Importance of Cloud Storage for Appraisers

appraisal-workfilesPaperless office is one of the major tasks for every practicing real estate professional. Technology streamlines transactions and assignments to free more time for building relationships with the clients and in providing quality report.

Appraisers have lot of documents, photos, maps and sketch plans. Storing them in the cloud has made it easier to share and organize. You can share your data easily with clients and can even jointly collaborate on documents with others online.

“If you can perform the major tasks anywhere and away from office, you’re untethered,”  Gus Agosto, the Owner-Appraiser of AA Realty Solutions,  have said.

With your documents on the cloud, you avoid bogging down devices with every photo you’ve ever taken of your assignment. The other benefit is you won’t lose any of files if your computer crashes.

What’s important for appraisers, besides a comfortable camera, drone and high-tech computers, is always being able to access your programs and data WHEREVER YOU ARE: at home, office, branch office, breakfast, lunch, travelling, on client appointments, and at the title company.

Learning to make the most of new technology can be challenging, but staying on top of tech trends for business has become an important factor in every success.

“Real estate appraisal is overdue for cloud storage. Practitioners should appreciate the benefit of cloud computing. This is the future of real estate appraisal.”

US court appointed expert witness

courtAppraiser Gus appointed and subpoenaed as an expert witness in  San Joaquin Superior County Court, Stockton, California. The court is  determining the value of  properties located in the Philippines which is under dispute and for disposition.

“I am humbled for the appointment and the opportunity to appear in a US Court as an appraiser witness.” Appraiser Gus replied upon knowing the order.

In its order, the court emphasized his role in the court proceeding citing the following:  “The appraiser provided an estimate of value for real estate properties in the Philippines. He has the the first hand knowledge of the properties, title information and estimated values which are crucial in resolving the property division aspect of the case.”

Prior to his appointment, Appraiser Agosto has served different trial courts in the cities of Lapulapu, Cebu, Mandaue and Talisay as court commissioner.  Beside working in the court, he has served clientele both in private and public. Some of them includes Miraizo Group of Hongkong, General Milling Corporation, SMC Lighterage Corporation, Southwestern University, Pilipinas Water Resources, Inc. and University of the Philippines. He was the former Managing Partner of Intech Property Appraisal, Inc. and Magaca Appraisal Konsult.

“It’s an opportunity to showcase our professional expertise in the USA, which is known as the hallmark of real estate industry.” Appraiser Gus told Appraiser News Online. “My job is to help the court in determining the value of the property under litigation.”

Appraiser Agosto is a National Director of the Philippine Association of Real Estate Board, Inc. He is also a faculty of real estate management and finance in the University of San Carlos, Cebu City.

 

Subpoena

 screen shot caption of the subpoena

Importance of macroeconomic analysis  in real estate practice

Having a view on the macroeconomic trends is critical when analyzing the real estate market. Real estate does not operate in a vacuum. Thus, it is essential for a real estate practitioner to grasp the role of the industry and knows the current events and how macroeconomic affect the real estate market, both in the aggregate supply and demand and the expectation of the buying public.

Real estate plays an important role in the economy. Residential real estate provides housing for families. It is the greatest source of wealth and savings for many families. Commercial real estate, which includes apartment buildings, create jobs and spaces for retail, offices and manufacturing. Real estate business and investment provide a source of revenue for millions.

Rerb

Real estate, renting, business and construction are both measured by, and contributes to Gross Domestic Product (GDP). As shown in the graph, its growth continues. In 2016, it contributed P1.8 trillion,  13 percent of the country’s gross domestic product. It exceeded its 2000 record of P3.5 trillion. At that time, real estate, renting and business was a hefty 9 percent component of GDP.

Private construction, which is mostly done by property developers and individuals, contributed P1.2 trillion in the gross domestic product. It is one of the contributor in  providing employment and help in lowering  unemployment rate.

Beside GDP, real estate market in the country is fueled by increasing foreign direct investment. Since 2007, the accumulated foreign direct investment totalled to P 2.1 Trillion. Meanwhile, the overseas Filipino workers remittances increases by 17% . From 22 Million in 2013 to $ 26.8 Million in 2016.

fdi

 

Understanding key real estate relationships has a strategic implication on real estate decision making and portfolio management. The changing real estate environment can be linked to the macro-economy. Knowing the relationship between macroeconomic variables and real estate performance , and knowing whether these links are consistent or changing overtime ca provide a useful tool in leveling up our service to our clients and to our daily real estate practice.

The importance of taking pictures during site inspections

picsIn every site inspection, an appraiser will surely draw cameras to take pictures of the property. As the saying goes, a picture is worth of a thousand words. This holds true in appraisal. Pictures play an important role in the whole process.

Some clients like banks require photos of the properties; but others will ask why there is a need in taking pictures. They are thinking of their privacy. Let’s discuss the importance of taking pictures in the appraisal.

First, it forms part of the appraisal process. In every appraisal report, you can notice pictures of the property in the annexes or addendum of the report. This helps the appraiser in telling the story of the house and will support the valuation and assumptions provided in the report. Photos can highlight condition, layout, and quality of a house, building or a tract of land. Since no one except the lender or the property owner will read the report, you are assured of the confidentiality and privacy of your properties.

Second, it serves as back-up to the appraisers’ memory. When an appraiser takes photos, the appraiser can remember what the house was like. For instance, there have been times when I labeled the floor as vinyl during my inspection, but the photos clearly showed the floor was ceramic tile. Or maybe in the sketch showed only four bedrooms, but there were actually five based on my photos. Everyone makes mistakes, and that includes appraisers.

Third, it’s documentation. The pictures will greatly help the appraiser if he will be called to testify in the court or any government proceedings.  Since most litigation requires an appraisal of value at the time of taking, photos can be a tremendous tool to assist the appraiser’s description of the property. Few weeks ago, a client asked me to value a property for litigation purposes, I took pictures of the property. Come court hearing, the judge asked the condition of the property, thus I shared in court the pictures I took during the site inspection.

Now you know why an appraiser takes pictures of the properties. Instead of worrying, help the appraiser take good shots by turning on lights and keeping away dogs.

Tips in Litigation Appraisal

downloadI attended a court hearing recently, and when the presiding judge read the facts of the case and the lawyer’s motion to nominate an Appraisal Commissioner, his (Judge) immediate response is “What is the qualification of Mr. Appraiser ?”

An appraiser play an integral role in every part of today’s civil litigation. Litigation appraisal involves taxation, estate planning, expropriation, litigation support, property settlement and others. That is why when selecting a real estate appraiser, a lawyer always perform comprehensive conflict-of-interest checks  on background and qualification before hiring or accepting appraisers.

This conflict of interest check is vital in cases where a lawyer is dealing with large business that offers myriad services and types of clients. While in checking the qualification of an appraiser, a lawyer does it in a profound way through the following attributes such us technical acumen, experience in appraisal, educator and communicator and readiness to appear and have demeanor in court.

Experience in Appraisal – An appraiser should have broad experience in appraisal of different types of properties such us office, retail, warehouse, industrial, apartments, hotels, memorial. Have knowledge in different type of appraisal like fee simple, leasehold or lease fee interest, insurable, retrospective, raw land development method and prospective appraisal.

Technical acumen – associated with professional experience, organizational experience for broader real estate and economic counselling skills capability to solve complex problems requires a greater depth of skills sets. Technical skills are key to an accurate and comprehensive expert report, thoughtful review and critique of the opposing expert report, depositions, and testimony.

Educator and communicator – an appraiser should be ready to explain and discuss  the report in the commissioners meeting or in an open court. A lawyer should pursue in selecting an appraiser’s prior publications and writings. The reasons for examining the expert’s writing are two-fold. First, this type of examination can help a lawyer to further determine the appraiser’s qualifications. Second, how an appraiser presented their arguments and the manner of reasoning and  arrived at their opinion. Is their analysis persuasive? Does the report and opinion make a sense to a lay person?  Have they presented their report in an easy to read and logical manner?

Appearance and demeanor – Lawyer have confidence that the expert will come across as professional and knowledgeable.  At trial or deposition, the appraiser knows the importance of establishing and maintaining credibility, presenting an appropriate appearance and demeanor, remaining composed, considering posed questions carefully, providing a simple and direct answer, giving opinions based on facts, following the standards of generally accepted appraisal practice, being impartial and not advocating for the client, and always telling the truth.

The above characteristics are interrelated. The expert’s qualifications should  matched to the demands of the case as it relates to areas such as property type, experience, or technical requirements. The expert’s ability to articulate his or her position will allow him to better convey his or her skills and qualifications to fellow commissioners, judge, lawyers and other officers of the court. Any aspiring appraiser to be part of this challenging job should muster the above attributes and be of help in our justice system.

See you in court.

Subdivision Development Method

12Land valuation is the most common appraisal assignment. An appraiser uses different method of valuation taking in consideration the purpose of the appraisal. But land differs in sizes, shapes and probable uses that an appraiser should look up to. Land which is large enough has different characteristics that warrants equal if not special attention. Besides, large tract of land requires more data and sets of comparable in using sales comparison method to arrive in a reliable and defensible market value.

An appraisal technique seldom used by appraisers in determining value of large tracts of land is the subdivision or development approach. This technique determines market value by subtracting the costs of developing a potential subdivision from its anticipated proceeds, and discounts the remainder to arrive at present value as of the date of the appraisal.

In using this technique, an appraiser should prepare a subdivision lay-out to determine the number, size and shape of lots. Through research estimate prices of lot; rental rate per square meters if improved with buildings; the development cost and developers profit and the income stream discounted to the present and arrive in its market value.

Often, land value estimates emanating from the subdivision or development approach are significantly lower than those correspondingly derived from the sales comparison approach with a lower lot sizes and different uses. In theory, if both the development method and sales comparison approach were applied correctly, the value estimates should be similar. Nonetheless, the process of reconciliation of different approaches, the appraiser should give weight to the method which is more reliable and justifiable than the other.

In the whole process of the development method of appraisal, the experience, skill and judgment of the appraiser will play with paramount of importance. There are number of methods and techniques available for the appraisers to explore and gain expertise in the practice of profession. Through our innovative effort as an appraiser, we can make an important contribution in popularizing and practicing the subdivision or development approach, in the service of our clientele and to the society.

Mixed use development appraisal

11221862_1062426540442254_1175843060924474763_oReal estate valuation is the process of developing an opinion of value. It can be used in determining the value of property whether single use or mixed use development.

So far we have discussed more on the single use appraisal, now let me share and discuss the appraisal of mixed use development.

In valuing property, the first and foremost we should have to know is the intended use or the purpose of the appraisal. It will serve as a guide in appraising the mixed use property.

Mixed-use development is—in a broad sense—any single building, that blends a combination of residential, commercial, institutional, or industrial uses, where those functions are physically and functionally integrated. It may also a site or a building, complex of buildings, or district of a town or city that is developed for mixed-use by a private developer, government agency, or a combination.

In a nutshell, there are benefits in mixed use developments. For example, it reduces distances between housing and workplace, retail business and other. It is now common to have developments which align to the concept of live, work and play.

It is a great challenge to an appraiser in coming out of an opinion of value that reflects the actual use and the highest and best use of the mixed use property. An appraiser can use the different approaches in valuation such as sales comparison, cost and income approach. And since it is a mixed use, you have to use different comparable, and methods. An appraiser has to dig more data and information from the knowledgeable persons in the neighborhood, government officials and industry leaders where the property is located.

In analyzing data, we have to consider the zoning, allowable use, predominant use, conforming use, legal and illegal non-conforming use, the highest and best use, neighborhood analysis, market trends not only of the city but the region as well.

Nothing beats the importance of conducting actual inspection of the property and the neighborhood. It will give concrete data and visualization of the property. The trend of development in the locality and region, will broaden your perspective and analysis.

Valuing mixed use properties will force the appraiser to be more analytical and creative in solving problem –to determine the market value that is reliable and defensible.

PAREB-CESOREB held its first CPD Seminar

PAREB-Cebu South Real Estate Board (PAREB-CESOREB ) successfully held its first Comprehensive Development Program last October 17-18 at Elegant Circle Inn, Cebu City. More than 60 real estate brokers and salespersons participated in the seminar.

Gus Agosto, the President of PAREB-CESOREB, in his speech welcoming the participants highlighted the objective of PAREB-Cesoreb in conducting cpd seminars, “ Pareb- Cesoreb aims to help in raising the bar of real estate professional practice in Cebu.” “Thru seminars, we can produce more and more real estate practitioners who are capable in providing professionalized services to their clients and to the public in general.”

“We learned a lot in the seminar”, one of the participant said. “We are looking for the next set of seminars “, another participant shared.

The two-day seminar were the first set in the series of seminars they will be conducting. The topic of seminars included basic property management, leasing, BIR transactions, business planning, real estate service law and professional ethics.

PAREB-Cesoreb CPD

1972321_10153234077594211_4141598978943059538_n

10888454_10153234079894211_7411040420428454092_n

12088353_10153234077389211_3730027358363383615_n

Paradise Panglao

Every appraisal assignment gives me an opportunity to visit beautiful places of the neighborhood and nearby tourist spots. This is Panglao island, recognized as one of the premier tourist spot in Central Visayas.

1 2 312002161_1066755813342660_8430807671607186355_n

Took oath anew as Court Commissioner

11150573_1061342033884038_5252473516736476044_nAppraiser Gus took his oath last Friday, September 11, 2015 as one of the Commissioners of a Regional Trial Court in Cebu City. As one of the Commissioner, his duty is to aid the court in determining the exact property affected area and the amount of just compensation to be paid.

“Congratulations to all of you”, the lady judge happily greeted them after the oathtaking ceremony in her office. The other oath-takers were the City Assessor of Carcar, Cebu City and the Clerk of Court.

“I thank the lady-judge and the lawyers who trusted my capacity and chooses me as one of the Commissioner.” Appraiser Gus exclaimed. “With the present composition of Commissioners, the court could render wiser judgment aided by the report of each and everyone of us as Commissioners.”

Appraiser Gus was also chosen as Commissioner by the regional trial court of Lapulapu to determine the fair market value of a property in a dispute. Previously, he also served as an Associate Appraiser in Zonal Revaluation of the BIR Technical Committee in Cebu City.