Posted by Jonathan J. Miller -Tuesday, January 10, 2012, 1:37 PM
Actually our birthday was last October 1st and I had grand plans to post this back then when this site was supposed to be relaunched. Well, like our 25 years, time passed quickly and I am posting 3 months later.
Miller Samuel was founded by my family including moi, my wife Cheryl, my sister Dina and my parents Donald and Ethel (who retired in 2002) it’s been fun, challenging, frustrating and rewarding but I think I speak for all of us – we wouldn’t trade the experience for anything.
My back-of-the-envelope estimate of the total market value of all properties appraised, adjusted for inflation (not for changing market conditions) is over $80 Billion, but who’s counting?
But I digress…
We were originally going to name our firm Appraisal Specialists (what were we thinking?) in 1986 and found out someone in New York State already had that name when we went to incorporate. We quickly appended the word “Group” to form Appraisal Specialists Group (another horrible name) but within the year we renamed our firm Miller Samuel with the latter name being a former partner early on. We originally worked out of our apartments and got a real office within the year. Went with Macs back in 1986, developed our own software to fill out the appraisal reports, incorporated bar code and scantron forms into our process and to top it off. I have to laugh when I think that we were the first appraisal firm to have a 2-line fax machine ’cause we were so “hi-tech” and our banking clients used to fax everything.
The Miller Samuel name stuck and we expanded, outgrowing 3 offices, launching a commercial affiliate Miller Cicero, shifting our client mix away from primary emphasis on banks and expanded our real estate market report coverage throughout the New York City region and Miami for brokerage Prudential Douglas Elliman and dabbled in report coverage in other housing markets such as Washington, DC and Baltimore. We’ve done a lot of blogging and podcasting, social media, magazine articles, research studies, data aggregation, seminars and other things to provide more transparency to the housing markets we cover.
We’ve got a really great appraisal staff, averaging 14 years of experience and it’s really a lot like an extended family.
After 25 years we have seen radical changes for the worse in our dysfunctional leaderless appraisal industry – appraisal quality for bank lending is at an historic low thanks to appraisal management companies, but yet we are well positioned for the future.
We live and die by our reputation of taking no quarter when it comes to:
providing a neutral valuation benchmark for our clients to enable them to make informed decisions.
Thanks for being there with us.
Here’s to another 25 years.