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Valuing the American Dream | Marcus Hill

By Taroue Brooks

You started out as an athlete. How did you pivot into real estate appraising?

Like many high school star athletes our dream is to play in college and make it to the NFL. Growing up I was always taught education could potentially take me further than sports so when I got hurt my second year of college and could not continue, I focused all my efforts on graduating.   After graduation, I was introduced to Real Estate Appraising while prepping for law school. At a young age, I knew I wanted a career where I could make money, be my own boss and be on my own schedule. Real Estate Appraising gave me those opportunities, so I focused on that career.

What is real estate valuation and why is it important?

Real estate appraisal, property valuation or land valuation is the process of developing an opinion of value, for real property. Unless you are paying cash for your dream home, most financial institutions will require an appraisal to be completed on the home before closing. In my opinion it is the most vital part of the home buying process. If the property does not appraise above or at the contract price most lenders will not complete the transaction. 

How does it feel to be one of the youngest and one of only a few minorities in home valuation? 

It’s truly a blessing to be in this position. Once I was introduced to this profession at a young age. I really forgot how old I was and became passionate and motivated about this career. I was able to start my own appraisal firm at the age 26. Coming up in this profession in the South, I did realize that there was and a lack of minority representation in this career. I wanted to challenge the status quo and hopefully inspire more minorities to get into this field. Over the span of my career it has been very unique, I have been one of the only minorities to have an opportunity to value properties as a regular fee appraiser and put values on residential homes all over the US as a Valuation Analyst for Fannie Mae.

Tell us about a typical day for you.

A typical day for me is to start off with a morning prayer and have a cup of cappuccino while looking over a pond. I recently got into trading on the Forex market so I make a few trades before starting my daily work. I currently place valuations on residential properties Fannie Mae owns all over the USA. After my daily work is complete, I typically get a good workout in.  As a hobby, I like to look at potential investment properties in the DFW area. Due to my appraising background, I can easily identify a potential flip deal. I also like to volunteer when I can.


Why do you feel the need to offer underserved communities free real estate knowledge and resources?

Once I got into Real Estate appraising, I wanted to learn the whole Real Estate industry. I got an opportunity to become a licensed Mortgage loan originator and a Real Estate Investor. I grew up in an underserved community, so I felt like it was my duty to give out information that I learned over the years to my community.

What motivates you to be successful?

Coming from humble beginnings, I learned at a young that you are responsible for your own success in this life. I also credit my grandfather that taught me to “work by the sweat of your brow”. Once you identify a career that you are passionate about, I believe it’s easy to be motivated and successful.

What would you like to accomplish in the next 5 years?

In the next 5 years, I hope to play a vital role in introducing the real estate appraisal industry to the minority community. Due to a recent study in 2020 there are only 4% minorities in the US in this career. I hope to inspire the younger generation to get motivated and achieve success in this field or any field that they choose.

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