Skip to content

BBG Real Estate Services: Finding value in farmland

Sydni Nicolici of BBG Real Estate Services visits a client’s vineyard in Dundee, Ore. Nicolici is BBG’s director of agricultural valuation for the West Coast.

By BRENNA WIEGAND For the Capital Press Mar 9, 2023

The country’s leading independent valuation and assessment services firm, BBG Real Estate Services has built an expansive customer base and a deep understanding of diverse property types across major U.S. markets.

Though she’s been an appraiser for 10 years, Sydni Nicolici found her niche in agricultural appraising about five years ago and now serves as BBG’s director of agricultural valuation for the West Coast.

“I like to focus on specialized properties in the region and have helped value an equestrian center and custom hunting lodge,” Nicolici said. “However, I’ve met a wide variety of people and seen a lot of different things like where those cool scented pinecones come from and how they’re made, or I can talk your ear off about blueberries, from the varieties to the many ways they’re processed, including what it takes to get into the Starbucks syrup lineup.”

Though not a well-known industry, the independent appraiser plays a large role in commercial lending today, functioning largely as a check on value to make sure a loan makes sense.

BBG can also help with estate work. Representatives are frequently called on as expert witnesses in court.

Nicolici keeps her finger on the pulse of Oregon’s many crops and their markets and furthers her knowledge and networking as the Oregon Chapter Vice President of the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers.

In her leadership role, Nicolici recently arranged a continuing education event for agriculture appraisers focusing on water rights concerns and impacts for Deschutes and Crook counties.

“People either love appraising or they just kind of roll their eyes because it can be pretty technical,” Nicolici said. “I would say it’s a mix of art and data and at some point we have to interpret what we’re seeing and then make a judgment call at the end of it.”

It’s not always good news, as with the current real estate market.

“Unfortunately, we’re in the throes of a declining market right now, and I don’t think we’ve hit the bottom yet because I think the feds are going to keep raising interest rates,” Nicolici said. “With some caveats, Oregon’s peak of values was October 2021, and it has now reached a stagnant stage.

“Property values are declining because of the higher interest rates, so it’s not the ideal time if you’re trying to sell; if possible, it’s a time to wait and monitor where things go,” she said. “Meanwhile, our goal is to create a clear line of communication between us and people who own the property.”