Monday, October 7, 2013

Blog Post #1 Interview with a Developer

Cliff Tutelian is the sole owner of Tutelian & Company, a development company in Fresno CA.  His family is responsible for the beautiful Civic Center Square downtown. Cliff is responsible for building the Villagio in Fresno across from River Park.  His latest development is Park Place on the corner of Palm and Nees with such tenants as GB3, Eureka Burger and Daily Grill.  Cliff also owns The Grand 1401 which was built in 1923 and is one of the most historic buildings in Fresno.  I thought Cliff would be a perfect candidate to talk to about becoming a real estate developer.

What do you think the definition of a real estate developer is?
When I first asked Cliff this question he smiled at me and said well I don’t know with a little smirk on his face.  I took this as him saying there is a lot more to this question than can be looked up in a dictionary. One who can envision the project while responding to market opportunity or demand and taking into account marketing conditions then executing to create value!

What are the steps to take to become a real estate developer?
You need to learn the basic components of development in order to make a foundation for yourself. Develop a mentality of all the parts including: marketing, documentation, financing, and profromas in order to start a development.  These are just the building blocks to start towards becoming a developer.

What makes a good real estate developer?
The key ingredients of make a good real estate developer includes: patience, perseverance, persistence, thorough research, review and documentation. Execution with a team engaged in thorough communication.

Do I have to have a certain personality to succeed as a real estate developer?
Yes.  This is all he said.

What type of experience is needed to in order to become a real estate developer?
The most important experience can be found in finance, marketing, and construction.  These will help in becoming a successful real estate developer because it helps cover all aspects of becoming a developer.

How did you get started in your field?
When speaking to Cliff about how he got started in the field he said the most important part about getting him started was exposure from the prior generation.

What is your educational background?
Cliff has a Bachelor of Science degree in business and a Juris Doctor of law, which is awarded with the completion of law school.
What helps you make the final decision to do a development?
Probability of procuring tenants at needed rental rates. 

How do you protect your investment once you start a development?
Approach project in incremental stages. Make sure you have contacts, leases, thorough legal docs and good staff support.  He made an emphasis on good staff support because he believes this is an essential part to having a successful development.

What are some tips for someone wanting to start in the real estate field?
You need to learn from the ground up. In order to be successful in the real estate field you must learn all working components of a project.

I do have the pleasure of working for Cliff and he has really been an integral part of my real estate learning.  I chose him for this interview because I feel he has a straightforward view on how to become successful.  It is not all the added fluff that seems to be surrounding people these days.  Cliff believes that rolling up your sleeves and getting to work is the best way to become successful.  I happen to agree and I am glad I was able to get an interview with him!

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