Brendon DeSimone established himself on the West Coast as a leading real estate expert, earning a spot in the top 2 percent of brokers at the San Francisco-based Paragon Real Estate Group. In addition to completing millions of dollars in transactions, DeSimone has been featured on numerous HGTV shows and is one of the only real estate agents contributing editorial content to the Zillow Blog, a real estate and mortgage news source operated by Seattle-based Zillow. Now, DeSimone is moving to New York to serve as Stribling & Associates’ new Vice President. DeSimone, who received a degree in sociology from Franklin & Marshall College, sat down with Multifamily Executive to talk about his new career move and his experience in the industry.
MFE: What was your first job in the industry?
DeSimone: My first job was with a small brokerage firm in San Francisco. It was in 2001, when I had just come out of four years working in the tech industry. I wanted to work for myself, and to me, real estate seemed like an industry where, in a way, I could be self-employed.
MFE: What appeals to you about real estate?
DeSimone: I felt it was accessible, that real estate dealt with a tangible, solid product that I could touch and feel. I love working with people and the flexibility of real estate in general appeals to me. It’s exciting for me to visualize places and know a location, a neighborhood, a value.
MFE: What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?
DeSimone: Someone said to me early on, ‘Go and see as many properties as possible. Go and tour, tour, tour properties, because you’re only as good as the market knowledge you have.’ If you have that deep knowledge, you’ll be much more valuable to your client.
MFE: Can you tell us about some of your responsibilities as the new VP of Stribling & Associates?
DeSimone: I’ll be focusing more on the condo market. There are a lot more co-ops in New York than in San Francisco where I used to work. I’ll be representing buyers and sellers in residential real estate sales.
MFE: What do you see as a significant challenge for the real estate industry in the coming years?
DeSimone: I think there’s still so much more technology that can be leveraged to make real estate much more efficient. Aside from the economy and uncertainty, there’ll be some technological advances real soon that could help brokers to facilitate real estate transactions.
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Michelle M. Warner and Edward Q. Williams have been named co-heads of Walker & Dunlop’s FHA Finance division. Warner is joining the company from Deutsche Bank Berkshire Mortgage. Williams has been promoted into his new role.
Chris Lexis and Joe Leavitt have been named vice presidents of Lee & Associates’ Las Vegas office. Both Leavitt and Lexis are members of the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce and the National Association for Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP).