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2014 Fall Conference Recap

This year’s Annual Fall Conference was held on September 17th at the San Francisco Marriott. We had a great turnout of over 300 attendees from Northern, Central, and Southern California. Our 2014 Chair Tim Runde, MAI, LEED AP and the rest of the Fall Conference Committee did a wonderful job of putting together a fantastic program with a broad array of topics and presenters. At this year’s conference we aligned the sessions into four educational tracks that reflect the concerns commercial and residential appraisers have in 2014: Business Development, Markets and Methods, Real Estate and the Environment, and Developing Special Expertise. Attendees were able to stay in one track or pick and choose.

Our Keynote Speaker this year was Maria Ayerdi-Kaplan, the Executive Director of the Transbay Joint Powers Authority (TJPA). Ms. Ayerdi-Kaplan gave a very interesting and informative presentation on the Transbay Transit Center Program in San Francisco (Transbay Transformation: Enhancing Real Estate Values Through Transit-Oriented Development) with an appraisal focus with regards to rent premiums in the area, as well as leasing/sale and construction activity.

We were also very fortunate to have special guest J. Scott Robinson, MAI, SRA, AI-GRS, AI-RRS, the 2014 Appraisal Institute National Vice President join us for the day.

Additionally, two of our members were presented with awards at this year’s conference. Dawn Molitor-Gennrich, SRA was awarded the Claudia Carleton Leadership Award. Dawn’s dedication, every year, to the development and instruction of timely appraisal topics and issues truly benefits the greater appraisal community. Congratulations, Dawn! Nicholas Cadigan was presented with the Arlen C. Mills Education Award. Congratulations, Nick! This annual award was established in 2009 to honor Arlen Mills, MAI, SRA, for his many decades of educational service and diverse contributions to the educational betterment of all appraisers.

Following the afternoon sessions, attendees were encouraged to stay and network with their peers at the after-conference social.

Handouts from the breakout sessions are available for download here.

Following are some photos from the conference (click on each photo to enlarge):

Our Fall Conference is the Appraisal Institute’s longest-running and best-attended one-day West Coast real estate appraisal education and networking event. It’s not too early to get ready for 2015…stay tuned for details regarding the 2015 Fall Conference and plan to join us to celebrate our 65th Anniversary Conference!


Photos from the recent Silicon Valley “Simply Social” on July 24, 2014

Thanks to Neil Lefmann, MAI, SRA of Valbridge Property Advisors for providing some photos from last week’s Silicon Valley “Simply Social” event!

Hulberg Holds Court Reitman Pontificates Enjoying the patio Food and Fellowship

Sharing a Story Catching Up With Old Friends National Directors Meeting-Getting it Done The View Heading Home



2014 Appraisal Institute Leadership Development & Advisory Council (LDAC) Recap

Each year approximately 100 appraisers from across the U.S. are selected to participate in the Appraisal Institute’s Leadership Development and Advisory Council (LDAC) in Washington, D.C. This year’s LDAC was held from May 19th through the 21st. LDAC brings together individuals involved in the real estate profession to foster creative thought while developing the future leaders of the Appraisal Institute. Further, LDAC establishes an “appraiser-presence” in Congress. For this year’s LDAC, the Northern California Chapter of the Appraisal Institute nominated and sponsored Melissa Downing, MAI and Michelle Sturtevant, MAI, R/W-AC to attend.

This year’s LDAC included four discussion topics: (1) Defining and Promoting the AI Designated Member Difference; (2) Embracing and Using Technology – Becoming a Technology Savvy Real Estate Appraiser; (3) Defusing the Succession Time Bomb – Solving the Trainee/Supervisor Dilemma; (4) Create New and Expand Existing Client Relationships (through unique, value added enhancements and market diversification that cause AI Designated members to stand out from other appraisers). Discussion Reports will be published from National in the near future, which will provide more details on each of the discussion topics.

In addition to participating in the discussion sessions, attendees had the opportunity to lobby on Capitol Hill. This year’s lobbying efforts focused on SBA 7(a) Loans for Special Purpose Properties and Protecting the Integrity of the Appraisal.

With regard to SBA Loans for Special Purpose Properties, late in 2013, the Small Business Administration (SBA) amended SOP 50-10F essentially preventing qualified real estate appraisers from performing “going concern appraisals” relating to loans for special purpose properties (involving properties under a change of ownership). As of January 1, 2014, SBA lenders are forced to obtain two appraisals – a real estate appraisal and a separate business valuation. Our lobbying efforts focused on urging members of the House and Senate to support legislation currently under development (Leuktemeyer/Schrader bill) that would reaffirm the acceptance of competent real estate appraisers to prepare going concern appraisals of special purpose properties for SBA 7(a) loans. The Senate was urged to introduce companion legislation for the Leuktemeyer/Schrader bill.

An additional focus of our lobbying efforts was on S.1217, the Housing Finance Reform and Taxpayer Protection Act, knows as “Johnson-Crapo,” in the Senate and H.R.2767, the Protecting American Taxpayers and Homeowners Act or “PATH Act” in the House. House Members were urged to protect the integrity of the appraisal by not allowing appraisal information in the “National Mortgage Data Repository” to be made publicly available. Similarly, attendees urged the Senate to protect the integrity of the appraisal, by not allowing any appraisal information found in the “National Mortgage Database” to be made publicly available.

The conference venue was the Renaissance Washington – DC Dupont Circle Hotel.  A beautiful and comfortable setting for the event.  The lobby area provided a welcoming place for meeting other attendees and networking all hours of the day and night.

After conference hours, Melissa and Michelle enjoyed sight-seeing in downtown Washington DC and took advantage of the Capital bike sharing program to sample wonderful restaurants and visit our nation’s national monuments.

Also, we’re pleased to announce that Melissa Downing, MAI received the Ted Anglyn Outstanding Participant Award for outstanding contribution as a first-year participant in the Leadership Development & Advisory Council!

This year’s LDAC was filled with thoughtful and creative discussions, proactive lobbying efforts, and the opportunity to socialize and network with some of the best and the brightest individuals involved in the real estate profession! Our Chapter attendees came back with many ideas of how to improve our Chapter as a community and further our common goal in the appraisal profession. Following are a few photos (click on each photo to enlarge) from the recent event!


Photos from the Golden Gate Branch Chapter’s “Simply Social” Event

The Golden Gate Branch Chapter recently hosted a joint networking mixer with ASA, CREW and RICS. Members and prospective members of AI, ASA, CREW and RICS enjoyed a networking reception at Sinbad’s Pier 2 Restaurant in San Francisco. Following are a few photos (click on each photo to enlarge) from the recent event!

Residential Tapas Recap from August 2013

Moss Landing event  MossLanding speakers







I have been to a lot of appraisal seminars and classes over the years, as a presenter and as an attendee. The recent Residential Tapas seminar was one of the the best, if not the best, I have ever attended.

That was by far the best seminar venue I have ever been to!!  I thought it was going to be like the old Marine Lab facilities next to the harbor – sorta funky but nice to be near the water and the boats. Also, the first time that  no one needed amplification, presenter or attendee, in that size room. The room size was good – not too small and not too large . I particularly like the table layout which made for more interaction among those at the table, both visual and chatting.

For me, as a presenter, I always like to hear attendees laughing. There was laughter throughout the day. The wide variety of topics, and the ” insider” knowledge of the presenters, were outstanding!!

I lived in Watsonville in the early 70s for 2 years and seldom saw the sun. I have been driving past this marine lab building for as long as it has existed and did not know about it. You can only see it on an aerial map. But, you need to go inside the Seminar Room to see what is fantastic there.

Unfortunately, there is not much networking at one day local seminars – most attendees go home or eat in their cars. The on-site lunch made a big difference. Plus, why would you leave that fantastic venue? The food was good also, another plus.

The Stars Were Aligned!!!

Ann O’Rourke, MAI, SRA, MBA

Appraiser and Publisher Appraisal Today

Vineyard Valuation Seminar Photos

Vineyard Tour Barrel Room

The Vineyard Valuation seminar was a full day event located at the Jamieson Ranch winery in Southern Napa County. Tony Correia, ARA, MRICS started off the day providing insight into the current market characteristics that influence vineyard prices and the methodology for valuing vineyards. Historic price trends and an overview of current vineyard sales showed where supply and demand have driven prices today. An overview of the approaches to value was also presented including how vineyards can be analyzed in terms of site components.

Rob McMillan, Executive Vice President of the winery division at Silicon Valley Bank presented the local influences that drive the demand for wine. This demand for wine is important to the vineyard valuation process as it can affect crop prices.

Lunch was prepared by the on-site chef and was complimented with wine. Most of the attendees sat outside and enjoyed the panoramic views…no sleeping after lunch and glass of wine though! Right after, we went on a vineyard and winery tour and not only learned the history of the facility but more importantly the specifics of the vineyard planting on site and the complexity that existing vineyard configurations can become if not planted appropriately for geographic location, soil type or buyer demand.

After the tour, Richard “Brock” Brockmeyer, a vineyard developer and consultant, further discussed the additional complexity when searching for a site to develop a vineyard for specific varietals of grapes. Brock has been monitoring weather patterns in specific wine grape growing areas on the West Coast for several decades and has authoritative insight on vineyard development. Brian Shepard, owner of Walsh Vineyard Management, discussed current trends in vineyard planting, management, maintenance, and insight into the new vine disease called Red Blotch.

The final part of the day was dedicated to a roundtable with users of vineyard appraisals. Dana Sexton Vivier with GI Partners is a current seller of vineyards; Erik Roget, ARA with UBS Agrivest is a buyer of farms; and Dorothy Bell, ARA, manages appraisals for Rabobank. Each provided insight about what they look for in a vineyard appraisal and what they expect the appraiser to be providing in a report.

We look forward to seeing you next year at this great seminar!

Daniel Brauning, SRA
Brauning Appraisals

Another Golden Gate Branch Chapter May Workshop Review

The Golden Gate Branch held an intriguing workshop on May 16.  The location was in one of San Francisco’s largest high rise office buildings: One Market Plaza.  The start time was intentionally set at 3 pm so attendees could conveniently walk to the event.

There were three presentations from developers with projects in San Francisco.  One involved the renovation of a mid-sized South of Market warehouse building into “creative space”.  How many cities have “creative space” as a category in their zoning language?  Well San Francisco does.  It is a city full of creative people who need places to work.  The second presentation involved a property in Mission Bay.  Mission Bay was actually part of San Francisco Bay at one time, but was filled in.  So despite its name, Mission Bay now contains dry land.  The property in Mission Bay is designated for hotel use.  The developer is seeking to change the approvals to allow both hotel and residential use.  The third presentation involved the re-use of the Bethlehem shipyard at Pier 70.  The time horizon is 10 to 20 years.  So will the re-use plan formulated today still be workable that far in the future?

The highlight of the workshop was the question/answer session.  One question from the audience: “Where are we today in the cycle?”  One answer: “What is a cycle?”  I doubt that developer will be around for the next cycle.

Here is some good news.  None of the developers replied:  “It’s different this time.”

Larry Mansbach

BA, MA, MBA, MAI, State Certified General Real Estate Appraiser

President, Mansbach Associates, Inc.


Golden Gate Branch Chapter May Workshop Recap

We are proud to report that the workshop called “San Francisco’s SOMA District:  Changing Landscapes and Tenancy” has received so many great reviews from attendees!

The presentations featured three prominent developers at the forefront of the change in the “South of Market” District.  Jack Sylvan of Forest City took us through the Pier 70 redevelopment concepts.  Michael Cohen of Strada Investment offered his perspective on the redevelopment processes with the City of San Francisco.  Scott Haskins of Sierra Maestra Properties gave a wonderful spotlight on his redevelopment project at 460 Bryant Street, and gave insight on property risks specific to the district.

Within a two hour timeframe, this distinguished panel took us through this robust and unique San Francisco submarket, providing strong insights that are key to our valuations.  We look forward to bringing more high-quality programs to San Francisco!

Ariana Arredondo, MAI

Golden Gate Branch Chapter Chair
Frazier Capital Valuation (FCV)

East Bay Branch Chapter June Workshop Recap

The June 27, 2013 Appraisal Institute East Bay Branch Chapter workshop about the “City of Walnut Creek – Development and Market Trends Update” has come and gone.  The workshop was, of course, located at the downtown Walnut Creek Pyramid Brewery.  While most sampled the tasty beer and food the real treat was the top notch panel of presenters.

After a brief overview from Laura Simpson (City of Walnut Creek) on the current and future planned projects in Walnut Creek representatives from two of the current projects shared their stories.  Scott Youdall spoke about the Brio Apartments project at 141 North Civic and Andrew Baker spoke about The Village project at 1500 Newell.  Wrapping it all up was a summary of the local retail by John Sechser, Senior Vice President-Director of Retail Operation from Transwestern, and a summary of the local office market by Andrew Schmitt, First Vice President from CBRE.

The general census from the panelists was optimistic with the common underlying theme that while things are better, we are not quite back to previous highs.

The workshop was very well received and sold out leading up to the event forcing the chapter to expand into the larger room at Pyramid.  The event was very informative and after the dust settled, I think all that attended would consider it a success.

The post workshop social mixer which included hosted food and some generously donated pitchers of beer was just one more highlight to a successful workshop.

Trentin Krauss, MAI

Smyers & Krauss Appraisal