Much has been made of geographic competence in the commercial appraisal world. Our firm covers a vast geographic region that includes several states. Maybe that’s why this particular topic peaks my interest. It’s not uncommon to receive calls from out of state for requests to appraise property in Kentucky or one of the other states where we provide services.
In fact, just today a local client requested a quote for a property in Alabama. Whether you’ve noticed or not, the world is becoming a much smaller place. Data that once was available only through cooperation with a local appraiser is now widely available on the internet including demographics, tax data, and exhaustive geographic information services.
Yet the misconception persists in areas of the country that geographic competence can only be obtained through cooperation with a local resident appraiser. Don’t get me wrong. Sometimes, the insight gained from a local appraiser is invaluable. Other times, not so much. In fact, I would argue that local some local appraisers may suffer from myopia and have as much to gain from those with a broader knowledge of the market and who covers a broader geographic region. Sales of specific property types seldom occur within smaller markets, limiting a local appraisers exposure to broader trends and insights.
You’ve heard my opinion. What’s your opinion about geographic competence?