Author: George Dell

AVM vs My Opinion - Armed Appraisers Can Beat AVMs Every Day 6

AVM vs My Opinion

AVM versus my opinion… My recent article “Why is Residential Appraisal in Trouble” lays out how the profession and the individual (you?) can prepare for the future. I do not take an emotional position for or against AVMs. AVM is a competing industry for valuations. AVMs have succeeded in taking a large market share for valuations and risk analysis in the past 20 years. Every large lender and our GSEs use them every day. And yes, a machine can only deliver an analytic result, not an opinion! My only mission (Stats, Graphs, and Data Science classes) is to help arm...

Why is Residential Appraisal in trouble? Is Residential Appraisal Finished? 28

Why is Residential Appraisal in Trouble?

Why is Residential Appraisal in trouble? Is Residential Appraisal Finished?… There will soon be no need for residential appraisers. I remember years ago, doing education for my merging AIREA/SREA chapter(s) in San Diego. AVMs were just coming to our attention. I invited a MAI who happened to also be a PhD in economics, Phil Mitchell. The room was full. Someone asked about those “automated algorithmic computer calculated appraisals.” Could a canned program do as well as an appraiser? Without hesitation, he answered: “Not only will these models be able to appraise – they will do it better!” That was 24 years ago. He was right, partially. I...

Defiant or Compliant...Parallel Between Appraisals & Reaction to Pandemic 9

Defiant or Compliant

And there is another type of defiant. “The government should stay out of our business…” Believe or don’t believe. Is there a parallel between appraisals and how people respond to pandemic warnings? Appraisal reviewers decide whether an appraisal is “worthy of belief” (“credible”) or not. Similarly, people decide whether to believe in the need for public health orders. Steven Dinkin (president of the National Conflict Resolution Center) recently had some observations on the public’s response to the pandemic, dividing people into two groups: defiant or compliant. What is interesting is that each group has a belief that their thinking is the right thinking. Their opinion is the right opinion. Let’s look...

We Need Software which Enables & Empowers the Analyst... the Appraiser 7

What Skills Do I Need Now?

Analyst software focuses on analysis – sorting, classifying, comparing, and associating data to turn it into useful information… New technologies require new skills. The bad news is that new data science skills are not taught in appraiser education. The good news is that the new technologies are things an appraiser can sell. Let’s look at the good news! Data science skills include the ability to: Identify the relevant data. Turn the data into useful knowledge. Express the analytic flow to a customer. Who can best collect, analyze, and explain an analysis? Well, it takes someone who understands the subject (the market), the analytics (algorithms), and communication (visuals and summaries).  Machines...

Can Smart Appraisers Make Dumb Mistakes? Are You a Critical Thinker? 7

Can Smart Appraisers Make Dumb Mistakes?

I am a smart and educated, award-winning appraiser. It is not possible for me to be irrational. Of course not. You can see that. I can see that. A high IQ and education won’t necessarily protect you from highly irrational behavior — and it may sometimes amplify your errors.  ~David Robson, in an Excerpt from The Intelligence Trap Oh No! Who is this guy!? Doesn’t he know how smart I am? Why, even my peers have said I am smart. I pride myself on my critical thinking. Even my kids say that! What more proof do you need? Let’s get this straight: I am rational, smart, of...

Existing Regulatory Burden on Appraisal, a Proven Failure- System Reform 6

Appraisal Reform or System Reform

It is my hope that the Subcommittee on Housing, Community Development and Insurance consider long-term impact. The existing regulatory burden, a proven failure, may insure a repeat of the past. The body of a letter to the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services about systems reform. Appraisal reform or Appraisal industry reform? It is critical to understand that ‘appraisal’ does not equal ‘valuation’, or risk analysis, or anything else.  It is a precise definition of a nebulous product. The current U.S. House Committee on Financial Services is asking the question: “What’s Your Home Worth? A Review of the Appraisal Industry.” I believe it is...

Should Appraisers Study Statistics? - Beyond the Old Inferential Statistics 11

Should Appraisers Study Statistics?

Yet what was (and still is) presented in appraiser education is the old inferential statistics. Difficult statistics. Convoluted statistics. Statistics for appraisers started to become a hot topic some 15+ years ago. I was more involved with the Appraisal Institute then, and often argued that with the changes in data sources — appraisers would have to learn to apply statistics. Around 2003, the AQB (Appraiser Qualifications Board) revised qualifying education to include the requirement for Finance, Statistics, and Valuation Modeling class. Although I was not solicited to write this class, I was put on the development team, which reviewed and suggested edits and improvements. The...

Science & Art Reflect our Search for the Truth - Is There an Art in Science? 8

Is There an Art in Science?

We know there is science in art. Musical scales. Perspective and the golden ratio. The ordered sequence of a good novel. It’s difficult to be a good artist without knowing, or at least intuitively applying the truths found in the logic. Both science and art reflect our search for the truth. Our primal human nature is to resist the truth, even as it hits us in the groin. Resist the change. Fear. Give up something that has protected you. Something that gives you a place. A belonging. A prestige. An ego. A place where you are respected. Then someone or something comes along and says there is a better way. I...

Let's Get Those Pesky Appraisers Out of the Way! Hybrid Appraisals Part 5 22

Robust & Precise Inspections – Hybrids V

No more pesky appraisers blowing up sales commissions & bonuses & salaries… A “hybrid” appraisal is a new name for where the property inspection is separated from the analysis and appraiser’s certification. It is faster and cheaper and… This is Part 5 of a (soon to be, so far) six part discussion of Hybrid Appraisals. Part One, Two, Three, and Four are behind these links. Many years ago, I had several trainees, and as each gained experience and competence going out with me, I first let them inspect homogeneous neighborhoods, with me driving by on the outside to check on locational and optimal use issues. In time, they did...

USPAP Everyday Violation... Are You Violating USPAP Every Day? 15

Are You Violating USPAP Every Day?

Are you in “violation” of USPAP? If you pick comps the old way, you may be violating USPAP every day! The old way of selecting data worked well for the old days. Gather seven or eight that look good, go look at them, make a couple of phone calls, and pick four or five for your report. That was the way I was trained. That was the way the Appraisal Institute courses taught me. When I took the AI demo report course, three words were drilled into me: Explain, Justify, and Support. Then I took the required USPAP course. (Back then it still belonged...

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