News 2018

Valbridge Office Spotlight | Charleston: Day of Caring

The Valbridge | Charleston office recently participated in the Trident United Way Day of Caring 2018. It took place at Philip Simmons High School to help the PSHS Beta Club and Renaissance Program create a food and clothing pantry housed within the school. Donations were collected including shelving, storage bins, laundry detergent, labeling tape, markers, hangers, and bags.

Meet the team: Christopher D. Donato, Pledger M. Bishop III, Karl P. Finkelstein, Michael C. Tawes Sr., and Shaun C. Payne, Senior Managing Directors.


Valbridge in the Community: Restaurant Finance & Development Conference 2018

Valbridge executives recently attended the must-see Restaurant Finance & Development Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada (November 12-14, 2018). Throughout the week, Valbridge experts Michelle Vazquez, Melissa Lantz, Chris Lantz and Karl Finkelstein, and other conference attendees spent three days networking, listening to panels focused on critical industry developments, and getting macro-economic updates from keynote speakers such as Arthur Laffer (Ronald Reagan’s economic guru) and Guy Adami (daily CNBC stock market commentator).


University Campuses: Pressures of Delivering a High-Tech Campus Experience While Reducing Cost

Colleges are facing the pressure to design and deliver a high-tech campus experience without going bankrupt. Here’s how they’re doing it.


How Mentorships Help Women (And Men) Employees Thrive

Workplace mentorship is more important in today’s professional world than ever before. The experts at VPA breakdown why mentorship is so crucial within the workplace .


Why VPA Is Committed to Recruiting More Women Employees

At Valbridge, we are committed to recruiting more women employees to maintain a strong, diverse, supportive, and empowering workplace.


The Impact of Hurricane Harvey on Houston Real Estate

The devastating effects of Hurricane Florence and Hurricane Michael are not yet fully known as residents in the cities feeling the worst brunt of these hurricanes are still navigating the aftermath of destruction. But a little more than a year after Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Houston on August 26, 2017, a significant amount of data exists to determine how the city’s real estate market was impacted by the flooding and other damage Harvey caused as residents banded together under the call to remain “Houston Strong.”


Growth in the Senior Housing Sector

New U.S. tax laws implemented in 2018 are encouraging older residents to sell their homes and move to senior housing units with greater accessibility and age-friendly atmospheres. Because older Americans are searching for housing now and will continue to do so over the next few years, the senior housing sector is seeing significant growth. Continued demand for senior housing makes this sector an attractive, worthwhile investment.


VPA Employee Profile

I am a Senior Managing Director of the Valbridge | Virginia offices, and a member of the national Board of Directors. I have a BS in Finance from Penn State and an MS in Real Estate and Construction Management from the University of Denver. I hold the MAI designation and have been appraising real estate for 30 years.


Join the Team at Valbridge Property Advisors

If your current employer has decided the appraisal business is “just an add-on” or not worth the commitment to enhance your technology, consider coming to work at the largest appraisal company in the US. 


Show Us the Money: How The Inclusion of Women in Business is Good for Everyone

In 2017, CREW Network (Commercial Real Estate Women) released a White Paper called “Diversity: The Business Advantage.” The paper presented case studies profiling 10 commercial real estate industry employers for employee programs, representation of women employees, network and interest groups, mentoring and sponsorship programs and flexible work arrangements. The paper also summarized research done by other top organizations in business performance as it relates to gender inclusion and highlighted some surprising and fascinating results.


Continued Rise of Industrial Real Estate

In 2018, industrial real estate has witnessed one of the most surprising surges in demand and construction—and there’s more to come. It’s a surprising twist to a niche that, in earlier times, was originally thought of as limited to a handful of specific market needs.

Mainly, these included office blocks, shopping centers, and other structures that serviced a unique—and arguably outdated—consumer spending pattern. Today, however, a shift has occurred that’s redefining the industrial real estate sector and providing unprecedented new opportunities—for those keen enough to the trend.


Property Fundamentals - Space Demand

Something is happening…

In 2018, demand for office space witnessed a bizarre anomaly: despite rising rates of office employments, the amount of space rented has fallen drastically short of initial forecasts. It’s a trend that’s befallen the real estate market as a whole, leaving it with what university researchers Josh Harris and Hany Guirguis describe as a “significant conundrum.”

"Every imaginable economic variable that we have both tested for research and anecdotal common sense tells you, you should predict more absorption of office space," said Harris, "It's not being seen in the data. You are seeing very low rates of absorption. … There's something going on. 'Is this something that's temporary or something more long-term?' That's the big thing that we are wrestling with."


How Does the Proximity to a Cell Tower Impact Home Values?

Valbridge Property Advisors conducts market studies to determine the impact of wireless communication towers on property values in four metropolitan U.S. cities

Valbridge Property Advisors recently completed market studies in Boston, Dallas, Phoenix, and Raleigh, to determine the impact of the presence of wireless communications towers on residential property values.


Co-living and Short-Term Rental Impact on Multifamily Real Estate

Short-term rental companies like Airbnb are capitalizing on the rental and traveler sectors. What affect does that have, in turn, with the multifamily real estate industry?

In recent years, short term rental options (like that provided by Airbnb) offer renters and travelers alike the ease of “living like a local” as an alternative to traditional hotels, often coupled with cost savings. Property owners, or hosts, are also enjoying extra income generated by renting out a spare bedroom – or entire home – that they’re not using anyway.

And while this provides a convenient opportunity for travelers, the number of affordable multifamily housing units available has dwindled. Consequently, as supply has diminished, the ability to secure units in already competitive metro markets has become increasingly difficult as the short-term rental industry has grown (Airbnb alone now boasts more than 5 million listings!!).

Complaints of short-term rental activity inducing rent inflation and exacerbating the housing shortage are common, and the multifamily industry is trying to catch up as unregulated short-term rental activity has caused issues in communities across the nation.


Multifamily Construction Expecting To Reach Peak In 2019

Multifamily developments in the commercial real estate sector are expected to flourish and reach peak in 2019

Following a pickup in market demands this year, multifamily developments in the commercial real estate sector are expected to continue on its current path and reach a peak in 2019.

When it comes to multifamily housing, investors, developers, and builders throughout the United States – especially those based in urban/metro areas – are scrambling to keep pace with the surging demand for multifamily housing. In fact, by the culmination of 2018, an estimated 360,000 new, multifamily units are slated for delivery, which shows a 20-percent increase over 2017.

As we look ahead to the fourth quarter of 2018, approximately 600,000 units are under construction across the U.S. Compare that to the last three quarters of 2017, where only 220,000 units were delivered nationally. 

Likewise, as we look to 2019, this growing trend is expected to remain on the incline before reaching its peak. So what does this mean for you? The experts at Valbridge Property Advisors are here to break down everything you need to know about the multifamily construction sector as we look forward to the coming year.


Valbridge Executive Spotlight

As the Chairperson of the Board of Directors, I work closely with Valbridge leadership to establish and implement our company objectives. From managing meetings to assisting in developing business strategies and company direction; our emphasis is technology vision and professional growth.  Since we launched five years ago, I’ve stayed busy with both the excitement and challenges of leading the board of a national company.   


Valbridge Office Spotlight | Kansas City

This month’s Valbridge Office Spotlight is showcasing the Kansas City office. This office is a full-service real estate valuation and consulting firm with a solid reputation for professional real estate services. The Kansas City office has six MAIs and three past presidents of the Kansas City Chapter of the Appraisal Institute. VPA | Kansas City provides clients with optimal advantages in real estate transactions and has a commitment to quality that meets every client’s needs. This year marks the office’s 40th year in business and we are proud to showcase the up and coming leaders that work in this office.

Meet the team: Laird Goldsborough, MAI, MRE, Senior Managing Director, Jason Roos, MAI, Managing Director, and Daniel Kann, MAI, MSRE, Managing Director – Multifamily Valuation


Wayne's Reaves Lukens Honored as Appraisal Institute 'Volunteer of Distinction'

CHICAGO (July 11, 2018) – Reaves C. Lukens III, MAI, SRA, of Wayne, Pennsylvania, was recognized today as an Appraisal Institute "Volunteer of Distinction" for second quarter 2018.

The Appraisal Institute is the nation's largest professional association of real estate appraisers. Lukens is a member of the Philadelphia Metropolitan Chapter.

The Appraisal Institute's Volunteer of Distinction program honors the organization’s volunteers for their service to the Appraisal Institute, to the real estate valuation profession and to their local communities. Each quarter, the Appraisal Institute recognizes AI professionals who have been nominated by their fellow AI professionals.

"Trip Lukens has been a great contributor to the Appraisal Institute," said Appraisal Institute President James L. Murrett, MAI, SRA. "We are grateful for the time, effort and talent of volunteers like Trip who have devoted themselves to the betterment of our organization, the valuation profession and their local communities."


Self-Storage: The Latest Booming Business

The locks that open the self-storage containers are also holding the combinations to one of commercial real estate’s biggest industries.

2018 is proving to be a wonderful time to be involved in the self-storage industry.

Business is booming for the commercial real estate self-storage-sector, and its demand is on the rise!

Despite constant recessions and demographic shifts over the past few years, self-storage locker establishments are flying high in the real estate world. In fact, they’ve proven to be one of the better investments in real estate over the last half century, whereas other, once safe investments have fallen victim to struggle. Behind the combination locks and roll-up doors of the self-storage industry lies a $38-billion sector.


Valbridge Office Spotlight: The Western Slope of Colorado

This month's Valbridge Office Spotlight is showcasing Colorado’s Western Slope offices located in Basalt and Durango. These Valbridge Colorado offices, led by Gabriel Molnar and Aaron Ward specialize in the unique challenges of appraising in Colorado’s high-value mountain resort markets.

Molnar and Ward have over 40 years combined experience in commercial appraising and expertise in appraising specialty and complex properties. The unique challenges of appraising mountain property is another example of how Valbridge’s national presence and many specialty practice areas come together to best serve our clients commercial appraisal needs.

Meet the Team!


VPA Employee Profile

Name: Matthew D. Ross, SCGREA
Title: SVP / Managing Director
VPA Office: Valbridge New York Metro

Employee background-What is your title and what do you do at Valbridge?

Currently I serve as Senior Vice President and Managing Director for the Valbridge New York Metro offices, which include New York City, Northern and Central New Jersey. Day to day I am involved in a wide array of valuation, consulting and litigation assignments that have encompassed a vast range of property types from office, mixed-use, retail, self-storage, development sites, data and collocation centers and special-use properties amongst others. In addition I manage and train a team of appraisers’ to increase the value of our product for our clients, which includes not only the presentation, but also taking our analyses one step further by expanding on the income capitalization approach and introducing the discounted cash flow analysis in more assignments and delving deeper into the impacts of tax and zoning on the highest and best use of the property on an assignment by assignment basis. The value of our product has increased our clientele base on a regional and national level, as well as, have provided each of my colleagues with the opportunity to expand their knowledge and capability of growing in their field of expertise. I enjoy working and teaching and could not have asked for a better or harder working team in such a fast-paced market.


Investment Real Estate: Total Gamble or Totally Worth It?

Looking to invest in commercial/industrial real estate? The experts at Valbridge Property Advisors share everything you need to know.

By: Jessi Minneci

When it comes to real estate investment, many people tend to start with investing in residential properties because, well, that’s what they’re used to: they’re more accustomed to buying and profiting off of homes. What they may not know is that they also have the opportunity to invest in already-established commercial and industrial properties (it can be a great way to balance out their investment portfolio!).


The Prodigal Employee

By: Michael Naifeh

The appraisers that work with me deliver excellent quality reports. They work diligently to provide high quality client service. They take the initiative to keep clients informed. My staff makes my job easier. They all have initiative, integrity-based and act responsibly.

Most people are familiar with the story of the prodigal son. He received his inheritance from his father but, believing that the grass is greener elsewhere, leaves his home and squanders his fortune. Then, in his moment of greatest need, decides to return to his home and beg for his father’s forgiveness. His father welcomes him back and celebrates his lost son, now found.


A Consistent Commitment to Success: The Valbridge Difference

Valbridge is different from the competition. We strive for a commitment to excellence in the real estate valuation industry

By: Jessi Minneci

At Valbridge Property Advisors, we’re different from the competition.

Sure, we can tell you that, but how do you know it’s true? At Valbridge, we pride ourselves on delivering consistent, positive experiences with our clients. We provide independent valuations and advise clients on real estate investment decisions, including buy-sell-hold and lease-own alternatives; and have been doing so for years on end.


Valbridge: Your Source for Full-Service, Efficient and Reliable Property Evaluations

Valbridge uses custom software to create valuation templates for clients that are not the typical Appraisal narrative - making service available to all!

By: Jessi Minneci

The experts at Valbridge Property Advisors are constantly working, not only to improve our existing products and services, but to develop new tools and processes that provide our clients with an overall "second to none" experience.

At Valbridge, we are pleased to note that we have and continue to develop comprehensive and advisory appraisal services for all types of property. We produce custom, consistent appraisal reports across the U.S. market for (but not limited to) office, industrial, and retail buildings, along with hotels, multi-family homes, and apartment buildings. But we don’t stop there…


Office Spotlight: Valbridge | Mississippi

Valbridge Property Advisors have opened two new offices in Mississippi, located in Gulfport-Biloxi and Jackson. The offices are physically in different locations, but will operate as one entity, the South-Central Mississippi office.

Meet the team:

Leading the South-Central Mississippi office will be Everette Ladner and Barr Biggs. Both Ladner and Biggs are Senior Managing Directors with extensive experience in the real estate industry.


The Keystone Pipeline, Rights-Of-Way, and You

As the Keystone Pipeline continues to expand and evolve, know where you and your property stand

Completed in 2010, the first implantation of the Keystone Pipeline carried oil from Alberta, Canada, over 2,147 miles to Nebraska and Illinois. By 2016, the pipeline had expanded into Houston, Texas, and looks to expand even further today. But the construction and expansion does not come without strife. Building and operating a pipeline is a complex undertaking that requires years of preparations, planning, and communication.

In fact, the pipeline, which would carry 830,000 oil barrels each day between Canadian and the U.S. refineries, has been delayed for nearly a decade by regulatory hurdles.

In developing any type of pipeline route, it’s essential to understand the various environment, culture, and proprietor resources along the proposed right-of-way. That way, builders and invested parties can anticipate, and ideally avoid impacts on these important features.


Arizona Spotlight - Interview With a Local Office Leader

From the desk of Michael J. Naifeh, MAI, CRE

Q: What are some of the factors contributing to Valbridge’s continued success in today’s commercial appraisal climate?

A: The appraisal industry is changing and Valbridge Property Advisors is an organization on the grow, continuing to embrace emerging trends and new technology. Observing trends, attention to detail, clear communication, and understanding local markets in national and global contexts are critical requirements for today’s appraisers.

Q: What makes Valbridge different from other competitive valuation companies?

A: Valbridge Property Advisors is a unique company, in a great way. In a historically male dominated industry, our company is a leader in gender diversity, embracing the contributions and leadership from many very capable women.


Chicago's Historic Wrigley Building Could Be Up for Sale

The owners, a group that includes Zeller Realty and BDT Capital Partners, have something to chew on, since the iconic Mag Mile office property may fetch more than $200 million.

by Scott Baltic | Mar 05, 2018 Chicago’s iconic Wrigley Building, the pair of Michigan Avenue office towers with just a hint of the fairytale palace about them, is expected to be on the market soon, according to a report in the Chicago Tribune.

The owners, a group that includes Chicago’s Zeller Realty Group and BDT Capital Partners, a Chicago-based merchant bank, reportedly have been interviewing sales brokers for the building, whose sale could bring in more than $200 million.

If the building does sell for something in that price range, it would represent a stellar return, based on the $33 million purchase price the current owners paid for the building in 2011, and even when accounting for an estimated $70 million that was spent on renovations.


A Commitment to Excellence: Valbridge at Chicago's Annual NAIOP Meeting

Valbridge execs recently attended Chicago’s NAIOP commercial real estate forecast meeting

Valbridge executive, Anthony Mulé | Chicago Metro, attended the seventh-annual meeting of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP), the Commercial Real Estate Development Association. The NAIOP meeting attracted more than 300 industry professionals eager to gain insights from top industry professional Mark J. Eppli on predictions, trends and growth sectors of commercial real estate for the coming year.

Eppli, a Robert B. Bell Sr. Chair in Real Estate, Professor of Finance at Marquette University, and co-author of best-selling texts on real estate development, framed his outlook for the 2018 year around one question: Is the current commercial real estate environment sustainable or is it on the verge of a bubble?


Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning 2018

Valbridge Property Advisors recently attended the 2018 Heckerling Institute Estate Planning Conference held in Orlando, Florida in January. This was Valbridge’s fourth year in a row attending as a Gold Sponsor. In attendance from Valbridge were Richard Armalavage, CEO and President, Karl Finkelstein, VP of Marketing and Business Development, Chris Lantz, Senior Managing Director | Houston, Gerald Teel, Senior Managing Director | Houston, Jeff Miller, Senior Managing Director | Atlanta, Robert Klein, Senior Managing Director | Tampa Bay, George Denman, Senior Managing Director | New Jersey, Frank Trupia, Managing Director | New York, David Boyd, Senior Managing Director | Daytona Beach, and Don Oehlrich, Managing Director | Orlando.

The Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning is the leading and largest conference for estate planning professionals. It provides unmatched professional and educational development opportunities and resources for all levels of estate planning. The goal of the conference is to provide attendees with exclusive information and practical guidance needed to plan effectively in an uncertain and unpredictable economic environment. Featured speakers at the conference included Carol A. Harrington, Partner | McDermott Will & Emery, Steve R. Akers, Senior Fiduciary Counsel | Bessemer Trust, Carlyn S. McCaffrey, Partner | McDermott Will & Emery, and Jeffrey N. Pennell, Professor of Law | Emory.


Valbridge - Women in Leadership

At Valbridge, we believe in the importance of diversity in the work place. Our core company foundation embraces women in leadership. Valbridge recently participated in The Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Network Convention, which gives us a better look in to the importance of women in the workforce, especially in commercial real estate.

CREW Network

Information highlighted at the convention provided insight on women in commercial real estate and why women play such a large role. In 2015, CREW released a Benchmark Study Report, and after that, women focused their efforts and research on barriers that persist for women’s advancement, specifically in commercial real estate. There has been, a gender gap in almost every area of employment where women are concerned, and we continue to see it today. In 2016, the white paper, Closing the Gap: Addressing Gender Bias and Other Barriers for Women in Commercial Real Estate, gave detailed statistical data and personal accounts of both conscious and unconscious gender bias against women. Based on the study conducted by CREW Network, women represent about 35% of the commercial real estate workforce in the United States, and 37% in Canada.


Rural Property: An Accredited Rural Appraiser Makes All the Difference

When it comes to appraising your rural property, don’t settle for just any appraiser. Enlist the expertise of an Accredited Rural Appraiser for a comprehensive property valuation.

By: Jessi Minneci

If you are involved with rural property or any agricultural-related property, you may or may not already have an idea of how much it’s worth. But if your goal is to obtain a complete, objective valuation of your property, you’re going to want to enlist the aid of someone in the business – and not just anyone – an Accredited Rural Appraiser.

Why? Of course, MAI-designated commercial appraisers are knowledgeable and experts on the industry in which they work. But let’s put it this way: if you have a passenger plane sitting in your lot, are you going to hire an aviation pilot or train conductor to chauffer you around?