Nearly a year ago, Jacksonville’s JLL office became the first in Florida to add valuation and advisory services through the acquisition of 15 appraisers from the Florida affiliate of Integra Realty Services (IRR). From that base the team serves JLL in markets across Florida and the Southeast. We sat down with Mark Williams, Managing Director of JLL’s Valuation & Advisory Services in Florida, to talk about his experiences since joining JLL.
Why are valuation and advisory services such a critical component of the CRE industry?
In all property sectors, a professional appraisal is a necessary component in getting a transaction finalized. We offer advisory services to lenders, investors, real estate owners and other professionals –– public and private. It’s all about the value and use of real property. We also offer property tax services, and we’re sometimes called upon to serve as expert witnesses in litigation concerning real estate.
What has your team brought to JLL’s clients?
Providing valuation services in-house brings a deeper degree of professionalism as well as convenience to JLL’s clients. Our office mainly focuses on Florida, with some work in Alabama and South Georgia, but through collaboration with JLL’s Valuation & Advisory Services growing platform, we’re able to provide reliable data on shifting trends in markets across the nation. Our U.S. team also networks with valuation colleagues globally in order to identify trends and make timely projections.
What new, exciting trends do you see taking shape across the CRE market in the southeast U.S.?
Baby boomers are now maturing, and the seniors housing market is in major growth mode. More and more investors are looking to add senior housing to their portfolios. Senior living communities are becoming especially prevalent in Florida, where boomers comprise 17.3 percent of the population –– the highest percentile in the country.
Are there any new developments on the national stage that are impacting our region’s CRE sector?
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed last December introduced several benefits that I think will keep our CRE market at its current level. For example, the corporate tax rate was reduced to a flat 21 percent, and the annual depreciation write-off for commercial and multi-family properties is much larger than it used to be.
What aspects of JLL’s corporate culture resonate the most with you?
At IRR we were confined to North Florida and South Georgia, but since joining JLL our coverage area is all of Florida and beyond. We’ve worked on some exciting projects, such as Oceana Key Biscayne in Miami-Dade County, Water Street Tampa and Eastern Ship Builders in Panama City. The complexity and magnitude of this work is exhilarating.
It’s exciting to be at the front end of growing a new national evaluation network. For the past two years we’ve focused on growing our business line across America, which means upgrading the technology and merging it with brokers’ databases so we can better serve all JLL clients. It started from scratch with our report-writing software and has involved a lot of work to grow our technological infrastructure. Everyone is on board with getting this done. The teamwork and collaboration that’s going into this custom valuation platform is incredibly impressive.