Education: Bachelor’s degree in accounting, Missouri State University; licensed Realtor since 2005
Résumé review: Commercial real estate is his “third mid-career switch” after accounting and time with the Urban Districts Alliance
Tell us about your professional background prior to entering real estate.
I was a CPA in public accounting for about 38 years, but left that in 2000 and became the director of the Urban Districts Alliance. The Community Improvement District downtown had just started. I was there for three years, and I think I helped (UDA) get financial stability and management in line that hadn’t been there before. Then, when Greene County Commissioner Jim Payne wasn’t going to run again, I thought I could use my management and accounting talents there, too, so that’s why I applied for that job, but the voters didn’t hire me. Then, my wife and I bought a couple of little houses, and I renovated those for about a year, but I missed being around people, and I got tired of scraping wallpaper and painting.
What attracted you to commercial real estate?
Well, you’re pretty well self-employed, so you can keep your own hours and things like that. I didn’t want to do residential, because I didn’t want to work nights and weekends. When I went to talk to my manager (Ron Tappan) about going to work at CJR Commercial, he asked if I was going to be full time, and I said, ‘Yes, but only 40 hours a week.’ I didn’t want to do the hours that I did in accounting or the hours I spent at Urban Districts Alliance. My accounting background is of some help to it, and it’s something I’ve been enjoying. CJR Commercial is the commercial side of Carol Jones, Realtors.
In what ways does accounting come into play with your real estate clients?
I can understand financial statements, and it’s easier for me to do cash-flow forecasts. I can look at what someone’s asking for a building and say, ‘Here’s what your payments are going to be. Here’s what you’re going to (need) to meet the payments.’ Also, what the maintenance costs might be and the taxes. I don’t have my CPA license to practice anymore, so I try not to give tax advice.
How would you characterize southwest Missouri’s commercial real estate market?
I’d say (it’s) pretty good. It hasn’t been affected as much … as the residential market has. It’s pretty stable. It just takes longer to get something done with commercial properties, because a lot of times the buyer wants a specific area, and you can’t always compare apples to apples … to determine value. With commercial property, each property is unique and different from other properties. And that’s one of the things I like. … It’s far more challenging to try to find out the value of a piece of commercial property.
Which sectors of business do you deal with most in real estate?
At this point, I’m still pretty much a generalist in terms of what I do in commercial real estate. I’ve kind of gotten an expertise in brownfields and environmental properties. It just happened that I got a listing that (experienced) significant environmental problems. I was on the city’s brownfields committee when I was at Urban Districts Alliance, so I knew something about environmental problems. I knew about (the different phases) to rehabilitate land … so the purchasers (wouldn’t have to worry) about environmental hazards.
What do you see as commercial real estate hotbeds now?
I think there seems to be a lot of need for warehouse space – affordable warehouse space. People need a place to store things, but with the high cost of so many things, they can’t afford to pay a lot of money for it.
Do you have a soft spot for downtown commercial properties?
I do. I don’t particularly focus on it, but I’m very glad to see downtown doing what it’s doing. I feel like I had a small part in it. It’s very important to have a strong downtown base in any community. I was chairman of the Vision 20/20 committee and a chairman and member of the Jordan Valley Park Advisory Committee, and I’m proud of that.
Tell us about your family.
My first wife was Judy Compere. She died 15 years ago. She was the executive director of the Missouri Victims Center. I remarried about six years ago to Anne Cox. She’s an artist. Between the two of us, we have five children, all grown, and nine grandchildren.
What are your hobbies?
I belong to Ozark Greenways. ... I like to hike and bicycle. I’ve done a lot of backpacking trips. A year ago, a friend and I went down to Big Bend, Texas, and camped and hiked down there.
Interview by Features Editor Maria Hoover. You can e-mail her with suggestions for future installments of this feature at email@example.com.[[In-content Ad]]
General aviation terminal expansion is set to wrap by August.