In Conversation with Alice Breheny and Stefan Wundrak, 20 November 2020
Real estate research can be what you want it to be
In this first SPR ‘In Conversation’ event, Maria Grubmueller spoke to her Nuveen Real Estate colleagues Alice Breheny, Global Head of Research and Stefan Wundrak, Head of Research, Europe.
Alice and Stefan agreed that they would recommend real estate research as a career because you can make it what you want it to be. Alice said how much she enjoys the interpretation and communication involved in property research, which can ultimately lead to the development of investment products for her business. ‘I love looking at the data and at the analytics, but looking at the world through the lens of real estate is what really excites me – and turning that into real products that are compelling for our clients.’
Stefan emphasised the great variety of activities that the property researcher can get involved in. At certain moments he played with the idea of moving into fund or asset management, but that would have meant a more fixed set of functions. ‘In a single day you can have two hours of spreadsheet work and then two hours of communication later in the day, as well as the full range of things you can do in an office job in between. No other real estate job could give me that constant variety and stimulation.’
Alice advised those starting out on a property research career to work out their strengths and weaknesses early on. ‘Try not to beat yourself up about the weaknesses. I’ve now come to realise that the detail of analysing data isn’t my comfort zone, and it might have made things easier for me if I’d realised that. I’d now tell new researchers that the world is changing so rapidly that real estate research demands fresh eyes. Don’t be afraid to rip up the traditional real estate rule book and bring something new.’ The real estate landscape may seem very challenging at present but within a couple of years there should be a strong recovery that will provide many opportunities.