Gas station and
convenience store
appraisals and consulting

Specialized Expertise

Retail Petroleum Group (RPG) operates as a division of CSVA, which specializes in the appraisal of both owner-occupied and leased retail petroleum outlets with convenience stores throughout the Southeastern United States. Our team of veteran c-store appraisers have the experience to properly analyze both property and submarket-specific factors that drive the going concern value of any given outlet. As a result, we produce high-quality appraisals for our clients on time, every time.

Highly Qualified Analysts

The RPG team has appraised retail petroleum properties exclusively for over a decade, with valuations on over 3,000 locations completed to date. A seasoned veteran inspects every property, conducts the entire analysis, and oversees the writing of every report, start to finish.

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Relevant Projection Models

Many assignments involve properties that are closed, underperforming, or mismanaged, and therefore require accurate performance projections that assume competent management.

Our experience reviewing thousands of retail petroleum property financial statements is an invaluable resource that aids in properly projecting operating performance for impaired stores.

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SPECIALIZED GEOGRAPHIC AREA

Our primary geographic service area is the Southeastern United States. We know these markets well, and we maintain an extensive database of current land sales, improved sales, bay rentals, development cost data, operating expenses, and revenue comparables specific to our coverage area.

SBA COMPLIANT APPRAISALS

In addition to holding MAI designations, RPG leadership also maintain ASA designations, one of the five designations that meets the regulations by the US Small Business Administration’s SOP. We can also tailor our work product to facilitate your assembly of an SBA or USDA loan package.

Highly Qualified Analysts

Keith T. Nelson

MAI, ASA

Kieth has been appraising commercial, industrial, and agricultural properties in Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, and other southeastern states for over 20 years. After graduating from Mississippi State University in 1993 with a B.B.A. in Real Estate and Mortgage Finance, Keith worked as a review appraiser/realty specialist with the Department of Veteran Affairs from 1993 until 1995. Mr. Nelson joined Appraisal Services in Columbus, MS as a partner/appraiser from 1995 until 2004 where he appraised a variety of commercial properties in Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee. Mr. Nelson was a contract appraiser and reviewer for a national appraisal firm specializing in convenience store and gas station appraisals from 2004 until 2013. Mr. Nelson was awarded the MAI designation in 2011 and the ASA designation in 2014. Keith has personally appraised, start to finish, over 1,500 convenience stores since 2004, and this property type has been the primary focus of his appraisal practice for the last 16+ years. Mr. Nelson has reviewed profit and loss statements from well over 1,700 convenience stores in approximately 25 different states.

Joseph H. Rexroat

MAI, ASA

Joseph has over 25 years of nationwide experience as a commercial real estate appraiser and consultant. Joe worked as a commercial real estate consultant in the Atlanta, GA office of Deloitte & Touche from 1993 to 1999, saw the appraisal review/banking side of appraisal while at a conduit lender during portions of 1999 and 2000, and worked as a contract appraiser and reviewer for a national appraisal firm specializing in convenience store and gas station appraisals from 2000 to 2013. Mr. Rexroat was awarded the MAI designation in 2000 and the ASA designation in 2014. Joe graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1991 with a Bachelor of Science in Management, Cooperative Plan. Joe Rexroat has personally appraised, start to finish, over 2,000 convenience stores since 2000 and this property type has been the primary focus of his appraisal practice for the last 20+ years.

Relevant Projections Models

First and foremost, RPG undertakes every assignment by thinking like buyers and sellers of this property type do – profit potential drives value for a given location, period. Buyers and sellers, brokers, and all competent appraisers know this. With the exception of long-term leased facilities to national credit tenants, RPG analyzes every store on the basis of potential gross profit and net profit/EBITDA. Many appraisers employ a traditional price per square foot methodology, effectively treating a gas station/c-store as if it were a general commercial property. This technique is inappropriate as it fails to properly account for any intangible component of value that may exist with respect to the subject or the comparables. In addition, it cannot isolate the vastly differing external factors (level of existing competition, submarket demographics, etc.) that comprise the environments within which the subject and the comparables operate.

How does an appraiser accurately estimate gross profit? This task is straightforward when several years of accurate detailed operating history is available. However, when little or no actual historical data is available, accurately forecasting a store’s profit potential is extremely difficult without the proper tools and experience. Complications also arise when operating history does not reflect competent, aggressive, and fully capitalized management. Another factor to consider is whether or not the operating data provided is a true reflection of a facility’s actual historical performance. This is where our decades of experience is immeasurable. Our analysts’ knowledge derived from poring over thousands of store financials coupled with RPG’s proprietary projection models take much of the guesswork out of less-than-ideal written or verbal operating history. The projection models are driven by a large database of facilities for which operating history is known, with a unique scoring system for the subject and all data points that asks the questions that are truly most relevant to a given store/location’s success or failure. We also attempt to contact every property’s fuel supplier to verify operating history or to assist in projecting stabilized gallonage when actual historical data is unavailable or reflects less than fully competent management. Our goal is to get to the bottom of a store’s true profit potential based on property-specific and external factors.

In addition to fuel and inside sales, many c-stores have ancillary owner-operated profit centers such as delis, car washes, branded or unbranded QSRs, etc. Some going concerns also boast abnormally strong other income subcategories like lottery commissions, state-sanctioned gaming revenue, check cashing, etc. RPG maintains an extensive database of revenue comparables that provide concrete support for ancillary profit center performance forecasts.

In addition to employing published construction cost secondary data, RPG also maintains an extensive database of primary cost comparables obtained during recent appraisals of proposed retail petroleum outlets/c-stores. Actual recent property type-specific development cost estimates serve as an added layer of support when estimating accurate costs for a gas station/c-store’s various physical components (site improvements, building, canopy, petroleum equipment, and inside equipment).

We believe users of our reports deserve to see current industry trends that affect a property’s value. For example, precipitous drops in oil prices historical brought about big changes in the operation of this property type, thereby materially affecting going concern values. RPG pulls numerous data points from the most relevant industry sources, some of which are submarket-specific, as part of every assignment. The latest national, state, and local industry trends are always reflected in every report we issue.

Every one of our assignments begins with a determination of the primary trade area within which a facility must operate. This is determined based on demographics within an appropriate drive time. Additional considerations such as transient patronage resulting from proximity to an Interstate highway, or increased business as a result of daytime employment in the area are also considered. The quantity, quality, and fuel pricing strategies of existing competition within (and in cases outside) the primary trade area are carefully analyzed and presented in detail, as level of competition arguably imposes the greatest influence on value of any property-specific or external factor. Too much existing competition, the presence of one or more aggressive hypermarketers, or lengthy fuel pricing ‘wars’ among existing nearby competitors can destroy an otherwise healthy business operation. Traffic counts, supporting development, and additional traffic generators in the area represent additional success factors for a given location.

Many c-stores/gas stations feature attached or freestanding rental space in the form of general commercial/retail/office bays, detached general rental space, emissions inspection bays, third-party hand car wash operations, mini-storage units behind the primary improvements, etc. We consider the contributory value of rental components separately, treating them as the retail or office space they are rather than simply including rental income with the going concern’s other income. We also survey the market area to determine market rent and an appropriate absorption period for vacant rental space. This methodology is most appropriate, as it mirrors the thinking of a prudent purchaser.

Our clients have spoken regarding report readability and we have listened. Our reports follow a logical progression from the macro to the property-specific, and all analyses and calculations are well explained and easy to follow. In addition, almost every exhibit typically found in an appraisal report’s addenda is presented within the body of our report, right where it is being discussed. This results in no page flipping back and forth from the body of the report to the addenda.

Because we are a smaller firm with lower overhead than big shops, we are consistently able to provide quality work for a very reasonable and competitive fee. Our nimble size also allows us to closely monitor workload, resulting in competitive turn times. Although our clients appreciate our reasonable fees and favorable turn times, they like our obsession with timeliness and ability to be reached even more. Any of our existing clients will tell you that we are never late in submitting assignments. If we cannot deliver we simply do not bid. And unlike larger firms, our clients can pick up the phone and reach a principal (who is also the analyst/report author) right away. We enjoy talking with our clients about our work and will field any questions or provide revisions in very short order.

We can easily handle fee simple, leased fee, and leasehold ownership situations, as well as proposed construction and proposed renovations, profit centers to be added, etc. For proposed facilities we render an As Is value as well as prospective values upon completion of the proposed improvements and upon stabilization of sales (and in some cases occupancy). We always conduct a supplementary fee simple analysis, even for leased stores. We feel we have failed to serve our client if contract rent sustainability is not determined. General commercial appraisers always determine if contract rents are consistent with market levels when appraising traditional commercial property types. Why should contract rent for c-stores/gas stations automatically be assumed sustainable indefinitely? Simply capitalizing net income based on any lease in place fails to make this determination. A property’s performance potential ultimately determines if contract lease terms can be sustained.