Industry Leader | John van der Spuy
Mar 7, 2023
Every month, SAIV profiles some of our most established property valuers who have become leaders in the industry due to many years of experience.
What made you pursue a career in property valuations?
In 1970 as a first venture after school, I was attracted by the mix of outdoor and indoor time together with the variety of valuations in the then Provincial Admin Valuation Department.
Who do you think has had the biggest influence on your career today, and why?
The biggest influence initially was undoubtedly my immediate senior valuer, Mr I P de Villiers Kruger at CPA who encouraged me to study further and pushed me into being one of the first in the Western Cape to obtain the National Diploma in Valuations.
The strangest property you have ever been asked to value?
The most unusual was an island in the Seychelles belonging to a prominent French owner which I inspected and valued in 2012, clearly a dream assignment, given that the island was independently owned and staffed by some 55 people on a permanent basis.
What do you think is one of the worst, but perhaps most common, mistakes a property valuer can make?
It is risky to be lulled by the instructions of a client and cannot afford to accept data at face value. Diligent research and verification of facts is essential.
Complete this sentence: Every property valuer needs…
Every property valuer needs a sense of humour in addition to developing a feel for the properties which we value.
Looking back on your career, what has been the biggest change you have noticed in property valuations in South Africa?
The biggest change in property valuations in my personal experience, bearing in mind that it covers the period from 1970 to 2021, i.e. some 50 years, must be the computer chip and all the benefits flowing therefrom, including the digital era, electronic storage and availability of data.
What risks do you see facing the property valuation industry today?
Due to the enormous responsibility which valuers can face and the implications of valuations which we determine, it becomes more important than ever to maintain one’s independence and not be swayed by any party in the valuation process.
Any advice for young people looking to pursue a career in valuations?
Valuations on their own require a career to be built up over some years and this applies to the valuer himself/herself. I believe it is thus important to work in various property related fields, e.g. property management, property broking, property maintenance and valuations, in order to gain an understanding of the different aspects of properties across the spectrum. The individual would then gain a better understanding of the wider property market and be convinced to follow a valuation career with the experience and networking so gained.
Are there any specialised properties which you believe would be worthwhile for any valuer to develop specific skills in valuing?
While it can be worthwhile specialising in a particular property field, I would advocate involvement in a wider range when starting out on a valuation career. In so doing, the individual will gain insight into the different aspects of valuations in the classes of property requiring such expertise, e.g. agricultural properties, commercial properties, residential properties, investment properties, etc.
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