Five-star liquidator

AT WORK

Jared Block sells used hotel furniture and fixtures - usually over the phone

August 22, 2007

Jared Block

Account executive

The Asset Store, Baltimore

Salary --$85,000 a year

Age --29

Years on the job --Eight months

How he got started --Previously Block worked as a real estate auctioneer in Florida. The Baltimore native wanted to move back to the area so he hired an employment agency, which found him the job at the Asset Store, an online liquidator of furniture and equipment from hotels, offices, restaurants and medical facilities. Block said he was intrigued by the offer. "I had never heard of it before. I thought it was unbelievable." The Asset Store recently purchased local discount retailer C-Mart.

Typical day --Block works in the hotel liquidation division of the Asset Store. This entails finding hotels across the country that are renovating or going out of business and are getting rid of their furniture. He then lines up another hotel or customer that's interested in purchasing the inventory.

"You're serving the hotel by getting the old stuff out. And in return you're selling it for a huge discount to another hotel."

Much of his work involves cold-calling hotels and selling them on the Asset Store's liquidation services. His salary is based mostly on commissions from those sales. He usually works over the phone with little travel involved. Now that he's been doing this for eight months, he has repeat customers.

Territory --Anywhere in the United States. He's currently overseeing about five deals that involve hotels in Washington, Boston, Kansas City, Herndon, Va., and Baltimore.

Biggest project --The Madison Hotel in Washington - recently purchased by Loews Hotels - is changing the furniture and fixtures in the hotel to make it consistent with the chain's other properties. The contents of 271 rooms were purchased by the Asset Store. Block arranged the sale and he put together a crew to remove the furniture. The furniture was sold within a month to three buyers. "We sell it to whoever wants to buy it."

Transportation --The Asset Store owns a transportation division of 10 tractor-trailers.

General public --Only excess merchandise is offered for sale to the public. That can be found at the Overstock Outlet, a 15,000-square-foot company facility on Sisson Street in Baltimore.

The good --Putting a deal together.

The bad --Dealing with people over the phone instead of in person.

Most stressful aspect --The logistics of putting everything together. "It's getting the furniture out on their schedule. In return, delivering it to the other customer when it's convenient for them."

Philosophy on the job --"Persistence. If you stay at it, you'll be successful."

Nancy Jones-Bonbrest Special to The Sun

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