Top 20 Real Estate Private Equity Interview Questions & Answers

Master your responses to Real Estate Private Equity related interview questions with our example questions and answers. Boost your chances of landing the job by learning how to effectively communicate your Real Estate Private Equity capabilities.

real estate private equity interview case study

Venturing into the world of Real Estate Private Equity (REPE) means stepping into a niche where financial acumen meets property markets, and every deal hinges on your ability to analyze, forecast, and capitalize on potential investment opportunities. As an aspirant for a role in this prestigious sector, you must convince prospective employers that you have the expertise to drive high-stakes decisions and generate substantial returns.

Preparing for an interview in REPE involves not just a thorough understanding of real estate and finance but also a readiness to tackle complex scenario-based questions that test your strategic thinking. In this article, we’ll delve into some of the key interview questions that candidates might face when interviewing for a position within Real Estate Private Equity, providing insights and strategies to help you craft compelling responses that demonstrate your depth of knowledge and investment prowess.

Common Real Estate Private Equity Interview Questions

1. how do you evaluate the potential of a new real estate market for private equity investment.

Understanding the socio-economic context and growth trajectories of regions is crucial in real estate private equity. It’s not just about the numbers but also about what makes a property valuable. Analytical acumen and an instinct for future trends are key when dissecting a market beyond surface-level indicators. Delving into factors that drive long-term value and stability is what sets apart a savvy investor.

When responding to this question, start by outlining a structured approach to market analysis, which might include historical data review, demographic trends, economic indicators, and industry forecasts. Discuss how you would incorporate quantitative data with qualitative insights, such as regulatory changes or upcoming infrastructure projects. It’s also effective to mention any proprietary models or frameworks you use to assess market viability. If you have past experiences where you successfully identified and capitalized on emerging markets, sharing a concise case study can demonstrate your practical application of these principles.

Example: “ In evaluating the potential of a new real estate market for private equity investment, I begin by conducting a thorough analysis of historical performance metrics, including cap rates, rental yield trends, and vacancy rates. I then overlay demographic and economic indicators such as population growth, employment rates, and income levels to assess the underlying demand drivers. It’s crucial to understand the local supply dynamics, including development pipelines and zoning regulations, to gauge future market saturation and competition.

I complement this quantitative analysis with qualitative insights, such as the impact of upcoming infrastructure projects, changes in urban planning policies, or shifts in consumer preferences. For instance, a new transit line can significantly enhance property values and rental demand in previously less accessible areas. I also utilize advanced econometric models to forecast future market trends and identify potential risks and rewards. A recent success involved leveraging these methods to pinpoint an undervalued market with strong growth prospects due to a burgeoning tech industry, resulting in a timely and profitable investment for our firm.”

2. Describe your approach to conducting due diligence on a property before acquisition.

A meticulous approach to due diligence is vital in real estate private equity. It’s about more than just assessing viability and potential ROI; it’s about identifying risks that could affect profitability. Candidates should demonstrate a systematic, detail-oriented approach to evaluating investment opportunities.

When responding to this question, you should outline a step-by-step process that includes reviewing financial documents such as profit and loss statements, rent rolls, and tax assessments; conducting market analysis to understand the property’s position in the current and future market; performing physical inspections to assess the condition and identify any needed repairs or maintenance; and evaluating legal compliance with zoning laws, titles, and any potential liabilities. It’s essential to convey that your approach is thorough, risk-averse, and grounded in a sound understanding of real estate economics and law, demonstrating your ability to protect and grow the firm’s investments.

Example: “ In conducting due diligence for a property acquisition, my initial focus is on a meticulous financial analysis. I scrutinize the last few years of profit and loss statements to assess the asset’s operating performance, ensuring that the NOI aligns with market benchmarks. Rent rolls are examined to evaluate tenant quality and lease expiration profiles, which are critical for understanding income stability and potential rollover risks. Additionally, I review tax assessments to ensure there are no outstanding liabilities that could affect the property’s net cash flow.

Concurrently, I conduct a comprehensive market analysis, considering macroeconomic indicators and local market dynamics to forecast the property’s performance. This includes analyzing supply and demand, rental rate trends, and occupancy levels in the submarket, which helps in understanding the asset’s competitive positioning. A physical inspection of the property is crucial to identify deferred maintenance or capital improvement needs that could impact the valuation or future cash flows. Lastly, I ensure legal due diligence is thorough, reviewing zoning compliance, title searches, and any encumbrances or easements that could impose on the property’s operation or value. This holistic approach ensures that we mitigate risks and secure investments that align with our strategic objectives.”

3. What factors drive your decision-making process when considering asset disposal in a portfolio?

Deciding to dispose of an asset in real estate private equity is a significant strategic move. It requires balancing financial metrics, market conditions, and investment horizons with the fund’s goals. The intricate dance between investor expectations and market fluidity is crucial for timing disposals to maximize returns and mitigate risks.

When responding, one should articulate a multi-faceted approach that begins with quantitative analysis, such as IRR targets, equity multiples, and hold period optimization. Then, layer in qualitative considerations like market growth potential, asset quality, and alignment with the fund’s investment thesis. It’s essential to communicate a structured yet adaptable process that takes into account both micro and macroeconomic factors as well as stakeholder interests. Demonstrating an understanding of the fund’s lifecycle and how asset disposal fits into the larger picture of portfolio management will show depth and sophistication in your decision-making process.

Example: “ When considering asset disposal, the primary quantitative factor is whether the disposal aligns with our targeted internal rate of return (IRR) and equity multiple objectives. This involves a thorough analysis of the asset’s financial performance and projections, ensuring that the timing of the disposal maximizes returns and corresponds with optimal hold period strategies. Additionally, we consider the cost of capital and the reinvestment opportunities available, aiming to recycle capital into higher-yielding investments when appropriate.

On the qualitative side, it’s crucial to assess the market cycle, identifying whether the asset is in a market with growth potential that could warrant a longer hold or if market dynamics suggest a peak valuation conducive to selling. The asset’s quality and how it aligns with our fund’s investment thesis are also top considerations. For instance, if an asset no longer fits the strategic direction of the fund due to shifts in market trends or fund objectives, disposal might be the prudent course of action. Finally, stakeholder interests, including investor expectations and fund lifecycle considerations, play a pivotal role in the decision-making process, ensuring that each disposal decision supports the overarching goals of the fund and its investors.”

4. Outline a strategy for capital raising that targets both institutional and high-net-worth investors.

Crafting a tailored approach to attract different investor segments is essential in real estate private equity. Institutional and high-net-worth individuals have diverse expectations and risk appetites. It’s important to resonate with each group’s unique motivations while balancing the need for large-scale funding.

When responding, it’s crucial to articulate a dual-faceted strategy that addresses both audiences. For institutional investors, emphasize leveraging industry relationships, presenting data-driven market analysis, and showcasing past successful projects that underline the fund’s credibility. For high-net-worth individuals, focus on the personalized approach, highlighting the exclusive opportunities, the direct impact their investment can make, and the potential for bespoke investment terms. Articulating how you would maintain transparent communication and offer thorough due diligence to both groups will demonstrate your comprehensive understanding of investor relations.

Example: “ To effectively raise capital from institutional investors, the strategy should center on demonstrating a robust track record and providing a granular level of detail in market analysis and projections. Institutional investors typically have a mandate to fulfill and look for opportunities that offer a strong alignment with their investment criteria. By presenting a comprehensive portfolio of past successful projects, we can establish credibility. Additionally, institutional investors require extensive due diligence, so providing in-depth information on the underwriting process, risk management strategies, and exit scenarios is essential. This can be supplemented with data-driven insights into market trends and potential growth areas, which will help in showcasing the fund’s strategic edge.

Conversely, when targeting high-net-worth individuals, the approach would be more personalized. It is crucial to emphasize the unique opportunities that our fund offers, such as access to off-market deals or early investment stages that are typically reserved for institutional players. By highlighting the potential for customized investment terms and the direct impact of their investment, we can appeal to their desire for exclusivity and control. For both high-net-worth and institutional investors, maintaining a transparent line of communication is key. This includes regular updates on fund performance, market conditions, and any shifts in strategy. Providing a clear and concise reporting framework will help build trust and reinforce the fund’s commitment to accountability and transparency.”

5. Illustrate how you would structure a waterfall distribution model for limited partners in a fund.

Proficiency in financial modeling is critical when discussing the waterfall distribution model in real estate private equity. This complex method of allocating returns aligns the interests of general and limited partners. Candidates must demonstrate their understanding of priority return sequences and manage investor expectations effectively.

When responding to this question, begin by outlining the basic tiers of a typical waterfall structure—such as return of capital, preferred return, catch-up, and carried interest. Then, delve into the specifics, like the rates of return you would offer at each tier and the conditions that trigger the transition from one tier to another. Use clear language and, if possible, reference past experience where you’ve successfully implemented or managed such a structure. Demonstrate your strategic approach to aligning interests and ensuring fairness in profit distribution, emphasizing your commitment to transparency and fiduciary responsibility.

Example: “ In structuring a waterfall distribution model for limited partners, I would start by establishing a clear return of capital tier. This ensures that all initial capital contributions are returned to the limited partners before any profits are distributed. Following this, I would implement a preferred return tier, typically set at an 8% hurdle rate, which aligns with industry standards and compensates limited partners for the opportunity cost of their investment.

Once the preferred return is met, the next tier would be the catch-up phase, designed to allocate profits to the general partner until the profit split reaches the agreed-upon ratio, often 80/20 or 70/30 in favor of limited partners. This structure incentivizes the general partner to surpass the preferred return threshold, as they would receive a larger share of profits beyond this point. Finally, any remaining profits would be distributed according to the carried interest agreement, which typically sees the general partner receiving 20% of additional profits, further aligning the interests of both parties. Throughout this process, it’s crucial to maintain transparency and to have clear, contractual definitions of each tier to uphold fiduciary responsibility and ensure the alignment of interests between the general partner and limited partners.”

6. In what ways have you optimized operational efficiencies within properties to enhance value?

Maximizing the value of real estate properties hinges on understanding operational intricacies. Candidates should showcase their ability to scrutinize processes, identify improvement areas, and implement strategic changes that enhance profitability.

When responding, candidates should outline specific strategies they’ve employed, such as renegotiating vendor contracts, implementing new technologies for property management, or redesigning services to enhance tenant satisfaction and retention. It’s important to provide concrete examples that demonstrate a thoughtful approach to cost-reduction and revenue-enhancement, and to explain the thought process behind these decisions, including any analysis or data that guided them.

Example: “ In optimizing operational efficiencies, I’ve focused on the strategic renegotiation of vendor contracts and the integration of smart technology systems. By conducting a thorough market analysis, I identified opportunities to renegotiate contracts with key vendors, leading to a reduction in operating expenses without compromising service quality. This not only improved net operating income but also strengthened relationships with vendors who were willing to provide more favorable terms in exchange for longer-term contracts.

Furthermore, I spearheaded the adoption of advanced property management software that streamlined maintenance requests, tenant communication, and energy management. The implementation of these systems reduced manual workload, allowing on-site management to focus on tenant engagement and satisfaction. This tech-forward approach not only decreased operational costs but also enhanced the tenant experience, contributing to higher retention rates and reducing vacancy-related revenue loss. The combination of these initiatives resulted in a measurable increase in property value, as reflected in both improved cash flows and capitalization rates.”

7. Provide an example of a complex deal you structured and the challenges you faced during execution.

Orchestrating sophisticated transactions in real estate private equity requires a multifaceted skill set. Candidates are tested on their experience with complex financial arrangements, regulatory hurdles, and stakeholder negotiations. The ability to structure deals, solve problems, and manage risks is under scrutiny.

When responding, candidates should outline the deal’s context, emphasizing the complexities involved, such as capital stack, investment thesis, market conditions, and regulatory constraints. They should then detail the specific challenges encountered and how they navigated these obstacles, showcasing their strategic thinking, negotiation skills, and resilience. The response should conclude with the outcome, reflecting on any lessons learned and the overall impact on their portfolio or company.

Example: “ In structuring a multifaceted urban redevelopment project, we were faced with a capital stack that included senior debt, mezzanine financing, and multiple equity investors, each with distinct terms and priorities. The investment thesis hinged on a value-add strategy, capitalizing on zoning changes to increase the rentable square footage and implementing significant property improvements to attract a higher-paying tenant mix.

The primary challenges stemmed from aligning the interests of diverse stakeholders, navigating the intricacies of urban planning regulations, and mitigating construction risk in a volatile market. Through meticulous due diligence and leveraging our relationships with local authorities, we secured the necessary permits and entitlements. We also structured waterfall provisions in the equity agreements to address the disparate risk profiles and return expectations of our investors. Furthermore, we negotiated a flexible draw schedule with our mezzanine lender to accommodate potential construction delays.

The deal concluded with a successful stabilization of the asset, yielding an IRR that exceeded initial projections. This experience underscored the importance of adaptive financial engineering and stakeholder management in complex real estate private equity transactions.”

8. Detail your experience with regulatory compliance issues in cross-border real estate transactions.

Meticulous attention to detail and a robust understanding of various legal frameworks are essential when dealing with cross-border transactions in real estate private equity. Candidates must demonstrate their ability to navigate international laws and regulations efficiently to mitigate risks and ensure smooth transaction processes.

When responding to this question, it’s essential to articulate specific instances where you’ve successfully managed compliance challenges. Share examples that demonstrate your expertise in conducting due diligence, interpreting complex legal documents, and coordinating with international teams to adhere to all relevant laws and regulations. Highlight any strategies you’ve implemented to stay informed about regulatory updates and how you’ve ensured that cross-border transactions are executed in compliance with all necessary legal standards.

Example: “ In navigating cross-border real estate transactions, I’ve encountered a range of regulatory compliance issues, particularly in the areas of due diligence and fund structuring to meet the legal requirements of multiple jurisdictions. A notable experience involved a transaction between the US and Germany, where I led the due diligence process, ensuring adherence to both the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act (FIRPTA) in the US and the German Investment Code (KAGB). This required a comprehensive understanding of tax implications, entity structuring, and the nuances of foreign investment regulations.

To mitigate risks and ensure compliance, I developed a strategy that involved close collaboration with local legal experts and tax advisors, which facilitated the interpretation of complex legal frameworks and the identification of any potential compliance red flags. Additionally, I implemented a compliance monitoring system that provided real-time updates on regulatory changes, allowing us to proactively adjust our investment structures and strategies. This approach not only ensured that the transaction met all legal standards but also optimized the tax efficiency of the investment, ultimately enhancing investor returns.”

9. What metrics do you prioritize when evaluating the performance of a real estate private equity fund?

Prioritizing the right metrics is crucial for assessing a real estate private equity fund’s performance. Candidates should exhibit analytical skills, familiarity with industry standards, and the ability to balance risk and reward in investment decisions.

When responding, it’s important to demonstrate your grasp of industry-specific metrics such as Internal Rate of Return (IRR), Equity Multiple, Cash on Cash Return, Net Asset Value (NAV), and the Debt-Service Coverage Ratio (DSCR). Explain how you use these metrics to paint a comprehensive picture of a fund’s performance, taking into account both short-term profitability and long-term value creation. Articulate clearly how you prioritize or weigh these metrics based on the fund’s strategy and objectives, and how they align with the interests of investors.

Example: “ When evaluating a real estate private equity fund, I prioritize metrics that provide a holistic view of both the current performance and the projected long-term value. Internal Rate of Return (IRR) is at the forefront, as it reflects the fund’s efficiency in generating returns over the investment horizon, taking into account the time value of money. However, IRR must be balanced with the Equity Multiple, which gives a clear picture of the total cash returned to investors relative to the equity invested. This is crucial for understanding the scale of returns in absolute terms.

In conjunction with these, I assess the Cash on Cash Return to gauge the fund’s ability to generate cash flow from operations, which is a key indicator of the asset’s current income-producing potential. Net Asset Value (NAV) provides insight into the fund’s underlying asset value, which is essential for assessing the long-term appreciation potential. Lastly, the Debt-Service Coverage Ratio (DSCR) is critical for understanding the fund’s risk profile, as it measures the ability to cover debt obligations, which is particularly important in a leveraged investment structure. Each metric is weighted according to the fund’s strategy—whether it’s value-add, opportunistic, or core/core-plus—and investor risk appetite, ensuring alignment with the overall investment objectives.”

10. How do you mitigate risks associated with environmental concerns in property investments?

Foresight and expertise in environmental due diligence are critical in real estate private equity. Candidates must understand environmental regulations and implement strategies to protect investments from potential liabilities.

When responding, highlight your experience with environmental due diligence processes, such as Phase I and Phase II Environmental Site Assessments. Discuss how you stay informed about relevant environmental laws and regulations and how you collaborate with experts, like environmental consultants, to evaluate risks. Emphasize your strategic approach to managing these risks, whether through insurance, contractual protections, or incorporating sustainability practices into property management. Demonstrate your understanding that mitigating environmental risks is not just about avoiding financial loss, but also about ensuring long-term investment viability and contributing positively to the community and environment.

Example: “ Mitigating environmental risks begins with a thorough due diligence process, incorporating a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment to identify potential contamination or environmental liabilities. If any issues are flagged, a Phase II Assessment follows, with soil, groundwater, and building materials testing to quantify risks. Staying abreast of environmental regulations is crucial; I ensure compliance with federal, state, and local environmental laws, which not only protects the investment but also aligns with responsible stewardship practices.

In managing identified risks, I engage with specialized environmental consultants to devise remediation strategies when necessary, and I incorporate environmental indemnities and warranties into purchase agreements to safeguard against unforeseen liabilities. Additionally, I advocate for the integration of sustainability practices in property management to enhance asset value and marketability while minimizing the property’s environmental footprint. This strategic approach not only mitigates immediate risks but also positions the investment for long-term resilience and compliance with evolving environmental standards.”

11. Share a time when you successfully negotiated a joint venture agreement in the real estate sector.

Forging successful joint ventures in real estate private equity involves aligning interests and maximizing returns. Candidates should demonstrate their experience in establishing partnerships that are lucrative, stable, and synergistic.

When responding, be specific about the context of the deal, the challenges faced, and how you addressed them. Outline the strategies you used to find common ground and how you structured the agreement to benefit all parties. Demonstrate your analytical skills by discussing the financial modeling and due diligence performed, and highlight your interpersonal skills by explaining how you built rapport and trust with the other party. It’s essential to convey that your negotiation skills are backed by a deep understanding of the market and a commitment to fostering strong, profitable partnerships.

Example: “ In a recent joint venture, I spearheaded negotiations for a mixed-use development project in a burgeoning urban area. The complexity of the deal stemmed from aligning our investment strategy, which prioritized long-term capital appreciation, with our partner’s focus on immediate cash flow generation. Through meticulous financial modeling, I demonstrated the viability of a phased development approach that could satisfy both objectives. This involved a detailed revenue projection for the retail spaces, which would provide early cash flow, alongside a longer-term forecast for the residential units that were expected to appreciate in value due to the area’s development trajectory.

To build trust and find common ground, I conducted thorough due diligence, which included market analysis, zoning regulations, and demographic studies to substantiate our projections. By presenting data-driven insights, I was able to persuade our partner that the proposed structure would not only meet their cash flow requirements but also enhance the overall profitability of the venture. The agreement was structured to include performance milestones tied to the financial goals of both parties, ensuring a balanced distribution of risks and rewards. This successful negotiation was a testament to the importance of preparation, clear communication, and the ability to synthesize complex information into a compelling investment narrative.”

12. Walk me through your method for projecting cash flows and calculating net present values for potential acquisitions.

Accurately assessing the profitability of property acquisitions is the crux of real estate private equity. Candidates must show their ability to project cash flows, calculate net present values, and anticipate scenarios affecting investment performance.

When responding, outline your approach by highlighting key components such as market research, rental income projections, expense estimations, financing assumptions, and exit strategy. Be clear on how you incorporate variables like occupancy rates, inflation, interest rates, and capital expenditures into your model. Discuss how you discount future cash flows to arrive at the net present value, referencing the discount rate you choose and why. Showcasing your attention to detail, ability to manage complex calculations, and your understanding of market trends will demonstrate your expertise and value to the team.

Example: “ In projecting cash flows for potential acquisitions, I start by conducting thorough market research to establish realistic rental income projections, taking into account local occupancy rates, comparable lease rates, and historical data trends. I then estimate operating expenses, including property management, maintenance, taxes, and insurance, while incorporating anticipated inflation rates. For financing assumptions, I analyze current market interest rates, loan-to-value ratios, and debt coverage service ratios to structure the optimal capital stack.

Capital expenditures are forecasted based on the property’s condition and the strategic long-term hold period, ensuring we account for both routine and major maintenance that could impact the asset’s performance. The exit strategy is crafted by evaluating market cycles, potential capital appreciation, and the projected hold period, which informs the terminal value calculation.

To calculate the net present value, I discount future cash flows using a discount rate that reflects the risk profile of the investment, often derived from the weighted average cost of capital or adjusted for real estate-specific risk premiums. This rate is pivotal as it aligns the investment’s risk with expected returns, ensuring that we are making informed decisions that aim to maximize investor value while mitigating financial exposure.”

13. How do you balance diversification and focus in a real estate investment portfolio?

A strategic approach to portfolio construction is tested in real estate private equity. Candidates should understand how diversification across property types and locations can protect against market volatility while recognizing the potential dilution of expertise and gains.

When responding, articulate your strategy for diversification, such as investing in various real estate sectors like residential, commercial, and industrial, and across different markets to hedge against localized economic downturns. Then pivot to focus, explaining how specializing in certain types of real estate or regions can lead to a deeper understanding of those markets, potentially resulting in better investment decisions. Provide examples from past experiences where your balanced approach has led to successful outcomes, showing that you can navigate the equilibrium between spreading risk and capitalizing on concentrated knowledge.

Example: “ Balancing diversification and focus within a real estate investment portfolio requires a strategic approach that mitigates risk while maximizing returns. Diversification is achieved by allocating investments across various property types and geographic locations. This spreads exposure and reduces the impact of sector-specific or regional economic downturns. For instance, during times when the residential market may be underperforming, a well-diversified portfolio that includes commercial and industrial assets can provide stability and continued income streams.

Conversely, maintaining a degree of focus allows for the cultivation of specialized expertise and the ability to recognize unique opportunities that others may overlook. By concentrating on particular niches within the real estate market, such as multifamily properties in high-growth urban areas, one can leverage in-depth knowledge to achieve above-market returns. A successful example of this balanced approach is the strategic investment in a portfolio that combines stable, income-generating Class B office spaces in emerging markets with targeted development projects in established markets, which can offer significant value-add potential. This blend of diversification and focus has consistently resulted in resilient performance across various market cycles.”

14. Which emerging trends in real estate are most likely to impact private equity strategies, and why?

Anticipating and capitalizing on trends in the real estate market is a key skill for private equity professionals. Candidates should demonstrate their ability to analyze and articulate the impacts of emerging trends on investment strategies.

When responding to this question, focus on specific trends that have tangible implications for private equity, such as shifts towards sustainable development, the rise of smart home technology, or changes in urbanization patterns. Explain how these trends could affect asset valuation, investment appetites, and portfolio diversification. Offer insights into how you would adjust investment strategies in response to these trends and back up your reasoning with evidence or examples from recent market developments. This not only shows your analytical skills but also your proactive approach to portfolio management.

Example: “ The shift towards sustainable development is a significant trend impacting real estate private equity strategies. As environmental concerns become more pronounced, there’s a growing demand for green buildings and eco-friendly infrastructure. This trend is not just driven by regulatory pressures, but also by tenant and investor preferences, which are increasingly skewed towards sustainability. Consequently, assets that adhere to environmental standards, such as LEED certification, are likely to see enhanced valuation and lower operating costs due to energy efficiency. In response, a private equity strategy should prioritize investments in properties with strong sustainability profiles or those that offer potential for green retrofitting, thereby aligning with the ESG criteria that are becoming essential for attracting institutional capital.

Another trend is the evolution of smart home technology and its integration into residential and commercial real estate. This technology is rapidly becoming a differentiator in the market, as properties equipped with smart systems offer enhanced security, convenience, and energy efficiency, which can translate into higher rental premiums and occupancy rates. From a private equity perspective, this necessitates a strategy that not only values these technological enhancements in underwriting but also actively seeks to invest in properties that can support or are already equipped with such innovations. By doing so, private equity firms can ensure their portfolios remain attractive and competitive, capitalizing on the operational efficiencies and tenant demand driven by smart technology adoption.”

15. Tell us about a particularly challenging tenant issue you’ve resolved while managing a property.

Handling difficult tenant issues is a test of interpersonal skills and the ability to maintain an asset’s value. Candidates should reflect on their conflict resolution skills, legal knowledge, and commitment to preserving the property’s reputation and income stream.

When responding, provide a structured account of the situation, the actions taken, and the outcome. Emphasize your thought process and the rationale behind your decisions. Highlight your communication skills, the steps you took to understand the tenant’s perspective, and how you balanced firmness with empathy. Mention any creative solutions you implemented and how you managed to safeguard the property’s interests while resolving the issue amicably. This response will demonstrate your hands-on experience and capability in property management within the high-stakes environment of real estate private equity.

Example: “ In one instance, we faced a situation where a commercial tenant in a high-value property was consistently late on rent payments, which began to affect our cash flow projections and investor returns. Recognizing the potential impact on our asset’s performance, I initiated a dialogue with the tenant to understand the root cause. It turned out they were experiencing temporary cash flow issues due to a delayed receivable from a major client.

Balancing the need for maintaining strict contractual obligations with a strategic long-term perspective, I proposed a temporary rent deferral plan, allowing the tenant to pay a reduced rent for three months, followed by a catch-up schedule aligned with their expected cash inflows. This solution required negotiating with our investors and explaining how this approach minimized vacancy risks and potential leasing downtime costs, which could have been more detrimental to the asset’s income stream.

The outcome was favorable; the tenant’s financial situation stabilized, they fulfilled the catch-up plan, and our relationship was strengthened, leading to a lease extension at market rates. This resolution maintained property income, avoided the costs associated with tenant turnover, and preserved investor confidence in our asset management capabilities.”

16. Assess the role of technology in enhancing the value of real estate assets under management.

Leveraging technology is becoming increasingly important in real estate private equity. Candidates should understand how advanced analytics and IoT can transform property management and investment strategies to drive growth and investor returns.

When responding, candidates should articulate how they’ve utilized technology to enhance asset value, perhaps referencing specific platforms for property management, energy efficiency tech that reduces costs, or data analytics tools that have informed investment decisions. They should convey a clear vision of how they integrate technological solutions with traditional real estate acumen to optimize portfolio performance and stay ahead in a competitive market.

Example: “ Technology plays a pivotal role in enhancing the value of real estate assets by streamlining operations, improving tenant experiences, and providing data-driven insights for strategic decision-making. For instance, the integration of advanced property management platforms has enabled more efficient management of assets by automating tasks such as rent collection, maintenance requests, and tenant communication. This not only reduces operational costs but also elevates the tenant experience, contributing to higher retention rates and ultimately boosting the asset’s value.

On the sustainability front, incorporating energy-efficient technologies like smart HVAC systems and LED lighting has been key in reducing utility expenses, which not only enhances net operating income but also aligns with the growing investor and tenant demand for environmentally responsible properties. Moreover, leveraging big data analytics and AI has been instrumental in optimizing investment decisions, enabling the identification of undervalued assets and the prediction of market trends. By harnessing these technologies, I’ve been able to enhance asset performance, mitigate risk, and ensure that the portfolio remains competitive in an ever-evolving market landscape.”

17. What is your track record in securing debt financing for real estate deals, and what obstacles did you overcome?

Successfully securing debt financing showcases a candidate’s understanding of financial markets and their ability to navigate the world of lenders. Overcoming obstacles in obtaining loans reflects problem-solving skills and resilience.

When responding, it’s crucial to detail specific deals where you’ve successfully secured financing, emphasizing the scale and complexity of these transactions. Discuss the strategies employed to negotiate favorable terms, the challenges faced, such as economic downturns or regulatory changes, and how you addressed these issues. Quantify your achievements when possible, and explain the impact of your actions on the overall success of the deals. Your answer should showcase your expertise, resourcefulness, and tenacity in overcoming financing hurdles.

Example: “ In securing debt financing for real estate deals, I’ve navigated through a variety of market conditions and successfully closed transactions ranging from mid-size multifamily acquisitions to large-scale commercial developments. One notable example was a $50 million acquisition of a distressed asset in a secondary market, where traditional lenders were hesitant due to perceived risks and a cooling market climate. By leveraging my relationships with niche debt funds and articulating the upside potential through a detailed turnaround strategy, I was able to secure a favorable non-recourse loan at 75% LTV with a competitive interest rate.

Another challenge I overcame was during a period of regulatory tightening, where a high-profile, mixed-use development project faced increased scrutiny. The key was a thorough due diligence process and presenting a robust risk mitigation plan to lenders. This involved stress-testing the financial models under various economic scenarios and ensuring compliance with the latest regulatory requirements. The approach not only satisfied the lenders’ risk assessment criteria but also resulted in securing a lower interest rate, demonstrating the project’s solid fundamentals and my ability to navigate complex regulatory landscapes. The successful negotiation of these terms had a direct impact on enhancing the project’s IRR and equity multiples for our investors.”

18. Elaborate on a situation where you had to adapt your investment strategy due to macroeconomic changes.

Flexibility and analytical skills are essential when external economic factors impact real estate investments. Candidates must demonstrate their ability to interpret macroeconomic indicators and adjust investment strategies swiftly.

When responding, it’s crucial to outline a specific instance that exemplifies your strategic agility. Start by briefly describing the macroeconomic change that occurred, then detail how you identified the potential impact on your investments. Discuss the steps you took to reassess the situation, consult with your team or experts if relevant, and the rationale behind the adjustments you made to your strategy. Conclude with the outcome, emphasizing any positive results or lessons learned from the experience to underscore your capacity to navigate the fluid landscape of real estate private equity effectively.

Example: “ In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the macroeconomic landscape shifted dramatically, with interest rates plummeting and uncertainty permeating the market. Recognizing the potential long-term impact on commercial real estate, particularly in the office and retail sectors, we were prompted to reassess our portfolio’s exposure to these segments. With remote work trends accelerating and retail foot traffic declining, we anticipated a significant valuation adjustment and potential income disruptions.

We swiftly convened with our analysts and adjusted our strategy to reduce exposure to high-risk assets, while simultaneously identifying opportunities in industrial real estate and multifamily units, which were poised to benefit from the e-commerce boom and housing shortages. We reallocated funds, focusing on properties with strong fundamentals in growth markets, and enhanced our asset management efforts to preserve value in existing investments. This pivot not only insulated our portfolio from the worst of the downturn but also positioned us to capitalize on emerging trends, resulting in outperformance relative to our initial projections for the period.”

19. When analyzing a distressed asset, what key indicators suggest turnaround potential?

Discerning a distressed asset’s potential for recovery is paramount in real estate private equity. Candidates should exhibit their analytical acumen, understanding of market trends, and strategic thinking in financial forecasting.

When responding, focus on explaining your approach to analyzing factors such as the asset’s location, underlying market demand, and the potential for rent growth or cost reduction. Discuss how you would evaluate the quality of the existing tenant base, the terms of current leases, and the physical condition of the property. Mention any specific financial metrics you would scrutinize, like the capitalization rate or cash flow analysis. Be sure to articulate how these indicators, in combination with your knowledge of broader economic conditions and real estate cycles, would inform your assessment of the asset’s turnaround potential.

Example: “ In analyzing a distressed asset, the first indicator of turnaround potential I scrutinize is the location, which is fundamental in real estate. A prime location with strong underlying market demand signifies a resilient potential for value appreciation. Even if an asset is currently underperforming, a strategic location in a market with barriers to entry can suggest a high turnaround potential, assuming there is evidence of economic growth, job creation, and population inflows in the area.

Next, I assess the asset’s operational inefficiencies, focusing on the potential for rent growth or cost reduction. This involves a deep dive into the quality of the existing tenant base and the terms of current leases. Are there below-market rents due to poor management that can be adjusted? I also evaluate the physical condition of the property, estimating the capital required for improvements and the ROI on such investments. Financial metrics like the capitalization rate are analyzed in the context of the local market to determine if there is a mispricing opportunity. Cash flow analysis is critical; I look for properties with the ability to generate positive cash flows post-restructuring. These factors, combined with a macroeconomic perspective on real estate cycles, guide my assessment of whether the distressed asset is a turnaround candidate with a viable path to value creation.”

20. Reflect on a past investment that underperformed expectations and how you handled it.

Managing investments through market fluctuations and challenges reveals an investor’s strategic acumen and resilience. Candidates should discuss how they handle setbacks, analyze issues, and communicate corrective actions to stakeholders.

When responding to this question, a candidate should detail a specific example, focusing on the context that led to the underperformance. It’s important to articulate the analysis conducted to identify the root causes and the steps taken to address the situation. This reflection should demonstrate a balance between taking responsibility and understanding external factors. Moreover, the candidate should highlight any positive takeaways or strategic adjustments made post-analysis to illustrate growth and the ability to turn challenges into opportunities for future investments.

Example: “ Reflecting on a past investment, there was a multifamily asset in an emerging market that underperformed due to a confluence of unforeseen economic shifts and overestimation of rental growth rates. Upon identifying the underperformance, a comprehensive review was conducted, examining market trends, operational efficiencies, and the initial underwriting assumptions. It became apparent that the economic downturn had a more profound impact on local employment rates than anticipated, which in turn affected the rental market.

In response, we implemented a strategic asset management plan that included renegotiating terms with vendors, enhancing tenant retention programs, and adjusting marketing strategies to align with the current market conditions. Additionally, we revisited our underwriting models to incorporate more conservative growth rates and stress-tested scenarios for future investments. This experience underscored the importance of agility in asset management and reinforced the value of having robust risk mitigation strategies in place. The lessons learned from this investment have been instrumental in refining our due diligence process and have contributed to the success of subsequent investments.”

Top 20 Value Proposition Interview Questions & Answers

Top 20 content design interview questions & answers, you may also be interested in..., top 20 soft skills interview questions & answers, top 20 volunteering interview questions & answers, top 20 safety culture interview questions & answers, top 20 karate interview questions & answers.

Join 307,012+ Monthly Readers

book image

Get Free and Instant Access To The Banker Blueprint : 57 Pages Of Career Boosting Advice Already Downloaded By 115,341+ Industry Peers.

real estate private equity interview case study

  • Break Into Investment Banking
  • Write A Resume or Cover Letter
  • Win Investment Banking Interviews
  • Ace Your Investment Banking Interviews
  • Win Investment Banking Internships
  • Master Financial Modeling
  • Get Into Private Equity
  • Get A Job At A Hedge Fund
  • Recent Posts
  • Articles By Category

Private Equity Interviews 101: How to Win Offers

Private Equity Interview

If you're new here, please click here to get my FREE 57-page investment banking recruiting guide - plus, get weekly updates so that you can break into investment banking . Thanks for visiting!

Private equity interviews can be challenging, but for most candidates, winning interviews is much tougher than succeeding in those interviews.

You do not need to be a math genius or a gifted speaker; you just need to understand the recruiting process and basic arithmetic.

Still, there is more to PE interviews than “2 + 2 = 4,” so let’s take a detailed look at the process:

How to Network and Win Private Equity Interviews

The Private Equity recruiting process differs dramatically depending on your current job and location.

Here are the two extremes:

  • Investment Banking Analyst at a Bulge Bracket or Elite Boutique in New York: The process will be highly structured, and interviews will finish at warp speed. In some ways, your bank, group, and academic background matter more than your skill set or deal experience. This one is known as the “on-cycle” process.
  • Non-Banker in Another Part of the U.S. or World: The process will be far less structured, it may extend over many months, and your skill set and deal/client experience will matter a lot more. This one is known as the “off-cycle” process.

If you’re in between these categories, the process will also be in between these extremes.

For example, if you’re at a smaller bank in NY, you may complete some on-cycle interviews, but you will almost certainly also go through the off-cycle process at smaller firms.

If you’re in London, there will also be a mix of on-cycle and off-cycle processes, but they tend to start later and move more slowly than the ones in NY.

We have covered PE recruiting previously ( overall process and what to expect in the on-cycle process ), so I am not going to repeat everything here.

Interviews in both on-cycle and off-cycle processes test similar topics , but the importance of each topic varies.

The timing of interviews and start dates, assuming you win offers, also differs.

The Overall Private Equity Interview Process

Regardless of whether you recruit in on-cycle or off-cycle processes, or a combination of both, almost all PE interviews have the following characteristics in common:

  • Multiple Rounds: You’ll almost always go through at least 2-3 rounds of interviews (and sometimes many more!) where you speak with junior to senior professionals at the firm.
  • Topics Tested: You’ll have to answer fit/background questions, technical questions, deal/client experience questions, questions about the firm’s strategies and portfolio, market/industry questions, and complete case studies and modeling tests.

The differences are as follows:

  • Timing and Time Frame: If you’re at a BB/EB bank in NY, and you interview with mega-funds, the process starts and finishes within several months of your start date at the bank (!), and it moves up earlier each year. Interviews at the largest firms start and finish in 24-48 hours, with upper-middle-market and middle-market firms beginning after that.

By contrast, interviews start later at smaller PE firms, and the entire process may last for several weeks up to several months.

  • Importance of Topics Tested: At large funds and in the on-cycle process, you need to complete modeling tests quickly and accurately and spin your pitches and early-stage deals into sounding like real deals; at smaller funds and in off-cycle interviews, the reasoning behind your case studies/modeling tests and your real experience with clients and deals matter more.

Firm-specific knowledge and fitting your investment recommendations to the firm’s strategies are also more important.

  • Start Date: You interview far in advance if you complete the on-cycle process, and if you win an offer, you might start 1.5 – 2.0 years later. With the off-cycle process, you start right away or soon after you win the offer.

Private Equity Interview Topics

There is not necessarily a correlation between the stage of interviews and the topics that will come up.

You could easily get technical questions early on, and you’ll receive fit/background and deal experience questions throughout the process.

Case studies and modeling tests tend to come up later in the process because PE firms don’t want to spend time administering them until you’ve proven yourself in previous rounds.

However, there are exceptions even to that rule: For example, many funds in London start the process with modeling tests because there’s no point interviewing if you can’t model.

Here’s what to expect on each major topic:

Fit/Background Questions: “Why Private Equity?”

The usual questions about “ Why private equity ,” your story , your strengths/weaknesses , and ability to work in a team will come up, and you need answers for them.

We have covered these in previous articles, so I’ve linked to them above rather than repeating the tips here.

Since on-cycle recruiting takes place at warp speed, you’ll have to draw on your internship experience to come up with stories for these questions, and you’ll have to act as if PE was your goal all along.

By contrast, if you’re interviewing for off-cycle roles, you can use more of your current work experience to answer these questions.

While these questions will always come up, they tend to be less important than in IB interviews because:

  • In on-cycle processes, it’s tough to differentiate yourself – everyone else also did multiple finance internships and just started their IB roles.
  • They care more about your deal experience, whether real or exaggerated, in both types of interviews.

Technical Questions For PE

The topics here are similar to the ones in IB interviews: Accounting, equity value and enterprise value , valuation/DCF, merger models, and LBO models.

If you’re in banking, you should know these topics like the back of your hand.

And if you’re not in banking, you need to learn these topics ASAP because firms will not be forgiving.

There are a few differences compared with banking interviews:

  • Technical questions tend to be framed in the context of your deal experience – instead of asking generic questions about the WACC formula , they might ask how you calculated it in one specific deal.
  • More critical thinking is required. Instead of asking you to walk through the financial statements when Depreciation changes, they might describe companies with different business models and ask how the financial statements and valuation would differ.
  • They focus more on LBO models, quick IRR math , and your ability to judge deals quickly.

Most interviewers use technical questions to weed out candidates , so poor technical knowledge will hurt your chances, but exceptional knowledge won’t necessarily get you an offer.

Talking About Deal/Client Experience

This category is huge, and it presents different challenges depending on your background.

If you’re an Analyst at a large bank in New York, and you’re going through on-cycle recruiting, the key challenge will be spinning your pitches and early-stage deals into sounding like actual deals.

If you’re at a smaller bank, and you’re going through off-cycle recruiting, the key challenge will be demonstrating your ability to lead, manage, and close deals .

And if you’re not in investment banking, the key challenge will be spinning your experience into sounding like IB-style deals.

Regardless of your category, you’ll need to know the numbers for each deal or project you present, and you’ll need a strong “investor’s view” of each one.

That’s quite a bit to memorize, so you should plan to present, at most, 2-3 deals or projects.

You can create an outline for each one with these points:

  • The company’s industry, approximate revenue/EBITDA, and multiples (or, for non-deals, estimated costs and benefits).
  • Whether or not you would invest in the company’s equity/debt or acquire it (or, for non-deals, whether or not you’d pursue the project).
  • The qualitative and quantitative factors that support your view.
  • The key risk factors and how you might mitigate them.

If you just started working, pick 1-2 of your pitches and pretend that they have progressed beyond pitches into early-stage deals.

Use Capital IQ or Internet research to generate potential buyers or investors, and use the company-provided pitch materials to come up with your projections for the potential stumbling blocks in the transaction.

For your investment recommendation, imagine that each deal is a potential LBO, and build a quick, simple model to determine the rough numbers, such as the IRR in the baseline and downside cases.

For the risk factors, reverse each model assumption (such as the company’s revenue growth and margins) and explain why your numbers might be wrong.

If you’re in the second or third categories above – you need to show evidence of managing/closing deals or evidence of working on IB-style deals – you should still follow these steps.

But you need to highlight your unique contributions to each deal, such as a mistake you found, a suggestion you made that helped move the financing forward, or a buyer you thought of that ended up making an offer for the seller.

If you’re coming in with non-IB experience, such as internal consulting , still use the same framework but point out how each project you worked on was like a deal.

You had to win buy-in from different parties, get information from groups at the company, and justify your proposals by pointing to the numbers and qualitative factors and addressing the risk factors.

Firm Knowledge

Understanding the firm’s investment strategies, portfolio, and exits is very important at smaller firms and in off-cycle processes, and less important in on-cycle interviews at mega-funds.

If you have Capital IQ access, use it to look up the firm.

If not, go to the firm’s website and do extensive Google searches to find the information.

Finding this information should not be difficult, but the tricky point is that firms won’t necessarily evaluate your knowledge by directly asking about it.

Instead, if they give you a take-home case study, they might judge your responses based on how well your investment thesis lines up with theirs.

For example, if the firm makes offline retailers more efficient via cost cuts and store divestitures, you should not present an investment thesis based on overseas expansion or roll-ups of smaller stores.

If they ask for an investor’s view of one of your deals, they might judge your answer based on your ability to frame the deal from their point of view.

For example, if the firm completes roll-ups in fragmented industries, you should not look at a standard M&A deal you worked on and say that you’d acquire the company because the IRR is between XX% and YY% in all scenarios.

Instead, you should point out that with several roll-ups, the IRR would be between XX% and YY%, and even in a downside case without these roll-ups, the IRR would still be at least ZZ%, so you’d pursue the deal.


In theory, private equity firms should care about your ability to find promising markets or industries.

In practice, open-ended questions such as “Which industry would you invest in?” are unlikely to come up in traditional PE interviews.

If they do come up, they’ll be in response to your deal discussions, and the interviewer will ask you to explain the upsides and downsides of your company’s industry.

These questions are more likely in growth equity and venture capital interviews, so you shouldn’t spend too much time on them if your goal is traditional PE (for more on these fields, see our coverage of venture capital interview questions and the venture capital case study ).

And even if you are interviewing for growth equity or VC roles, you can save time by linking your industry recommendations to your deal experience.

Case Studies and Modeling Tests

You will almost always have to complete a case study or modeling test in PE interviews, but the types of tests span a wide range.

Here are the six most common ones, ranked by rough frequency:

Type #1: “Mental” Paper LBO

This one is closer to an extended technical question than a traditional case study.

To answer these questions, you need to know how to approximate IRR, and you need practice doing the mental math.

The interviewer might ask something like, “A PE firm acquires a $150 EBITDA company for a 10x multiple using 60% Debt. The company’s EBITDA increases to $200 by Year 3, $225 by Year 4, and $250 by Year 5, and it pays off all its Debt by Year 3.

The PE firm sells its stake evenly over Years 3 – 5 at a 10x EBITDA multiple. What’s the approximate IRR?”

Here, the Purchase Enterprise Value is $1.5 billion, and the PE firm contributes 40% * $1.5 billion = $600 million of Investor Equity.

The “average” amount of proceeds is $225 * 10 = $2,250, and the “average” Exit Year is Year 4 (no need to do the full math – think about the numbers – and all the Debt is gone).

So, the PE firm earns $2,250 / $600 = 3.75x over 4 years. Earning 3x in 3 years is a ~45% IRR, so we’d expect the IRR of a 3.75x multiple in 4 years to be a bit less than that.

To approximate a 4x scenario, we could take 300%, divide by 4 years, and multiply by ~55% to account for compounding.

That’s ~41%, and the actual IRR should be a bit lower because it’s a 3.75x multiple rather than a 4.00x multiple.

In Excel, the IRR is just under 40%.

Type #2: Written Paper LBO

The idea is similar, but the numbers are more involved because you can write them down, and you might have 30 minutes to come up with an answer.

You can get a full example of a paper LBO test, including the detailed solutions, here .

You can also check out our simple LBO model tutorial to understand the ropes.

With these case studies, you need to start with the end in mind (i.e., what multiple do you need for an IRR of XX%) and round heavily so you can do the math.

Type #3: 1-3-Hour On-Site or Emailed LBO Model

These case studies are the most common in on-cycle interviews because PE firms want to finish quickly.

And the best way to do that is to give all the candidates the same partially-completed template and ask them to finish it.

You may have to build the model from scratch, but it’s not that likely because doing so defeats the purpose of this test: efficiency.

You’ll almost always receive several pages of instructions and an Excel file, and you’ll have to answer a few questions at the end.

The complexity varies; if it’s a 1-hour test, you probably won’t even build a full 3-statement model .

They might also ask you to use a cash-free debt-free basis or a working capital adjustment to tweak the Sources & Uses slightly.

If it is a 3-hour test, a 3-statement model is more likely (the other parts of the model will be simpler in this case).

Here’s a free example of a timed LBO modeling test ; we have many other examples in the IB Interview Guide and Core Financial Modeling course .


IB Interview Guide

Land investment banking offers with 578+ pages of detailed tutorials, templates and sample answers, quizzes, and 17 Excel-based case studies.

Type #4: Take-Home LBO Model and Presentation

These case studies are open-ended, and in most cases, you will not get a template to complete.

The most common prompts are:

  • Build a model and make an investment recommendation for Portfolio Company X, Former Portfolio Company Y, or Potential Portfolio Company Z.
  • Pick any company you’re interested in, build a model, and make an investment recommendation.

With these case studies, you must fit your recommendation to the firm’s strategy rather than building a needlessly complex model.

You might have 3-7 days to complete this type of case study and present your findings.

You might be tempted to use that time to build a complex LBO model, but that’s a mistake for three reasons:

  • The smaller firms that give open-ended case studies tend not to use that much financial engineering.
  • No one will have time to review or appreciate your work.
  • Your time would be better spent on industry research and coming up with a sold investment thesis, risk factors, and mitigants.

If you want an example of an open-ended exam like this, see our private equity case study article and follow the video walkthrough or article text.

Your model could be shorter, and your presentation could certainly be shorter, but this is a good example of what to target if you have more time/resources.

Type #5: 3-Statement/Growth Equity Model

At operationally-focused PE firms, growth equity firms, and PE firms in emerging markets such as Brazil , 3-statement projection modeling tests are more common.

The Atlassian case study is a good example of this one, but I would change a few parts of it (we ignored Equity Value vs. Enterprise Value for simplicity, but that was a poor decision).

Also, you’ll never have to answer as many detailed questions as we did in that example.

If you think about it, a 3-statement model is just an LBO model without debt repayment – and the returns are based on multiple expansion, EBITDA growth, and cash generation rather than debt paydown .

You can easily practice these case studies by picking companies you’re interested in, downloading their statements, projecting them, and calculating the IRR and multiples.

Type #6: Consulting-Style Case Study

Finally, at some operationally-focused PE firms, you could also get management consulting-style case studies, where the goal is to advise a company on an expansion strategy, a cost-cutting initiative, or pricing for a new product.

We do not teach this type of case study, so check out consulting-related sites for examples and exercises.

And keep in mind that this one is only relevant at certain types of firms; you’re highly unlikely to receive a consulting-style case study in standard PE interviews.

A Final Word On Case Studies

I’ve devoted a lot of space to case studies, but they are not as important as you might think.

In on-cycle processes, they tend to be a “check the checkbox” item: Interviewers use them to verify that you can model, but you won’t stand out by using fancy Excel tricks.

Arguably, they matter more in off-cycle interviews since you can present unique ideas more easily and demonstrate your communication skills in the process .

What NOT to Worry About In PE Interviews

The topics above may seem overwhelming, so it’s worth pointing out what you do not need to know for interviews.

First, skip super-complex models.

As a specific example, the LBO models on Macabacus are overkill; they’re way too complicated for interviews or even the job itself.

You should aim for Excel files with 100-300 rows, not 1,000+ rows, and skip points like circular references unless they specifically ask for them (for more, see our tutorial on how to remove circular references in Excel )

Next, skip brain teasers; if an interviewer asks them, you should drop discussions with the firm.

Finally, you don’t need to know about the history of the private equity industry or much about PE fund economics beyond the basics.

Your time is better spent learning about a firm’s specific strategy and portfolio.

PE Interview X-Factor(s)

Besides the topics above, competitive tension can make a huge difference in interviews.

If you tell Firm X that you’ve already received an offer from Firm Y, Firm X will immediately become far more likely to give you an offer as well.

Even at the networking stage, competitive tension helps because you always want to tell recruiters that you’re also speaking with Similar Firms A, B, and C.

Also, leverage your group alumni and the 2 nd and 3 rd -year Analysts.

You can read endless articles online about interview prep, but nothing beats real-life conversations with others who have been through the process.

These alumni and older Analysts will also have example case studies they completed, and they can explain how to spin your deal experience effectively.

PE Interview Preparation

The #1 mistake in PE interviews is to focus excessively on modeling tests and technical questions and neglect your deal discussions.

You can avoid this, or at least resist the temptation, by turning your deals into case studies.

If you follow my advice to create simplified LBO models for your deals, you can combine the two topics and get modeling practice while you’re preparing your “investor’s views.”

If you’re working full-time in banking, use your downtime in between tasks to do this , outline your story , and review technical questions.

If you only have 10-15-minute intervals of downtime, break case studies into smaller chunks and aim to finish a specific part in each period.

Finally, start preparing before your full-time job begins .

You’ll have far more time before you start working, and you should use that time to tip the odds in your favor.

The Ugly Truth About PE Interviews

You can read articles like this one, memorize PE interview guides, and get help from dozens of bank/group alumni, but much of the process is still outside of your control.

For example, if you’re in a group like ECM or DCM , it will be tough to win on-cycle interviews at large firms and convert them into offers no matter what you do.

If the mega-funds decide to kick off recruiting one day after you start your full-time job in August, and you’re not prepared, too bad.

If you went to a non-target school and earned a 3.5 GPA, you’ll be at a disadvantage next to candidates from Princeton with 3.9 GPAs no matter what you do.

So, start early and prepare as much as you can… but if you don’t receive an offer, don’t assume it’s because you made a major mistake.

So You Get An Offer: What Next?

If you do receive an offer, you could accept it on the spot, or, if you’re speaking with other firms, you could shop it around and use it to win offers elsewhere.

If you’re not in active discussions with other firms, you’re crazy if you do not accept the offer right away.

If You Get No Offer: What Next?

If you don’t get an offer, follow up with your interviewers, ask for feedback, and ask for referrals to other firms that might be hiring.

If you did reasonably well but came up short in a few areas, you could easily get referrals elsewhere .

If you did not receive an offer because of something that you cannot fix, such as your undergraduate GPA or your previous work experience, you might have to consider other options, such as a Master’s, MBA, or another job first.

But if it was something fixable, you could take another pass at recruiting or keep networking with smaller firms.

To PE Or Not to PE?

That is the question.

And the answer is that if you have the right background, you understand the process, and you start preparing far in advance, you can get into the industry and win a private equity career .

And if not, there are other options, even if you’re an older candidate .

You may not reach the promised land, but at least you can blame it on someone else.

Additional Reading

You might be interested in:

  • The Search Fund Internship: Perfect Pathway into Investment Banking and Private Equity Roles?
  • Private Equity Analyst Roles: The Best Way to Skip Investment Banking?

real estate private equity interview case study

About the Author

Brian DeChesare is the Founder of Mergers & Inquisitions and Breaking Into Wall Street . In his spare time, he enjoys lifting weights, running, traveling, obsessively watching TV shows, and defeating Sauron.

Free Exclusive Report: 57-page guide with the action plan you need to break into investment banking - how to tell your story, network, craft a winning resume, and dominate your interviews

Read below or Add a comment

49 thoughts on “ Private Equity Interviews 101: How to Win Offers ”

' src=

Brian, What about personality tests? What is their importance in the overall hiring process eg if you get them as the last stage?

real estate private equity interview case study

They’re not that important, and even if you do get them, you can’t really “prepare” in any reasonable way (barring a brain transplant to replace your personality and make it more suitable for the firm). It’s also highly unusual to get one in the final stage – a firm doing that is probably just paranoid that you are secretly a serial killer and they want to rule out that possibility.

' src=

Hey- for the Fromageries Bel case study, can’t quite make sense of the Tier 4 management incentive returns, what’s the calculation for each tier? Would think it’s Tier 2 less tier 1 * tier 1 marginal profit

Tier 4 is based on a percentage of all profits *above* a 2.5x equity multiple. Each tier below it is based on a percentage of profits between specific multiples, which correspond to specific EUR proceeds amounts.

' src=

I have an accounting background (CPA & several years removed from school) and a small amount of finance experience through internships. I’m interviewing for a PE analyst position and managed to get through the first round of interviews. The firm itself doesnt just hire guys with a few years of banking, their team is very diverse with some backgrounds similar to mine.

The first round interview was a mix of technical questions plus a lot about myself and my experience. No behavioral questions. The first round was with an associate for 30 minutes, the second round is an hour with a partner. I managed to answer a lot of the questions about LBO models and what types of companies are good LBO candidates. Thanks to your website for that.

Any advice for a second round interview for a guy like me who doesnt have deal making experience or much experience in finance? Will the subsequent interviews after the first round be more technical-based questions? Or do they lean more on technical questions in round 1 to weed out candidates?

They will usually become more fit-based if they’ve already asked a lot of technical questions in earlier rounds. I would focus on your story and answers to the Why PE / Why This Firm / Are you sure you want to switch?-type questions.

' src=

Is it likely too difficult to access the on-cycle process from the CLT office of an In-Between-a-Bank that it would make more sense to focus one’s energy on the MM/LMM? Is the new era of Zoom making geography/distance less of a factor or is the perceived prestige of NY still an obstacle?

Location is somewhat less of a factor now, but it still matters, and working from home will not continue indefinitely into the future. It will be very difficult to participate in on-cycle recruiting at the mega-funds if you’re working in Charlotte at Wells Fargo if that’s your question, but plenty of MM funds are realistic.

What are some of the larger funds that you would consider realistic?

There are dozens of funds out there (it’s not like bulge bracket banks or mega-fund PE firms where there’s only a defined set of 5-10), so I can’t really give you a specific answer. My recommendation would be to look up people who worked at WF on LinkedIn and see the types of funds they are now working at.

' src=

I remember I saw a video of yours (might have been YouTube) where you explained the PE process. You talked about do pe firms really add value and then you went over how when a pe firm buys a company, they do a little “trick” where they create a shell company to acquire the target so the debt isn’t on the pe firms books. I’ve been looking all over for this video. Do you know which video I’m referring to?

Yes, that is no longer in video form. It’s still in the written LBO guide but the video from the old course was removed because it was way too long and boring for a video and was better explained in text.

' src=

Hi Brian, can you elaborate more on ‘Understanding the firm’s investment strategies, portfolio, and exits’ when you talk about smaller firm and off-cycle processes, simliar point came up under *Type 5*: you must fit your recommendation to the firm’s strategy rather than building a needlessly complex model. What exactly should I pay attention on? I felt funds I checked their investment strategy descirption are pretty broad, and they invest in various type of deals, say even in one industry, they do different purchase range. Also, when talking about growth equity, you mentioned you can practice case by picking companies you’re interested in, downloading their statements, projecting them. What if they are not public companies, how can I get those information? Are you recommending only those companies with 20F available? Or can you just elaborate more on how can I follow your instruction? Thanks

All you can do is go off their website and possibly a Capital IQ description if you have access. See if they focus on growth, leverage for mature companies, operational improvements, or add-on acquisitions and pick something that fits one of those.

You can pick public companies for growth equity or find a public company that is similar to a private one the firm has.

' src=

Hey Brian! I have an interview with a family office for a private equity analyst position. The firm is small and not much about it online. I haven’t had much time to prepare as it was not an interview I was expecting. What would you say the most important elements to focus on are for the interview considering the time constraint? I am an undergrad, third year, second internship. (first internship was for a large construction/developer as project coordinator, not finance based)

Focus on your story, the firm’s portfolio companies and strategies, and a few investment ideas you have for specific sectors. Technical questions are fine, but you probably won’t have much time to prepare at the last minute.

' src=

How would PE interviews / Technical questions look like for straight out of undergrad PE role look like

e.g Blackstone internships, Goldman Merchant Banking internships etc

Similar to IB ones, with a focus on LBOs?

Largely the same, but less emphasis on deal experience and deal-related questions at the undergraduate level. They may ask slightly more questions on LBOs, but at the undergrad level, they assume you know very little, so questions will span a wide range of topics.

' src=

Have you written or seen similar articles on PE operating partner interviews?

No, sorry. There’s hardly any information on that level of interview online because you can’t really make an interview guide or other product to prepare for it, and most people at that level would need 1-on-1 coaching more than a guide. My guess is that they will focus almost exclusively on your past experience turning around and growing businesses and assess how well you can do it for their portfolio companies. They’re not going to give you LBO modeling tests or case studies.

' src=

“Next, skip brain teasers; if an interviewer asks them, you should drop discussions with the firm”

Could you please elaborate on this? Almost every IB interview includes brain teasers so I am wondering why a PE interview shouldn’t?

Brain teasers are not that common in IB interviews in most regions unless you count any math/accounting/finance question as a brain teaser. They are far more common in S&T, quant fund, and prop trading interviews.

The point of this statement is that it’s OK if an occasional brain teaser comes up, but if the interviewer asks you brain teasers for 30 minutes, which have exactly 0% correlation to the real work in PE, you should leave because it’s a sign that the people working at the firm are idiots who don’t know how to conduct proper interviews or test candidates.

' src=

This is helpful. I find myself at a fix, I do not think I have had the right exposure, although in a BB I support teams with standard materials in a particular industry group in M&A. However I have interviews with a top global PE next month. Any guidance on how should I prepare for it ?

Thanks in advance

Follow everything in this article… practice spinning/discussing your deals… practice LBO questions and simple case studies.

' src=

Brian – thank you for your concise and candid remarks. do you have any insights or advice for someone with 5yrs of BB ECM & DCM experience now at a top full-time MBA program looking to break in?

It’s going to be very difficult if you just have capital markets experience and you’re already in business school. You should probably move to an M&A or strong industry team at a large bank (BB or EB) after business school and then go into private equity from there. It’s tough, but still easier than trying to move into PE directly out of an MBA program with only capital markets experience.

' src=

My next interview will highly likely involve a statement/growth equity modeling case. I tried to find the Atlassian Case interview but i am unable to open the link.

Would it be possible to share an example case or more information on that topic?

Many thanks,

The Atlassian case study is all we have. I don’t know why you can’t open the files, but I just tried and they seemed to work. Maybe try again or use a different browser.

' src=

Hi M&I team,

I have an opportunity to interview for an Analyst level opening at a boutique PE fund. This is a shop that has just started operations so I am directly communicating with the Partner. I doubt they have any structured recruitment process at this stage of their existence. He asked me to send some written work (memos and spreadsheets) on any public listed co that demonstrates my understanding of investing (basic balance sheet analysis, ratio analysis, valuation multiples).

So I am just wondering what to do? Should I work on projections and prepare a DCF model or do something simpler? I’d really appreciate your guidance on this.

Thanks again for the amazing work you’ll have been doing!

Yes, just create simple projections, a simple valuation/DCF, and maybe a simple LBO model since it is a PE fund that intends to buy and sell companies.

' src=

Could you provide some advice for preparing interviews for principal investing role ?

Thank you in advance Laura

We don’t really focus on that, but the articles on private equity and funds of funds on this site might be helpful.

' src=

Just wanted to say thank you! After reading everything on this site including all the CV and interview material I have managed to transition from a second year engineering undergrad with no prior experience/spring weeks/insight days, into an intern at Aviva Investors (UK buy side) within the space of one year.

The information you have posted is invaluable and “breaking in” is definitely doable with the right mindset and appetite for rejections!

Thanks again.

Thanks! Congrats on your internship offer.

' src=

Hi Brian/Nicole – Im an Economics student from the UK in 3rd year out of a 4 year course at a semi-target college, with 2 finance internships done up until now(not FO). I plan on doing a Msc Finance when I finish and eventually break into IB or Sales/Trading (I know I still haven’t decided which one I really want more). Through a family friend I have an offer to do a short internship this summer in NY in a post-trade regulatory commission. As this isn’t actually sitting at a trading desk experience, or anything related to IB should I decide to go down that road, would this add genuine value to my CV ? How are internships in regulatory commissions looked at for students looking to break into sales/trading? Surely even having any NY Finance experience on the CV will add more substance over here in London when going for internships compared to the majority of UK students who don’t? Appreciate any advice on this matter, Thanks!

I don’t think it would help much because you already have 2 non-FO internships, and a regulatory internship would be yet another non-FO internship. If it’s your best option, you can take it, but you would be better off getting something closer to a real front-office role.

' src=

Hey Brian. I am graduating after this semester going into Management consulting (Deliote, AT Kearny, Accenture)but I’m hoping to make a switch into either IB or PE after a couple years. I have one search fund internship which was enough to get me a few 1st and second round ib/pe FT interviews but no offers.My plan is to get into the best online MSF program I can and switch into Finance once I’m done. Do you think, given how close I was to getting in my 1st try, a high GPA from a reputable MSF and good experience in consulting will be enough or should I try to somehow get an IB internship before I apply?

I think you will probably need another internship just before the MSF starts or while it is in progress, not necessarily in IB, but something closer to it. Otherwise you’ll get a lot of questions about why you went from the search fund to consulting.

Thanks. As far as my story is concerned, is it better to do another finance internship before consulting so it’s search fund->ib->consulting->MSF (or MBA not sure)? I only ask because I may be able to get on some m&a projects with the consulting firm and my story could be when exposed to those deals, I realized how big my passion for finance was and that’s when I decided to get my MSF and switch to IB.

No, I think that would make less sense because then you would have to explain why you went from IB to consulting… and are now trying to go back to IB. Saying that you got exposed to M&A deals during the consulting experience would be a better story (and you would still ideally pair it with a transaction-related internship before/during the MSF).

Got it, thanks!

' src=

Probably missing something here, but for the first example, where does the 300% and 55% come from?

300% = 4x multiple. If compounding did not exist, we could just say 300% / 4 = 75% annual return. Because of compounding, however, the actual return does not need to be 75% per year in order for us to earn 300% by the end of 4 years. Instead, it can be a fair amount less than that, and we’ll still end up with 300% at the end.

To estimate the impact of compounding, you can multiply this 300% / 4 figure by a “compounding factor,” which varies based on the multiple and time period, but which is around 55% for a 4x return over a standard holding period.

' src=

Do you mind explaining how you can estimate a “compounding factor” such as with the 55% here?

There’s no easy-to-calculate-using-mental-math way to get this for all scenarios, but you can memorize quick rules of thumb (based on actual numbers and looking at the ratios) for 3 and 5-year periods and extrapolate from there. I don’t really think it’s worth doing that in-depth, though, because you just have to be roughly correct with these answers.

' src=

Do you think you will do a hedge fund interview guide similar to the one you have here?

Potentially, yes, but it’s much harder to give general guidelines for HF interviews because they’re completely dependent on your investment pitches. Also, interest in HFs has declined over the years (we no longer receive as many questions about them).

' src=

On that mental paper LBO question, how is the company able to pay off 900 of debt by year 3? It sounds like proceeds from the sale will have to be used in order to fully pay off the debt because EBITDA alone only adds up to 525, and that’s assuming there’s no interest.

Favorable working capital… NOLs… asset sales… the Konami code or other cheat codes. The point is not the numbers but the thought process.

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Ace Your Private Equity Interviews

Our Interview Guide has 120+ pages of LBO instruction, deal discussions, LBO practice tests, personal pitch templates, and more.


  • Recently Active
  • Top Discussions
  • Best Content

By Industry

  • Investment Banking
  • Private Equity
  • Hedge Funds
  • Real Estate
  • Venture Capital
  • Asset Management
  • Equity Research
  • Investing, Markets Forum
  • Business School
  • Fashion Advice
  • Real Estate Forum RE

Real Estate Private Equity Case

CREan2yst's picture

  • Share on Facebook
  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on LinkedIn
  • Share via Email

Hi there, is there anyone who knows what I can expect with a case in the PE RE sector?

I watched some youtube tutorials and gained info about the waterfall analysis with a promote structure. My background is from a perspective of single tenant triple net leases.

Noskyhigh - Certified Professional

I have some experience with case studies for real estate and thought I'd pipe in.

You probably wont see a waterfall question unless it is a pretty institutional shop. I personally do not see the point of a waterfall test for an interview, because generally you will know it or you wont (from previous experience) and whether or not you can build a waterfall model from scratch will have no correlation with how good of an analyst you are IMO. Most likely, they they will give you a property (100 unit apartment in this part of NYC , 100K SF shopping center in Orange county), tell you some market rents, and then ask you to provide a valuation. Also, they might ask for things you like about the property, things you don't like, how could you add value,and ultimately would you buy it. In this they want to see how you think and also do want to get some exposure to your modeling capabilities.

It sounds like you have some general real estate experience, that will definitely be helpful. If you want, I can try and dig up an old problem or two.

REguy411 - Certified Professional

This is a great response! I'd love to see anything you are able to dig up!!

Hey chad, I know you aren't the original poster, but here is a case study I have from the Related Companies from a while back.

Hope this helps!

CREan2yst's picture

Great thank you! I can tell you that I had the case yesterday and it was indeed no waterfall! Perhaps more cases to follow so would be genuinely interested in the old problems you have.

cpgame - Certified Professional

I would assume a 3 tenant rent roll, maybe 1-2 of the leases roll after acquisition. Start with your deal timeline and easiest will be to link key milestones to month numbers. I.e. lease 1 rolls month number 14, etc

Be able to model in your acquisition closing costs (financing fees reduce loan amount to the proceeds you actually apply towards the deal), then apply your debt service.

Know how to get to unlevered cash flows, and then the line items that will get you to levered cash flows. If you can solve for LIRR, you’ll probably be fine. Project level returns can always be converted into GP LP returns via waterfall but it’s somewhat a waste of time to put someone through that in a modeling test, given if someone can get to a LIRR on a tight 1:30-2 hour modeling test, you know they can probably learn a waterfall.

Would still understand how to do a 2 tier waterfall; plan for pari paddy returns to x% to the LP, and then a promote to Alonso beyond that initial hurdle.

okay24 - Certified Professional

Anyone have any RE PE case studies / models for interview prep? Let's trade ( Originally Posted: 08/03/2014 )

I am starting to interview for RE PE associate positions, but I really have no idea what to expect for the modeling / case study part of the interview. I have scoured the internet, but have not found anything useful. From what headhunters have told me, it is usually just single asset, but they don't know much more than that.

If anyone has any case studies or models or anything, that would be very helpful. Office would be ideal, but I don't have any real preference on asset type.

Things I have for trade: - Several practice LBO models - An old modeling test from a PE firm - Various IB / PE interview guides / LBO primers, etc. - Barclays & BAML REIT primers - Brueggeman / Fisher - RE Finance and Investments ebook 14th ed

Anyway, if anyone can help, I would really appreciate it.

hopefulbanker99's picture

Recently had a case study interview at a large RE fund. Pretty much just consisted of modeling out the acquisition of an office property from scratch. The only info I was given was purchase price, leverage, annual rent and assume an exit in 10-years, the rest of the assumptions were up to me. Time was limited so my model was pretty vanilla. In my experience, these tests are more about illustrating your thought process and how you would approach an assignment, being able to articulate that is just as important as the actual model you build. Also, this goes without saying, but make sure to know how to calculate IRR , equity multiple, etc both levered and unlevered. Hope this helps, good luck.

Thanks. How long did you have? I'm assuming all you got was a blank spreadsheet?

REValuation - Certified Professional

Hi! Do u have any interview resources that may be able to help me go through the process?

cupid25's picture

are these tests taken at home or at the firm? are they open book? college student seeking answers.

slapacaponit - Certified Professional

Rerum sed omnis impedit sit occaecati atque saepe. Voluptatem error voluptas dolor beatae qui dignissimos illum. Animi ratione quibusdam maiores facere deleniti. Dicta ducimus quos nam aliquid. Et animi molestiae dolor eum ea. Id qui dolores debitis aut.

See All Comments - 100% Free

WSO depends on everyone being able to pitch in when they know something. Unlock with your email and get bonus: 6 financial modeling lessons free ($199 value)

or Unlock with your social account...

Want to Vote on this Content?! No WSO Credits?

Already a member? Login

Trending Content

Career Resources

  • Financial Modeling Resources
  • Excel Resources
  • Download Templates Library
  • Salaries by Industry
  • Investment Banking Interview Prep
  • Private Equity Interview Prep
  • Hedge Fund Interview Prep
  • Consulting Case Interview Prep
  • Resume Reviews by Professionals
  • Mock Interviews with Pros
  • WSO Company Database

WSO Virtual Bootcamps

  • Mar 29 WSO NYC Happy Hour: Fri 3/29, 6.30-9p, 5th And Mad Bar Mar 29 - 30 6:30PM EDT
  • Mar 30 Investment Banking Interview Bootcamp 10:00AM EDT
  • Apr 06 Private Equity Interview Bootcamp 10:00AM EDT
  • Apr 13 Financial Modeling & Valuation Bootcamp Apr 13 - 14 10:00AM EDT
  • Apr 20 Investment Banking Interview Bootcamp 10:00AM EDT

Career Advancement Opportunities

March 2024 Investment Banking

Overall Employee Satisfaction

Professional Growth Opportunities

Total Avg Compensation


“... there’s no excuse to not take advantage of the resources out there available to you. Best value for your $ are the...”


  • Silver Banana
  • Banana Points


“... I believe it was the single biggest reason why I ended up with an offer...”

real estate private equity interview case study

Get instant access to lessons taught by experienced private equity pros and bulge bracket investment bankers including financial statement modeling, DCF, M&A, LBO, Comps and Excel Modeling.

or Want to Sign up with your social account?

Visit Firm Website

United States: Case Study: Private Equity Fund's Industrial Shipyard Due Diligence

View Garrett  Louthan Biography on their website


A private equity fund sought to acquire an industrial shipyard with over 130 years in industrial operations. The objectives were to expand operations, stimulate growth and attract new industrial tenants. However, as with most acquisitions in industrial operations, a comprehensive assessment of financial, environmental and operational risks was essential before proceeding.

This case study outlines the process and outcomes of the due diligence conducted by A&M's ESG Advisory Services team to evaluate the environmental, health and safety (EHS) aspects of the acquisition.

Challenges and Objectives

Given the scale and inherent risks involved in the acquisition, securing approval from lenders and meeting investor expectations was crucial. The central objectives included:

  • Determining the feasibility of the opportunity.
  • Identifying potential risks and potential capital improvements associated with the acquisition.
  • Exploring viable investment alternatives or mitigation strategies if required.

Lenders and Due Diligence

Lenders stipulated the requirement for a comprehensive due diligence process encompassing EHS, alongside the conventional operational and financial evaluations.

The decision to engage A&M's Advisory team was based on our deep technical and operational expertise and our ability to provide a fully integrated approach (EHS, operational and financial). This approach streamlined the discovery process, highlighted operational and EHS risks and the associated impacts on the financial balance sheet, as well as minimized the need for an excess of client communications throughout the process.

Scope of Services

A&M ESG Advisory Services team was tasked with providing the following services in the engagement:

  • Identifying potential material operational EHS risks or liabilities associated with the target company and proposed transaction.
  • Evaluating liabilities connected to known and potential site contamination, including sediment contamination in the adjacent bay.
  • Reviewing investment plans to assess if construction activities would heighten environmental exposure.
  • Assessing permitting requirements for construction and new tenants.
  • Health and Safety (H&S) Concerns: Significant H&S concerns were identified, tied to a history of poor performance, numerous incidents/fatalities, ongoing agency inspections and substantial capital requirements for repairing two dry docks. These issues could have notable financial implications, for addressing problems or covering fines/legal expenses. Repairing the dry docks is critical to prevent potential business disruption, considerable environmental damage and the need for costly dock replacement.
  • Sediment Contamination Risk: A significant risk was identified concerning the ongoing open cleanup of bay sediment contamination by the target company, potentially incurring significant monetary spend due to the complex and costly nature of bay sediment remediation. Additionally, construction activities had the potential to disturb areas of contamination throughout the shipyard property, resulting in higher soil removal and disposal costs and potential agency involvement.
  • Risk Mitigation: The team collaborated with A&M's Operational and Financial Diligence teams to assess potential investment options with lower intrusion and contamination risk, and to develop methods for risk mitigation such as indemnity, price reduction, escrow and insurance. These options involved creating less intrusive construction plans and utilizing existing infrastructure instead of moving forward with new construction. The team identified areas on the property with lower contamination risk for potential new structures. The proposed mitigation strategies encompassed obtaining seller indemnity for property contamination, deducting remediation costs from the purchase price, setting up an escrow for potential remedies and acquiring environmental insurance to cover past contamination cleanup expenses. Given that all teams were part of A&M, we ensured a seamless diligence process through consistent communication, facilitating synthesis of findings and enhancing the client's understanding of risks. External ESG Due Diligence teams wouldn't have integrated findings in the same way, underscoring the efficiency of our approach.
  • Environmental Permits: Environmental permits required for both construction and future tenant operations were assessed and outlined. A permit matrix detailing the necessary permits, responsible agencies and associated timelines was provided.

Our private equity fund client chose not to proceed with the acquisition, due to a combination of poor financial performance, ESG/EHS material risks and significant capital requirements for operational improvements. A&M's integrated due diligence approach provided a holistic view and interconnectivity of the EHS material risks of the acquisition, reducing the due diligence timeline compared to all the workstreams being handled independently.

Originally published by 19 March, 2024

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

View Mondaq's Garrett  Louthan Profile page

  © Mondaq® Ltd 1994 - 2024. All Rights Reserved .

Login to

Password Passwords are Case Sensitive

Forgot your password?

Why Register with Mondaq

Free, unlimited access to more than half a million articles (one-article limit removed) from the diverse perspectives of 5,000 leading law, accountancy and advisory firms

Articles tailored to your interests and optional alerts about important changes

Receive priority invitations to relevant webinars and events

You’ll only need to do it once, and readership information is just for authors and is never sold to third parties.

Your Organisation

We need this to enable us to match you with other users from the same organisation. It is also part of the information that we share to our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

real estate private equity interview case study


  1. The Private Equity Case Study: The Ultimate Guide

    real estate private equity interview case study

  2. Private Equity Case Study: Full Tutorial & Detailed Example

    real estate private equity interview case study

  3. Private Equity Case Study Presentation Template

    real estate private equity interview case study

  4. Private Equity Interviews

    real estate private equity interview case study

  5. Bain Private Equity Case Interview Example

    real estate private equity interview case study

  6. private equity case study interview example

    real estate private equity interview case study


  1. Real Estate Private Equity Panel

  2. Navigating Real Estate Private Equity


  1. Real Estate Private Equity: Overview, Careers, Salaries & Interviews

    If you want case study practice, our Real Estate Financial Modeling course gives you examples of the tests above with the full solutions: ... Real Estate Private Equity Interview Questions And Answers. Interview questions in this industry span a wide range. On one extreme, interviewers could stick to investment banking-style questions about fit ...

  2. Real Estate Private Equity (REPE)

    Real Estate Private Equity (REPE): Industry Guide. As the "private" in "private equity" suggests, these firms raise capital from private investors and deploy that capital to make investments in real estate. There is little standardization to how real estate private equity firms are structured, but they all generally engage in five key ...

  3. Top 20 Real Estate Private Equity Interview Questions & Answers

    5. Illustrate how you would structure a waterfall distribution model for limited partners in a fund. Proficiency in financial modeling is critical when discussing the waterfall distribution model in real estate private equity. This complex method of allocating returns aligns the interests of general and limited partners.

  4. Private Equity Case Study: Full Tutorial & Detailed Example

    The private equity case study is an especially intimidating part of the private equity recruitment process.. You'll get a "case study" in virtually any private equity interview process, whether you're interviewing at the mega-funds (Blackstone, KKR, Apollo, etc.), middle-market funds, or smaller, startup funds.. The difference is that each one gives you a different type of case study ...

  5. Private Equity Interviews

    Here, the Purchase Enterprise Value is $1.5 billion, and the PE firm contributes 40% * $1.5 billion = $600 million of Investor Equity. The "average" amount of proceeds is $225 * 10 = $2,250, and the "average" Exit Year is Year 4 (no need to do the full math - think about the numbers - and all the Debt is gone).

  6. Private Equity Interview Questions

    The types of questions asked in a private equity interview can be broken into four categories: Behavioral Questions ("Fit") Technical LBO Questions. Investing Acumen Questions. Firm-Specific Industry Questions. Understanding the fundamental LBO concepts is essential to perform well on the LBO modeling and case study portions of the ...

  7. Questions to ask During a Real Estate Private Equity Interview

    The less generic you sound, the better your odds of nailing that interview question. Thus, the more firm-specific intel you can gather, the better. Guidelines for Insightful End-of-Interview Questions. The goal is to convey a deeper understanding about the firm. Interviews are more than real estate private equity case studies and technical ...

  8. REPE Interview Prep: Pro Forma Interview Questions, Part One

    Understanding real estate pro formas is critical for any real estate private equity interview case study. The revenue and expense items for each major asset class should be in your muscle memory. Even if you haven't made it to an repe case study round, the questions below will likely arise in your screener interviews. Make … REPE Interview Prep: Pro Forma Interview Questions, Part One Read ...

  9. What are Real Estate Private Equity Interviews Like?

    Preparing for your Real Estate Private Equity Case Study. If you need to prepare for an REPE case study, Leveraged Breakdowns provides an exceptional course, Breaking Down Real Estate Private Equity, that shares our team's insights from interviews with more than ten of the top funds in the business and synthesizes years of buy-side real ...

  10. Watch Me Solve a REPE Technical Interview Modeling Test

    What better way to spend some free time over the Thanksgiving holiday, than to record myself completing a real estate private equity technical interview exercise! While I've offered help with the real estate technical interview in the past, I've never just grabbed an actual technical interview case study and walked our readers through how I ...

  11. Real Estate PE Technical Interview Question

    Real Estate PE Technical Interview Question - Case Study. ApplyIce. Monkey 36 RE. Subscribe. Recently I was invited to an interview where I was asked on the spot to build a real estate financial model with the following assumptions: NOI of 1 million. Purchase at a 7% cap rate. Expense margin of 45%. Revenue Growth Yr 1: 7% Yr 2: 6% Yr 3+ 3%.

  12. Real Estate Interview Questions

    Our Real Estate Interview Guide is a compilation of the most commonly asked technical interview questions to prepare recruiting candidates. ... Round 3.2 Financial Modeling Test + Case Study: The final part of a Superday interview is normally a modeling test (or case study). ... Real Estate Private Equity (REPE) REPE firms raise capital from ...

  13. Private Equity Interview Questions and Answers

    Answer: The trick to solving questions like this is making pairs that add up to something that is easy to count. In this case, 0 + 100 = 100, 1 + 99 = 100, 2 + 98 = 100, 3 + 97 = 100, etc. There are 50 such pairs because there are 50 numbers between 0 and 49 (including zero). 50 times 100 is 5,000.

  14. Real Estate Private Equity Case

    220. PE. 5y. Recently had a case study interview at a large RE fund. Pretty much just consisted of modeling out the acquisition of an office property from scratch. The only info I was given was purchase price, leverage, annual rent and assume an exit in 10-years, the rest of the assumptions were up to me.

  15. How to Prepare for a Real Estate Technical Interview

    The case study (or skills test) component of the interview tests your ability to value real estate using Excel (and possibly ARGUS). The company will provide you a computer with the necessary software, give you a time limit (typically 2 - 4 hours), and ask you to create a deliverable and/or answer certain questions within the allotted time.

  16. What are Real Estate Private Equity Interviews Like?

    If you need to prepare for an REPE case study, Leveraged Breakdowns provides an exceptional course, Breaking Down Real Estate Private Equity, that shares our team's insights from interviews with ...

  17. A SNEAK PEEK Into a Real Estate Financial Modeling Case Study ...

    A SNEAK PEEK Into a Real Estate Financial Modeling Case Study [What To Expect] // Today, more than ever before, commercial real estate investment, brokerage,...

  18. United States: Case Study: Private Equity Fund's Industrial ...

    A private equity fund sought to acquire an industrial shipyard with over 130 years in industrial operations. The objectives were to expand operations, stimulate growth and attract new industrial tenants. ... Case Study: Private Equity Fund's Industrial Shipyard Due Diligence ... United States Corporate/Commercial Law M&A/Private Equity Real ...

  19. Real Estate Private Equity Case Study

    Introduction This is part three in a real estate private equity case study series in which I take you through my underwriting process. In part one, we decided to analyze a $350M 4.0% 2029 notes issuance by Life Storage Inc. (NYSE: LSI), a self storage REIT. In part two, we went on a hunt for …. Read More ».

  20. For-profit nursing homes are putting patients at risk

    A rule put in place in 2023 by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services requires the identification of all private-equity and real estate investment trust investors in a facility and the ...

  21. Huawei's Return Is Case Study in U.S. Power—and Its Limits

    Huawei, China's telecom and mobile-technology champion, is a poster child for the country's high-tech ambitions—and a symbol of Washington's determination to cut them down to size. Its ...

  22. LIZING-PARTNER, OOO Company Profile

    Find company research, competitor information, contact details & financial data for LIZING-PARTNER, OOO of Elektrostal, Moscow region. Get the latest business insights from Dun & Bradstreet.

  23. SOYUZ, OOO

    Find company research, competitor information, contact details & financial data for SOYUZ, OOO of Elektrostal, Moscow region. Get the latest business insights from Dun & Bradstreet.

  24. Real Estate Private Equity Course, REPE Career

    During your interviews, you can expect: They will quiz you on real estate fundamentals. ... Would highly recommend to anyone interested in Real Estate Private Equity modeling. ... The LBO model is the best explanation I have seen for a 1 hour type pe case study, and exactly what I have been asked in pe interviews. ...

  25. BETA GIDA, OOO Company Profile

    Industry: Other Food Manufacturing , General Freight Trucking , Other Support Activities for Transportation , Grocery and Related Product Merchant Wholesalers , Restaurants and Other Eating Places See All Industries, Offices of Real Estate Agents and Brokers , Roasted coffee, Trucking, except local, Transportation services, nec, Coffee and tea ...

  26. ALTERNATIVA, OOO Company Profile

    Industry: Offices of Real Estate Agents and Brokers , Other Transit and Ground Passenger Transportation , Travel Arrangement and Reservation Services , Lessors of Real Estate , Land Subdivision See All Industries, Real estate agents and managers, Local passenger transportation, nec, Travel agencies, Real property lessors, nec Subdividers and developers, nec See Fewer Industries