Robert Charles Lesser & Co.

  www.rclco.com
  www.rclco.com

Robert Charles Lesser & Co. Reviews

Updated October 7, 2014
Updated October 7, 2014
15 Reviews
4.1
15 Reviews
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Gadi Kaufmann
5 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Great learning experience. Great people.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Austin, TX

    I worked at Robert Charles Lesser & Co. full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    RCLCO provides excellent growth opportunities, especially for people looking to start their career in real estate. As an Associate, I was exposed to a wide variety of land uses, project types, and clients. Working closely with senior management, (many with decades of experience), provides a learning experience that is uncommon for most entry-level positions in the industry. Compensation markedly improves as you progress to project management duties, and with that, more responsibility and autonomy.

    Promotion track is largely self-directed: if you show that you can do the work effectively, and think on your feet, promotions will come quickly. This is not a firm where "blending in" leads to success.

    If consulting is your passion, then RCLCO is a great long-term fit. If it is not your passion, the experience can easily be parlayed to a position with a variety of other real estate companies. The firm has a solid reputation in the industry, and will open doors for you going forward should you decide to move on.

    Cons

    -Work-life balance is challenging at times, especially when firm-wide work flow increases
    -Constant struggle between hitting your billable hours targets and being creative can lead to long-term challenges
    -Cross-office collaboration is also quite difficult, although this is probably an issue for all companies

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    -Don't let the review cycle be the sole determinant of promotions, particularly for stand-out Associates
    -Team members seeking other opportunities with great companies reflects positively on the firm. There is no need to maintain secrecy about the subject
    -Clarify how billable hours are tied to compensation

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Okay first job

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Robert Charles Lesser & Co. (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Pay is good compared to other entry-level data analytics positions
    Exit opportunities are plenty
    Great "Real Estate University"

    Cons

    Recruits heavily at top-tier schools to ensure a fresh crop of new talent every year. Turnover rate is very high, even for a consulting firm. No one seems truly happy here.

    The firm is unable to hire/retain good middle management. Managers are all former associates. The qualities that make one a good associate (analytical skills, ability to work in solitude) does not make one an effective manager. Do not expect to work for someone who will respect, inspire, or truly lead you.

    Good place to work if you can play the game and navigate office politics. Otherwise, stay away.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Challenging yet rewarding.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Associate in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Associate in Los Angeles, CA

    I worked at Robert Charles Lesser & Co. full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Strong senior leadership, invested in their employees. Analysts will experience a variety of engagements across different aspects of commercial and residential real estate.

    Cons

    Limited duration of consulting engagements (nature of the business) means you may not see the implementation of your business plans or consideration of clients.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue to seek out superior talent with hard finance/real estate skills to keep relevant in the industry.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Nice people,

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Associate
    Former Employee - Associate

    I worked at Robert Charles Lesser & Co. full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    RCLCO 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.

    Cons

    Compensation 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 ManagementAdvice

    Provide more formalized training, perhaps in a cohort, for younger recruits as the firm grows post-recession.

    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Great opportunity to work with bright minds and immerse yourself in real estate.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Robert Charles Lesser & Co. full-time

    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 ManagementAdvice

    Continue to stress transparency and communication within the firm.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Great first job

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Associate
    Current Employee - Senior Associate

    I have been working at Robert Charles Lesser & Co. full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great 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.

    Cons

    I do not have any cons to share.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  8.  

    Stimulating work with great colleagues

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Robert Charles Lesser & Co. full-time

    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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Real Estate University

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Associate II in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Associate II in Washington, DC

    I worked at Robert Charles Lesser & Co. full-time (more than an year)

    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 ManagementAdvice

    Work on creating a more equal mix of talent at the lower rungs so that all associates carry the same responsibilities

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Smart People...Low Morale

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Associate in Orlando, FL
    Former Employee - Associate in Orlando, FL

    I worked at Robert Charles Lesser & Co.

    Pros

    You 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.

    Cons

    There 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 ManagementAdvice

    Thy 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?

    Doesn't Recommend
  11. 4 people found this helpful  

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

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Consultant in Atlanta, GA
    Former Employee - Senior Consultant in Atlanta, GA

    I worked at Robert Charles Lesser & Co.

    Pros

    Learning 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.

    Cons

    Low 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 ManagementAdvice

    Look 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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