Name: Erin
Career: Consulting & Valuation Analyst (a.k.a. Appraiser)
Company Field: Hotel Real Estate Finance
Located In: New York City
Grew Up In: Korea
Graduated From:
Majored In: Hotel Administration
Graduated In: 2011
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After College Lifestyles

Erin is a Hospitality Real Estate Valuation Analyst (which she says is a fancy term for appraiser) in New York City. Erin's job entails providing an objective opinion of market value of a hotel property. This includes inspecting the hotel, reviewing its financials, and making a 10-year income projections. Learn how she got into the field.

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Name: Erin
Career: Consulting & Valuation Analyst (a.k.a. Appraiser)
Company Field: Hotel Real Estate Finance
Located In: New York City
Grew Up In: Korea
Graduated From:
Majored In: Hotel Administration
Graduated In: 2011

Quick Stats on Hospitality Consulting & Valuation Analysis

Work Hours/Week: 60 hours
Work Hour Flexibility: High
Quality of Lifestyle Outside of Work: Medium
Work Stress Level: Medium
Level of Routine Work: High
Interaction with Co-Workers: Low
Pay Level (out of 5): $$$

Life of a College Grad Hotel Real Estate Appraiser


My job title is "Consulting & Valuation Analyst" which is really just a long word for an "Appraiser" (although I am not licensed at the moment). I give an objective opinion of market value of a hotel property. I inspect the hotel, review its financials, and make 10-year income projections which - after some magic powder and neon light bursts - results in a market value.

Hotel Real Estate Appraiser's Routine:

6:30 AM Wake up; get breakfast; dress in biz-casual

7:30 AM Catch a train to work; find colleagues on the train and chat or read newspaper

8:30 AM Arrive at the office; respond to emails (throughout the day)

9:00 AM Enter financials in the model for Hotel A, which I will be inspecting the next day

10:00 AM Review taxes of Hotel A and its competitors; call the tax office for questions

11:00 AM Call Department of Planning, Economic Development Council, and Convention and Visitor's Bureau and make appointments

11:30 AM Do market research on the internet and company intranet

12:00 PM Office meeting (monthly); lunch is usually provided :D

1:00 PM Check in with the manager about on-going assignments

2:00 PM Meet with the manager to conduct valuation of Hotel B, which I inspected a week ago

4:00 PM Receive ordered STR trend for Hotel C; do some quantitative analysis of Hotel C's market

5:00 PM Fetch a new assignment Hotel D from the manager; schedule meetings with the hotel staff and request information

6:00 PM Answer a client's call regarding Hotel E appraisal

7:00 PM Make some progress on writing Hotel B report, since valuation was confirmed with the manager earlier in the day

8:30 PM Leave, if I think I've done enough for the day; I can leave whenever I want as long as I meet deadlines

9:30 PM Head to the gym

11:00 PM Get home; make sure my go-bag (suitcase) is ready; double-check itinerary

Alternate Appraiser's Routine:

4:00 AM Wake up; get dressed professionally for inspection

4:30 AM Catch a cab to the airport; get on the 6AM flight to Charlotte, NC

8:30 AM Arrive at Airport; Get rental car and drive to Hotel A

10:30 AM Arrive at Hotel A, meet with the manager and discuss market and hotel performance, inspect the hotel

12:30 PM Get lunch; drive around the market, check out/talk to competitor hotels and municipal authorities

5:30 PM Brief manager on the market and Hotel B; follow up with other projects

7:30 PM [If one-day trip] get on the plane from CLT; normally, I stay a night at the hotel I inspected

Real Estate Appraiser After College
How To Get Into The Field
I majored in Hotel Administration at Cornell, with a concentration in Finance and minor in Real Estate. All you need for this job is basic knowledge of the hotel industry or demonstrated interest in the hotel industry (wow, can I sound more like a recruiter?!) e.g. knowing major hotel companies and their brands, private investors and lending institutions. The rest you can learn on the job. In my case, however, I feel that my job is primarily made up of Cornell School of Hotel Administration's (SHA's) HA2255 (Hotel Development & Planning) combined with HA3321 (Real Estate Finance) in real life. Most courses I took at school connect to what I do or see in varying degrees; from site, number of rooms, brand selection and construction of a proposed hotel, to departmental revenue and cost, staffing levels, franchise/management agreements, occupancy, average daily rate, SMITH TRAVEL RESEARCH REPORTS (I feel like the whole trend department are my coworkers!), to DCF (Discounted Cash Flow model), LTV, equity yield for valuations, etc. I believe it was much easier for the company to train me because I took relevant courses such as HA2255 and HA3321 (which are both required courses), which meant I knew how to read a floor plan, analyze lodging supply and demand (i.e. penetration and fair share), and how to use excel to conduct financial analysis... Every job these days seems to require skills from HA1174 Business Computing.

What Do You Really Do?
I do a lot of different things that become a bi-weekly routine rather than a daily routine. On average, I am on more than three to four projects at a time, which are all in different stages of the appraisal process; I have been as slow as no "on-going" project for one week, or as busy as seven projects all starting at the same time in one week. I tried to demonstrate what I mean by 'different stages' in the "Daily Routine" above... hope it helps!
Pros/Cons of Your Job
I love exploring new places. My job had me travel to more than fifty different cities all over the U.S., from Buffalo, NY, to Tallahassee, FL, to Hot Springs, AR, to Franklin, TN, to oh-you-name-it. I was also lucky once to fly home (Korea) for a project that our Hong Kong office was working on! Sometimes too much traveling (depending on where you need to go, and how accessible it is) can make you physically exhausted but it's also fun because it's all part of the job and you know the chances of doing the same trip again is so low.

Tour My New York City Apartment

Quick Stats on New York City

Job Opportunities: High
Competition for Housing: High
Housing Cost: High
Population of Young People: High
Nightlife: High
Safety: Medium
Biggest Industries: Finance, Fashion, Restaurants

The Life of a College Grad In New York City


College Grad Life in New York City

What's it Like to Live Here?
Diverse. Diverse food, people, culture, weather, and definitely living situations or neighborhoods. The stereotype that New Yorkers are rude is true, if you are referring to people you randomly run into on the street... "WATCH WHERE YOU ARE GOING, F****ER!" Yup. Don't run into people (or cars, or Citibike). Nonetheless, the beauty of Central Park, Bryant Park, Hudson River, museums, hotels, architecture old-and-new, and Broadway shows, etc. just all outweighs the rough sides of NYC.

How Did I End Up Here?
I grew up in Seoul, Korea, went to Ithaca, NY for college, and now live in Manhattan. My office is actually about an hour of commute away, but it is so much more convenient (though expensive) and fun (this is important!) living in the city. The only culture shock for me was... how people put up with the roaches and rats roaming the streets/subway tracks. Wait, I should add to that, how people became so creative with living space; or, should I say, living-room space?!
My Set-Up
I lived in three different apartments in the city so far.
Apt 1: Found a sublet on Craigslist. 1BR-flex: I lived in the bedroom and the other person lived in the livingroom-turned-into-a-bedroom. Was a walk up with no super. Real pain to get packages (because I am never home during the day) and to move my luggage up and down.
Apt 2: Signed a 1-year lease with two hotelie friends for a 2BR-flex.
Apt 3: Replaced the leaseholder on a 1BR-flex. Only, this time, there are two people living in the living room, and there are no walls; just dividers. Found them on craigslist as well.

Closing Advice


Be personable but don't take anything personally!

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