Written by The Business Journal Staff
Real Estate Broker
Hyatt Real Estate
Education: Bachelor of Science degree in business, San Diego State University.
Family: Married to Angie Hyatt. We have a daughter, Ashley, age 36.
WHAT WE DO: Hyatt Real Estate is primarily a residential brokerage located at 4845 N. Van Ness Blvd. Including myself, my wife and my daughter, we have seven real estate agents. We assist sellers and buyers in their residential real estate transactions.
How did you develop Hyatt Real Estate?
My first job after graduating from San Diego State was in the real estate lending department of a savings and loan in San Diego. Since that time, I have gained experience in almost all areas of residential real estate. After having lived in the Fresno area before, in 1990, my wife — who already was a real estate agent — and I decided to return to Fresno and begin our career in residential real estate together as a listing and sales brokerage.
During our first six years in business, it was just the two of us running it.
What is your role in the business?
I am the broker-in-charge of Hyatt Real Estate, responsible for insuring all transactions are handled in accordance with the California Department of Real Estate.
Tell us about the Valley’s real estate market.
The primary reason I chose Fresno to open my real estate office is because most aspects of owning a home in Fresno are affordable. The current real estate market is very positive not only for affording a home in which to raise a family but also for purchasing homes as investment properties.
What are your roots in the Central Valley?
I originally came to Fresno in 1980. My wife and I had invested as partners in a retail venture in which we grew one store into three. In 1987, we sold our stake in them to our partners and returned to the Bay Area. We quickly realized how much we enjoyed living in Fresno, and we returned in 1990, starting Hyatt Real Estate.
What was your favorite job, and what did you learn from it?
My favorite job is the one I currently have. During the 29 years I have been in the real estate business in Fresno, I have had the good fortune to represent people during all aspects of home ownership. I have had the pleasure of helping young families get their first homes, others on their second and third homes, as well as representing other families with their parents’ estates.
What did you dislike about working in the corporate sector and how does running your own business compare?
In the corporate world, you are primarily employed for the benefit of the corporation. In running your own business, you are employed for the benefit of yourself. As you are aware, all real estate agents are considered self-employed individuals.
What advice do you have for people seeking Realtors to help them buy homes?
There really isn’t a simple, one-stop method to determine if you are dealing with a skilled agent, and asking agents about other agents may not help, as commenting on fellow agents can be a violation of industry ethics.
One route you may follow is asking friends or family about their experiences with their agents when they bought or sold homes, and longevity in the business usually is a good sign.
If you are considering an agent you may ask that person for referrals from some of the people he or she has represented to find out what they say about the agent.
Not only is this often the most expensive purchase of people’s lives, it is also the most emotional for all the members of their families.
What are some of the most important questions to ask the Realtor selling a house?
Leave all the questions you have regarding a home another Realtor is selling to be asked by your agent. Ensure your agent knows exactly what you want in a home. In most cases, a real estate transaction is handled with the buyer and seller having their own representation.
Why should buyers be wary of buyer-broker agreements?
These agreements state that in a listed amount of time, a buyer has to use that broker to negotiate a real estate deal.
Buyer-broker agreements are primarily for the benefit of the agent representing the buyer, with no or only a minor advantage for the buyer. Should a buyer sign such an agreement and buy a home with another agent during the contracted time period, the buyer may be responsible to pay the original agent a commission.
Be wary, because if you don’t want to work with an agent due to conflict or for other reasons, the broker he or she represents has the right to not terminate the agreement and instead assign you another agent.
In the 29 years Hyatt Real Estate has been in business, we have never required buyer-broker agreements, and they’re not a California Department of Real Estate requirement for real estate transactions.
Why do you believe it’s important for real estate brokers to be active investors in real estate?
There will come a day when an agent decides to retire. Ensure that you have established the means to take care of your economic future. To the best of my knowledge, there are only three ways to gain financial independence — invent, inherit or invest. Evaluate your circumstances and decide which option best suits you.
If you go the investment route, it’s recommended that you invest in what you know.
What are the future plans for Hyatt Real Estate?
Since one of the agents in Hyatt Real Estate is my daughter, Ashley, and she is only 36, Hyatt Real Estate should be around for many years in the future.
I have no immediate plans to expand or relocate. My office is next door to my home, and I have a short walk every day from the back door, off my kitchen, to my office, which I like.
In addition, we’re not interested in big. Were interested in better.