BPO – Call Center Appraisal

Definition

BPO Appraisal – BPOs (Business Process Outsourcing) or the outsourcing and offshoring of back-office operations are large office complexes which are used to offer services to multinational operations. These services include accounting, marketing, finance, and other services. BPOs effectively leverage highly qualified staff in a foreign country as a more economic option than hiring in-country. LOGAN specializes in the appraisal of such assets in Latin America, often for financial reporting or lending purposes.

Call-Center Appraisal – Call centers are usually located in class C buildings, that are close to public transportation. They provide basic customer service support to companies such as banks, retail stores, and insurance companies. The typical worker is of a younger age, and the buildings have few amenities and are usually low quality. Call-centers are very sensitive to fluctuations in wages, as their aim is to provide cost effective customer service for clients. The business was once growing in Mexico and Costa Rica – but as wages rise, call-centers are increasingly moving to Colombia. LOGAN appraises call center projects in Latin America and has worked on the appraisal of the most important projects in the region.

Types

Low rise – not a very common office type for BPOs or even in Latin America. These are often garden style offices seen in the US that cater to specialists such as doctors.

Midrise – midrise projects are more common for call centers, as they can be built from lower cost materials in order to keep rental costs down. On the other hand, there are many midrise projects that are considered class A which are being leased to BPO companies.

High rise – these tend to not be very common for BPOs or Call Centers due to the high cost associated with building vertically. Further, usually these projects are located within the CBD of a city – where rents are usually expensive.

Conversion – Call Centers need to be cost effective – and pay low rents. This is often achieved by converting industrial projects to call centers. These industrial properties sometimes can be converted by installing mezzanines and fixing out the inside of warehouses. In this way, rents slightly above those achieved by industrial projects can be achieved.

Approaches, Relevance

Cost – a useful valuation approach when the cost of the project is known and recently constructed. This approach is not very useful for conversions as the properties are often older industrial buildings that are infill or located within the city.

Sales comp or market approach – a useful approach when valuing a standard office building, as long as there are sufficient comparable sales available.

Income capitalization – contracts for BPOs and call centers are usually long-term and can have international guarantees of the lessee’s parent company. This approach is useful because it allows the valuer to evaluate the asset in terms of its investment cash flows, the same way investment funds evaluate opportunities.

DCF – this method is useful because it evaluates rents, as well as fluctuations of net cash flows over time. Sometimes, the exit cap is difficult to estimate, especially on conversions. There may be future development potential, which is hard to evaluate and project.

Value Impacting Factors

Building Class – there are differences in value of class A, B, and C buildings. It is important to evaluate the asset and understand what class it is. Factors that impact class include location, design, and typical tenant mix.

Standard Construction or Conversion – conversions have a different useful life than standard office construction, but may have future development potential, as most projects are in old industrial zones that are now located within cities.

Important Inputs

– Rent, rental growth

– Tenant credit quality

Recent Trends

Pandemic – BPOs and call centers were open and operating normally during the pandemic, which may be a surprise to most people. These centers are vital to large multinational companies and increasingly important to technology companies.

Low-Cost Markets – call centers have begun to move to lower cost markets in Latin America. Mexico and Costa Rica are now becoming cost ineffective due to their increasing cost of labor. Markets such as Colombia have become attractive.

Deliverable

Valuation Report

1. Value considerations

2. Limitations of the report, scope, purpose of report

3. Site description

4. Improvements

5. Scope of work in detail

6. Highest and best use of the subject

7. Approaches to value (which are used)

8. Reconciliation (which approaches used and why)

9. Certification statement – confidentiality and conflicts of interest

Notable Markets

Mid-rise Office. Bogotá, Colombia.

Mid-rise Office. Bogotá, Colombia.

Colombia

– Bogota

– Medellin

– Cali

Mexico

– Tijuana

– Mexico City

– Monterrey

Peru

– Lima

CR-CA

– San Jose, Escazu

– Alajuela

– Heredia

Notable Tenants