Tuesday, February 22, 2011
2/10/11For my informational interview I chose to speak to Greg Cooper who is a real estate appraiser in the Fresno area. He has been in the real estate industry since for 28 years and still enjoys what he does.
Q) At what age did you start in this industry and what did you study in college?
A) " I was 25 when OI started in real estate and I went to Cal State Northridge to study Real Estate Finance. I didn't now what I wanted to do when I first got there but after taking classes in real estate finance I knew that this was for me."
Q) what do you like most about what you do, what is exciting about you job?
A) "I like that half of my job is in the office and the other half is in the field. I like the variety in the industry and have to keep up with laws and regulations." in 2005 the appraisal forums changed to make it more uniformed and easier to compile.
Q) Do you think that this helped the process become more efficient or made it slower?
A) " It made it more efficient for under writing and made the appraisals more vanilla like."
Q) what is one of your personal skills you value the most in this line of work?
A) " Being able to wear many hats, I am able to to appraise I can write up an offer for the sale of a property and i can also help with buying investment properties." Greg is able to look into investment properties and see how much the investor should pay and how much they are looking to get for a return on the investment. Being able to wear many hats gives a person the ability to be fluid in a shaky market.
Q) What type of property do you recommend for a beginning investor who is trying to offset expenses and make money?
A) I would recommend a duplex, triplex or four plex because you are getting the same loan options as a single family unit but you have more renters."
Q) what is a typical day like for you/
A) I spend 80% of my time appraising, so I do about half an hour to forty five minutes of research before I look at the property depending on the complexity of the property I measure the area and take into account the improvements such as a pool, covered patio etc."
Q) Where do you see the Fresno real estate going in the next five years?
A) " Its defiantly going to improve, it already has been particularly because of the loan programs interest rates are extremely low especially in the last four months. I has created more of a stable market. Either homes are selling quicker at a lower price or the prices are going up and it is taking longer to sell. When you have an off setting trend market I consider that stable. If you buy income property you can tell better than if you were buying a house because you know how much return you are making."
Q) What is the market like for income properties?
A) "A lot of the cash buyers have already been out there and if a good property comes up at a good price it will get bought quickly. If you come in the an FHA loan you are not going to look as attractive as a cash buyer. You need to have your broker looking everyday for properties to find you the right one you have to get your offer in quickly."
Q) What are some skills that have made you successful?
A) " When appraising in think that negotiating in key because people may offer you a price that is not fair market and you must negotiate to get the best price. Diversify you knowledge base so that if residentical is low you can appraise a commercial building."
Q) What advice do you have for a young person going into this industry?
A) First find out what type of person you are. Being creative and persistence is key. Try different parts of the industry if you fail at one part do not give up and go on to another industry. Try another part of real estate be persist ant.
Q) Do you think that real state is something that people can do on the side or on the weekend?
A) "Yes i think that in the beginning you should devote 100% of your time to learning the industry, pay your dues and learn the business. Then once you have a full understanding of what real estate is then you can move on to do other things."
Q) If you could change one thing about the real estate industry what would it be?
A) "It would be the way banks chose the brokers who get the REO listings. Some brokers found out about the REO business early and are now closing the listings to other brokers. It makes it very hard to compete and make sales. Some brokers have 30 listings at one time and other only have 1."
I would like to thank Greg Cooper for sitting down with me and sharing a little about his life in the real estate industry.