• Americas

Bill Graw – from Research Analyst to Financial Analyst to Appraiser

by Nicole Urquhart-Bradley, MAI, FRICS, President, Valuation & Advisory Americas

I’ve been recognizing the individuals within our Valuation & Advisory (V&A) group who have hit major anniversary milestones this year, by asking these veterans a few questions. After having been with the firm for 20 years or more, it’s interesting to hear about their experience, tenure, and what keeps them going…

You’ve now been with the firm 20 years and focus on retail and shopping center valuations. What changes within the appraisal industry and/or your market have you seen since you began your career? Where do you think it is heading?

I’m amazed at the impact technology has had on our business. Time-consuming tasks from a few years ago can now be accomplished almost instantaneously. In retail, things are currently very active – from Amazon, to Sears, to various mergers/acquisitions – it is hard to think of a retailer which hasn’t gone through some sort of change.

Retail is heading into a particularly interesting period. Generally, the outcomes are seldom as bad as the dire forecast predicts, or are as good as the optimistic forecast predicts. Eventually, things just find a middle ground. While some retailers and landlords may be left back, overall, I think most of the industry can adapt to the new reality.

How did you get your start in commercial real estate/why did you choose to go into the appraisal profession?

I started out 20 years ago in research and spent most of my time calling up other brokerage firms to update Site Solutions. After a little while, I moved into a financial analyst role where I worked with a few of our investment teams. My desk was near the other appraisers, so I think I just morphed into the department.

What is it about Cushman & Wakefield that has helped you reach this anniversary/keep you here?

In addition to a national platform and an opportunity to work on a variety of assignments within Colorado, the people who I work with on a day-to-day basis have been enormously helpful and have made my life much easier.

What was the most unusual assignment you’ve ever had or what has been the most memorable/your favorite?

Not a lot stands out as particularly memorable – retailers tend to strive for some degree of national consistency, but things can sometimes be interesting when I stray into other areas. When I first started as an appraiser, I appraised a building that was a repository for bone and tissue donations. I was a little freaked out, but it was just another day to everyone else who worked there.

How do you plan to spend your next 20 years at Cushman & Wakefield?

Appraising followed up by more appraising.

When you’re not out appraising an asset or writing a report, what do you like to do?

Traveling, biking, and hiking. I went to Iceland a few months ago and I am looking forward to returning. Another favorite destination was Barcelona, which was also very cool.

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