Posts Tagged: tax agent

Wayfinder Attribute: Integrity

Vital Attribute: Integrity

Integrity is at the very core of who we are as Wayfinders. Trust is earned over a long period of performance, but it can be shattered in one moment! Mistakes can happen, we know, but integrity really can shine through mistakes.

At Wayfinder, we lead through the hard places, we don’t hide from them!

We believe in honesty and transparency with our clients. Always choose to be honest and ACT with Integrity.

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. 

We Believe

Discover the essence of Wayfinder as we reveal what we believe in.

From dedicating ourselves on to every venture and fostering collective success to maintaining unwavering integrity and striving for excellence, these principles shape our company’s identity.

Joins us in illuminating the core values that drive our company forward.


We Don’t Believe

Adversity is not a signal to surrender; instead, mistakes become lessons. We uplift one another, holding ourselves to elevated standards. Step into our culture, where resilience, honesty, and excellence define us.

Joins us as we shed light on our values and what we stand against as a company.


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. 

Making an Impact in Storm Uri

Making an Impact

The Opportunity: Storm Uri

At Wayfinder, one of our main goals is to make an impact for good in communities and for families. Back in February of 2021, an opportunity to do good presented itself in Texas with Storm Uri. Storm Uri hit Texas very hard and impacted millions of people. The freeze hit for almost seven days and it affected the electrical grid, so there were many people who did not have food, could not heat their homes, and could not even get gas for vehicles because the systems were down. 

Evaluating the Situation

When we heard about the situation, immediately our hearts broke. We called down to our properties in Texas asking if they were ok and if they needed anything. The regional director expressed that they really needed food. The H-E-B was almost completely out of food, save for a few remaining lunch meat packages. They were concerned that their tenants would not have enough food to get through the weekend. It was really scary. We sat there with that news and said, “Well, we can’t necessarily write a check. It’s not really going to help to just write a check for this one.”

Seizing the Opportunity

After some brainstorming, we called the regional director back and said, “Hey, if we got a truck and filled it with food and brought it, would that help you?” She broke down in tears, and she said, “I can’t believe you would be willing to help, that is amazing.” 

Taking the next step, we found out that we could rent a refrigerated truck. We then took it to Costco and Sam’s Club and asked if they could waive their limits on some of their products to help us, and they said, “Absolutely.” The staff at both places all jumped on board to help us. It was pretty amazing.

When we got the truck down to Texas, there were about 30 people waiting there for us to help us unload the truck. We then worked with our client and their team to unload the truck. They had boxes ready so that as we unloaded the truck, we began to make food kits that would get a family through the weekend.

Treating Every Property Like Our Own Home

The fingerprint of Wayfinder, what makes us unique, is that we treat every property as if it was our own. In this situation, if that was our own property, we absolutely would do anything we could to help. If we are looking for opportunities to do good in the world, they will come. All we have to do is be willing to say yes. 

At Wayfinder, it is our goal to always say yes to opportunities to do good.

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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!

Wayfinder: Desire To Make An Impact

Why We Do What We Do

Wayfinder was founded from a desire in our hearts to do some good in the world through the process of appealing property values. When we began sharing this idea with others, the first reaction that we got was, “Yeah, that’s not gonna work. That’s a nice idea, but it is not really how life works.” But in spite of that advice, we still had to give it a try and ask the question: What could be possible if we had the position of making a difference and doing good through our work?

The Start Of Something New

So, we created Wayfinder. It was really exciting to see what we could do even in the first year. We were able to work with our clients, successfully reduce their property values, and take some of that money and give it back to charitable causes that our clients cared about. For the organization Feed My Starving Children, we were able to go as a team and help make food packets to give to children that are in dire straits all around the world. That was one of the first blessings of being able to start Wayfinder.

More Opportunities

One of the most surprising parts of this adventure has been discovering the many opportunities to go above and beyond when we intentionally seek to do good. I remember hearing from a company that received their tax bills and the boardroom conversation turned into, “Who are we going to let go in order to afford our property tax bill?” That was sadly the only option that they could think of to free up money to afford their tax bills. We fought for our client and got their property values reduced so significantly that their conversation changed to, “We can give our property managers and employees bonuses this year!”

Debunking Property Valuation Appeal Misconceptions

Sometimes property valuation appeals get a bad name. Some people say that by protesting your value, you end up hurting communities and families. The media will say that you are taking away from schools and hospitals. However, the reality is that you are not taking away from any of that when you appeal your value. You are simply helping the process be more fair and equitable. The government will collect all of the money that they need to collect for the schools and they’re gonna get it through property taxes which allows it to be paid fairly based on the value of your property. 

We take that a step further by asking our clients what causes they care about and donating to those causes. A lot of times they care about giving back locally because they know that a strong community is crucial to everyones success. For multifamily owners, they know they are protecting homes and they value the fact that they are helping some of the most vulnerable to have a place to live. Owners care about making that place the best it can be with amenities and a safe neighborhood. Together we are able to give back to your communities.

Making An Impact

These stories are just part of what makes going to work amazing. We are so thankful to be part of the process of making a positive impact in communities and on families and individuals. The impact is above and beyond what we could have ever imagined when we created this company. In the beginning, we were questioned if we could really make a difference. Years down the line, we now know that the work has improved communities and our ability to give. It is truly a result of the desire to make an impact. People may have mocked it at the beginning, but look at what we’ve been able to accomplish alongside our wonderful clients! 

At Wayfinder, we have seen so much good already… and we are just getting started. 

We are excited to see what comes next!

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.

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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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