From Anthropology to Real Estate

Hello, I’m Roger Lopez and this is my first newsletter for the Dixon Magenheimer Sisler Report.

Anthropology is the scientific study of humanity. It concerns itself with the biological and cultural evolution of our species.  Generally it can be divided into four fields: biological anthropology, linguistics, cultural anthropology, and archaeology. The film character Indiana Jones is an anthropologist.

Biological anthropology focuses on the questions surrounding our physical evolution, as well as the evolution of the rest of our primate family. A lot of people are often surprised to learn that humans are classified as apes, just like chimpanzees and gorillas (our genetic cousins), except that we wear clothes and occasionally eat at the Cheesecake Factory. Monkeys and the rest of the primate clan are our cousins as well. The cultural and linguistic subfields deal with questions about our universal behaviors as well as those that make us unique in relation to other societies and how these are intertwined with our language. Archaeology, as our friend Indiana Jones has taught us, is the science of describing ancient cultures through their artifacts and fighting Nazis.

I have known the Dixons for 15 years, half of which I spent learning all about our species. I began my anthropological career at the University of Miami where I took classes spanning all four fields of the science. I graduated with a B.A. in anthropology with a strong focus on the biological component. I went on to graduate school at Kent State University in Ohio where I enrolled in the Master’s program. I spent three years learning about feeding behavior and the biomechanics of several species of South American monkeys. This required me to spend a whole summer in the jungles of Suriname stalking monkeys and drinking a significant amount of rum.

One day I decided to no longer pursue a life of anthropology. Making a career out of the science requires a Ph.D., something for which I was not prepared to commit. Despite my decision, I knew I had been exposed to a vast wealth of knowledge and to an invaluable set of skills. Aside from its academic component, anthropology serves many purposes in the “real world”.  Archaeologists often work closely with governments and the private sector to ensure that land meant for development is free of any significant cultural resources (i.e. artifacts). And within recent history, linguists served an important function during WWII by helping the U.S. government decipher Japanese and German secret codes as well as developing our own undecipherable language based on Navajo.

While the leap from anthropology to real estate may seem counterintuitive, and it certainly was accidental for me, it can make more sense than expected.  We believe real estate is about problem solving and understanding the needs of others and from where these needs stem and solving them. Being able to relate to anyone irrespective of their background is essential to successfully representing buyers and sellers. I recently earned my sales associate’s license and plan on making good use of it. If you are looking for representation in a real estate transaction, or if you just want to chat about monkeys, now you know who to call.