Valbridge Employee Spotlight: Derek Shaner, MAI
October 19, 2021
Title: Director – Land Valuation
Date: October 18, 2021
VPA Office: Kansas City
As a second-generation appraiser, I got an early start. While at the University of Kansas, I interned for Shaner Appraisals, Inc., which was owned by my father, Bernie Shaner, MAI/SRI. Shortly after graduation, I began working full-time as a commercial appraiser. I found my niche as a land specialist after about 10 years with the firm and received my MAI in 2019. In addition to being an appraiser, I am a licensed realtor with Reece Nichols.
What is your title and what do you do at Valbridge?
My title is Director of Land Valuation. I am a producer with an emphasis on land appraisals, which includes subdivisions, eminent domain, and other cases involving litigation.
How did you become a part of Valbridge?
My father, Bernie Shaner, MAI/SRA, founded Shaner Appraisals, Inc. in 1978 and sold the company to Laird Goldsborough, MAI in 2008. When Valbridge was in its infancy, it reached out to some of the more successful appraisal firms throughout the country with the idea of starting the yet-to-be-named appraisal company, now known as Valbridge. Shaner Appraisals hopped on board early on and we became a part of the Valbridge family.
What are your specialty areas?
My focus involves land. If it doesn’t have a building on it, it typically funnels through me. I have appraised all sorts of vacant land (agricultural, single-family, industrial, office, commercial, etc.). The land focus also includes various subdivision appraisals. A large part of my specialty involves eminent domain (city, state, FAA, Army Corps of Engineers, utility companies, and other condemning authorities). This is becoming the largest part of my day-to-day work and I am trending to making eminent domain and litigation work my primary focus.
What are some of the most interesting projects you've worked on at Valbridge?
I have worked on some large cases that have taken several months or even years. One such project involved a class-action lawsuit of more than 50 properties involving a gas storage field. There were lots of moving parts involved in this case, and most of the critical rules for eminent domain-related takings (unit rule, project influence, etc.) came into play.
What do you like most about working at Valbridge?
I enjoy a job where my success directly falls on my shoulders. Valbridge has provided the technology, training, templates, database, intranet, and everything I need to be successful. It is up to me to use the tools provided to me in an efficient manner in order to hit my personal and professional goals.
My goal is to be happy each and every day. The positive work/life balance Valbridge offers helps me achieve this. In my off time, I enjoy anything car-related, spending time at our lake house, and most of all, time with my family.