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Product Review: ValueAppeal™ Pro

August 03 2012

logo pro homeValueAppeal™ PRO helps real estate agents grow their business and retain existing clients with value-added services that ensure their clients are not overpaying property taxes. The ValueAppeal™ PRO solution enables agents to achieve these goals in several ways – by providing lead lists, by encouraging customer loyalty with an additional complimentary service, or by generating revenue (some agents choose to charge for the service). Let's look into this interesting product more closely.

The Basics

Assessors use mass appraisal algorithms to determine a property assessment based on other homes in the area. According to ValueAppeal™, this is an imperfect process because assessors look at homes by the thousands instead of by each individual property – leaving 25% of homes overassessed. It's that 25% of homes that are overassessed and could use some help with an appeal that real estate agents can target with ValueAppeal™.

The ValueAppeal™ PRO system provides an estimate for whether or not property taxes for a specific address are too high, and by how much, based on eligible comparable home sales. According to the company, they have about an 80% success rate in lowering an assessment compared to the 40% of homeowners that do it themselves.

ValueAppeal™ PRO was built specifically for professionals seeking to assist homeowners in lowering property taxes. The PRO platform provides special tools to real estate professionals, including the ability to analyze a property, determine if it is overassessed or not, create an appeal report, and manage the appeal process. From RE Technology's demo, it appears that ValueAppeal™ PRO does this quickly and easily, and presents the information very professionally.

So, let's dive into what we saw during that demo. First things first: to find out if a property is overassessed, simply enter the address.

VAP 1

For each property, you'll receive a detailed analysis.

VAP 2

Note that, in addition to the current county or jurisdiction's assessment, the analysis includes a target assessment and the client's potential savings if the assessment is lowered.

VAP 3

If you'd like to create a report for this client, you can do it in about five minutes by selecting the comparable sales and completing a brief and optional questionnaire about the property. The process of selecting comparables and the analysis is dynamic and you can change them based on proximity, sale price, characteristics and square footage to reach a target assessment and savings. You can then generate the report.

VAP 4

Each completed report has three key components:

  1. Instructions and a checklist for completion of the appeal
  2. A prepopulated form to be completed, signed, and submitted to the appropriate jurisdiction
  3. Evidence in support of the claim (comparable properties)

It's up to the agent to have the homeowner sign the required form and send the completed form to the appropriate jurisdiction as identified on the instructions. ValueAppeal™ PRO helps manage the appeals process with built-in workflow and tools such as Tasks and Notes.

VAP 5

Those are the basic functions that most users will become familiar with. Now let's look at a few of the things we liked best about this platform.


Benefits

  • Opportunities section. Whenever a user performs a search for a property, a record is created in the "Opportunities" section and even categorizes the record depending on whether or not the property was overassessed. These records can be helpful to reference when managing leads or if you can't remember whether you've already performed a search for the property. Don't want to keep a record? That's fine, too. You have the option at any point to remove the property from your list.
    VAP 6
  • Flexibility in how each individual professional leverages the platform. Each agent likes to run his or her business a bit differently. With ValueAppeal™ PRO, it's up to you how you're using the system. As we mentioned in the beginning of this product review, it can be used as a service to generate revenue, improve customer service, or dig up potential leads. There's even an invoicing feature to the system if agents choose to charge homeowners for the service – with the option of charging a commission on the money the homeowner saves on property taxes, or charging a flat fee.
    VAP 7
  • Option to purchase leads. The annual license that each user purchases allows them to analyze as many properties as they want, with an additional fee for each report they purchase. There is also the option to purchase leads; this is pretty cool – ValueAppeal will identify all homes within a certain area that are overassessed and send them to the agent.
  • Entirely Web-based system. Because ValueAppeal™ PRO is entirely Web-based, there's no software to download – so it's not taking up any room on your computer and you're not tied to a single device.
  • Import clients and know within seconds if they're overassessed. Upload an Excel document (XLS, XLSX, or CSV) with your contacts. You can choose to analyze the file, and the results will be dropped automatically into your Opportunities section, telling you which of the contacts are overassessed and which are not.
    VAP 8

    VAP 9

Next Steps

Other articles of interest: AgentOffice | New Real Estate Book Website Review