Testimony from Terry O. Bernhardt, JD, SRA, AI-RRS
“Since college in the middle 60’s, I’ve struggled with statistics and advanced mathematics-to an embarrassing degree. The personification of the old theory, “there are three kinds of appraisers-those who understand math, and those who don’t….”
Despite taking all of the appraiser academics in advanced theory, working in an environment using multiple regression analysis, and piddling with automated valuation modules (as a means to select comparable sales and test their validity), my recurring professional nightmare has been running into a purported statistics expert in court, and being exposed as a complete idiot-unable to defend myself, right or wrong.
In the Fall, 2013, issue of The Appraisal Journal, George Dell wrote an article that made a profound impression about statistics and their applications-based not on theory, but practical use (and misuse). His article, “Common Statistical Errors and Mistakes: Valuation and Reliability” (TAJ Fall, 2013), is a roadmap to statistics applied correctly.
Appraisers, particularly residential appraisers, live in a world where we are fed, and expected to digest, information that is easily automated-commoditized, that which converts subjective data into managed, computerized junk-data. Examples given include using elevation above sea level as an indicator of view value, instead of scoring what can actually be seen, and its effect on market value. Another example is using the improvement year built, instead of effective age-a bureaucratic requirement. My personal favorite is using nominal site size as the land value variable, as opposed to useful site area. Granted, this requires a little more explanation, textually, but provides a much more effective, and concise, measurement of value.
I’ve known George Dell for over 20 years, as an Appraisal Institute instructor, college-level teacher, and award-winning contributor to various academic and professional journals. His passion is “valuemetrics”, a subset of “econometrics” which might be best described as “making economic theory understandable and practical”. Amen.”
Bill McKnight – Sacramento, CA
“I’ve taken all of George Dell’s classes, Stats & Graphs I (twice), Stats and Graphs II, Auditable Appraisal Practices and now Stats, Graphs and Data Science. I’ve learned something new with every class as George evolves the material. Using the techniques and concepts presented and the hands on tools taught during the classes has made a huge difference in my accuracy and increased my confidence in the results.
Because I able support my results with clear statistics, tables and graphs, I receive fewer revision requests and no reviewer ever questions the comps I use, my market analysis or my value conclusions.
The improved quality of my work has allowed me to actually increase my fees over the last few years and I have been able to find and keep a better class of clients. I do almost no work for AMCs and my clients often say that they wish all their panel appraisers were capable of writing reports like mine.
Thank you , George!”
Anonymous from Central CA:
“I have been appraising for 10 years and this class is by far the best course I have ever taken.”
Jeffery Hall, CA:
“George Dell’s class has changed the way I look at the whole process of appraising. FINALLY! A way to adjust with a knowing…“
Nick Dunlop, CA:
“George’s time adjustment analysis alone is worth the cost of the class!”
Joe Lynch, Woodland, CA
“Mr. Dell’s classes have changed the way I appraise. I am much more confident in the processes and procedures I use in my business. I have moved from ‘I feel like the value is…’ to supporting my value with data.
Appraising has become much more interesting for me because of the tools taught by Mr. Dell. In addition, Mr. Dell’s classes have given me the intellectual background to explain what I did and why I concluded what I did,
Every appraiser can improve their knowledge and skills by taking Mr. Dell’s classes.”
Don Machholz, CA
“George Dell is a leader in the field of appraisal data science. The concepts he teaches can elevate the appraiser to a newer level of defensible appraisal development. He teaches with both, patience and humor. This class is comprehensive and he takes care that no one is left behind.”
Mark Lindsay, CA
“Allows me to approach the ugliest of appraisal assignments with an ordered, intelligent and non-biased method. The concept of using a complete data set gives a much more reliable overview of a market. Thank you, George.”
“I have been able to change the course of my business because I have taken George Dell’s classes. I do not get questions on my adjustments when my reports include graphs and explanations I have learned from George Dell’s classes.”
April Medina, CA
“I thought this class would be too advanced for me. It wasn’t. George was great at expelling the statistics mystique. Very useful. I would like more!”
Elias Salas, CA
“George presents a great class for those that want to learn appraising the right way. Give us more George!”