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March 2018

MD2017

Michael Dresden
President
Dart Appraisal 

I hope everyone is having a great month and enjoying the first official days of spring! Our first quarter here at Dart Appraisal has been really busy, but really exciting as we acquired Valuation Management Group, a national AMC based near Atlanta. In this month's Dart Board, I want to share more information on the acquisition, including what it means for our clients and our appraisers

Growing by Acquisition. Since Dart's founding 25 years ago, all of our growth has come organically. Our new business development efforts have been led by our sales team, and also came via referral from our existing clients. A couple of years ago we decided that we would like to augment that growth through acquisition as well. The cost structure to run an AMC, especially from a regulatory standpoint, has continued to rise and certain volumes are needed to ensure profitability. While Dart was already well above that critical mass, we knew acquiring another AMC would help us with that objective as well as expand our services and provide additional support to our clients and our team.

We started formally talking to Valuation Management Group (VMG) last spring. I've known Vicky Thompson, VMG's CEO, for several years now and really appreciated and admired how she ran her firm. As an acquisition target, VMG checked all the boxes we were looking for - they have a solid reputation, a great client base, motivated and professional employees, and expanded services to add to our portfolio. After agreeing to terms and conducting all the due diligence required, we finalized the deal late last month.

Dart's entire executive team traveled down to VMG's office in Atlanta to meet our new team members as soon as the acquisition was announced. At least 2 (if not more) members of our executive and/or management teams have been onsite in Atlanta every week this month. We'll continue to keep up that weekly cadence of onsite visits for at least the next 60 days.

Over the next 2-3 months, we'll be working to integrate our systems and processes together. The VMG name will stay active for roughly 90 days during this integration period, after which time everything will be under Dart Appraisal.

What does that mean for our customers, both Dart's and VMG's? For Dart customers, you won't experience any real changes in how you interact with Dart - although we now are able to provide commercial appraisals (contact Marc Tatarcuk for more info on commercial products). We'll be working with VMG customers on an individual basis to get them transferred over to Dart's systems, but their daily customer service contacts at VMG won't change and an Atlanta office will be maintained.

Our Vendor Management team is currently working to onboard VMG's appraisers onto our panel. For the next few months, appraisers will continue to receive orders and payment separately from Dart and VMG as they are accustomed to.

The big takeaway for our clients, brokers and appraisers is that this acquisition is going to provide all parties with more resources, additional services, and an even stronger network across the country. Our team (both at Dart HQ and in our new Atlanta office) is working diligently to make sure we provide as seamless of a transition as possible while providing best in class appraisal management.

If you have any questions about the acquisition, please don't hesitate to contact me at michael@dartappraisal.com.


Upcoming Events. Despite the previous section being a tough act to follow, I did want to share some other updates with you! Spring conference season is in full swing, and we've attended some really great  events already this month. In April we'll be at the Great River MBA Conference in Memphis, MBA's National Technology in Mortgage Banking Conference & Expo here in Detroit, as well as the Texas MBA Annual Convention in San Antonio. You can view our full list of upcoming conferences, and request to schedule a meeting with our team, at www.dartappraisal.com/events

CMB Update. It's been a while since I shared an update on my CMB progress with you. I completed the MBA's School of Mortgage Banking late last year, earning my AMP designation which I'm really proud of. I just finished the CMB exam prep class last month, and now the fun begins as I study and prepare for the 6-hour exam. At Dart, we interact with lenders every day and I think it's vital to understand their business as closely as possible. I look forward to continuing to work towards my CMB, and to gaining even more insight into our clients' points of view. 

Reflecting on 25 years. In each issue of Dart Board this year, we've shared a few anecdotes on how our company has evolved since 1993. As if 2018 wasn't already a big enough milestone with this anniversary, acquiring VMG certainly makes it a true banner year for our company. We've put together a special 25th Anniversary section on our website, and I invite you to browse through our company history when you have some time. With 25 years under our belt, Dart Appraisal has always been a leader in the valuation industry. We are proud about all we've accomplished so far, and are excited about the growth, partnership and innovation to come.

As always, if there is anything we can do to assist you, please don't hesitate to contact me at michael@dartappraisal.com.

Thank you,


Michael Dresden
President
Dart Appraisal