Monday, March 12, 2012

Informational Interview

Informational Interview
With Anna Ochoa

By Gonzalo Manriquez

   Anna Ochoa is a real estate agent who specializes in commercial real estate which includes office buildings, industrial properties, malls, so mostly everything besides residential. She specializes in leasing and sales, and explained her job as a mediator almost between the buyer and seller in order to write a contract for the sale.

Q: Why did you choose commercial real estate, and how did you get started in this field?
Anna explained that she believed commercial real estate was most beneficial in her opinion, as well as already having multiple contacts in the industry and a possible job before graduation.

Q: What was your first job in this industry?
Anna’s first career opportunity was with a company in the valley mediating between owners and potential clients. She is not working for the same employer now but gained the necessary skills and experience to convert to self-employed.

Q: What type of individual skills or personality is best for this field?
“ You have to be social, diligent, and be willing to hear many no’s before a yes.” Anna explained how in this field hard work pays off. Also how adaptation and cleverness are equally as important as the knowledge and experience because of how specific every sale is. She explained in one case a restaurant owner had a much higher price in mind that the potential buyer. What she came up with was the restaurant owner leaves some of the equipment behind for the buyer, which narrowed the gap between the two and a deal was made.

Q: What are major responsibilities and rewards of a career in commercial real estate?
One of the responsibilities is mediation, as mentioned above, and writing contracts once an agreement is arranged. Anna’s answer to the question on career rewards was mostly the contribution to a better commercial setting in the valley. An example she used here to explain this to me was a project she is working on now, where there are three potential buyers of a lot and depending on her, it may be; an office building, a gas station, or a veterinarian’s office.

Q: Does your work put obligations on you outside the job?
“ Definitely, you have to be ready at all times to be professional and jump on any opportunities that wont be there for a long time.” However she did add that since the market is at a slow down right now the responsibilities are manageable and not too bearing on her life at home.  

Q: Have you had difficult decisions to make, and how did you base the decision?
Anna’s approach here was to trust the gut feeling, and also be creative with innovative ways to arrange sales, such as the restaurant case. She also mentioned you cannot be afraid to bring up a proposal, you never know it may work.

Q: Any advice for new coming commercial real estate students?
Her advice was to talk to professionals in the field with experience, that will teach you the ropes and allow you to job shadow. That would be the most beneficial from what I understood because the people skills and experience is key.

Q: Has the real estate crash affected you at all?
She answered with a definite yes, with an example of a specific property, which was valued at 10 million dollars in 2006, and now the same land is being sold for 1.6 million. However she added that it all depends on the work you pit in, and reverted to the hard work pays off motto, which I believe is her view of her profession. 

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