Robert Charles Lesser & Co.
4.0 of 5 12 reviews
www.rclco.com Bethesda, MD 50 to 149 Employees

Robert Charles Lesser & Co. Reviews

Updated Feb 28, 2014

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4.0 12 reviews

                             

100% Approve of the CEO

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Gadi Kaufmann

(3 ratings)

78% of employees recommend this company to a friend
12 Employee Reviews
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    Great opportunity to work with bright minds and immerse yourself in real estate.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    Pros- Bright, driven, and innovative team of people
    - Strong culture--willingness to help one another
    - High level of responsibility from Day 1
    - Opportunity to pursue professional development endeavors
    - Chance to work with wide array of firms and organizations

    Cons- Scope of work and deadlines can change frequently, which can stress work/life balance
    - Work pace can make it difficult to receive feedback on a continual basis

    Advice to Senior ManagementContinue to stress transparency and communication within the firm.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Nice people,

    Associate (Former Employee)

    ProsRCLCO is a great place to start a career in real estate for the broad overview of the industry that it gives you. Clients are diverse and projects are interesting. That being said, the underlying work for the junior employees is often the opposite. The Managing Directors are kind, accomplished professionals and often help junior employees with career development. CEO is great, very personable, involved, and highly intelligent.

    ConsCompensation is less than adequate for the very long hours you end up spending at work. The company needs to actually re-value work/life balance, rather than just stating that it does. The client billable hours system (which weighs heavily on the consultants' year-end bonus) does not provide a great incentive for doing the innovative intellectual property and in-house research that would set RCLCO apart from other market analysis firms. Firm needs to adapt to the 21st century and think more outside of the box in its work.

    Advice to Senior ManagementProvide more formalized training, perhaps in a cohort, for younger recruits as the firm grows post-recession.

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    Great first job

    Senior Associate (Current Employee)

    ProsGreat exposure to critical thinking methods and in-depth analysis of real estate development. Brilliant people to work with. Learn how to problem solve beyond cookie cutter solutions.

    ConsI do not have any cons to share.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    • Culture & Values
           
    • Work/Life Balance
           
    • Senior Management
           
    • Comp & Benefits
           
    • Career Opportunities
           
    • Approves of CEO

     

    Stimulating work with great colleagues

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    Pros-high level of responsibility and autonomy
    -sharp, hard-working coworkers who are not afraid to offer feedback
    -mentorship program; management is invested in training and developing talent
    -laid back and collegial atmostphere
    -generally very interesting engagements; great opportunity to work across product types,geographies, client types, etc.

    Cons-hours can be demanding during certain times of the year
    -vulnerable to cyclical and seasonal trends, but has diversified since early 2000s

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Real Estate University

    Associate II (Former Employee)
    Washington, DC

    Pros- Chance to work with some very highly respected real estate minds. Daily interaction with managing directors provides unparalled learning opportunities
    - Assume a high level of responsibility even at the Associate level, really accelerating your growth
    - Real Estate University: really a great place to learn a lot about nearly every aspect of real estate. Highly recommended as an entry level real estate position no matter what your ultimate focus may be. Development or Investment, Retail/Office/Multifamily/Hotel/Single Family, Capital Markets/Market Research ... you can learn about all of these things at RCLCO
    - Light travel (few days a month on average)
    - Flexible (although sometimes long) work hours - The motto here is that the proof is in the pudding. Do great work and you will not be bothered about this. (at least in the DC office)
    - Competitive compensation. They will reward you QUICKLY if you prove capable.
    - Really dedicated human capital, especially for such a small firm. They really make you feel like you are invested in your future. 360 feedback, monthly phone calls with the Director of Consulting, and a firm wide retreat really help foster this

    Cons- Clear dichotomy between the haves and have nots at the associate level. Make sure you distinguish yourself early on in order to be considered a favored associate

    Advice to Senior ManagementWork on creating a more equal mix of talent at the lower rungs so that all associates carry the same responsibilities

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    2 people found this helpful  

    Smart People...Low Morale

    Associate (Former Employee)
    Orlando, FL

    ProsYou have the ability to learn a lot of valuable real estate information in a short time given the relatively small size of the firm. You also have the ability to work closely with well respected and intelligent executives on a weekly basis.

    ConsThere are a lot of political hurdles to cross before advancing through the company. Many of the upper-level managers are abrasive and egocentric, which can make working with them frustrating. The business model is too tied to how the economy is doing, so there are significant layoffs in down times and overworked employees in the prosperous times.

    Advice to Senior ManagementThy to be more forward-thinking in terms of recruiting. If the company is operating at a loss, why continue hiring if those new hires will face layoffs a few months down the road?

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    3 people found this helpful  

    The work is interesting, the people are great, but no one is ever happy.

    Senior Consultant (Former Employee)
    Atlanta, GA

    ProsLearning the real estate business inside and out. Exposure to high level decision makers in real estate companies, both large and small. You can earn your own advancement and do not have to wait for a position to open.

    ConsLow morale is a constant - whether things are busy or whether it is not busy it seems like no one is ever very happy working there.

    Advice to Senior ManagementLook out for the people not just the bottom line. It seems as if few people are ever truly happy working there. The work is interesting but the management is always trying to squeeze the most out of the workers without offering meaningful experiences to round out the work environment.

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    1 person found this helpful  

    RCLCO is a great place to work if market analysis is your passion.

    Associate (Former Employee)
    Bethesda, MD

    ProsFantastic people and great environment in which to learn about the real estate industry. The people right at the top are true experts in the field and they have a real open door policy, even if the higher ups are sometimes too busy to take you by the hand. If you're a go-getter you can really get ahead as the onus is on you to prove yourself. Convenient location right off the metro and a promote from within philosophy.

    ConsYou definitely have to pay your dues to advance, but that's no different then anywhere else. RCLCO is a niche firm very tied to market cycles, so when the real estate market is down - so are your job prospects. Everything is about billable hours, so when the pipeline is low, be sure not to be the one sitting on your hands. On the flip side, when things are busy, you can easily get overloaded if you are not truthful with yourself and others about your time.

    Advice to Senior ManagementWorking with the top brass should be something to be aspired to, not feared.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Good practical education, horrible management

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsGained valuable real estate and market analysis experience.

    ConsManagement placed little value on the consultants.

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    Reap what you sow.

    (Current Employee)

    Pros- Collaborative work environment
    - Opportunity to work with some of the brightest minds in real estate across all management levels ; this includes the junior level as well.
    - Extremely engaging projects which require creative thinking, technical knowledge application, and a team-oriented approach.
    - Unlike many firms which place an emphasis on hiring very intelligent Type A personalities (which RCLCO definitely does), the firm culture is not hyper-competitive or aggressive.
    - Opportunity to continue learning and make great industry connections.
    - Growth opportunities are not limited; you have the power to shape your destiny at the firm.

    Cons- Hours can be long: a lot is expected of everyone (including new hires) from the get-go. However, this is an opportunity as well. Autonomy is expected.
    - Most employees work on several engagements at once - time management can be tricky, particularly as project directors can forget that their project is one of several for their team members.
    - There is a steep learning curve and new hires are expected to hit the ground running; make sure to ask questions and soak everything in, as the formal training is limited. Again, this is an opportunity as well as a challenge.

    Advice to Senior ManagementConsider a longer, up-front orientation process for new hires, and keep channels of communication open across the firm. Also, make sure to check in on project-work-life balance status when things get busy and time allocation decisions are being made.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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