January 2017: Preston B. Kirkpatrick

Preston B. Kirkpatrick
What year are you?

Senior

Hometown: 

Ocala, Florida

High School: 

Trinity Catholic HS

Major: 

Business Administration General Studies: Urban and Regional Planning

What is the one innovation you can’t live without? (ex. Duct Tape)

Just one? That’s impossible. I do Commercial Real Estate brokerage and need a plethora of tools to do the work most effectively. Here are a list of the tools I use on a day-to-day basis: 1) The Internet. The internet has made every single bit of information/data available to anyone who has a secure connection. I frequently research Property Sales, Owner Information, Contact Information. 2) Apple IPhone and Macbook Air combo. I now have access to that data immediately at the touch of a few keystrokes. 3) Microsoft Excel. After downloading data to my computer, Excel allows me to understand it. 4) Google Maps. I use this all the time to visualize the data that I’m gathering. If I’m researching a particular market and want to find areas of densely sold properties, I can input a database of property addresses into Google Maps and have an immediate map plot of all the properties. Extremely powerful tool for market research.

It is 2 p.m. Saturday. Where are you, and what are you doing?

If I’m not at the library, then I must have been kidnapped.

What are your goals at UF?

I have a lot. But my singular focus is to become prepared for life after college. I find that many other students focus on their “college life,” and end up wasting so much time. Instead, I want to spend my time becoming as prepared as I can for my career, personal life, re-location, health/wellness, as well as all the other things that go into a successful post-graduate life. So what’s my main goal at UF? I’d say that it’s to become fully prepared for life after UF.

What innovative projects are you currently working on or want to work on?

Right now, I’m working on a project for a local real estate broker who’s looking to penetrate the Orlando Apartment Complex market. It’s a really innovative project because I’m taking a much different route, utilizing tools and techniques new to the industry. While everyone knows about Google Maps, few know about the power of some hidden features. One of those features is to Import Addresses that appear as place-markers on the map. You can then break down those place-markers by a number of distinct variables. What we’re doing is using that tool to find pockets of terrain that have historically have highly valued apartment complexes. We then overlay a layer of recent apartment sales activity to locate areas in the market that are “hottest.” Then, we’ll market our brokerage services to those highly valued properties in the “hot” areas and attempt to win their business. It’s a really cool approach not seen by many other brokers in the industry.

Why did you choose to attend UF IA?

The People. I understand that one of the biggest “hidden” influences on someones life is the people he/she decides to associate with. I constantly challenge myself to be the best I can and need to be very conscious about who I let into my circle. I joined IA to meet people who could expand that circle of extremely influential people. Over the past year I’ve been here, I can safely say that I’ve successful done just that.

What are you involved in here on campus? (Clubs, organizations, hobbies, interests)

I do a lot of things here on campus. What I’m most well-known for is having the Executive Vice President position in the Entrepreneurship Club. We bring in speakers from all over the country ranging from the Kevin Turner (COO of Microsoft), to Jeff Hoffman (CEO and Founder of Priceline.com), to Ethan Fieldman (CEO and CoFounder of StudyEdge). In addition to the speakers, we host Networking events, Pitch Nights, Development Workshops, and social events. We have a well-rounded group of members and it’s been a true joy to be a part of such an incredible organization. Furthermore, I’m heavily involved in the Real Estate Society. Their purpose is to connect students with intern/full-time job opportunities, and to boost overall engagement for students with a passion for Real Estate. Outside of the campus, I’m a member of the Urban Land Institute, National Association of Industrial and Office Properties, and the International Council of Shopping Centers. These organizations have had a huge impact not only on my professional growth, but also on my personal as well.

What is one piece of advice you would give to incoming IA freshmen?

Dearest IA Freshmen,

I have just one piece of advice for you. If implemented, you will take your personal life and career to the highest level imaginable. All you have to do is the following. Ready? Raise your standards. Think about it. If you accept mediocrity, that’s exactly what you’re life will become. However if you only accept extreme preparation, disciplined focus, and massive action, your life will be dramatically transformed. You don’t rise to the levels of your ambitions. You fall to the level of your standards. By raising your standards and never going below what you can minimally accept, your life will change forever. And one last thing, challenge yourself to do something new every single day. Plan it. Schedule it. And Prioritize it. Step outside your comfort zone at least once a day and learn to find comfort outside your comfort zone. Meet with people you’ve never met before. Challenge yourself to make new friends. Ask questions that give you a headache to think about. Study Psychology, philosophy, astronomy, and anything else that will force you to expand your thinking. Join groups, start groups, add value. Take leadership positions. Fail at your leadership positions, get back up and then try again. And at then end of the day, all that matters is that you can say that you were proud of what you did. If you end each day like that, you’ll be a very successful person.

Good luck!

How do you plan to spend your fall semester(s)?

Preparing! Everyone always talks about how different the “real world” is from college. Personally, I agree 100% with that and am doing all that I can to prepare for that difference. I spend most of my time meeting with professionals so that I can ask questions about life after college. This week, I’m meeting up with a CPA to talk about tax mitigation, IRA planning, and business structure planning to maximize wealth, and legally minimize the amount of taxes I’m required to pay. Just little things like that that could help prepare me one step more. On top of that, I’m looking into the Miami commercial real estate market to find areas that are “under-served,” or have a shortage of brokers that fill that particular market need. Just the other day, I downloaded a database from the Miami-Data Property Appraiser website that contained over 800,000 properties. The database was so large that it seized up my computer and I had to reboot it in “safe-mode.”

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