Keeping Pace With Demand: Why Now Is The Time for Valuation Professionals To Embrace Modern Technology

Keeping Pace With Demand: Why Now Is The Time for Valuation Professionals To Embrace Modern Technology

Fresh off a $12.7 million Series A, we wanted Valcre‘s Co-Founder and CEO Lucas Rotter take on the state of and the future of appraisal industry.

Without further ado, here’s a short Q&A we conducted via email:

What does Valcre do and how much have you grown since the company was
founded?
High-quality valuations are critical to the commercial real estate market and serve as an essential step in the deal-making process. Valcre is the commercial real estate industry’s leading appraisal workflow and reporting software provider. Its products deliver quality, end-to-end report-writing services to commercial appraisers, significantly reducing time spent on property research and manual data entry. The platform touches every aspect of the appraisal process – from research and inspection to analysis and report writing – to empower users with a more organized, efficient, and intelligent path to produce and present their work.

Valcre was founded in 2016 by technologists and valuation professionals who saw the industry’s need for an end-to-end appraisal solution that would improve productivity and streamline a very time-consuming and manual process – thereby increasing output, encouraging collaboration and freeing up valuable time for executives to grow their businesses. The company has amassed a client base that includes: Avison Young, Kidder Mathews, Kroll, Apprise by Walker & Dunlop, RSM, CohnReznick, and several hundred others.

Why is appraisal demand near record highs post-pandemic? How does Valcre’s platform help mitigate those challenges?
Appraisal services are experiencing surging demand across all corners of the commercial real estate industry following the market disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. From larger firms to small shops, valuation professionals are managing heavy workloads and are increasingly looking to modern turnkey solutions to better manage the influx in client demand . Appraisers today want more modern, sophisticated software to improve a very complex, time-consuming process. Valcre is the market leader in appraisal software because it enables users to tackle a greater volume of business by reducing manual data entry, increasing access to comparables, and automating report development to manage the influx in workload.

What are the barriers to entry for young talent?
Studies show that real estate appraisals is a graying industry and the average commercial appraiser is around 60 years old. To make matters worse, roles vacated by retiring appraisers often are not being backfilled by young talent in large part due to several barriers that are steering would-be apprentices away. College programs specific to the commercial appraisal field are few and far between. Graduates in applicable fields are often choosing careers in different industries, due to the low, non-competitive pay for appraisal trainees. In order to receive competitive wages, appraisers must go through the licensure process and obtain the certified general designation, a process that can take three to five years. Young professionals also expect the use of new technology, but some experienced CRE appraisers have shown to be hesitant to incorporate it, which can lead to a disconnect. Lastly, much like the larger commercial real estate industry, the appraisal industry is fragmented, as many small companies make up the field. While these barriers exist, they can be removed. A concerted industry-wide effort to make changes to the traditional apprentice model is necessary to recruit more young professionals into the fold. This can be reached in part by increasing starting wages, streamlining the training process, and infusing a technology-driven approach to business. This effort is essential to ensure critical knowledge is transferred to the next generation, and market demand is met.

In your opinion, what are some of the biggest improvements to appraisal technology of the last 5-10 years? For example: software, security, cloud computing?
The evolution of appraisal technology has been sparked by an increase in demand for services, streamlined processes, and remote collaboration, which has been accelerated over the past two years by the pandemic. Valcre was founded in 2016 to be at the forefront of this evolution, by providing a modernized, integrated platform that enables instant, secure access to appraisal data anywhere, at any time. Software improvements have allowed appraisers to refine workflow and save valuable time and money in areas such as data organization and report creation. Advancements in cloud technology aid in this mission. Data is instantly imported to the cloud and is available whenever and wherever it’s needed.

Lastly, why is now the perfect time for valuation and appraisal professionals to embrace modern technology?
Now is the perfect time for valuation and appraisal professionals to embrace modern technology due to the high demand for appraisal and advisory services post-pandemic. Though the world screeched to a halt in 2020, commercial real estate valuation and advisory services were deemed essential services that helped restore stability to the industry. Those companies that embraced modern technology were better equipped to manage heavy workloads, gaining a leg up on their competition and experiencing sustained growth and profit as a result.

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