Company details

Company type: Independent commercial real estate appraisal firm
Location: Connecticut, Rhode Island, Western Massachusetts
Valuation focus: Multifamily, Retail, Industrial, Office, Self-storage, Affordable housing, Hotels/hospitality, Automotive uses, Gas stations, Convenience stores, Marinas, Golf courses, Right of way, Vineyards
Number of appraisers: 10

Background

Ascendant Valuation Advisors – Southern New England’s premier commercial real estate appraisal firm – is a fully independent firm servicing clients in Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Western Massachusetts. Ascendant is led by industry veterans Patrick A. Lemp, MAI, Principal, who has more than three decades of appraisal experience, and Josephine C.A. Aberle, MAI, Managing Director, who has more than two decades of experience.

The firm is the largest appraisal firm servicing their market and has more than 100 years of experience across its team of 10 highly experienced appraisers. The team enjoys an enviable reputation for their deep market expertise and the timely delivery of high-quality reports.

Over its storied 30+ year history, Ascendant has evolved a number of times to reflect changes in its business structure and ownership. The firm started out as a two-person partnership and then spent 10 years successfully operating as a franchisee of a national organization. Recently, the team made the decision to re-embrace their independent roots and forge back out on their own as a fully independent commercial real estate appraisal firm.

To make the move and ensure business continuity, the team knew they needed a cutting-edge software platform. Enter Valcre.

The situation:
Ascendant needed advanced appraisal software to power its independent practice

“These days, technology is integral to appraising commercial real estate. You can’t appraise commercial real estate without high-end software,” says Josephine C.A. Aberle, MAI, Managing Director.

The Ascendant team was no stranger to the power of appraisal technology and had a clear picture of what they were looking for in a new appraisal software:

Proven track record

It was extremely important to Ascendant that they partnered with a large, established software company that had a strong history of working with other US appraisal firms.

The ability to accommodate Ascendant’s data

Ascendant needed a partner that could seamlessly transfer thousands of data records from its existing system into the new platform. This data migration was essential to minimizing any downtime.

Report templates customized with Ascendant’s branding

The team wanted to be able to flexibly structure their reports with their existing branding and layouts so that they continued to look and read in the same way that their appraisers were used to seeing and working in them.

The results:
Valcre is the clear choice for Ascendant

“We vetted various different software programs out there. The more I spoke to various folks who have used the product, it was clear that Valcre rose to the top. In looking at Valcre, there were certain aspects of the software that felt very intuitive to me. I didn’t feel that it was going to be a massive learning curve for us,” says Patrick Lemp, MAI, Principal.

In making a decision to move forward with new software to support their transition, the Ascendant team spoke to other appraisal firms and investigated a number of different appraisal tools. Ultimately they decided that Valcre stood out against other software offerings on the market. “We really needed a large, established firm that had proven software in order to move forward. That’s one of the reasons we decided to choose Valcre,” says Josephine.

So far, the Ascendant team is functionally one month into using Valcre. “I can tell you that this has been a very positive experience so far,” says Patrick Lemp.

Valcre has worked with Ascendant to ensure the transition is as seamless as possible in the following ways:

Seamless data onboarding minimizes downtime

Valcre worked hand in hand with the Ascendant team to migrate thousands of data records from their previous system into their new Valcre platform. Our data, by and large, came in relatively seamlessly, so that helped with diminishing any downtime,” says Patrick Lemp.

Beautifully branded, flexible reports

Valcre partnered closely with Ascendant to modify their report templates to incorporate the firm’s corporate branding, ensuring their resulting reports reflected the company’s brand and structure.

“Valcre was very understanding and their engineering team worked with us, quite painstakingly really, to get the branding as we liked it. One of the more attractive things in the transition was that we have a software product that doesn’t just look like a canned product. It looks like how we would do it, which may be different from others,” says Patrick Lemp.

Exceptional training and ongoing customer support

In transitioning to a new software, the Ascendent team was prepared for it to take time to get up to speed. However, thanks to Valcre’s hands-on training program, which included four live product walkthroughs and follow-up homework assignments, the team has been incredibly pleased with how quickly they’ve been able to learn the platform.

“The help that Valcre has provided us, whether it has been in video tutorials or weekly training sessions to begin with, or the ability to talk to someone live and get answers relatively quickly, has been frankly quite impressive and very helpful in making this transition a little more smooth than I thought it might be,” says Patrick.

Additionally, Valcre’s customer support has been on hand to quickly help the team when they have questions. When I’m online, I can speak with a Valcre expert within five minutes and they are looking into my problem immediately. They’re friendly, they’re knowledgeable,” says Josephine.

Ascendant Valuation Advisors embraces their independence and forges ahead with Valcre

In returning to a fully independent practice, the team at Ascendant Valuation Advisors continues to provide the Southern New England market with the exceptional services they are renowned for – powered by a fresh brand and Valcre’s cutting edge appraisal software.

Valcre is proud to partner with Ascendant as they enter this new chapter of their story. Our entire team looks forward to supporting the team as they help their clients make the most informed decisions in an often complex and ever-changing world.

Download the Ascendant Valuation Advisors Customer Story