6740 N. West Avenue, Suite 107, Fresno, CA 93711-4302

559.261.9136

Brief History of Our Company

Generations of our family have made Fresno their home, and we are extremely proud of our 100-year history of serving the real estate and appraisal needs of the citizens of Central California.

  • 1890 -  Hugh Franklin Wakefield moves to Fresno from Red Bluff, California and opens the H.F. Wakefield Cash Grocery.
  • 1891 - On January 31st, Chester Kenneth Wakefield is born.  He would attend local schools, eventually graduating from Fresno High School, looking forward to a career in the real estate and insurance field.  He affiliates with the local firm of Pierce & Anderson.
  • 1917 – On January 1, 1917, William Lambert and C.K. Wakefield form the partnership of Lambert & Wakefield, having formerly been associated with Pierce & Anderson, the then largest insurance agency in interior California.  The new company specializes in both insurance and real estate brokerage, operating from offices located at 1239 Broadway, in the Hotel Fresno block.  Lambert & Wakefield will remain at this location for the next 22 years.
  • 1938 - Construction starts on a new home for Lambert & Wakefield at 1025 E. Belmont Avenue, near North Van Ness Avenue.  The one story stucco building is air-conditioned and is of modern design, with part of the exterior semicircular.  The building represents an outlay of about $5,000, and is scheduled to be occupied about March 10, 1939.  Lambert & Wakefield becomes the first real estate company to leave downtown Fresno.  C.K. Wakefield’s daughter, Marjorie, marries James A. Hopper.  At that time, both were employed by Lisle Funeral Home.
  • 1940 - William Lambert dies on October 13, 1940.  C.K. Wakefield, reluctant to change the company name after Bill Lambert’s death, continues to operate Lambert & Wakefield as a sole proprietorship.  Son-in-law James A. Hopper joins the firm of Lambert & Wakefield.  Shortly thereafter, the U.S. enters World War II, and Hopper, a licensed funeral director, is ”drafted” into civilian service in the funeral industry by the government.  The Tinkler Mission Funeral Chapel is located just 3 blocks west of the Lambert & Wakefield office, and Hopper is “on-call” with Tinkler for the duration of the war, continuing to work in his father-in-law’s real estate and insurance business most of the time.
  • 1945 - An October 1, 1945 advertisement appears in the Fresno Bee.  Looking to the future, the ad announces the formation of a new partnership, changing the name from Lambert & Wakefield to Wakefield & Hopper.  C.K. Wakefield & James A. Hopper are partners in the new company, which continues its real estate and insurance business using the slogan “Pioneer Realtors of Fresno County.”
  • 1955 - On November 7, 1955 James A. Hopper is awarded the MAI designation (#2144) by the American Institute of Real Estate Appraisers of the National Association of Realtors®.  It is at this point in time that Wakefield & Hopper begins to focus its business on the appraisal of real property.
  • 1956 - C.K. Wakefield retires, leaving Jim Hopper at the helm of the now 40-year-old company.  By this time, the real estate brokerage and insurance arms of the company are nearly gone, making way for the company to focus 100% of its efforts on property appraisal.
  • 1957 - James A. Hopper serves as president of Fresno Chapter No. 76 of the Society of Real Estate Appraisers, a precursor organization to today’s Appraisal Institute.
  • 1963 - J. Kenneth Hopper, Jim’s eldest son, joins the business, marking the entrance of the third generation of the Wakefield/Hopper family into the company.
  • 1964 - Richard Wakefield Hopper, Jim’s second son, joins the business.  Dick will leave the company after a few years to start his own appraisal company in Visalia.  In future years, Dick will earn both the RM and MAI designations from the American Institute of Real Estate Appraisers.  Many years later, Dick’s son Keith will join his dad in the business and earn his MAI designation, marking three generations of MAI’s in the Hopper family.
  • 1969 - On November 10, 1969, Ken Hopper is awarded the MAI designation (#4353) by the American Institute of Real Estate Appraisers of the National Association of Realtors®.
  • 1970 - Jim Hopper serves as president of the Northern California Chapter of the American Institute of Real Estate Appraisers.  During the same year, Ken Hopper serves as president of Fresno Chapter No. 76 of the Society of Real Estate Appraisers.
  • 1972 - Wakefield & Hopper makes the move north after 33 years at 1025 E. Belmont.  The new office is located at 1100 W. Shaw Avenue, Fresno CA.  Shortly thereafter, the company joins with other appraisal offices in Ohio, Texas and Florida to form Real Property Analysts.  While each office remains independently owned and operated, the RPA affiliation adds national prestige to the company.
  • 1977 - Lawrence D. Hopper, Jim’s third son, joins the business.  RPA again moves to new offices at 2507 W. Shaw Avenue, Fresno California.
  • 1979 - Ken Hopper serves as president of the Northern California Chapter of the American Institute of Real Estate Appraisers.
  • 1981 - Jim Hopper retires from the 64-year-old company, turning full ownership of the business over to Kenneth Hopper.
  • 1982 - Larry Hopper serves as president of Fresno Chapter No. 76 of the Society of Real Estate Appraisers. On December 26th, C.K. Wakefield passes away at the age of 91.
  • 1983 - RPA moves to new offices at 1204 W. Shaw Avenue, Fresno, CA and will remain at that location for the next 17 years.
  • 1986 - On November 25, 1986, Larry Hopper is awarded the MAI designation (#7483) by the American Institute of Real Estate Appraisers of the National Association of Realtors®.
  • 1990 - The American Institute of Real Estate Appraisers merges with the Society of Real Estate Appraisers, forming a new organization to be known as the Appraisal Institute.  Fresno Chapter No. 76 of the former Society becomes Central California Chapter of the Appraisal Institute.
  • 1994 - Larry Hopper serves as president of the Central California Chapter of the Appraisal Institute.
  • 1996 - James A. Hopper passes away on February 20, 1996, leaving the third generation to carry on the family tradition of providing quality real property appraisals, market analyses, feasibility studies and counseling services to Central California.
  • 2000 - Larry Hopper buys the 83-year-old company from his brother Ken and relocates the office to its current location at 6740 N. West Avenue, Fresno CA.  The company is re-incorporated as rpa Wakefield & Hopper, Inc. DBA Real Property Analysts.
  • 2011 - Larry Hopper serves a president of the Northern California Chapter of the Appraisal Institute.
  • 2014 - On September 19, 2014, Larry Hopper is awarded the AI-GRS designation by the Appraisal Institute. 
  • 2017 - The company celebrates its 100th anniversary.