Over the past decade, Valbridge Property Advisors in Kansas City has enjoyed double digit growth and seen its staff double in size. Formerly Shaner Appraisals, the company rebranded in 2013 and founded national firm Valbridge Property Advisors. The move led to access to national clients and a 20 percent uptick in customer growth over the past five years. MetroWire Media caught up with Valbridge President Laird Goldborough for insight into the Kansas City market and a look at what's ahead for the company.
MWM: How did your 2013 founding of Valbridge change Shaner Appraisals?
Goldsborough: We shifted to a national platform. Shaner Appraisals, Inc. was a local company, and we now have national reach as well as access to larger corporate clients. In Kansas City, we were a dominant firm but were not nationally recognized. Now as Valbridge, we have a bigger seat at the table.
MWM: Some are predicting a market slowdown in 2019. What are you seeing?
Goldsborough: I am more optimistic. Kansas City is a low beta market, so there are not a lot of swings. The coasts tend to move up or down before we do. The number of construction cranes is crazy in Kansas City. Single-family is very active, and in the short term the only thing that may start affecting the velocity is an interest rate hike. I don’t really see a major slowdown any time soon. I have not seen any product that has ceased building. It’s been a nice run and cycles do end, but I don’t see the end in the near term.
MWM: You’re celebrating five years as Valbridge, but you’ve been around much longer than that. How has your leadership changed and how will it continue to evolve?
Goldsborough: This is the 40th anniversary of Shaner Appraisals, founded by Bernie Shaner. I purchased the company from Bernie, but he remains very active. We just announced the next generation of leadership with the appointments of Daniel Kann and Jason Roos to Managing Directors. These guys have done everything right. They work hard and are very smart, and we are happy to have them lead the firm into the future.
MWM: How is your role at VPA changing?
Goldsborough: I am seeing my role shift a bit toward mentoring, and I really love coaching and bringing people up through the system. I am a graduate of the HEMP program (Helzberg Entrepreneurial Mentoring Program), and it is all about giving back and mentoring the next generation. After graduating from that program, this succession planning makes a lot of sense.