I was provided the opportunity to intern under Todd Miller at Western States Technologies, a diversified organization specializing in real estate acquisition and development. Working under Todd Miller in the Orange County division, I surveyed properties throughout Laguna Beach, San Clemente, and Tustin.

Todd taught me the delicate intricacies of the surrounding real estate market; the most notable being the 1031 exchange. What is a 1031 exchange? A 1031 exchange allows an individual to sell a property, and then reinvest their capitol into a new property with no taxation. There is a certain time period required to find said property, thus interpersonal communication skills are vital to establish your name.  My duties included individual property and overall marketplace valuation studies in Orange County, specifically developing my skills in analytic property valuation methodology.

Bennett Royce, BACOM ’18 Chapman University

A real estate investor’s communicative abilities will dictate their success; good deals are always passed by word of mouth- If an agent sees something online or in the paper, they are already too late.

As an exercise I was told to sell a (fake) house for one million dollars, and do a 1031 exchange with a commercial building structure in Orange County; this proved to be one of the hardest tasks I have ever preformed. I hopped in my car and rushed to as many “for sale” properties as I could find. However, I had no luck until I discussed my predicament with some investors in the area. Through my use of interpersonal communication skills, I was provided an opportunity that would have been impossible otherwise. Self- Disclosure was my go to communication tool- providing people with honest and self revealing information often caused them to perceive me as harmless, thus they revealed properties that were soon to be on the market.

The importance of developing relationships in a short period of time was astonishing; without my interpersonal relationship skills I would have never had the ability to succeed in the industry.



Feature photo caption: Todd Miller (right) and me (left) enjoying one of many lunches together; not only was he my boss, but a good friend and mentor. We often met with leaders in the real estate industry in order to establish a friendly professional relationship and harvest a beneficial work relationship.