John’s love for real estate stems from a life-long fascination with buildings. As a kid growing up in suburban Southern California, John witnessed the growth of master-planned neighborhoods. He saw firsthand how real estate development can impact communities. By the time he began college, John was enrolled as an architecture and engineering major. Despite his interest for building design, he transferred into the business school to gain skills for a corporate career.
John has spent over 20 years working in almost every facet of the real estate business. Early in his career he worked in home sales and lending, developing an important understanding of how lenders value properties. From then on, John has worked in retail, residential, master planned communities, mixed use, office, and hospitality real estate sectors. One of John’s most memorable development projects was the rebuild of the Long Beach Mall in 1998. The rebuilding of the mall set the stage for a new wave of urban development in Long Beach. For John, it was fun to see the massive impact his development had on the Long Beach community.
For many years John was a guest lecturer at USC. He would balance between his full-time real estate career and academia. In 2012, John became an adjunct professor and taught his first full class. Then, in 2017 John transitioned into academia full-time. As an associate professor for the Price school, he teaches 40 classes both in the undergraduate and graduate programs. Despite a hefty teaching load, John still works as a consultant in the real estate industry. He advises for numerous businesses, including previous employers like Fritz Duda.
John’s advice for students interested in real estate is to completely immerse yourself in the industry. That includes listening to every speaker that comes on campus, their stories are an invaluable asset. He also suggests taking classes in design, law, and other disciplines related to real estate. There is more to real estate than a business education can give you. John also makes a habit of reading the news. He believes success comes with identifying trends and capitalizing on them, so he reads everything he can get his hands on, including local newspapers.
John is living proof of how interconnected USC is to the real estate industry. Every one of his consulting clients has some sort of USC connection, and many of his old classmates are major players in the Southern California real estate scene. This is why developing good relationships with classmates is so valuable, you never know what a fellow Trojan might be able to do for you.