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Florida’s Largest Community Bank Works with MountainSeed to Tackle Appraisal Influx from Acquisitions

By September 26, 2017 January 21st, 2020 No Comments
community bank acquisitions

As you might already know CenterState Bank just recently announced that they will become Florida’s largest community banking company after two upcoming mergers. They are always looking to expand, but at their core, they truly are a community bank. Everything they do, from hiring new employees to merging with other banks, is through the lens of culture and community. So when they had the opportunity to acquire Sunshine Bank and Harbor Community Bank, they worked hard to ensure it was not just good on paper, but that it would have a positive impact on the state and the Florida community as a whole.


“Our partnerships with Harbor Community Bank and Sunshine Bank are the logical next step to fulfill our vision of becoming Florida’s bank,” said John Corbett, President & Chief Executive Officer of CenterState. “We are excited to welcome Harbor’s employees as well as Sunshine’s employees to the CenterState family and look forward to working with them.”

What happens after a community bank acquisition?

With this merger, CenterState Bank will become the largest community bank in Florida, so we were interested to hear what was next. We sat down with Sharon Sutphin this month, who is VP of Appraisal Management at CenterState Bank. She shared that they are always looking for new opportunities and mergers have allowed CenterState Bank to work with different communities in Florida, and explore new areas to expand their footprint.


Through these expansions and mergers, CenterState Bank needed an appraisal management and review partner who could keep up with the feast or famine they see every day. After a crazy busy Spring of 2017 brought on through mergers with Platinum Bank and Gateway Bank, they were challenged with the influx of new appraisals and reviews.  Sharon said, “It was so overwhelming at the time since there were only three on our team at that point.” We usually see in upwards of 3,500+ appraisals per year.  With the new acquisitions came new portfolios and with that the challenge of keeping up with the influx of appraisals being ordered. With these additional appraisals, even more properties needed to be appraised, reviewed and we needed to become an expert on these new areas almost overnight.


They had used MountainSeed during one of their previous acquisitions where there were a lot of special asset properties. These properties needed to be appraised immediately and MountainSeed was able to jump on board and help CenterState. Sharon shared “We liked everyone we had worked with at MountainSeed in the past, so that made it a lot easier choosing their team. We also liked the system and were familiar with it which was a huge help.” The lenders at CenterState have even mentioned that they like the MountainSeed ordering system since it’s easier to use and more intuitive.


CenterState currently uses MountainSeed for commercial appraisal bidding, engagement letters, and appraisal reviews. They work with the MountainSeed team daily to decide which appraisers are the best fit for complex deals.


It’s just been a big relief for us. It’s been great having a dedicated account manager to talk with and work with if we have any questions or need help making any decisions. They anticipate the needs of the appraiser and request the information they will need to complete the appraisal accurately and compliantly.

Quick Facts

  • Biggest Challenges in Appraisal Management: Day to day management of all orders that come in each day. Just trying to get through everything that’s on your plate to feel like you’ve accomplished what you should, can be a struggle.
  • To Stay Current on the Latest Trends: Sharon reads the MountainSeed Newsletter (thanks for the shout out!), Cushman & Wakefield’s US Macro Forecast Reports and IRR’s  ViewPoint.
  • Goals for the upcoming year:  Stay current with CE classes for real estate and appraiser license, train new team members on our appraisal process, and continue to work with MountainSeed as we continue to grow.