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Hiring multi-talented individuals, making career changes, has provided us with the opportunity of bringing strong IT skills in-house to New West Consulting. A team of our appraisers have combined their appraisal knowledge with a collection of programming skills and database design know-how to create new and innovative ways of preparing narrative appraisal reports.

NWC has developed its own highly customized version of MS Word that works in combination with MS SharePoint (collaborative software) to create an appraisal-writing environment that roughly mimics a modern computer software development environment (SDE).

In writing a new computer software application, a software development environment (SDE) provides the programmer with hundreds, if not thousands of code snippets that can easily be reused or modified for use in a new project. Importantly, this development environment allows the programmer to focus their valuable time on the unique characteristics of a new application rather than having to recreate standard features each time a program is written or updated.

Thus, carrying this analogy over to the writing of narrative appraisal reports, NWC has developed, through the use of custom “add-ins” for MS Word, the ability to create contextually-appropriate “palettes” or ribbons of appraisal “building blocks” for each of the various sections or topics of a report. This customized tool-set allows our appraisers to more effectively prepare appraisal reports specifically tailored to meet each of our client’s individual appraisal requirements.

We also use specialized lease-by-lease analysis software when appropriate for those income properties that involve varying lease terms and/or uneven cash flows. Another advanced analysis tool that we use is Geographic Information Software (GIS); which essentially links an electronic map with a database that contains geo-referenced information. Our use of GIS makes possible refined analysis of key real estate variables and demographic profiles based upon spatial or locational attributes.

Although we continually invest in the latest hardware, software and proprietary subscription services, we recognize that an appraisal is not simply a collection of market data and mathematical calculations. We understand and appreciate the art of appraisal, while taking full advantage of the advanced technology tools available to appraisers.

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