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The Appraisal Industry – The Times They are A-Changin’

Valuation & Advisory’s Machinery & Equipment (M&E) Practice Leader, David Koller, recently interviewed the newest members of his team on changes in the industry, their most interesting assignments, and why Cushman & Wakefield is the right fit for them. This is the first post of a four-part series.

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WHAT HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST CHANGE YOU’VE SEEN IN YOUR VALUATION CAREER?

Anthony Festa, Director, East Rutherford, NJ: In today’s environment, the biggest challenge has been completing appraisals not only cheaper, but also faster, based on clients’ needs. However, involving us in every step of the process is critical. For instance, if we can be brought in early, we can potentially identify larger issues that can be addressed from the beginning, saving costs (and headaches) down the road. “Value-added” is a term I take seriously, and it’s important we are involved throughout the entire process so we can serve our clients as a true trusted advisor.

Fernando Sosa, Director, Chicago, IL: The biggest change that I have seen in my career is within renewable energy and power generation. The level of technological advancements has skyrocketed while costs have gone down. However, there have been external factors that have affected this industry. Experience is critical when appraising all types of power generation stations as there are so many factors that can have an immediate effect on the value of the Machinery & Equipment.

Lee Dorf, Director, Philadelphia, PA: Regulatory changes have been the biggest change I have seen. Not only do you have to do the appraisal, you better have the supporting documentation needed to corroborate your conclusions. Not to say we didn’t do this before (we did), there is just more scrutiny these days on appraisal work, so you better be prepared.

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT WORKING IN THIS INDUSTRY?

Anthony Festa: I enjoy working on valuations for tax matters. Unlike working on transactions where clients and other interested parties need our results as part of filings or go-forward accounting issues, with tax, I feel as if our numbers truly mean something. In some instances that true cost savings could mean keeping businesses and jobs alive (such as in property tax), which makes our work take on a whole new meaning.

Fernando Sosa: I enjoy appraising specialized assets. I find that the level of research, detail, and problem solving required to appraise these assets is challenging, which I enjoy.

Lee Dorf: I enjoy interacting with our clients in their environment and not just via emails. As an Appraiser, we get to tour many different facilities and time after time, the people on site are so proud of whatever they are producing. They love to tell us about their day to day routines and how it impacts what they are making. They are the ones that know the most about the equipment we are appraising.

Next week: Joining V&A’s National Machinery & Equipment Platform

David B. Koller, ASA, is the National Practice Leader of Machinery & Equipment in the Valuation & Advisory Group. He has more than 15 years of experience valuing industrial equipment for purposes such as financial reporting, insurance, financing, litigation, and property tax. Mr. Koller has extensive industry experience in agriculture, automotive, broadcast and communications, chemical, energy, entertainment, food production, general manufacturing, health care, hospitality, life science/pharmaceutical, restaurants, and telecommunications. His experience with financial reporting comes from a long list of active clients involved in acquisition and disposition of business entities.

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