Brian Folden: A Fire Inside
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
SAN JOSE — Brian Folden has always been motivated by a burning desire for professional independence. While he’s achieved this to varying degrees throughout his career, only recently was he able to fully attain it. “I’ve always felt a drive to operate independently and be my own boss, which is one of the reasons I got into real estate,” he says. “My dad has been in the industry since I was a kid, so I basically followed in his footsteps. After 30 years working in partnership with him at Fireside Realty, I wanted a business I could run on my own. Eventually, I found the opportunity…right under my nose! In addition to real estate, Fireside had always done property management, but it was never a major focus. It occurred to me that there was a lot of potential there, and that expanding our property management wing was a perfect chance to both grow the business and gain the professional independence I desired.”
Today, as president of Fireside Property Management, Brian says his favorite part of his job is interacting with people. “I enjoy getting out there, meeting people and establishing new business relationships. Working with property owners is a lot different than working with first-time homebuyers—there are different goals and a different overall mindset. I find the process of making and managing property investments very interesting, so I enjoy dealing with this side of the coin.”
A lifelong resident of San Jose (where he lives with his wife, Cassandra), Brian spends his time outside of work on a variety of active pastimes. “After raising three children, Cassandra and I have recently become empty nesters, so we have a little more time to pursue our interests,” he says. “We like riding motorcycles, as well as traveling and going on cruises when we get a chance. Also, I enjoy outdoor activities like trail mountain biking and backpacking.”
In regard to his professional career, Brian emphasizes the importance of communication. “The interesting thing about being a property manager is you’re dealing with two sets of people who have very different goals,” he explains. “For example, in the event of a maintenance issue, the owner wants to minimize expenses while the tenant just wants the problem addressed, regardless of the cost. Since we have to manage expectations on both sides, communication is very important. If either party is left in the dark, they’re not going to be happy, so we do our best to prevent that with clear, responsive communication.”
When asked the first thing he’d do if he could retire tomorrow, Brian says he’d take a long road trip. “My wife and I have always wanted to spend a few months seeing more of the country from the road, so if I could retire tomorrow, I’d probably go out and get a trailer for my truck.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: What are your favorite sports teams?
A: The San Francisco Giants and the San Francisco 49ers. I’ve been a fan of both teams since I was a kid, when my dad used to take me to see them play.
Q: Music or talk radio?
A: During baseball season, talk radio. Any other time of year, I’m usually listening to country music.
Q: What’s your favorite season?
A: Fall—I just like being outside in the cool weather.
Q: What was your favorite cartoon when you were a kid?
A: “Speed Racer.”
Q: Do you collect anything?
A: Old, rare silver coins and paper money.
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