Avison Young Finds Value in Valcre

CRE services firm picks proptech digital valuation platform for its North America appraisal operations

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Commercial real estate services firm Avison Young has tapped valuation software proptech startup Valcre as the exclusive provider for its North America appraisal operations, the companies announced Tuesday.

The agreement to use Valcre exclusively in the region expands the two companies’ existing partnership on appraisals and valuations, said Lucas Rotter, co-founder and CEO at Valcre.

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“They have started using the product more and more, paying on a monthly subscription,” said Rotter. “Now they’ve made a commitment to paying annually and signed a three-year contract, as well as expanded into our enterprise subscription tier, which gives them the breadth of services that we offer to our clients.”

In addition, the Toronto-based Avison Young offers San Diego-based Valcre an opportunity to further expand to parts of the world where there’s demand for better evaluation software for appraisers and valuers, said Rotter.

Founded in 2016, Valcre counts more than 300 real estate organizations as clients, conducting more than 50,000 CRE appraisals worth greater than $50 billion annually, according to the company. Valcre numbers Kidder Mathews, Kroll, Apprise by Walker & Dunlop, RSM, and CohnReznick among its clients.

Valcre covers 18 different CRE property types, including retail, office, industrial and multifamily as well as specialty properties like hospitality and self-storage, Rotter said.

“Avison Young is a technology-driven firm, focused on offering clients the real estate experience of the future, and this starts with how we use intelligence platforms that yield efficiencies, insights and advantages,” said Matthew McWatters, a principal and an executive vice president at Avison Young who leads its Canadian valuation and advisory services. “Matching our appraisal professionals across North America with the best tech solutions is a key differentiator and is essential to our ability to exceed client expectations —— so I am pleased to be working with Valcre’s software to help us advance our business offering.”

In the ongoing push-pull of whether technology enhances human talent or largely supplants it, Rotter sees digital valuations as a positive for Avison Young’s appraisal professionals and for the real estate industry.

“I think it’s going to help increase their headcount,” said Rotter. “I know that Avison Young is pretty bullish on expansion, and they’d like to continue to grow their valuation advisory practice to more and more appraisers and valuers across the world. So this is going to help them to attract and retain that talent.”

Nor does Rotter see a slow-down in valuations, even as capital markets deal flow has declined as interest rates have risen.

“There’s obviously not a lot of deal flow happening in the capital markets,” he said. “But that doesn’t mean that appraisers are slow by any stretch. There’s plenty of other work that appraisers are doing right now, especially on items like tax appeals and eminent domain work.

“Appraisers are quite busy with a lot of that work because those projects are evergreen and always happening no matter what. Also, people are getting divorced or dealing with their estates. And that requires appraisers to come in and provide their expert analysis.”

Philip Russo can be reached at prusso@commercialobserver.com.