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Question for a la mode Management/Staff

Discussion in 'a la mode (TOTAL)' started by Mike Phillips, Nov 7, 2006.

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  1. Mike Phillips

    Mike Phillips Senior Member

    0
    Dec 16, 2004
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Florida
    I posted this here rather than calling you directly because I'd like to hear any input that other appraisers wish to provide.

    Two issues:

    (1) A small but growing group of appraisers in the Orlando Florida area would like to begin sharing appraisal data. Our basic goal in the beginning would be to be able to take the data from a standard appraisal file and import the data directly into a database, something like Access. We (the appraisers) are pretty savy on the database side and we have access to a few "wizards", i.e., computer professionals who work and teach at Valencia Community College and the University of Central Florida who can handle just about anything we need.

    But we thought it would be wise to check with you first, especially so that we don't break the law and/or our software license agreements.

    Can you please tell us your position on this, if this capability already exists, how this can be achieved, and/or the name of a qualified person at your offices in Orlando (or elsewhere) who can answer these questions? At the very least, we would appreciate it if you would please point us in the right direction.

    (2) The issue of appraisal data "mining", AVMs and so on is in the appraisal news every day. We (our group and hopefully others) would like to see a la mode write a "primer" article dealing with this subject that focused on our appraisal data and how it ***can*** be used by others. For instance, what use can be made of a .pdf file, or other file formats. We believe if you educate us on these matters we can make better decisions in the future.

    Thank you in advance
    Michael Phillips
    Orlando, Florida
    __________________
    January 1, 2008: New Ballgame Begins!!!
     
  2. Michael Chu

    Michael Chu Member

    0
    Feb 9, 2006
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Georgia
    1) The sharing of appraiser's data is up to the appraiser, not anyone else.
    Alamode users have always had most of the data stored into a database except some detail data that is software specific.

    2) The data-mining concept has two sides, even from the AVM's viewpoint. Most say that appraiser data is too inconsistent to be used.
    Others have already mixed appraiser data into the other data.

    AFAIK, alamode has attempted to provide data sharing and has some long range plans of re-viving the Comps-X-Change feature.

    I think the idea has merit. Under one caveat:
    If the data sharing feature is implemented with more appraisers' input and less influenced by alamode's bottom line.
    This has not been true historically IMO.

    PS. If you send each other the *.ZAP file or to a central computer, you can already share as much data as you want. You can accomplish all this with the built in comps database. Aurora's SQL engine should be robust enough to handle a few appraisal offices' combined data.
     
  3. George W Dodd

    George W Dodd Senior Member

    0
    Jul 9, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Virginia
    Mike,

    Sharing the data is not that complicated. The database file is already in MS Access format. What you need to do is to copy the file "Rescomps.mdb" from the wintotal database directory. Once you have all the database directories from the appraisers you simply need to merge them together. I have not tried to copy the main file back into the directory. Instead I've exported it to MS Excel for use in a multiple regression program "RealStat".

    Check with Wintotal to see if using the merged database would have any adverse impact with the program. I don't think it should, BUT I'VE NOT TRIED IT!
    I don't think this would import the photos associated with the properties in the merged database, but it may be possible to merge them as well.

    One issue you are going to have to deal with it the updates to the database from the different appraisers. The easiest way might be to merge the databases every month rather than just that months data. For me, using MS Excel works fine because I sort the data and then export the new ones into the master template.

    Mine is a work in progress so let me know how yours turns out.
     
  4. Mike Phillips

    Mike Phillips Senior Member

    0
    Dec 16, 2004
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Florida
    Thanks for the replies. One thing I failed to mention is that we desire to be able to import nearly the entire file into the database, not just the comps. Specifically, Page 1, Page 2, additional comp page, addendum and sketch. The comps photographs and the maps would be nice but not necessary. Of course, we wouldn't need the Certification/Assumption & Limiting Conditions.

    I appreciate your responses but my hope was that I'd also receive something from a la mode. Maybe we will. Our theory is that appraisers in other areas are going to have the same idea, obviously both of you have worked with the idea before. We are getting eaten up in the marketplace - I'd like to see a la mode help us out. It may take some time but I like to think they will.

    Our next step in this process would be finding a way to purge the sensititive data from the database, so that the idea would have more appeal for appraisers who do not know and may not trust each other completely. For instance, before any actual data is shared, the appraiser name, client name and other fields would have to be purged from the shared database.

    As I said, we know some wizards who work/teach at two colleges - they thrive on this type of thing but they are not appraisers.

    Anyway, thanks again
    Mike/Orlando
     
  5. George W Dodd

    George W Dodd Senior Member

    0
    Jul 9, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Virginia
    Mike,

    Be careful who you get into bed with. If there are questions about an appraiser's that aren't trustworthy. The last thing you want is a database filled with bad info.

    You don't need alamode to help you with this. Set up a server and have everyone download there files then you can search all the data photos and all.

    My experience with these things is that 5% do the work and 95% try to get something for nothing
     
  6. jdbiggers

    jdbiggers Senior Member

    0
    Jan 25, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Licensed Appraiser
    State:
    Arizona
    Page 1? Is all this data available through publc records or specifically from the actions of a contracted assignment (i.e. physical inspection of the property)? Is the lender/client name to be extracted.

    Comps are one thing as this data can be obtained through the same methods you did (MLS, public records), but subject data that is specific is a copmletely different issue.

    Act locally: think GLB-ly, as in Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999. I think you'd be on thin ice, here.

    John-David Biggers
     
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