BANK ON IT: JD Rainwater, Real Estate Appraiser

By Madeline Martin on Thursday, March 31, 2022

 Name:  JD Rainwater |  Age:  27 |  Hometown:  Jonesboro |  Alma mater:  Arkansas State University |  Major:  Business Administration (finance minor)  Job title:  Staff Appraiser |  Employer:  First National Bank

Why did you choose a career in this field?

I’ve always had a fascination with real estate. I think it is because there are endless opportunities in this field and it lets your mind be creative. I can remember as a kid, all of my friends would be playing either PlayStation or Xbox, while I would be on Google Earth looking at some random city in a different state, or even country. That is still true to this day.

Did you have a financial role model?

My parents, Tom and Valerie Rainwater. Both of their backgrounds are in finance, and from an early age, they ingrained the value of a dollar to both me and my brother. The lessons I learned from them growing up (and continue to learn) have helped me get to where I’m at today.

What is the most surprising thing about your job?

The most surprising thing is the deals I get to see. I get to do my own deep dive in analyzing certain properties, projects and markets. I get the privilege to see what trends and tendencies people have when dealing with real estate.

What are some common misconceptions about your job?

“An appraisal shouldn’t be that difficult” is a statement I hear a lot. When I first started the job, I believed that. People don’t realize the behind-the-scenes involvement of an appraisal, especially on the commercial end. From verifying sales and leasing information, to calling city and county officials, to organizing my own data set, to eventually typing a report, there are so many steps people don’t see.

What natural abilities should someone have to succeed in this field?

Communication. I am in constant communication with borrowers, lenders, realtors, contractors, tenants, etc. One must be personal when out in the field and can’t be afraid to ask questions. Details are key when valuing real estate.

Why should teens consider a career like yours?

I strongly encourage getting into the real estate valuation field. I look at something new almost every day, I get to travel and I possess skill sets that I wouldn’t have otherwise if it wasn’t for my job. Every day I come into work excited for a new challenge.

How do you feel about this statement? “I can’t work in a financial role because I’m not good at (or hate) math”?

Although math is a key part of what I do, I wouldn’t let that hinder someone from getting into real estate valuations or even a financial role. You learn so much once you take on a new job. Just know that learning from your mistakes and being a sponge are just part of starting out.