Monday, March 5, 2012

Informational Interview

Chris Caminata
Fin 180
MW 2:00
March 5, 2012
Blog Post 1

For this assignment I interviewed a family friend by the name of Joseph Palacio.  Joseph was a real estate agent for many years before he became a real estate broker.  He was a broker for almost twenty years before retiring in 2009.  He decided it was time to get out of the industry after the housing market collapse.  He mainly worked on single family listings.  He had bounced around throughout a lot of Northern California during his career.  He has now retired in the San Joaquin Valley. 
Q: What is the difference between a real estate broker and real estate agent?
      “Brokers are a little bit different from agents since brokers run the company and agents take care of sales.  Both of them are very important to the real estate industry.  When I first became a broker I was doing a lot of the same work I had done as an agent.  I found myself still doing listing, sales, going to closings, as well making sure that contracts were taken care of. I basically took care of any problems that came up with the agents.”
  Q: What was your favorite part about being a broker?
      “The best thing about being a broker was being able to call the shots, you can do things your way.  You decide what the policies at your company are going to be and how money is going to be spent.  You also get to pick who you are going to work with which is very nice.  There is a higher potential for making money and I found my income was steadier as a broker then as a salesman.”
  Q: The worst part about being a broker?
      “The worst part about being a broker is the high chance of failure.  There were a couple different times during the beginning of my career I suffered big hits that almost put me out of business.  It took a lot of money to become a broker and there was much more at risk then when I was an agent.  It could also be very stressful. Everyone’s problems always ended up on my desk.  I was the guy who put of all the fires. It was up to me to keep things moving along.”
Q: What advice do you have for someone who wants to be a broker?
      “I would definitely go to college.  A business major is the way to go. An emphasis in marketing would also be helpful. Management and finance would also be other good options. I would also suggest being a salesperson for about 5 years before becoming a broker.  You will be able to learn the industry and watch not only the broker at your company but at others as well.  If you can find a broker or a group of brokers you can trust, it should make things easier in the beginning years.”    
   I learned a lot from Joe about being a real estate broker.  When I sat down with him I wasn’t too sure on what a real estate broker was.  He made a good life for himself being a real estate broker and he is optimistic about the housing market.  From his interview I learned why it is so necessary to hire a real estate broker when buying or selling any kind of property.  It made me eager to learn more about real estate in preparation for buying a home in the future. 

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