Monday, March 4, 2013

Interview of James Parker

Matt Gray
Informational Interview
Interviewee: James Parker

Q: What are your main duties? And what do you spend most of your time doing?
A: I wish I could say I fit a movie star persona and was making huge deals every other day but unfortunately, that isn't the case. Working as a broker is more about managing agents and the office than anything else. I spend most of my time maintaining relationships with agents as well as clients but also all the boring duties it takes to run the business.

Q: What are weaknesses a lot of new hires have in the field?
A: Everything...just kidding. New agents are just green in general and it takes a little time to figure out the process as well as how to manage client relationships. I'd say the main weakness is that new agents underestimate the amount of networking it takes to develop a book of business.

Q: What are some typical services a brokerage offers to it's agents?
A: The main services are someone to answer phone calls (even though nowadays most agents are contacted through their cell phone), office resources like printers, an office space, and most importantly the brand name of whatever brokerage they are working for.

Q: What has changed since you have been in the industry and what change do you foresee?
A: Well the first thing I can remember that really affected my part of the industry was buyers starting to hire agents to represent them. That started some time in the 90s but has gained steam and is now commonplace. Recently, there have been a lot of people getting into real estate because the barriers to entry are low compared to other fields. The result is agents having to drop their commission percentages to remain competitive.

Q: I've read a lot about how our generation's preferences in housing are much different than our parents. We generally want smaller homes with open floor pans, big kitchens, and less formal rooms like dining and living rooms. Have new developments taken this into account? How does a house/apartment complex built now differ from one built 30 years ago?
A: I am not involved with a lot of real estate development but I do know that most developments have much more open floor plans. The interesting thing in the current economic climate is that many developments over the last 5-10 years have been re-zoning projects. Lots of places are turning abandoned industrial buildings into loft style apartments. It has proved to be cheaper but it also revitalizes run down parts of town.

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