Most appraisers, and appraisal companies, have evolved from operating with a camera, clipboard, and comp books to digital cameras and computers. The difference between Milhizer and Associates and many appraisal companies is that we have embraced the changes and are excited about technology advances that take place almost weekly. We used digital cameras at a time when we had to take pictures with both a 35mm camera and a digital camera as not all of our clients accepted digital photos, now an industry standard. The appraisal software company, that introduced us to that technology, and that we have used since 1990, is the leader in the industry. Over one-half of the appraisers nationwide use Alamode appraisal software. Some use it simply for “form-filling” purposes. We use all of its features, along with their monthly upgrades. How does this help you? Through them we have a website, at www.milhizer.com ,where our clients can make appraisal requests; they can then monitor progress; accept delivery; archive; and pay for valuation products. We can attend “webinars”, online training sessions, that keep us on the cutting edge of technology. Some of which include: a comparable database that allows us to store, sort and retrieve sales data based on search criteria most similar and proximate to the subject property; integrated mapping software that geo-codes addresses and accurately reports distances; automatic flood map certification that determines whether a property is located in a flood hazard zone and requires special insurance coverage; direct access to Marshall & Swift, an online replacement cost service; and many other features that keep our turn around times fast, and our fees low.
We also belong to a number of National, State and Local Real Estate Associations along with the RealcompII multi-list service. RealcompII originally provided listing and sale information for a limited area in Western Wayne and Oakland Counties. Their commitment to provide data for all of Southeast Michigan was accomplished with the merging of neighboring systems. They now provide access 24/7 via an internet based system, and plan to offer data sharing with all multi-list service providers in the State of Michigan with direct access or “guest” access. They too offer extensive online and classroom training which we consistently attend. We can now access accurate information, based on specific search criteria, on properties currently offered for sale and/or historical data going back 15+ years. RealcompII also provides links to public record data sites, census data, plat maps, and school district ratings. By taking advantage of this additional technology and training, time spent searching for sales data, and verifying data is greatly reduced.
We also utilize of a number of lesser-known data collection services. BS&A software for instance provides access to assessors’ data in an ever-growing number of municipalities. We are able to download building sketches, tax information, along with “for sale by owner” sales data. Additional sites provide us with aerial views of properties and their environs, public and private road information, and data regarding toxic sites. All of this information was formally very difficult to assemble, but very necessary information to consider in the appraisal of real estate, for some it remains a difficult process.
This cutting edge philosophy, coupled with the extensive experience of appraising farm houses that our now new subdivisions, summer cottages a few years ago that have now been replaced with new construction, and existing neighborhoods that we have actively appraised in for decades, makes Milhizer and Associates a unique appraisal company.
Thank you for taking the time to read “about us”; we look forward to working with you on your valuation needs.