You’ve been with Cushman & Wakefield for 20 years. What drew you to Cushman & Wakefield originally? And what has made you stay with the company throughout the years?
Not many people go to college to become an appraiser. I didn’t either. My dad was in the business as a banker/reviewer and assigned work to Cushman & Wakefield as well as other firms. He knew Ken Matlin and Mike Davis were looking for a runner/junior appraiser. They were looking for someone to be able to drive around and take pictures of rent and sales comps and learn the ropes. As a married college student, going to school at night, and working during the day for a firm that would pay parts of my tuition and allow me a career was outstanding! I earned a degree in 2003, my designation in 2010, and was establishing a career – all while still being a teenager. The management at Cushman & Wakefield have supported my life goals along the way and I couldn’t have asked for a more supportive, professional environment.
What aspect of your role do you enjoy the most?
I enjoy the level of professionalism, relative independence to meet deadlines, as well as working with a network of appraisers around the country on a day-to-day basis. I’m continually learning from their experiences and becoming more well-rounded in more specialty practices.
What advice would you give to recent new hires?
Keep your nose to the grindstone and get through the tough weeks, months, quarters, etc. There is work-life balance. Sometimes we need to put in the time to have half a day off to spend with the family when our plate is not as full. We win a few great deals and sometimes, we need to get through the ones that may not have been as lucrative.
Name a career lesson you’ve learned along the way?
Work-life balance is vital. “No other success can compensate for failure in the home” (David O. McKay).
What does a typical day look like for you?
As a West Coast guy in the Portfolio Valuation group, I wake up to 20-30 emails each morning that need my attention. I navigate answers to all and follow-up with appraisers on review responses to the client, then move to being sure responses to RFPs are all in and to the client to win more portfolio work. At some point, I need to turn my attention to guidelines, templates, and datatapes for new assignments. This is all while coordinating with Gerry Asprer and Doug Heinrich on keeping the other portfolio “balls” in the air. Maybe about 3:00 p.m, as the rest of the country goes home for the day, the email traffic quiets down, and I can focus on the individual work on my plate. Afterwards I head home to see my family for a nice evening after a good work day!
What was the most interesting or unique assignment you’ve been a part of?
I once appraised four turkey farms that were in the process of being repossessed. The lender sent an email that the environmental firm noted “chop shops and meth labs” were onsite at one of the four farms. I called the client and sought a way out. The company understood my concerns, so when I told them I wouldn’t inspect the properties unless they could arrange to have law enforcement to accompany me on the inspections, they agreed.
When I arrived to the inspection, I was escorted by police/sheriff cars – two in front of me and one behind for each site. I parked, took my pictures and notes, and left them to deal with the sites. I didn’t see anything crazy, but it was a fun day, and I was excited to get on the road and tell my wife I was safely on my way home!
When you’re not out inspecting an asset or writing a report, what do you like to do?
Civically, I’m appointed to a school bond oversight committee and have served on our city’s transit committee and building board of appeals. I’m also on the board and executive committee for my local Boy Scouts of America (BSA) Council and have loved being at BSA National Jamborees with my Eagle Scout son as well as my daughter.