investment Banking are fairly long. The hours for junior levels range between 70 and 80 hours per week, and can reach 90 hours during the busiest season due to several deals and transactions taking place at the same time.

What do Investment Bankers do in Real Estate Investment Banking?

Despite the fact that you only advise on real estate transactions, you acquire exposure to other types of transactions such as Mergers & Acquisitions and Capital Market Advisory.

Specifically, investment bankers are responsible for:

  • Maintain a pulse on industry M&A, ECM, and DCM trends to set valuation expectations for client companies and assist them in planning their timing and go-public plans.
  • By applying in-depth expertise, create a set of key arguments that form a convincing investment thesis, then create and build a Memorandum to express these points.
  • Prospective purchasers should be identified and contacted, information flow should be managed, and strategic dialogues should be held with interested parties.
  • Act as the principal point of contact between the buyer and seller.
  • Assist in negotiating the final conditions of the agreement
  • Identify any difficulties during the due diligence process and follow up as needed.
  • Analyze the capital structure to determine the appropriate transaction finance, and assist the client in locating funding.
  • Determine a preliminary valuation based on an assessment of the possible target and its industry.
  • Assess a potential target's strategic fit with the client, and find and quantify synergy prospects if possible.

Pros and Cons of Joining Real Estate Investment Banking


  • Various skill sets: Because you work on a variety of transactions, such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Debt, and Equity Capital Market (though real estate companies rarely use debt to finance), you have opportunities to improve necessary transferable skills that can be applied to a variety of industries.
  • Increased exit options: Real Estate Investment Trusts, Private Equity firms, Hedge Funds, Venture Capitals, and Corporate Developments are all possible exit strategies. You can also switch between groups at your bank.
  • Constant expansion: Real estate is always a profitable investment, outperforming any top industry in the United States. Over the last 20 years, its total return performance has outperformed that of the S&P 500 Index and other key indices. Working in real estate investment banking prepares you for a career in big real estate corporations once you leave investment banking.


  • Working in the real estate group means that your specialization is confined to real estate negotiations and transactions. Because not all bankers want to invest in real estate, you must weigh the benefits and drawbacks to make an informed decision.

How to get into Real Estate Investment Bank?

Getting into Real Estate Investment Banking is like getting into any other group in an investment bank. The application procedure remains the same. The distinction is that you will select your choices by checking boxes on the application form. In general, if you accept offers following Superday, you can be assigned to any industry or product group depending on your experience and skills. However, if you are interested in working in the healthcare field, you should notify recruiters. The HR department and group leaders are highly adaptable, and they will take your preferences into account.

Common Pathways to Get into Investment Banking

The road to a career in investment banking has four major steps:

  1. Resume / Cover letter
  2. Networking
  3. Internship / Relevant Banking Experience
  4. Interview

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