Valbridge Employee Spotlight: Josh Folland, MAI, CCIM
December 10, 2020
Title: Senior Managing Director
Date: December 10, 2020
VPA Office: Minneapolis-St. Paul
I have been appraising and working in various roles in commercial real estate since 2002. In addition to appraisal, I have worked in asset management for a large portfolio of commercial, multi-family and hotel assets, and also led the Real Estate Due Diligence department for a bank.
What is your title and what do you do at Valbridge?
As Senior Managing Director, I, along with two partners, lead our office of 11 employees, mentor our developing appraisers and appraise a variety of property types.
How did you become a part of Valbridge?
We used to be a small boutique firm with a strong, local client base. One of the founding members of Valbridge, Tim Mardell, was nearing retirement and approached us with the opportunity to be part of Valbridge. It made sense to us in a lot of ways, not the least of which was the increased exposure to national clients and doing more institutional work. We acquired his franchise, and Tim introduced us to his clients over several months. The result has been a much more diverse client base, and with that, huge growth. As we near the end of our 2nd year with Valbridge, we have roughly doubled in size.
What are your specialty areas?
I used to be a jack of all trades, but, in the last few years, I really began focusing on all types of multi-family, from new construction high-amenity properties all the way down to small urban rentals. I found you can really get into a groove appraising the same types of properties over and over.
What are some of the most interesting projects you've worked on at Valbridge?
One was an urban redevelopment of a former grain mill in Minneapolis. The 150’ tall grain elevator still looms over the site, and since it is not financially feasible to demo it, the developer is exploring ways to build a hotel or multi-family property on top of the structure. We’ve all worked on interesting and challenging assignments, but what interests me most is when we get to see cool things that most people don’t. I appraised an old mixed-use property in St. Paul that had some fire damage decades ago, so they just shut off access to the 2nd floor since the 1930’s. We got to tour the upstairs that used to be a rooming house (and rumored brothel), and it was like a time capsule with everything in place for 90 years.
What do you like most about working at Valbridge?
Easy – the network of great (and really smart) people. I continue to be amazed at the depth of high-quality people we have around the country, and that they are always willing to help. I love that we refer to each other as partners because we really are!
We are one of the newer firms to join Valbridge, so we have the very recent perspective of being on our own with a smaller network. We were doing very well and were proud our appraisal work and reputation in the market. Since joining Valbridge, it is clear now how much we were missing out on. It is so easy to see that we are stronger together!