ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) – Nearly 1,000 attendees filled Orange County Property Appraiser (OCPA) Rick Singh’s 2019 State of Orange County Real Estate (SOCRE) event at the Wyndham Orlando Resort Thursday. The annual report was unique and interactive as usual, but this year’s presentation leaned into OCPA’s technology focus with three key updates, including drones.
Appraiser Singh opened his presentation with a video of him talking to Alexa, which was pre-programmed with the travel time to arrive at the Wyndham on I-Drive from his downtown Orlando office, wishing him a safe trip to speak at the 2019 SOCRE. Unbeknownst to the audience, this introduction demonstrated what Singh later shared in his annual report with the audience about the forthcoming inclusion of artificial intelligence (AI) in OCPA’s operations, in this case, conversational intelligence.
The second major announcement was the addition of two field property appraisers who are licensed drone operators (below). Much like for realtors, the drones will help appraisers survey properties in a less invasive way and more quickly. Thirdly, OCPA’s long-term tech plans include adding autonomous vehicles to their fleet (above).
2019 OCPA Statistics
As usual in his report, Singh reported 2019’s numbers as well as cumulative stats for his tenure, which began in 2013 after his election in 2012:
- Historic market value of $208.2 billion for 2019 (10.3% increase over 2018 in total market value)
- $4.5 billion in new construction this year
- 6,555 new homes built (8.6% increase from 2018)
- All 13 Orange County municipalities experienced market value growth (more than half of which reported double-digit increases from 2018)
- Cumulatively, OCPA has appraised over $1.1 trillion in market value during Singh’s tenure
This Year’s Panel
Four other panelists joined Appraiser Singh onstage:
Dr. Alesia Scott-Ford
Jacksonville Field Office Director
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Dr. Alesia Scott-Ford was appointed to the position of Jacksonville Field Office Director for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in April 2014. Dr. Scott-Ford is responsible for overseeing the delivery of HUD programs and services across North Florida as well as evaluating their efficiency and effectiveness to communities and individuals. Along with the Miami Field Office, she coordinates the department’s programs across the state. As the Field Office Director, she serves as HUD’s liaison to mayors, city managers, elected representatives, state and local officials, congressional delegations, nonprofit groups, private entities; faith-based groups, other stakeholders and individual Americans.
Dr. Jason Eichenholz
Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer
Dr. Jason Eichenholz is a serial entrepreneur and pioneer in laser and photonics product development and commercialization. Over the past twenty-five years, he has led the development of hundreds of millions of dollars of new photonics and photonic-enabled products. At Luminar Technologies, he is responsible for research and development, engineering of new products and bringing Luminar’s technology to market. Dr. Eichenholz is a fellow of SPIE – the international society for optics and photonics – and OSA – the optical society – and holds forty patents on lasers and photonic devices.
Senior Associate Vice President for Government Relations
University of Central Florida
Fred Kittinger is known for bridging the gap between business and government. Currently the Senior Associate Vice President for Government Relations and Director of State and Local Government Affairs at the University of Central Florida, he represents Florida’s largest university to state and local officials. Throughout his career, he has diligently protected the interests of businesses, education, and city and state governments. Notably, Kittinger served on the ground floor team during the planning and approval phase of relocating UCF’s downtown campus to the site of the new Creative Village.
2019 Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association (ORRA) President
Jeff Fagan is the 2019 president of the Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association, which represents more than 15,500 real estate professionals throughout Central Florida. ORRA is the 8th largest REALTOR® organization in the country. Fagan’s priorities during his term as president include affordable housing, articulating ORRA’s value to both members and the public; and expanding services to deliver additional high-quality member benefits. He transitioned into real estate after a 20-year career in poultry agribusiness and has held a Florida real estate license since 2001.
This year’s panel discussed a range of hot topics:
- Will affordable housing challenges impact our region’s ability to attract new business and new talent?
- How can autonomous vehicles help solve Central Florida’s traffic gridlock?
- With most of our workforce spending more than 50% of their income on housing, what real estate market changes are on the horizon?
- With the opening of Creative Village, how is UCF assisting the downtown students in securing housing?
On the point of technology, the audience could track the whole presentation and conversation from the new OCPA app after surrendering an email address and a password to set up an account. In the app, the audience answered several questions presented to them in phases based on the topic the panel was discussing at that moment. The big screens displayed the audience poll results in real time as the panelists talked.
Singh and his team always use innovation to distinguish him from other property appraisers–not only his predecessors, but others around the state–and this year’s tech-savvy approach was another leap for the OCPA team.
Mellissa Thomas is Editor for Florida National News. | firstname.lastname@example.org