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Meet Bob Karl

Meet Bob Karl, Senior Appraiser at Steigerwaldt. Bob is a certified general appraiser in Wisconsin,Michigan, and Minnesota. Past projects have included federal/industrial land exchanges, large tract, industrial land disposals and acquisitions, conservation easements, and other vacant forestland properties of various acreages.

Bob Karl

Please provide a professional history introduction (prior and during your time at Steigerwaldt):

  • Started at “Steigerwaldt and Sons” about one month after graduating from UW-Stevens Point in 1980, worked part time as needed on special projects (mostly forest inventory) for almost three years, then shifted to full time from 1983 until 2012 as a forester, GIS manager, and certified general appraiser, since 2012 part time semi-retired appraiser with full retirement now in my sights.

Why are you passionate about this field?

  • To borrow a quote from Barry Alvarez (former Badgers coach and AD), “Find something that you love to do, do it well enough that someone will pay you to do it, and you’ll never work a day in your life.”

How do you serve our clients?

  • By providing USPAP-compliant appraisals based on years of experience in forestry, GIS, and appraisal.

Why do you enjoy working at Steigerwaldt?

  • Flexibility to work when it is convenient (as long as project deadlines are met).

Since you’ve worked here, how has the industry changed?

  • As you can imagine, there have been numerous changes through the years. When I started, there were no computers, internet, e-mail, smart phones, MLS, NAIP photos, digital parcel maps, GPS or GIS, digital cameras. Letters and reports were typed from a handwritten yellow-pad draft on an electric typewriter by a secretary; comp sales were found by talking to realtors on the phone or in person, or paging through recorded deeds in the court house; air photos had to be purchased or borrowed from the Tomahawk DNR; for report photos, film had to be purchased, then delivered for processing and picked up in a day or two. I could go on and on about how technology has made our jobs much easier.

What industry changes are you most excited about?

  • From an appraiser’s standpoint, anything that makes it easier to identify and analyze comp sales faster is exciting — MLS and digital real estate transfer return data, and digital parcel mapping, air photos, DRGs, soil mapping. As a forester, GIS and GPS really simplify things. Try locating a sample plot a quarter mile away in a cedar swamp by compass and pacing. Acreage summaries that used to take weeks can now be done in minutes using GIS.

What’s your favorite tree and why?

  • The northern white-cedar is my favorite tree, but not the gnarly twisted ones that grow in swamps in the U.P. I mean the tall straight ones that grow near limestone outcrops on upland sites and are used for cabin logs, fence posts, lawn furniture, etc. Because it was a common tree where I grew up in Kewaunee and always provided the best cover for hunting stands.

      Where do you like to go on vacation?

      • I have been to the Gulf Coast twice now, for two weeks in late February/March, and enjoyed the break from winter, but wouldn’t care to spend the entire winter down south like some folks.

      What is your favorite outdoor activity?

      • Golfing has just about taken over hunting as my favorite, mainly because of the longer season.