GNcareers, from Gulf News

What a chartered valuation surveyor specialising in industrial assets do in a typical day

My days are always busy; the experience of evaluating varied asset types and the combination of office and on-site work is a great mix.Darshan Shah

It’s Sunday morning and I am sitting in an upmarket office in DIFC discussing a valuation report with a corporate client. The conversation focuses on the methodology we employed, input we used and the resultant valuation amount we applied to their property. This is a part of my workday as a chartered valuation surveyor.

Following best practices As manager of an industrial valuation department, I report on all types of warehouses, factories and logistical real estate in the UAE and Middle East and North Africa (Mena). I also cover plant and machinery, which is a particularly specialised area of valuation practice.

Industrial real estate is sophisticated in the UAE and working here offers me the chance to engage with globally recognised corporations and institutions in the analysis of some incredible assets. The professionalism required in Dubai is really encouraging and we endeavour to follow the highest international standards. Being a chartered valuation surveyor accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) and working for a Rics-regulated firm means that best practices are always followed.

I must confess that estimating the market value of plant, machinery or equipment is not an easy task. While many industrial machines and related assets may be standard in their general nature, they will have invariably been customised for a particular facility. My experience helps me in assessing issues quickly and deciding on the best approach.

Clients are often most interested in the actual valuation amount, which may be submitted as part of management and audit requirements, or used in the course of raising significant sums of secured finance. I devote a lot of time and effort to help clients understand my analysis and report. Discussions are also held with their other professional advisers, such as accountants, financiers and legal teams.

The question that my family and friends still ask me is, “What exactly does a chartered valuation surveyor specialising in industrial assets do in a typical day?”

* Our days are planned based on correspondence with clients who regularly communicate requirements for valuation of their industrial facilities. Most are located in areas such as Dubai Investments Park, Dubai Internet City and the Jebel Ali Free Zone, or in other emirates such as Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Fujairah. Assignments also come up in other Mena countries such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, Bahrain, Egypt and Kuwait.

* The first thing we do every morning is make a synopsis of all the projects in hand and prioritise tasks that need to be completed that day. These include sending proposals, arranging site inspections, reviewing valuation calculations and reports, developing businesses with potential clients, meeting clients to review valuations and following up on proposals and payments.

* Then we have a meeting, which involves discussing the team’s position, current work commitments and assessing who is working on which project, the deadlines to be considered, etc.

* I allocate the day’s work within the team and make note of the actual deliverables to be met.

This is just the initiation stage. The actual valuation work begins with a site inspection.

Typically it proceeds as follows:

* We complete a preliminary investigation of the assets and prepare or organise the asset register. These may comprise industrial plant, machinery and real estate. Built property will include factories, warehouses and complex facilities of specialised multi-unit assets. The operational and maintenance condition of the assets are noted during this process.

* Before leaving the site I find it helpful to have a meeting with the client to explain the assets explored and communicate any outstanding information that is required so they can get ahead on gathering the data we need.

* After receipt of the required information, we start our technical analysis of all the assets. This includes finding market comparables, contacting machinery suppliers, evaluating replacement costs, discussing valuation methodology, consideration of obsolescence (if any), calculating the total used/residual life of the asset, estimating depreciation and finally, arriving at the market value of the said industrial facility.

Staying relevant

As an accredited member of Rics, I must also keep abreast of all relevant changes in my field and ensure that my knowledge is constantly building. This is done through the Continuing Professional Development programme, an ongoing system of learning throughout our careers. It helps enhance skill sets and ensures our clients are dealing with a suitably qualified professional.

My days are always busy; the experience of evaluating varied asset types and the combination of office and on-site work is a great mix.

Source: Property Weekly.