Monday, March 10, 2014

Informational Interview ( FIN 180 Blog Post #1)


Real Estate Investor, Entrepreneur, and Instructor

How did you get started in this field?  

My first purchase was a tri-plex that I still own, but my dad had a rental when I was growing up, so I began doing minor construction at an early age.

What was your educational background?  

MBA – Entrepreneurship – Fresno State + some private real estate investing classes

What are your major responsibilities?  

I find the deals, analyze them, make the purchase decisions, and run the projects (rehab). Ongoing, day-to-day management is outsourced.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your job, least rewarding?

Creating great homes for people…being rewarded financially for it.  Least rewarding – when a tenant destroys a property…

 What might you change?  

I might be more selective about where I purchase properties. I’ve purchased great deals in bad neighborhoods in the past…the headaches can outweigh the financial reward.

Would you choose this career again?  

This is not a career for me…it’s a business I run on the side.

What is a “typical” day like for you?

I look at properties every day. I get emails about any new MLS listings that fit my criteria. I might drive by the best possibilities for investment. I also talk to my main real estate agent every day or two to see what he sees in the market. If he finds a deal before it is listed on the MLS, he calls me, and we typically drive it and put an offer in before it goes to MLS.

What obligations does your work put on you outside of the actual job?

Not sure how to answer this. It’s not a job for me…it’s just what I do to invest money. I enjoy it. I have to answer emails on weekends/vacations sometimes. I even have phone calls to make/receive quite often. But – it doesn’t feel like work, so I don’t mind it. Generally, the calls and e-mails take a few minutes to take care of, so they don’t tie up too much time.

What are some lifestyle considerations for this career?

You have to keep a lot of cash. I’ve seen other investors spend their proceeds on new cars, fancy cabins, etc., and then get into financial trouble because they run out of cash for the business. So…we live pretty humbly compared to others in the field.

What are some common entry-level positions in the field?
N/A – maybe a realtor.

What kind of salary range and benefits are typical of an entry-level position in this field?

Salary – as little or as large as your business system allows. Benefits – same.

What kind of an individual (skills and personality) is best suited for these entry-level positions?  

Must be good with communication and with people. Also – must be very organized and have good time-management.

What are the most important factors used when hiring?

When I hire someone, integrity means more to me than anything else. I have to be able to trust the people I hire. I can help people develop skills, but you can’t teach a person to be moral. Also, I try to hire people who I know are really good communicators – it eliminates a ton of problems.

What is the best educational preparation for a career in this filed?  

Get an entrepreneurship degree and take classes in real estate investing.

Which classes and experiences would be most helpful to obtain while still in college?

See above – plus…work on project at home, so you know a bit about construction. You don’t have to swing a hammer when investing, but you should know about the work involved.

What have you found to be a major weakness of new hires in this field?

Not entrepreneurial enough.

What is the future outlook for this career?  

Great – real estate is always a good business to be in…up or down markets.

What are the areas of potential growth and decline?
If we start to deal with “sprawl” in Fresno, we’ll have more opportunities for rehabbing.

How do you see jobs changing in the future?

Same basic principles, but they will require more entrepreneurial skills than anything else.

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