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  • Jason Sidana

Ahead of the Curve: Differentiation is a Key to Our Success

Diversity, resources, and professionalism are the key components to our growing real estate appraisal and advisory business. Diversity in the many different aspects of real estate valuation, property types, and reporting options has distinguished our firm from many of our competitors. Rather than focusing on one or several of the primary real estate sectors, the nature of our client base and their respective advisory needs has contributed to R. D. Geronimo Ltd.’s diverse appraisal background, which encompasses the primary real estate sectors, but many unique and specialized valuation issues. Several of the varied services render by our firm: highest and best use studies, development viability analysis, portfolio analysis, project financing alternatives, estate tax planning, conversion/feasibility analysis, affordable housing rental studies and related investment tax credit valuations, and arbitration/expert testimony.

A notable trend of redevelopment and a significant amount of new development throughout the metro area has lent itself to our firm being involved with the valuation parameters of many of the loft conversions taking place in NYC, and numerous residential and rental developments occurring throughout Brooklyn and Queens. Our thorough understanding of each property’s zoning and as-of-right FAR was critical. Moreover, the availability of excess development rights from adjoining properties was another relevant consideration. Highest and best use analysis of the project’s ownership interest (rental vs. condominium, etc.) and their related rates of return on development capital requires a solid understanding of construction and end unit operating costs, rental values and applicable fee simple pricing. This is just one aspect of our advisory services, which requires an in-depth knowledge of this property sector, and the imponderables involved with new development.

Another key area of our business is expert testimony and adversary proceedings, with a strong concentration on real estate tax appeals and real estate dispute proceedings. The nature of each proceeding requires a diverse real estate background, a basic knowledge of litigation procedures, and in many instances case law. Our firm has represented both the respondent and petitioner on tax appeal issues ranging from marinas to self-storage facilities throughout the metro region. The recent reassessment of Nassau County has lent itself in our firm’s participation in the Nassau County Bar Association 2004 ratio study reduction and, more recently, the formation of a new residential division to concentrate on the potential over valuation of many Nassau County residences.

Resources in today’s data rich environment are another key component to success. Functionality and web base access is critical, along with the ability to transfer information seamlessly through email or PDF transmissions. Resources in terms of on-line property assessments, sale history and physical property characteristics are available on most properties throughout the boroughs and Long Island. Added on-line features include comparable sale data, building and violation reports, recorded deeds, and numerous published financial and property profile indices. Most of these data resources are within a keystroke, provided paid subscription resources are included in your day-to-day business operations. Each of these resources provides a competitive edge and, as importantly, enhances overall reporting input and output to better serve your client base. We also maintain our own database of sales, rentals and operating expense indices created from the substantial amount of valuation services render on a yearly basis.

Membership in real estate related organizations is another added value resource. Such memberships include the Appraisal Institute, Urban Land Institute, Real Estate Board of New York, Mortgage Bankers Association, Long Island Board of Realtors, FIABCI- International Real Estate Federation, The American Right-of- Way Association, National Multi Housing Council, etc., all lend themselves to valuable resources and networking opportunities amongst our peers.

Our investment in training and technology helps our clients in reducing their workload, while providing significant economies to our internal operations. By offering on-line appraisal ordering, automatic report and status updates, and electronic report delivery, we’re able to eliminate extended report processing and phone tag delays. This has resulted in a simple and cost-effective means of delivering our varied services on a timely and state-of-the-art manner.

Professionalism encompasses every aspect of our operations and dates back over 30 years based on my involvement within this industry and more recently, the formation of R.D.Geronimo LTD in 1986. Our firm’s mission is committed to quality, accurate, and timely advisory services, and the responsiveness and attention to detail required by the investment and lending communities of today. My diverse background in real estate appraising and investing, mortgage brokerage and financial advisory services, telecom development and leasing, author, and expert testimony spanning over three decades have created a foundation within our organization to deliver the highest level of personalized professional services.

Our company has always been focused on our primary resource: our customers and client base. Regardless of our contractual obligations and related fee structure, the end game has and will continue to be one of quality, timely and accurate reporting. On behalf of our entire organization, we hope that you have a happy and fulfilling holiday season and look forward to serving you in the New Year.

Richard DiGeronimo, MAI, SRPA, CRA is president and founder of R.D. Geronimo Ltd., Mineola, N.Y.

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