Summary: There is no doubt that valuation is a very important component of any ownership transfer process as far as real estate properties are concerned. Hence, however big or small the entire process might be, there is a need to take the services of a good property valuer specialist. It is therefore not very surprising when we see that there is a big and continuing demand for quality real estate valuers, both as individuals or companies.



However, the market for valuers is not becoming any easier. Competition is increasing quite rapidly and customers are also becoming well informed and are keen on dealing only with those valuers who are able to offer their services at reasonable rates and also are able to offer good value for money. The cost of recruiting human resources for valuation related matters is becoming very unaffordable and therefore quite a few valuation companies are finding it beneficial to outsource a part of their valuation related jobs to other countries. This is a very new concept and it there only a handful of players who are trying this out. It would therefore be not a bad idea to find out whether this could be a good way to cut costs and also give better services to the customers.

While there is nothing wrong in principle to outsource a part or even the whole of real estate valuation jobs, the same should not be at the expense of local jobs. Valuation in Australia is not an easy job and outsourcing the entire job lock, stock and barrel may not be the right solution. This could lead to serious consequences in terms of quality and might boomerang or become extremely counter-productive. Hence, the best way forward would be to understand the entire issue thoroughly and go in for outsourcing only when it found feasible in terms of cost, quality and timely delivery of services to the customers.

Identifying the right country where such outsourcing makes economic sense is also something that has to be kept in mind. Towards this objective, there is no denying the fact that countries like India, South Africa and Philippines are a few examples that could be thought of. This is because there is a rich concentration of population who are good in English which is very important and essential. Further, it is also prudent to look for local partners if there is a decision to outsource such activities.
ME Companies Inc., a project man agement and engineering firm with a 20-employee office in Fairfield, ranked 258th with sales growth of 972 percent to $5.79 million. The company is based in Westerville, Ohio. Application Objects, at 425 Walnut St. downtown, ranks 278. The information technology consulting and software development services company grew 935 percent from 1995 with sales of $3.64 million last year. Founders Rob Sullivan, Chris Taulbee and Pat Lucas stuck to the business plan for high growth, said Mike Eckes, human resources director.



Software consultant Lucrum Inc. at 312 Plum St. downtown, ranked 444 with 599 percent sales growth. Its staff has jumped from 36 to 130. Steve Smith, Lucrum's director of marketing, said the company succeeded by narrowing its focus. ''We got away from strictly software sales and focused on being more of a consultant'' to manufacturing, health care and financial services companies, he said.

Firstar Corp. said Tuesday that it earned $377.3 million before merger-related charges in the quarter ended Sept. 30, up almost 18 percent from the year-ago quarter.

Including the merger-related charges of $102 million, Firstar earned $309 million (32 cents per share), up from $18.4 million (3 cents) in the year-ago period. Excluding the charges, Firstar earned 39 cents per share in the quarter, on target with consensus estimates by analysts compiled by Zacks Investment Research.

''This is Firstar's 28th consecutive quarter of reporting record operating earnings per share,'' said Jerry Grundhofer, president and chief executive of Firstar. ''Also, we are pleased to announce record levels in return on equity, return on assets and our efficiency ratio for the third quarter of 2000.'' Property valuation is most commonly used for property that is not eternally sold. Hire property solicitors or legal lawyers from a leading valuation company in CITY NAME. Grundhofer also said that Firstar completed its integration of Mercantile Bancorporation Inc.'s computer systems in the quarter, ahead of schedule, reducing the bank's operating costs. Firstar said last week it will buy U.S. Bancorp for $21 billion in stock, change its name and move its headquarters to Minneapolis. That deal is expected to close next year.

The bank also said the cost for the old Star Banc's acquisitions of Firstar and Mercantile will now be $985 million, about $65 million more than anticipated due to higher severance and other employee costs as well as higher conversion expenses. The bank said it has so far expensed $915.8 million, leaving $69.2 million to be expensed in the next few quarters. Net interest income in the quarter was $689.7 million, an increase of $14.6 million, or 2.2 percent, over the same period in 1999. Fee income was $375.0 million, up 26.3 million, or 7.6 percent from the third quarter of 1999. Trust income increased $5.4 million or 5.2 percent.

It also counts Cincinnati money manager Bartlett & Co. as part of its operations.

Brinkley has put away 10 percent of his income since he left college.

Valuation is defined as process of doing property valuation to find its approximate price in the current market of real estate.

Not an easy thing to do on a second lieutenant's pay in the early 1960s, nor as the first employee of the startup Mason & Co. a few years later.

''In America, it pays to have economic optimism,'' Brinkley said last week while visiting Cincinnati.



''Owning quality companies for the long term has paid off - ignoring short-term fluctuations has really paid off,'' he said.

''You won't find any market timers in the Forbes 400 (listing of the 400 richest people in the world).''

Even Bill Gates, the head of Microsoft Corp., is a long-term investor, Brinkley said.

Brinkley, who has been in the investment business for 37 years, is the chairman- elect of the Securities Industry Association, the trade group for brokers, dealers and other financial services companies.

The greatest challenge facing brokerages today is managing customer expectations, Brinkley said.

''The performance expectations are too great today.''

We've been spoiled by the high returns investments have given in recent years, he said.

And too many of us investors have forgotten about having a diversified group of investments and allocating our assets across several classes so that all our eggs aren't in the same basket, he said.

Brinkley applauds the wide participation in the market today.

''That's what capitalism is all about,'' he says. ''The government had done a terrific job of saying 'It's your retirement and your responsibility'. ''

But what many investors don't realize is that the high returns of the last few years aren't normal and that since April 1998 most stocks have been down, he said.

The great returns have come from a few big high-tech companies and the top 25 stocks in the S&P 500.

''And that can't go on forever,'' he said.

The secret to doing well financially is to pay yourself first every month by saving 10 percent of your income, invest regularly in good companies and other investments, ignore market fluctuations and let time and compounding work for you, Brinkley said.

As for finding quality companies, look for those with good management, a good business model and good products or services in an area of the economy that is growing.

Pay attention to your investments - are the companies’ profits and customers increasing each year?

Is management working for the shareholders?

''If not, sell the stock,'' he said.

''Short term, I'm cautious, but long term I'm optimistic.''

Donaldson Lufkin and Jenrette began covering Firstar Corp. last month.

The brokerage acted the day after Firstar, formerly Star Banc Corp., closed on its $10.6 billion stock acquisition of Mercantile Bancorporation Inc., the major St. Louis bank.

property valuations perth is necessary if you are thinking to sell your property.
Greg Grimme, one of the residents circulating petitions, declined to say whether he supports or opposes action the Fort Thomas Board of Education took Sept 5 to raise the property tax rate from $7 to $7.77 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. But Grimme said the 30 percent increase in revenue the hike is expected to generate allows residents to take advantage of a state law that gives them the right to put a new tax rate to a vote if revenues will jump more than 4 percent.

"We feel that the voters of Fort Thomas have a right to accept or reject such a significant increase,'' he said. "Something this significant needs to be voted on by all Fort Thomas residents." Those circulating the petitions have until Oct. 20 to submit papers with the signatures of 795 registered voters, said Campbell County Clerk Jack Snodgrass. Snodgrass is waiting to hear from the state whether opponents will have to turn in the names early, since Oct. 20 is a Sunday.



The school board had considered raising the tax rate to $9.27. But it decided instead to go with the $7.77 figure, which is expected to generate $1.5 million more a year, primarily for operating expenses. About $500,000 has been earmarked to finance a lawsuit challenging the state's school funding formula, which Fort Thomas officials say penalizes the district and a handful of others for their relative wealth. "I think people understand the inequitable formula doesn't provide enough money," said Brad Fennell, school board chairman. If you are planning to buy your new home or sell own property, you must hire property solicitors/lawyers from the Valuation industries. "We have lost two positions in the middle school, and we have lost two positions at the central office, and we stand to lose more positions, and we stand to lose programming, if we don't find a way to get a continuous flow (of money) in the district."

The school board has produced its own mailing to respond to some information that has been provided to homeowners in the district, Fennell said. "The flier and the group are trying to hold us accountable for increased tax assessments," he said. Fort Thomas properties were reassessed this year by the Campbell County property valuation administrator. That resulted in tax increases for some city residents, independent of the district's action. The last time the school district approved a tax increase — a utility tax implemented in 1997 — voters narrowly approved the measure.

Already on probation for what a judge called "bizarre" robberies, Christopher Matthews added more strange behavior to his rap sheet Wednesday and was sent to prison.
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