Valbridge Women’s Council Member Spotlight: Jessica Adkins

June 11, 2021
Name: Jessica Adkins
Title: Appraiser
Date: June 11, 2021
VPA Office: Oklahoma

Employee background:

I was born and raised here in Oklahoma, originally from the small town of Prue, Oklahoma. After high school, I moved to the slightly bigger, but still small town of Oologah, Oklahoma. I then worked for Walgreens Pharmacy for five years before moving on to my first introduction into the appraisal world. I left Walgreens in 2013 to be an assistant to a residential appraiser, which is where my interest in property valuation began. It was that year that I switched my focus in college and decided I would pursue a bachelor’s degree in business so that I could go on to be an appraiser.

What is your title and what do you do at Valbridge?

I am an Appraiser here at Valbridge, I conduct market research, market analysis, assist in inspections, and estimate market value for commercial real estate. I have worked on several property types including retail, office, multifamily, industrial, etc. however, most of my work has been industrial properties, vacant land, and right-of-way acquisitions.

How did you become a part of Valbridge and VWC?

I was approaching the end of college and knew my next step was to become an appraiser, so I reached out to our state appraisal board to seek advice on my next steps. The board suggested that I find a supervisor prior to starting my appraisal courses because finding an appraiser to train you can be difficult. That week I got on the Appraisal Institute’s website and searched for appraisers in all of Oklahoma and I started sending each of them an email. My email basically stated that I was finishing college and looking for someone to train me, I explained the limited knowledge I had with residential appraisals and also what I was expecting to achieve with a supervisor and in return what I thought I could offer their company.

Steve Walton, Managing Director of our office, was the first commercial appraiser to email me back. Once employed, I read about the Valbridge Women’s Council on our company website and decided as the only female appraiser in our Tulsa office, there was opportunity and value in the support of other female appraisers, and so, I joined. I find the group to be incredibly empowering, and I look forward to participating more in the future.

What are your specialty areas?

As I have only been in this field for a few years now, I do not think I have a specialty, yet, however, over the last year or two I have worked on many right-of-way acquisition projects for both local and state agencies. I have put a lot of time and effort into highway projects with the Department of Transportation over the last year therefore if I had to choose an area that I feel the most comfortable with, it would be right-of-way acquisitions.

What are some of the most interesting projects you've worked on at Valbridge?

Personally, I find the local and state acquisitions to be extremely interesting simply because of all the moving parts that go into these types of appraisals. From scheduling inspections with homeowners (some happy, some not), finding and working with local contractors, and preparing bids, to writing a report for a government agency… there is just so much to it, which in itself makes it interesting. I doubt many people would find right-of-way acquisitions to be interesting, so I will share my personal favorite appraisal and it is actually one of the very firsts appraisals I did here at Valbridge. It was Tulsa’s old firehouse 13 on Charles Page Boulevard. The firehouse was originally built in 1933 but had set vacant since sometime in the mid-1960s. The building itself had so much character and as someone who passed this firehouse countless times growing up and someone who has the utmost respect for people of service, I was honored to be inside and happy to know the buyers of the building had plans of restoring it to its original state and bringing it back to life again as an event center.

What do you like most about working at Valbridge and being a member of the VWC?

There are so many good things I can say about working at Valbridge and being a member of VWC. I would say, the best part for me is the flexibility and the ability to collaborate with other appraisers, while also having the freedom to work independently. From co-workers in my firm to appraisers from our other branches that I have spoken with or worked with, everyone is so respectful, patient, and willing to share knowledge. I know I will always find areas of growth here at Valbridge.

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