CBRE Selects Property Tax Payment Service Provider

Are property taxes high-tech? These days, anything is high tech if software and hardware can give a business an edge.

CBRE announced the acquisition of Cold River Land. The Alpharetta, Georgia-based company “offers a comprehensive property tax management platform, including document management, data management, appeals, search, and monitoring.” In addition to tax management, Cold River Land also allows customer payment.

“Cold River Land expands our property tax and transaction capabilities, enabling us to provide a holistic approach that meets all of our clients’ property tax needs,” the statement quoted Tom Edwards, global president of property tax services. Assessment and Advisory (VAS) for CBRE, as saying.

Cold River Land employees will now work within VAS.

This is a somewhat similar case to Acquisition by JLL of Metropolitan Valuation Servicesa commercial property appraisal and real estate consulting firm in the greater New York metropolitan area, in the sense that everything these days is about expertise that can be captured and expressed through software.

For JLL, having more expertise in-house meant the ability to capture and act on knowledge through machine learning systems. But Cold River Land has both its expertise and its own software. The acquisition means CBRE can make money from the software services themselves and also improve and use expertise.

Last year, CBRE took a 60% stake in Turner & Townsend, which provides real estate, infrastructure and natural resources, providing program management, cost consulting, project management and advising clients in 46 countries. Software is a proxy for knowledge and expertise.

Additionally, the software acts as an operational multiplier. Instead of one person providing answers to another, applications can satisfy multiple people simultaneously, increasing the ability to do business.

Property tax is an intriguing ability to complete or build. Inevitably, there are national and local considerations, making it difficult for a company to have a broad understanding in many different places. And taxes are something CRE companies have to deal with.

A solid understanding of taxation reinforces what CBRE can already do. And, as is the case with JLL and Metropolitan Valuation Services, an acquisition prevents a competitor from making a similar move.

Penny D. Jackson