I served the Real Estate Research Corporation in differing capacities over a six year span. RERC gave me my first entry level information technology job as not much more than an expert technology user, from the recommendation of RERC Tech Director Ben Neil. I progressed through elevated roles increasing responsibilities to Microsoft Certified Professional and Senior Systems Administrator, then changed specialties to Visual Basic, MS SQL, and ASP programming, and completed my employment with RERC as the Manager of Applications Development.
My pinnacle project completed at RERC was, as Mr. Riggs once called it, "Herculean."
The RERC Valuation Management System is a proprietary, secure, and large-scale commercial appraisal workflow, reporting, and analysis system. I had the honor of being the lead programmer and project manager of an add-on data collection system called the PruVal Executive Summary. This data gathering and reporting interface securely collected the most important 300 data points in quarterly appraisals for nearly 2000 commercial properties. This interface was then adapted to 8 distinctly different property type possibilities with their own unique data fields and equations. We also integrated the importation of data from the industry standard commercial appraisal software, ARGUS. The Executive Summary system calculates complex real estate equations and valuation methods dynamically, and ultimately provides the chief appraiser and her staff with real-time status of their portfolios' value and status down to the individual appraisal.
We had some challenging moments during development, especially when a subcontracted developer delivered a large and long-awaited system object that was so terribly incorrect (even after describing the requirements in excruciating detail) that it had to be scrapped and redeveloped. We lost months and ate crow, neither of which are acceptable when working with a client as high profile and important as ours. Once, yours truly consented to a last-minute scope/detail change one day before a massive conference call. I made the change in a rush, tested the insert string, and got ready for the call. You might guess what happened when 'update' was called, instead of the 'insert' that was tested. Suffice it to say that the conference call was over, I was humiliated, and the lesson was learned. Vet your contractors, stick to the approved scope, and test, test, test.
The wins far outweighed the hard lessons, and there's no substitute for the thrill of excellent execution under pressure. Most measurements came in the compliments of our end users, the appraisers, and through the appreciation of our President, Mr. Ken Riggs. I found tremendous personal satisfaction simply by watching the product of my development work without flaw. Ultimately, our success was measured by earning the business of the nation's biggest owner of commercial real estate, and delivering a fully customized and effective system that improved the client's process, accuracy, and efficiency.