Streamlining the appraisal process and growing a business with LightBox valuation: A customer success story
LightBox recently caught up with Derek Orr, MAI, owner of Orr Appraisal, to find out how the LightBox Valuation technology platform has made it easier for him to manage all aspects of the appraisal process, increase his focus on customers, and expand his business.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m the owner of Orr Appraisal in Cincinnati, Ohio, and I have more than 26 years of experience appraising commercial real estate. My firm provides appraisal and advisory services for all major property types for many client needs including mortgage financing, eminent domain/condemnation, litigation, real estate tax appeal, and estate valuation. Our clients include government agencies, banks, life insurance companies, mortgage companies, corporations, and law firms.
What about LightBox Valuation caught your attention?
The demo looked interesting when I first looked at it. It got me thinking: How much time can this save me? How much can it streamline the appraisal process? LightBox Valuation seems to have all the things I need to produce reports and manage my operations more efficiently.
What are your favorite parts about the platform?
I run a small company, and LightBox Valuation has made my workflow easier.
First, there’s the all-in-one property research. Instead of manually researching all the data and maps needed for an assignment, which are from many different sources, LightBox Valuation has everything I need in one place, which saves time.
It also helps with report writing. Instead of manually entering information into reports, with LightBox, the research data and maps easily transfer into the Excel and Word-based templates.
LightBox also has many new report templates for different property types and scopes of work—they’re very intuitive. I use the out-of-the-box templates with some minor customization to suit my personal style and brand image.
Are you saving time on each report?
Yes, absolutely. I’ve always wanted to find a solution that improves and speeds up my existing process. LightBox Valuation’s property research tools and auto-filled information has helped tremendously, easily saving hours of work on every job.
But there are other benefits too. The mapping system is very good, especially for flood, wetlands, and zoning. The demographics are smooth and polished, and the tax and assessment data are verified accurate. It’s so much nicer when you don’t have to manually input that information.
In addition, the whole platform is built for team collaboration, where everyone is working in the same system to make smarter bids, research properties, write polished reports, share comparables data, etc. The system is complete and scalable, which means I don’t have the headache of building and maintaining something myself. I can focus my energy on the things my clients care about most: quality appraisals.
If you were to recommend LightBox Valuation to a colleague, what would you say?
Appraising is an interesting business, and sometimes you’re all over the place when you’re writing a report. LightBox Valuation helps me focus on a methodical and streamlined way of getting it done. It’s a must-have business solution that helps me manage my appraisal process from start to finish and makes it easier for me to grow my company.
About the LightBox Valuation technology platform
LightBox Valuation—a new offering that streamlines the entire valuation process, from bidding to report delivery—includes:
- An easy-to-use RFP and job management portal that’s already connected to a growing list of 1,200 commercial real estate lenders that procure more than 250,000 jobs a year
- An all-in-one property research portal that provides access to more than 300 datasets and map layers, including zoning, tax assessment, property sales, demographics, flood, wetlands, seismic, hazards, crime, schools and much more
- An integrated and highly customizable report-writing solution that automatically imports the research data and maps
- A powerful business insights app that provides real-time industry benchmarks for appraisal fees, turn-times, win rates, and job volume, as well as query tools to monitor business performance
Learn More: LightBox Valuation
LightBox is the world’s leading real estate information and technology platform. Through operational excellence and a passion for innovation, LightBox facilitates transparency, efficiency, insight, and prediction for real estate investment and location analytics. LightBox customers include commercial and government agencies requiring definitive real estate data and powerful workflow solutions, including brokers, developers, investors, lenders, insurers, technology providers, environmental consultants, and valuation professionals. LightBox is backed by Silver Lake and Battery Ventures.