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Walker & Dunlop Launches Multifamily Valuation Business

Globest.com | Tanya Sterling | Jan 21, 2020

Bethesda, MD—Commercial real estate finance firm Walker & Dunlop and GeoPhy, a CRE valuation company, are launching a new appraisal company called Apprise, which will focus on the multifamily asset class. Its goal is to modernize what is arguably an antiquated process.

“When we looked around the industry and observed the 3-week appraisal process time frame, we thought we could surely accelerate that and bring the industry into the 21st century via Apprise,” says Greg Florkowski, senior vice president of Walker & Dunlop. Indeed, appraisal reports can take up to three weeks to prepare and may include data inconsistencies. The result is often a highly subjective valuation which varies from appraiser to appraiser.

Apprise plans to use machine learning to provide a more objective multifamily appraisal that is delivered in five days or less in certain markets, according to Apprise’s managing director Brad Savage. Apprise also benefits real estate investment firms and lenders, which can use the shorter underwriting and appraisal processing timelines as a competitive advantage, Florkowski tells GlobeSt.com.

“As data is the key asset to driving decisions, we have integrated all of the critical data points and services into a single web-based platform. With our platform, there is a low chance of errors and inconsistencies without anyone touching the data,” says Florkowski.

Multifamily Housing Outlook

In the US multifamily sector alone, more than $2.9 trillion of assets depend on valuation expertise for every transaction. That number will only increase this year as the apartment market is healthy, particularly the luxury segment where many new properties are scheduled to be completed.

The medium-priced units market will also be tight: Starter homes are in high demand, most seniors tend to age in place inside of their homes and younger people are gravitating towards renting. The market should expect rents to stay high while cap rates will remain low.

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