Michael Silverman, MAI, MRICS, Managing Director of Integra Realty Resources’ Philadelphia office. IRR is the country’s largest independent real estate appraisal and consulting firm. Michael is a frequent source of Philadelphia real estate commentary both commercial and residential for such publications as the Inquirer, Jewish Exponent, and Philadelphia Business Journal.

(Photo Courtesy of Michael Silverman, MAI, MRICS)

(Photo Courtesy of Michael Silverman, MAI, MRICS)

What do you anticipate happening in your field that will bring growth to your market in the next six months?

“Over the last 12 to 18 months, the real estate market, in general, has experienced a significant resurgence of activity. The combination of strong leasing and sales activity has spurred a variety of transactions. All time low-interest rates, i.e. favorable financing and the availability of capital in terms of both debt and equity, further continue the upward trajectory and momentum of transactions. Specifically, Philadelphia has achieved national recognition in both development of multifamily and retail attractions, and interest from a variety of major corporations in terms of relocations to the city. While six months is certainly a relatively short period of time looking ahead, I believe the outlook for real estate in general in our market continues to be favorable over the next six months and beyond.”

 When hiring for your company, what do you look for in an employee?  

“Our firm provides a variety of real estate valuation, consulting, and advisory services. Our ideal candidate is someone who has an understanding of financial modeling, ability to research data with favorable communication skills, strong writing ability, diligent work habits, and most importantly, strong ethics. Our clients rely on our services to solve a variety of real estate related issues and we pride ourselves on our ability to communicate our results professionally and with sound practice.”

 What advice would you give to someone entering into your field?

“The real estate industry is continually changing in terms of market values, supply/demand characteristics, and overall market segmentation for particular assets. Understanding these nuances within a particular market takes many years of experience and diligence. Like any profession, success comes with time and achieved through passion for your work. My advice is simply to take real estate related courses to obtain a basic understanding of the fundamentals and principles. In addition, we have provided internships to individuals demonstrating a desire to enter the industry but unsure as to the certainty for moving forward on a career path.”

 What changes have you observed in the past year as far as business growth and hiring practices are concerned?

“I can only speak to our company, but we have hired several people between 2014 and the beginning part of 2015. Our growth is attributed to the anticipated increase in business volume in the coming year and ability to train those individuals properly for the years ahead. We have a variety of Appraisal Institute MAI-designated employees who are well qualified and have strong teaching skills. Our firm believes that proper training in the beginning will lead to strong professionals in the future.”

Christina Thompson is a freelance writer living in Philadelphia. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.