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
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.