Article originally appeared in Canadian Property Valuation | Volume 59 | Book 4 | 2015 | Pg. 40

Kari Benum, CRA

Reserve fund studies

Kari Benum, CRA was fortunate to work for a large appraisal firm exploring a new line of business in reserve fund studies, also known as depreciation reports in British Columbia where they were legislated in 2011. “Along with an AACI in the company, who had experience in this industry in another province, we launched into the business during a time when the legislated changes were very new,” says Kari.

How to begin to diversify

In 2012, Kari achieved her Certified Reserve Fund Planner (CRP) designation with the Real Estate Institute of Canada. With a strong background in new construction as a CRA, along with previous experience in the banking industry, the CRP courses were a natural fit “We began our local marketing approach based on preliminary contacts with strata/property managers. We created an online request form via our website to obtain a complimentary proposal/quote, which provided a more hands on request. We also found it benecial to advertise our services within appraisal, real estate, and provincial homeowner association publications. Working for a well-recognized and respected firm helped in building early relationships with other professionals, as did networking within the business community. Branding my connection to another professional service was a priority. To establish ties with key strata management companies, we hosted an information meeting for strata managers early into our launch. As the relationships developed, we continued to speak at strata meetings to discuss our role as reserve fund planners. These connections rippled into ongoing relationships with self-managed strata corporations, realtors, mortgage brokers and mortgage insurers. We continue with these practices today and focus on opportunities to speak about the benefits of having a reserve study/depreciation report,” explains Kari.

As with most business success, referrals become a primary source of momentum in establishing a positive professional reputation. Kari had an opportunity to collaborate with two other reserve fund planners and present at the AIC National Conference in Kelowna in June 2015. Exposure to a variety of opportunities has created ongoing business prospects and confidence in the service provided.

Keys to success

Being aware of the requirements within CUSPAP is critical with all assignments. As Kari points out, “Most of the same professional practices apply to reserve fund studies as other types of appraisal and consulting assignments, with some additional expectations. The CRA scope of practice is unique when it refers to reserve fund studies. The Reserve Fund Planning Standard is acknowledged within CUSPAP 2014. Understanding individual provincial legislation is also imperative to remain compliant, not only with AIC standards and professional practice, but provincial regulation as well.