A San Diego company that provides software services to commercial property appraisers – Valcre – has grown rapidly since its founding in 2016.
The company in June landed a key client when the commercial real estate brokerage Kidder Mathews signed on, said Co-founder Grant Norling.
“It demonstrates that top-notch industry appraisal companies are coming to Valcre to get their report writing solutions,” Norling said.
Operating entirely online, Valcre lists La Jolla as its corporate headquarters because it is the home of its CEO and co-founder, Lucas Rotter.
“In the next 12 to 24 months, we’ll likely open up an office and have our own space and go in and share our space and see each other,” Rotter said.
Should the company open brick-and-mortar offices, they would be in San Diego, Norling said.
Since its founding in 2016, Valcre has grown from a staff of four to more than 40, with plans to hire 20 additional employees in 2022, Norling said.
“We have team members spread all over the U.S.,” Rotter said. “We have clients that range from local clients to international clients.”
The company’s name is a mash-up of what it does – “Val” for valuation and “cre” is an abbreviation for commercial real estate.
The company started with one client and by the end of 2021, had 215, according to Norling.
“We’re a bootstrap company,” Rotter said. “We’re looking to continue our growth and really provide value to the real estate industry at large.”
In 2021, more than 21,000 appraisals were done on Valcre’s platform compared to 13,000 in 2020, Norling said.
“From when we were founded until today, we’ve been pacing our growth at a relatively steady rate,” Norling said.
Partly because of the online nature of its business, the COVID-19 pandemic actually helped Valcre because appraisers and others that use its services had to work from home.
“We started out remote. People thought we were crazy and wondered how we would be able to scale and work together as a team. We knew we had the right idea when COVID happened and everyone transitioned to the same model,” Rotter said.
Norling said that the pandemic “took a lot of appraisal companies that were on the fence about our software and it pushed it over the finish line because they needed solutions so that they could continue to do their jobs with COVID.”
Valcre’s platform automatically enters information that appraisers might otherwise have to enter manually.
Among other things, it pulls up figures for comparable property.
“It allows appraisers to track all of their assignments and jobs and their clients. It allows them to align their data base and all of their data in a searchable format and it allows appraisers to evaluate all of the asset types the appraisers are interested in,” Norling said. “Really, bottom line, we’re using technology to streamline the appraisal process for our clients so that at every juncture of the workflow they’re saving time and are able to increase production or take time for themselves.”
Matthew Reynolds, principal of commercial real estate services at Vanguard Realty Advisors, said that Valcre’s platform has “been pretty much of a game changer for our business.”
“It’s a modern platform and it allows small to medium commercial real estate companies to compete with national valuation firms,” Reynolds said, adding that it takes half the time to complete appraisals with Valcre’s system than it did without it.
“It’s been pretty much our competitive advantage,” Reynolds said.
Headquarters: La Jolla
CEO: Lucas Rotter
Business: Appraisal software company
Social impact: Valcre supports the Appraisal Institute Education and Relief Foundation (AIERF) which helps provide scholarships to people pursuing a career in appraisal.
Notable: started as a remote first company with no central office.