"Valuation for excellence" - CAPITAL.bg
Ms. Bozhilova, the housing market recorded record activity in the first nine months of the year. How does this affect real estate appraisals?
Estimates follow the market, so it is natural for them to grow as well. The data from our database show an increase both in the number of evaluations prepared and in the values we reached in 2021. For example, the total number of evaluations prepared by ADVANCE for the nine months of 2021 is over 9,500. Our analysis shows that in 2021 the activity was higher even than in 2019, as a result of the increased number of assessments for banking and other financing institutions that we have prepared. The growth there is 30% compared to the first nine months of 2020 and 20% compared to the same period in 2019. The trend is visible not only in Sofia but also in other major cities in the country - Plovdiv, Varna, Burgas, Ruse and Veliko Tarnovo. In terms of market values, the increase in the capital varies in different neighborhoods.
The most noticeable is the growth in "Druzhba", "Manastirski Livadi", "Iztok", "Lozenets", "Vitosha". The highest activity on the housing market in relation to the number of prepared assessments is observed in "Manastirski Livadi", "Vitosha", "Mladost", "Ovcha Kupel", "Lozenets", center, "Druzhba".
In the standard distribution of the assessed dwellings it can be seen that the share of the four-room apartments is growing. The trend is related to the rising standard of living, as well as the need for more space and separate rooms for family members.
At the beginning of the year you presented a new for the Bulgarian market automated model for preparation of assessments. What results have you reported so far?
Our efforts towards digitalization of the processes are yielding results and I believe that this is the way we should go. This year we implemented a software solution that, on the one hand, allows our appraisers to prepare assessments in compliance with all methodological requirements and features of our market, while using a huge database with analogues of offers and real deals. In practice, we not only optimize processes, saving evaluators time, but also minimize the risk of errors by limiting the subjective factor. In this way, the experts have more time resources for in-depth analysis and justification of the results, and customers receive a product of higher quality. We started the product implementation first only with appraisals of residential properties - apartments, and gradually expanded the range with houses, shops, offices, warehouses, land properties and more. Thus, since the beginning of February, our evaluators have prepared 1934 evaluations with the product, which is a little over 20% of the total number of evaluations prepared by the company. We aim for this share to exceed 50%, while complying with the requirements of the new European standards for the content of residential property valuation reports.
Does this mean that evaluators are in danger of being displaced by artificial intelligence in the future?
And yes, and no. Accelerated digitalization of some appraisal processes - automated processing of large databases, creating models for preparing appraisals without the participation of appraisers, using automatic appraisals as a basis for initial decision-making whether a client can apply for a loan for a home , is undoubtedly a threat to appraisers. On the other hand, with the advent of various software developments, the human factor will have more and more weight, because the responsibility remains on people. And their job is to take advantage of technology to be better. Take, for example, housing appraisals. The more transactions we have similar to the assessed property, the more complicated the determining factors become. We are already looking not only for similarities, but also for analyzing the severity of the differences. Which requires precision and a view of the big picture, inherent only in human expertise. I expect the change to be more in the way we work and the requirements for higher productivity through the use of various digital tools. That's why we need technology so badly. Using their huge potential, appraisers will be able to move out of their conventional method of work and expand their skills. Of course, only well-trained appraisers will be able to take advantage of digitalisation.
What is the profile of the evaluators who work at Advance?
Our evaluation network consists of more than 80 evaluators, and their profile is diverse. The profession is dynamic and attracts more and more young professionals, although to a large extent the work of appraisers remains unknown to many people. Successful experts in "Advance" can be divided into two groups. Some are young people who are at the beginning of their careers. They take advantage of the training and qualifications they have in the company and are motivated to quickly improve their results and develop. The second type are specialists with more experience that we have attracted from the financial sector