Posts Categorized: Property Taxes

Rig count vs Rent

Property valuation is an ever-changing landscape based on a variety of different factors.  Markets are local and can be affected in different ways by the same stimulus.  For example, West Texas is heavily dependent on oil prices and production, while Dallas appears hardly affected.   

It is critical to know, understand, and track the factors that directly impact your property.  Those factors that impact rent, vacancy, the concessions given and the expenses needed to operate your property.  Let’s return to West Texas and oil.  Oil prices vary daily and can create a rather choppy looking graph.  By utilizing moving averages, we can spot trends in the market price.  By using a one year moving average and a two year moving average, we can begin to see market direction.  When the two year moving average is higher than the one year, it means that prices are falling much faster and typically we are entering into a bust for oil.  On the other hand, when the one year moving average exceeds the two year moving average, we are usually entering into a boom economy for oil.  Let’s see this in action in the Permian Basin.   

The oil price tends to be a leading indicator of the Permian Basin market.  Oil shows the direction of the shift before the rig counts can react.  Below is a graph of the rig counts and you can see from the dates, that they lag when the oil moving average lines cross. 

What is most informative is the relationship between the oil rigs and market effect rent.  The direction of the rigs has an almost immediate effect on the rents charged and collected.  As rig counts drop, vacancies increase, rents drop in an attempt to keep renters, and the whole potential gross revenue of the property decreases.

By studying these market factors, you can begin to predict when the market dynamics are shifting and which way the market is headed.  By using oil price as a lead indicator in West Texas, you can begin to make proactive decisions on acquisitions, cost control, or any other number of issues in advance.  Learning the factors affecting your specific property is not something that is done well with a fleeting glance.

Hopefully your agent has time dedicated to visiting your property, interviewing those in the know, and creating the documentation to secure the tax appeal reduction you deserve.

Wayfinder Attribute: Effective

At Wayfinder, the attribute “Effective” embodies a directional and purposeful approach. It blends efficiency with dedication to excellence.

Effectiveness involves completing tasks in the most efficient way possible without sacrificing quality.

This attribute fosters a culture of inquiry, encouraging team members to ask questions that enhance understanding, drive innovation and achieve outstanding results. By doing this, it can allow us to be more efficient AND effective!

The Game Changer

What Sets Exceptional Property Tax Consultants Apart

Having the right consultant by your side can be a game-changer, the difference between overpaying and securing fair assessments. You deserve a tax consultant that will truly care for your properties as much as you do.

Here are four indispensable qualities you can distinguish when choosing a property tax consultant that will make a difference in your results:

Passion for Your Company: 

A truly effective property tax consultant isn’t just in it for the paycheck; they’re genuinely invested in your company’s success. They take the time to understand your properties, the operations, and unique challenges. This passion translates into a deep commitment to securing the most favorable tax outcomes for your properties. Look for a consultant who demonstrates enthusiasm for your company’s mission and values, as this passion will drive them to go above and beyond in advocating for your interests. 

Exceptional Capabilities with Each County’s Property Tax Appeal Process and Relationships: 

Your consultant should not only possess a comprehensive understanding of tax laws, assessment methodologies, and appeal procedures for each county they will represent you in, but they should also have a respectful relationship with each county. They need to understand each county’s preferences and approaches. Proficiency in crafting compelling appeals, presenting persuasive arguments and providing an abundance of evidence while honoring the representatives from the assessor’s office is paramount to achieving favorable outcomes for you. Seek out consultants with a proven track record of success in reducing tax liabilities and securing fair assessments while maintaining high levels of respect from the assessor’s office in each jurisdiction. 

Personally Knowledgeable About Your Property’s Economic Dynamics: 

The economic drivers that affect each multifamily property are dynamic, influenced by a myriad of factors ranging from economic trends to regulatory changes. A top-tier property tax consultant is committed to continuous learning and staying current of developments that impact your industry, properties and the local economy. They conduct thorough market research, monitor trends, and leverage their insights to inform their strategies for minimizing your tax burden. Choose a consultant who demonstrates a hunger for knowledge and a proactive approach. 

Exuberance for Each Property: 

Effectively representing your interests in property tax matters requires energy, drive, and an unwavering commitment to excellence. Avoid consultants who spread themselves too thin, as this can lead to subpar results and missed opportunities for tax savings. Assessors love working with overwhelmed consultants because they are willing to take any reduction they offer. Instead, opt for tax consulting companies who limit the number of cases per consultant, prioritizing client success and relentless pursuit of optimal outcomes over a massive volume of work to increase their profits. Your consultant should possess the time, stamina and dedication necessary to effectively work on each case one by one without compromising on the quality of their work. 

Selecting the right property tax consultant is a critical decision that can significantly impact your property’s financial health. You can ensure that your properties are in capable hands as you invest the time and effort to find a consultant who embodies these essential attributes. 

Your Property Matters

We believe every property has a story worth knowing, documenting, and telling.

You deserve someone to care about your property as much as you do.

Trusting your tax agent and having peace of mind are priceless. Wayfinder limits our agents to 100 properties per year to make sure each property can be visited in person and given the care they need for the best appeal. Those we represent receive top notch service and understand that we act with their best interest in mind.

Trust us to help protect your legacy and Experience Excellence with us!

Beyond the Profits, the Principles that Drive Us

What drives us?


In today’s business landscape, success is often measured not only by financial gain but also by the values and principles that guide an organization’s actions. At Wayfinder Tax Relief, we believe that integrity, accountability, excellence, and abundance are fundamental to our mission and essential for building lasting relationships with our clients and communities. 

Integrity is the cornerstone of everything we do at Wayfinder Tax Relief. We recognize the importance of honesty, transparency, and ethical conduct in all our interactions. From our initial consultations to the resolution of property tax appeals, we strive to uphold the highest standards of integrity, ensuring that our clients trust us to represent their interests with honesty and fairness. 

Accountability is another core value that drives our business practices. We take responsibility for our actions and decisions, holding ourselves to the highest standards of professionalism and ethical conduct. Whether it’s communicating openly with our clients, meeting deadlines, or delivering results, we believe in being accountable for our commitments and actions. 

Excellence is ingrained in our culture at Wayfinder Tax Relief. We are committed to delivering exceptional service and results to our clients. Our team of experienced professionals continuously strives for excellence in all aspects of our work. By setting high standards for ourselves, we aim to exceed our clients’ expectations and achieve the best possible outcomes. 

Abundance is not just about financial success; it’s about fostering a mindset of generosity, collaboration, and shared success. At Wayfinder Tax Relief, we believe in creating abundance for our clients, employees, and communities. We are dedicated to helping our clients maximize their savings through property tax relief, empowering them to reinvest in their businesses and communities. We also believe in giving back to our communities through philanthropic initiatives and supporting local organizations that share our values. 

In conclusion, integrity, accountability, excellence, and abundance are not just buzzwords at Wayfinder Tax Relief; they are the guiding principles that drive our business and shape our interactions with clients and communities. By upholding these values, we strive to make a positive impact and build a legacy of trust, integrity, and success in everything we do. 

Empowering Your Tax Agent for Multifamily Valuation Appeals 


Introduction: 

We all know that every dollar counts when you are creating a quality community that cares for and protects your residents. That is why it is incredibly important to navigate your property tax appeals with intense care. When you choose the right tax agent and empower them with the right information, it can make a significant difference to the outcome of your valuation appeal and the profitability of your community. Let’s take a deep look into the key factors that impact your property tax valuation and share how to effectively empower your tax agent with this crucial information. 

Understanding the Valuation Date: 

One critical aspect is the importance of the valuation date, usually this is January 1st. This date serves as a snapshot of your property’s status for tax assessment purposes. The condition of your property on this specific date determines your tax assessment. Therefore, it is in your best interest to provide your tax agent with a comprehensive overview of issues affecting your property on the valuation date. 

Factors Influencing Valuation: 

Occupancy Rates: 

The percentage of occupied units on the valuation date can significantly affect the revenue potential of your property, and therefore the assessed value. A higher occupancy rate may result in a higher valuation, while a lower rate could potentially lead to a reduced assessment. Be sure to share your occupancy rates with your tax agent on your valuation date. 

Rent Trends: 

Keep your tax agent informed about current rent trends in your area, this ensures that they can accurately assess the income potential of your property and work toward a reduction. What economic factors are influencing your rent? For example, for multifamily communities in the Permian Basin of Texas, we are consistently documenting the direct relationship between operating oil rigs and rent prices. This level of research enabled us to prove declining market rent trends even before the oil crash in March 2020, resulting in immense savings for our clients, while competing tax agents did not even attempt to appeal that year. 

Deferred Maintenance: 

Any deferred maintenance issues should be disclosed to your tax agent. Unaddressed maintenance can adversely impact the property’s value. Without documenting these issues and having estimates for the repairs, you might end up with a higher valuation than you should. 

Obsolescence: 

Technological advancements or changes in market preferences can make certain features of your property obsolete. Identifying and communicating these factors is especially important. This is where an experienced agent who is actually visiting your property can help. If you are not sure about something, the agent can help you know what is relevant.   

Acute Issues: 

Flooding, fire, severe storms or other unfortunate events can significantly impact your property’s revenue and condition. Timely disclosure about these events allows your tax agent to factor in these issues during the valuation process. Do you have any down units? Why are they down? Did a fallen tree damage the roof? Did a pipe burst under the foundation? Did a storm take down part of the fence? Incidents like these have helped us lower the tax bill for our clients. Your tax agent will want to know about everything and sending them pictures to document the issues is important too.  

Tenant Population and Economic Factors: 

Understanding the demographic and economic landscape surrounding your property is equally important. Highlight relevant economic factors in your community, such as job growth or decline, sudden housing availability, an influx of population growth; these issues can influence property values. What is the neighborhood doing? Is it growing or in decline, etc. Be generous and share this information with your tax agent. 

Transparency is Key: 

One of the most crucial pieces of advice is to be transparent with your tax agent. Even if you are unsure whether certain details will impact the assessment, it is better to disclose everything. Tax agents are trained to weed out irrelevant information and focus on factors that genuinely influence property value. 

Conclusion: 

Empowering your tax agent with comprehensive information about your property’s condition, tenant population, and local economic factors can significantly enhance their ability to secure the most accurate property valuation for you. Transparency and communication are key elements in building a strong partnership with your tax agent, ensuring the highest savings potential on your property tax assessment. 

The Importance of Local Expertise in Your Property Tax Agent 

The Importance of Local Expertise in Your Property Tax Agent

Why Local Expertise Matters

One of the low points in my career was when I had a case in Kentucky. I had done everything I could to prepare for this case. I did my CoStar Comps and reviewed the property on Google Earth. I did everything I knew how to best prepare myself… all except for a site visit because I was stretched too thin at my former firm to be able to do that. There was no time to visit the property in person; I wasn’t able to dedicate more than a few minutes to this case. Little did I know, my lack of preparation was about to change everything.

The Game-Changer

I arrived in Kentucky, at my hearing, and went in to present my case. After I presented my case, the response from the board member was something I had never heard before. Much to my dismay, he said, “Boy, you’re not from around here. Because if you were, you would know that no one would ever compare that part of town to the one that you’re in right now.” And that was a game-changer for me.

If At First, You Don’t Succeed…

I thought that the properties looked similar in the aerial shots. I thought they looked similar on CoStar Sales, but my sales were low because they were in an area that didn’t warrant the same kind of sales as my subject. Well, needless to say, I walked out of there having lost my case. I felt dejected and determined that I would never feel that way again. Because of this experience, at Wayfinder, we visit every property we represent. We always know what we’re talking about in that market, because we… 

  • Visit the equity comps
  • Drive around the neighborhood
  • Visit our sales comps
  • Perform exhaustive market data research
  • Interview people and business in the area

The Wayfinder Guarantee

That is what makes Wayfinder different from other agenciesWe guarantee to visit your property. We never give our agents more than they can handle, so that they always can fulfill that guarantee. In most agencies, an agent has hundreds or thousands of properties they represent every year. It’s a quantity game. At Wayfinder, ours is a quality game. We never have more than 100 properties per agent, because that allows us to give days, not hours, for every one of our properties. I learned my lesson in that wonderful hearing in Kentucky where I got slapped upside the head and realized there is a better way to do property tax appeals.

Are you ready to experience the difference local expertise can make for your property valuation? Connect with one of our agents today!

4 Reasons to Appeal

Appealing Your Proposed Value

Filing a protest of your noticed value is an important right the State of Texas grants its taxpayers. There are many reasons to appeal that affect many different parties. In this blog, I would like to share with you just 4 main reasons to appeal your Proposed Value.

Reason 1: Makes a Positive Impact on Communities

Reductions to appraised value and tax burdens are inappropriately judged as only helping property owners, but the truth is quite different. Multifamily property owners serve entire communities by providing safe housing and amenities for residents and their families. By reducing the tax burdens of a property, owners are able to improve/update units, provide extra services to tenants, and offer improved amenities. This is all made possible through lowering of tax expenses.

Reason 2: Holds Counties Accountable

Counties are responsible for setting the appraised value of all real estate in their jurisdictions. This is often a burdensome job with only a few appraisers in an office. Without taxpayers’ appealing values and providing appraisal districts with information not readily available to the general public, values could become inaccurate county-wide and with little other recourse for taxpayers. Appeals help keep appraisal districts’ values in line with current markets.

Reason 3: Keeps Costs Down

This is a rather simple reason to appeal that serves residents of a multifamily property. Property taxes make up one of the largest annual expenses for these types of properties. Often, when expenses increase or stay high, a portion of these expenses get passed onto the tenants. Keeping a property’s taxes low is a way to combat increased rents and provide more affordable rates for families.

Reason 4: Expansion

Finally, if a multifamily property owner can combat expenses within a market, there is an incentive to reinvest in that market. A lowered tax burden means an increase in the attractiveness of purchasing more properties or even building in a certain area. The increase in multifamily properties coming online in a market creates a boost in that area’s economy raising wages, creating new jobs, and providing vendors with more work.

Whatever reason speaks to you more as a multifamily property owner, I hope that you understand the importance of your appeal on not just your own bottom line but also your community.

See How Wayfinder Can Help

Important Terms to Know Before You File a Protest

Importance of Understanding Terms

Filing a protest of your noticed value is an important right the State of Texas grants its taxpayers. To combat over taxation, multifamily property owners should be knowledgeable of a few terms so that they can effectively navigate the appeals process.

Key Terms 

Notice of Appraised Value – This is the notice that the Central Appraisal District (CAD) sends out to property owners within its county stating the county’s opinion of value concerning a specific piece of property. This notice should provide taxpayers with a proposed assessed value, as well as a deadline to appeal this value. 

Assessed Value – In Texas, the assessed value of a multifamily property is equal to the market value of the property (or the price that the property would exchange hands in an open and free market through an arm’s length transaction). This value is significant because it is then multiplied by the jurisdiction’s tax rate to calculate the annual property taxes owed on the property. 

Notice of Protest – This is a document filed by the taxpayer to dispute the proposed assessed/market value of a property. This form may be found through the local CAD or the Texas Comptroller’s office.

Appraisal Review Board – This administrative board hears protests to proposed assessed/market value of the property. A taxpayer who filed a protest of their proposed value will go before this board and make their case if a settlement is not reached with the CAD. 

Exhausting Administrative Remedies – Texas law uses this phrase when describing how a property owner may file a lawsuit against a CAD concerning a property’s proposed value. The term ultimately means that most taxpayers must file a Notice of Protest with their CAD and conduct an ARB hearing before they may file a claim to the court concerning the matter.

Sales Approach to Value – A settled method of valuing property using sales of comparable property in the same market as the subject property.

Cost Approach to Value – A settled method of valuing property using costs associated with producing a similar or near-identical property in the same market as the subject property. 

Income Approach to Value – A settled method of valuing property using the income potential of a property. This is the favored approach when dealing with multifamily properties. 

Uniform and Equal Appraisal – This is a constitutional requirement for CAD’s to value similar property similarly. Properties that are valued unequally to comparable properties should be corrected.

These are but a few of the terms and buzzwords used in every valuation cycle, but hopefully, it is enough to help you with any of your future appeals. For any clarification or additional help, please talk to your property tax agent today.

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What are the Benefits of Filing to Litigation?

What are the Benefits of Filing to Litigation?

How can I get my Appeal to Litigation?

Before talking about the benefits of filing your property valuation appeal to court, it is important to understand what you must do first before you can file. In Texas, a taxpayer seeking to litigate their property value appeal must first exhaust their administrative remedies. This means that a taxpayer must first file a protest of noticed value with the valuing Central Appraisal District (CAD). Following an informal meeting with their CAD, the taxpayer must then have a hearing before an Appraisal Review Board (ARB). Once the taxpayer has this hearing, then they can file their protest to court.

Benefits of Filing to Court

The benefits of filing your value protest to court are simple, yet important. For starters, filing to court gives you another chance to have your case heard, or another bite at the apple. Never underestimate a do-over in life. Second, the court hears your case de novo, which means “from the beginning”. This is very helpful to taxpayers because they most likely lost or did not get the reduction they were seeking from the ARB if they are now filing to court. Without the burden of overcoming an ARB hearing, taxpayers can expect a fairer hearing. And finally, filing your case to court can give you an opportunity to better prepare your case and give you the time needed to present it. In an ARB hearing, you often only have 15 minutes to present all your evidence.

That is not a lot of time if there are complex factors you wish to present. In litigation, you have plenty of time to progress and share these issues with both the court and the CAD.

Ultimately, filing to court can offer property owners another chance at relief and a fair valuation. However, taxpayers need to be smart about when to take their protest this extra step. Litigation can be expensive, time-consuming, and burdensome. Suing the CAD should only be a last effort when you not only fully believe in your case, but know the outcome would significantly impact your value.

For any help or guidance in dealing with your protests, please feel free to contact our team today.

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