Zach Timmons is an Argus Training Specialist for Altus Group, Houston office. Zach graduated from Western Michigan in 2010 with a degree in International and Comparative Politics and a Comparative Religion minor. He then completed a J.D. from the Seattle University School of Law in 2013.
Zach was referred to his current position through networking. Prior to working for Altus Group, Zach had worked in insurance and had lived in Michigan, Chicago, Seattle, Oklahoma, and Dallas. The client focused skills he developed in the insurance business translated to commercial real estate. Currently, Zach educates clients entering commercial real estate, teaching Argus to new people and helping clients that have trouble.
Zach says learning Argus is important for students going into commercial real estate because many companies worldwide use Argus, and having Argus experience gives students an edge. Being Argus certified helps you stand out and it’s one less thing a company has to spend time training you for. Going out and doing it on your own also shows initiative.
For students that aren’t as familiar with Argus and Excel, Argus and Excel are complementary. Argus offers a lot of flexibility for companies that create their own spreadsheets. One of the reasons as to why Argus is very popular in the industry is because it creates standardization—the property valuations are done the way the industry wants it and all reports and cash flows are kept industry standard. Argus models can then be exported to Excel and customized.
When it comes to comparing U.S. DCF and other models that are used internationally, Zach says: “The really great thing about ARGUS Enterprise is that it was made to be used globally. When it comes to modeling internationally, we have Traditional Valuation that is used in the U.K. Market, we have Capitalization Valuation that is used for our APAC Market, and of course, we have DCF for the American Market and other regions. Using global categories and different currencies, we can group different properties in the same portfolio and compare and consolidate these assets. Utilizing these methodologies, currencies, and data management tools is part of what drives the ARGUS Enterprise value to our clients.”
Zach’s advice to students is to take a training course if you’re looking to learn Argus and then take the certification exam. Doing case studies and multiple choice questions will be helpful in preparation. Furthermore, Zach’s best advice for graduating students looking to work in commercial real estate is to be engaged and find a company you like working for. A lot of young people are hungry to work. To better differentiate yourself, show up and demonstrate you’ve taken steps to show that you are employable. Showing initiative makes you more hirable.