Natalie Aghaei is the Director of Acquisitions for Oak Road Capital, which invests in creative office and multifamily properties with the goal of improving communities. Natalie completed her undergraduate degree at USC’s Marshall School, with an emphasis in Real Estate Finance, and graduated a year early. As a student, Natalie interned at Cushman & Wakefield during her Sophomore and Junior years in office leasing brokerage in Downtown Los Angeles. After graduation, Natalie enrolled in the rotational Wheel Program at CBRE, where she worked with five different teams and offices in a year in and around Los Angeles. At CBRE, Natalie teamed up with a senior and they focused on land and multifamily brokerage investment sales.
After four to five years of work experience, Natalie went back to graduate school to attend USC’s MRED program. She found it beneficial because it expanded her network (three to five speakers were brought in every week for her classes) and it has helped her stay in touch with old bosses and classmates. Overall, it helped Natalie get a much better feel for good deals. Natalie also noted that for other students, the MRED program helped students attain better jobs and salaries.
Natalie thinks that the current real estate market in L.A. is softening. Right now, Natalie sees that a lot of investors still have liquid cash on the side for deals, with more investors holding assets rather than purchasing aggressively. Furthermore, Natalie sees the yield curve of the market becoming inverted, where the long term run is better than the short term potential of the market. There are still good opportunities in the market, but they are more difficult to come by.
Natalie’s best advice for graduating seniors and students, in general, is to go on as many informational interviews as you can. Expanding your network will help you get a job, and help you be successful in your job. She wishes she did more informational interviews while in school and recommends that you should do one to two a week as a student.