When asked what I do, it’s not as straightforward as an answer like “I’m an accountant”. There’s usually questions, follow up, and many friends don’t exactly understand this unique field. When people hear about my work over the long term, they get very interested. Knowing commercial real estate issues puts your finger on the pulse of the economy and you gain an in-depth understanding of how buildings work.
This career isn’t something you can just walk into and excel at. Understanding and appreciation for the work comes with experience. It starts with a solid training foundation, continued practice, and trouble shooting issues with your team as they are encountered. Frequent issues like encountering and assessing water damage become second nature. Many red flag issues which are critical to know to perform this work, I have only encountered limited times myself in the 13 years I’ve been performing these assessments. However, if you don’t know they are red flags and ignore the issue, you can cause catastrophic results for the report user (client). So the work is serious and important. Without training and ongoing education on these issues, thriving in this industry is impossible.
The fun part of the job is the behind the scenes tours of buildings. Seeing how systems interact with each other in complicated buildings is interesting. It’s sometimes unglamorous climbing ladders and exploring basement boiler rooms. By building this experience, you are tapped to see some of the flagship buildings in major metropolitan areas. That’s where the fun is. My favorite part of the jobs is being outdoors and the views from rooftops all over the country. There’s also a balance with time behind the desk. Working with technology to analyze the collected data while visiting the buildings and then math to build spreadsheets that analyze ongoing maintenance costs. Both sides of the coin in this field makes it so you don’t get tired of either setting.
Discretion is key because we are a part of multi-million dollar deals. You become privy to financial deals and top secret transactions clients don’t want their competition to gain access to. Sometimes we’re working for a major corporation borrowing money which can affect their stock pricing. An example of this is when I was assisting Tesla borrow against their factory. Understandably, if this deal was leaked to the public before it was completed. financial chaos for their work could ensue. We don’t want to jeopardize our reputation in this way, but it’s fun being in on a secret.
Where can this take you? There’s a variety of directions your career can go, you can be a seasoned field professional, honing expertise to do in-depth reporting on a particular system like roofing or mechanical equipment, reviewing reports of your peers in quality control of reporting, management of due diligence, or sales where you match client’s needs with the breadth of available reporting as needed. Wherever the road ahead leads you, it starts with learning how to perform basic Property Condition Assessments. Find out more about career opportunities and your fit in the industry by contacting PCA Training Academy.