IAAO 2019 Conference First Impressions

Impressions from Niagara Falls.
IAAO conference 2019
Jeff Weiner

Jeff Weiner

CEO & Co-Founder | Transforming Commercial Real Estate Valuation | B2B SaaS Product Innovator | Creating Amazing Software from Zero to Scale | Longevity Enthusiast

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Impressions from Niagara Falls

The International Association of Assessing Officers (IAAO) hosted its annual conference for 2019 in Niagara Falls, Ontario. It was our first trip to the conference and perhaps overdue.  Kansas City is home to both realquantum and IAAO. Our appraiser founders have worked with various leaders in the organization, some for as long as 25 years. After talking with many of these experts, it became clear that realquantum is a good fit for commercial single appraisals in commercial property tax appeal and litigation. So, we registered, booked travel and off we went.

From the first moment of registering, the process worked extremely well. When a speaking slot opened, we signed up to present a session on cyber security. That process was easy too. We decided to get the last booth and sponsor coffee.

From arrival to departure, it was clear the conference was run extremely well and had record attendance – about 1,600 people at last count. The entire team led by Ron Worth did an impressive job.

Each of us on the realquantum team had a long list of sessions that we wanted to attend because the content of the IAAO 2019 conference was diverse and timely. For example, William Shepherd’s presentation for defending big-box assessments in court and the panel including Peter Korpacz on nailing down the definition of fee-simple.


As for the keynotes, they were well-chosen too. The keynote on Monday by Ken Larson was on creating a culture of high-performance. His message that a strong team is the result of a high-performance culture, not the other way around resonated. There were a lot of government employees in the audience. A lot may feel they have no control over the culture in a big organization. On the contrary, research shows that an employee’s direct supervisor has the most impact and influence of anyone in the organization. So, it’s possible for managers to either enhance a good culture or improve a not-so-good workplace environment.

Sheila Botting presented the keynote on Tuesday morning. She offered a great “fly-over” of technologies disrupting commercial real estate from the “hot desk” to the internet of things. She had particular expertise here since Deloitte is a leader in the smart building/workplace arena. While these forces don’t have an immediate impact on tax assessments, they are major trends in commercial real estate that do have longer-term valuation effects. Its important attendees got to learn about the trends.

The overwhelming presence at the IAAO 2019 conference though, was technology and how it’s changing pretty much everything. From AI, mapping and process automation on the web, the options are seemingly endless.  In fact, tech companies took up almost all of the expo floor. So, even though it was the first visit for realquantum, we fit right in. No other vendors offered a tool specifically for single property commercial appraisal. Our message of increased efficiency and reduced errors resonated well with the under-staffed and over-worked jurisdictions in attendance.


Realquantum Cyber Security Presentation

I presented a session on Tuesday on cyber-security. The goal was to provide practical steps assessors could take in their own offices without big changes from the IT department. Lots of people attended and we had great discussions. Jurisdictions are taking the topic seriously. Several attendees in the room reported being part of a cyber attack, specifically ransomware. If you would like the presentation, send an email to info@realquantum.com.

Getting approval for travel is never easy, but the IAAO 2019 conference was a high-quality program and worth the trip.

Ready to see how you can be more successful and efficient?  realquantum was created by appraisers, for appraisers, to save them time and make them money. Sign up for a demo today.


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