The value of employing asset specialists

The valuations industry in South Africa has in recent years become a fully-fledged, professional service to rival its counterparts throughout the world. In an environment based entirely on credibility, where valuers are dealing with the heart and soul of individuals’ and companies’ wealth, it is vital that confidence is upheld and that the valuer or valuation company is capable of providing the appropriate expertise for the work required.

Gavin Commins, CEO of The Valuator Group, an accredited, multi-faceted, boutique valuation company operating throughout Africa, the Indian Ocean Islands and the UAE, says there is a common misconception that if valuers are qualified they are adept at valuing just about anything.

“Quite the contrary,” he states. “It is this trusting attitude that can get clients into serious trouble when it comes to claiming for a loss or damages, only to find that their asset or most precious possession is inadequately or incorrectly valued.” This is not to discount the credibility of valuers who are more than qualified and experienced in a given field which is sufficient for one specific need, but a valuator that works for the bank and focuses on residential valuations would not, for instance, be the appropriate person to assist in the assessment of a shopping centre or game farm.

Clients need to do their homework and ensure that their valuator or valuation company is not only qualified, but is registered with the correct bodies like SACPVP (South African Council for Property Valuations Profession), SAIV (South African Institute of Valuers), or, even better, internationally accredited with RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors). The company should also provide valuers who have knowledge and experience in carrying out valuations for specific assets, e.g. jewellery, art, machinery, antiques, aeroplanes, classic cars, restaurant equipment, etc. Adds Commins, “It’s important to marry the valuer to the required field.

Commins says that there are only a handful of valuation companies that offer the full spectrum of asset valuations and that it is a good idea to research and employ those that do, so that you have peace of mind in knowing your assets are adequately and properly evaluated (Fair Value) for property insurance and market purposes.