By Meghan Czechowski, MAI, Managing Director & National Multifamily Practice Leader, Valuation & Advisory
It seems everywhere you turn there’s a new startup, smart technology or Proptech innovation that claims it will revolutionize the valuation and appraisal process in the multifamily housing sector.
To be sure, we’ve come a long way over the past several years in automating public data consumption and comparable databasing that support timely, smart opinions of value.
At Cushman & Wakefield, we are investing heavily in technology to make sure all of our valuation experts have the necessary data at their fingertips to analyze, project risk and provide opinions of value in the most efficient way. In 2018, our Valuation & Advisory team valued $170 billion in multifamily assets.
Advances in technology, or Proptech, make underwriting, appraising, valuation and loan processing in the multifamily sector quicker, and quite frankly better, if harnessed properly. Our philosophy is simple: The more data we have behind our people, the more value they can add for our clients.
Our focus is to enable our 100+ multifamily valuation experts in key markets across the country. Using their experience and market knowledge, we’re moving towards a more efficient engagement and reporting process with our clients.
In a nutshell, we want our appraisers spending less time gathering the data and more time analyzing the data.
That’s important because the average tenure of our appraisers is 18 years, so they’ve been through two, and sometimes three, real estate cycles. Nearly 40% of them are designated MAI. That’s wisdom that can’t be replicated in an app or automated system.
At the end of the day, multifamily appraisal and valuation is becoming more commoditized. But what separates the best from the rest is a strong foundation of human talent that is backed by the data and technology.
As we speed toward automation and change in the sector, one thing will always remain irreplaceable: our people and their insightful approach to value.
Meghan Czechowski, MAI, is Managing Director and National Multifamily Practice Group Leader in the Valuation & Advisory group.