• South Florida

David Pichler: Florida’s Olympic Diver Turned Cushman & Wakefield Tax Man

By Nicole Grzywacz, Florida Marcom Lead , Marketing & Communications


For all of us who know him, David Pichler is our “tax man,” the man you go to for property appraisal and valuation.

Before he joined us here at Cushman & Wakefield, though, David was a world-class Olympic diver who competed in both the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta and the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, where he was elected team captain. We wanted to hear from David himself on how he made the transition from Olympian to real estate, athletes to watch in Rio this summer and how his perfect day begins and ends.

Q: Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Butler, Pennsylvania, thirty miles north of Pittsburgh. I left Butler to go to college at The Ohio State University.

Q: How did you end up in South Florida?

After graduating college, I moved to Ft. Lauderdale in 1992. I had family here, my brother, his wife and my two nieces, and I knew there were several diving programs in the area.

Q: Share a moment from Sydney or Atlanta that particularly stands out for you.

My most memorable moment from either Olympics would be standing on the platform in the 1996 games in Atlanta, in front of the tremendous home country crowd, and they went crazy when my name was announced. It seemed to last forever. It was such an incredible feeling of support and pride in representing my country.

Q: How did you transition from swimming into commercial real estate?

After diving and competing in two Olympics, I had a tough time finding out what I wanted to do and tried several things. I had an interest in real estate and spoke with a friend that was an appraiser and felt it was a good fit for me. I worked as a residential and commercial appraiser until the market crashed. After that, I went to work at the Broward County Property Appraiser’s office as an assessor / appraiser and they put me in the Income and VAB Hearings department. After working for a couple consulting and accounting firms, I happily made my way to Cushman & Wakefield.

Q: What is your role at Cushman & Wakefield Florida?

I am a property tax consultant. Property taxes are based on an assessed value the County Assessor assigns to a property. My primary job is to review the assessed (or taxable) value of a property to determine if it is in line with the fee simple market value as of the assessment date (usually January 1st of each year). If the assessed value is higher than the market value, I file an appeal with the local taxing authority and build a case to lower it. I often work with the assessors to resolve the matter, but it usually needs to be resolved by a Special Magistrate in an informal county hearing process. Other services our property tax service provides are property tax due diligence (prior to purchase or development) and property tax budgeting.

Q: How can your specialty be of assistance to the rest of our Florida team?

  • Lowering property taxes make clients/property owners happy and is a good way to secure client relationships (property taxes are the largest real estate operating expense). Lower property taxes equal reduced rental rates or pass-throughs, which make it easier to rent vacant spaces and for better tenant retention.
  • Property tax consulting is a contingency fee service. No cost to a client unless we save them money.
  • Property tax pre-acquisition due diligence is essential. Clients will thank you for making them aware of possible tax jumps after acquisitions.

Q: Athletes to watch in Rio?

The obvious is Michael Phelps, who I was on the pool deck with at the 2000 games. For diving, be sure to watch defending American Gold Medalist diver David Bodia in the individual and synchronized 10 meter platform events, and a former local teammate at Central Park Pool in Plantation, FL Kassidy Cook. Kassidy was only four years old in 2000 and already began her road to Rio. Others I am excited about are gymnast Simone Biles and the USA women’s soccer team as they go for their fourth straight gold medal.

Q: Your perfect day starts with___.

A morning walk with my dogs, Ze and Zulie (Chihuahuas) and Zena (Shiba Inu).

Q: Your perfect day ends with ___.

A glass of wine and reflecting on five things I’m thankful for.

Q: How do you take your coffee?

French press with espresso beans and non-dairy cream.


DAVIPichler, David_Low Res_180 x 192D PICHLER

Director, Valuation & Advisory | Property Tax
david.pichler@cushwake.com
+1 954 377 0455 direct

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