What Skills Do I Need Now?

George Dell
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We Need Software which Enables & Empowers the Analyst... the Appraiser

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 do some of these things. They are called AVM’s (automated valuation models). Which is better?

Well, machines do some things better. While humans are better at other things. Machines (computers) are really good and really fast at calculations and doing what they are told to do. Humans are really good at seeing patterns, visualizing, and explaining things. Machines are good at handling masses of data. Humans are terrible at handling data beyond five or six data points.

Machines do not know how to interact with the human brain – until some human brain explains to the computer how to communicate with other human brains. Simple huh? So, who is good at telling computers how to interact with human brains?

Aha! That’s the need. Someone who knows the subject matter (say asset markets), and also knows how to get the computer to compute and show things to other human brains. What human brains are involved? There are two types of human brains needed to understand computed data:

  • One brain is that of the analyst (the appraiser);
  • The other brain is that of the user (the decision maker).

Are there two types of software? It appears so. Some software helps the analyst analyze. Other software helps the analyst transmit and communicate to the user brain. Who has to know these two different uses of software? It’s the analyst. The appraiser.

Analyst software focuses on analysis – sorting, classifying, comparing, and associating data to turn it into useful information. Presentation software focuses on the user-human understanding. And today it also must focus in convenient or seamless input into user software – like underwriting and risk and management and regulatory audit.

Who makes the ‘automated’ decisions for the analyst? There are two major kinds in the industry:

  • Forms software, primarily used by residential appraisers; and,
  • Spreadsheet software, mostly used by income property appraisers.

With forms software, the problem is the original programmer/marketer made analytics decisions. With spreadsheets, the problem is that the spreadsheet is designed for accountants, not analysts.

We have a problem. The problem is software with algorithmic decisions made by those selling software.

We need software which enables and empowers the appraiser to showcase market knowledge, analytic expertise, and communication skills. Today’s software is designed to sell software: canned appraisal forms, or spreadsheet add-ons which make impossible what is needed.

Appraisers can apply software they control, instead of the software controlling them! The Community of Asset Analysts (CAA)© and Valuemetrics education and open-source software empowers the appraiser. Join us toward your future. Join us in service to the public trust. We care!

Image credit flickr - Henri Bergius
George Dell

George Dell

George Dell is the owner of Valuemetrics and author of the Analogue Blog. He is a graduate of San Diego State University with extensive post-graduate work in Economics, Statistics, Mathematics, Finance, and Information Systems, Certificate level work in Environmental Management and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). George has earned the MAI, SRA, and ASA designations.

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7 Responses

  1. Avatar EJ says:

    What are you trying to sell ?

  2. Avatar SB says:

    Application of Analytical Software in theory is nice but it does not solve the biggest problems that are presently impacting our industry…… AMCs

    We need an “UBER like” Appraisal Ordering System that is Appraiser Owned and Appraiser Managed. During “peak” demand periods we should be able to set fees that are commensurate with market conditions. After the appraisal report is completed/submitted appraisal fee is IMMEDIATELY credited into our bank accounts.

    Analytical Software Expertise might help in the Commercial world, but it is not going to increase cash flow in the Residential world. Homeowners, Buyers, Sellers, Realtors, Mortgage Brokers, Mortgage Underwriters, Mortgage Investors simply do not care and will not pay any added premium for this expertise.

    In other words…it’s a waste of time and it’s a waste of money.

  3. Avatar ej says:

    The AMC mafia and the corrupt lenders could care less about this. All they want is a compliance document so when the loan defaults they can sue the appraiser. Until turn times and fees are addressed nothing else matters.

    The consumer is getting raped by the AMC mafia, Lenders and Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac. The fake “chief appraisers” who have not completed an appraisal report in over 20 years should be ashamed of themselves. Have you no conscious!

  4. Chase Pursley on Facebook Chase Pursley on Facebook says:

    I agree 100%. I’m a former commercial appraiser turned software developer. Software is just a tool (and a very valuable one at that). But it will never replace using the ole’ noggin.

    > “We need an “UBER like” Appraisal Ordering System that is Appraiser Owned and Appraiser Managed.”

    We’re working on something like this that will be free for the appraiser where the client pays the technology fee.

    > “After the appraisal report is completed/submitted appraisal fee is IMMEDIATELY credited into our bank accounts.”

    We will be linking it with a payment system which connects to your bank account (we never hold your funds) and pays out immediately. No more waiting for checks and typical getting paid shenanigans.

    And the best part? We will not allow the parasitic AMCs on the platform. Only clients and appraisers working directly together.

    If you’re interested in helping as a beta tester or have any suggestions, please send me a private message.

    • Avatar HoneyWest says:

      Sounds fantastic, but we’ve heard variations of this song before….so what’s in it for you? How do you recapture your investment? What’s your business model going forward in terms of revenue stream? From whom will you be earning fees for your platform?

      • Chase Pursley on Facebook Chase Pursley on Facebook says:

        Great question. We’re still working out the model. But the general idea for keeping the lights on is to charge only the client a technology fee (appraiser receives entire agreed upon appraisal fee). And we’ll never harvest and sell your data like some of the platforms out there.

    • Baggins Baggins says:

      That’s the same thing Dave Biggers said about the Mercury platform, for the first several years at least. You underestimate the power of a multi billion dollar a year amc profiteering group.

      I like the article because it highlights the ineptitude of software developers whom know nothing about valuation principals. That’s a real thing. Company targets appraisers for some sale. Company hires tech person. Tech person does 2 days of valuation source material reading. Tech person develops software used by tens of thousands of appraisers for years and years. Systemic shortcomings in valuation service become the norm.

      I’ll look forward to the day when good people like Mr Dell will be recognized as the rare few to actually make positive contributions to this industry. Requesting software that mandates consumer fees be stated alongside appraisers fees.


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What Skills Do I Need Now?

by George Dell time to read: 2 min