Author: George Dell

Bias. Blame the Messenger. It's easier 17

Bias. It’s Easier to Blame the Messenger

No one wants to be the messenger… Appraisers are messengers. Why is their message so despicable? So biased? The messenger. Psychology research easily points out our tendency to dislike the bearer of bad news. It’s also intuitive. Bad news messengers do not smile when they bring the news. Sometimes they even look guilty. We humans can be really basic. We see a correlation between the bad news, the frown, and the messenger. Appraisers are messengers. Why is their message so despicable? So biased? In the entire real estate transaction, everyone wants to make a deal. Brokers want to make a...

Hocus Pocus Magic Focus? We Can Sell It to Appraisers 3

Hocus Pocus Magic Focus?

Appraisers historically have been sold bogus franchises, software, and other magic solutions. Only $199.95 — Push the enchanted ‘calculate’ button and get ‘correct’ adjustments. Sounds good. It is nice to think that for this small charge, I can save hours and get the right, fully mathematical solution to an adjustment amount. It will be wonderful! I have seen this marketing plan work many times. They imply “We have found the enchanted formula, a secret algorithm, a sly way to calculate adjustments. In a way that no one ever before us has done! Not other appraisers, not AVMs, not even their PhD-economist-statistician-computer-clever programmers have ever discovered before.” The purveyors,...

Why is Price Indexing Important. Opinion, Estimate, or Prediction? 1

Opinion, Estimate, or Prediction?

Join George Dell & Craig Gilbert for a free 2-hour webinar on Market Price Indexing: For Peaking Prices… Price indexing is also known by other words, such as time adjustments or market conditions adjustments or trend analysis. A number of techniques have been recommended over the years. Most are flawed. Oddly, the algorithm mechanics of calculating are fairly simple and intuitive. Best of all, once done correctly, the payoff is really high: You effectively increase the data available for comparison. For example, a very similar property is perfect, but is say 20 months ago, it becomes your best comp. It makes other adjustments easier to...

Time Adjustment Methods... How Do You Time Adjust? - Appraisers Blogs 1

How Do You Time Adjust?

I was able to sort time adjustment methods by data source used (mostly compiled, published reports) and by the analytic used… Time adjustments is a timely topic. Recent ski-jump rises in prices have been ramp-ant in many places. Valuemetrics.info provided a free, two-hour webinar on the topic, and we had almost exactly 1000 appraisers sign up. (Although many did not show – free, you know.) Prior to the webinar, I asked some reviewers about how appraisers were handling the price changes. Also, my friend Steve Smith raised the question on his National Appraisers Forum (NAF) to see what sources they are using to support time...

Unaffordable Affordability? Avoiding the Cobra Effect - Appraisers Blogs 4

Unaffordable Affordability?

If we value higher, what about affordability?… A great deal of economic, social, and political talk has been around affordability of housing. To explore this topic, it may be helpful to ask some questions. Good policy starts with the right questions. In simplest terms, some people have the resources to have nice homes in nice neighborhoods, others have just tolerable homes for shelter. And others have no homes at all. We call them “home-less.” More recently, we have become aware of the connection of poor housing and groups of certain ethnic categories. Discovery. There is association between housing status and...

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? 29

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...

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