May 2017 – Data is king

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At GPS a lot goes on behind the scenes to generate consistency of return to investors. We are constantly looking for ways to improve our skill levels.

We recently held informal get-togethers, over some sandwiches, with some of our valuers and quantity surveyors to discuss the current market, how we can make improvements, etc.

Prior to our group discussion with the valuers, we did some analysis work on past loans to determine variation rates between valuation and actual sales. It was very pleasing that variation rates were sub 3%. I would have been very happy with as much as a 5% variation. This demonstrates the quality of the GPS valuation panel. They are getting it right with a very high level of consistency.

The interesting item for me which came out of the get-together was the diminishing quality of published research. You would think that in this digital age, where data is king, that it would be more reliable. It is apparent that it is more a case of rubbish in, rubbish out.

An example of the decline in quality of published data was when I sent Marnie out on a training exercise to review how many developments were really proceeding in Nundah. The reality was that it will be only be a fraction of what the published data reported.

At the get-together with the quantity surveyors, the main discussion was on recent failures by some builders. All of us at GPS picked up some valuable tips on how to determine when a builder is in financial difficulty. There is no silver bullet. It comes down to on-ground work and data sharing.

GPS will now further develop our data sharing with our panel valuers and quantity surveyors so that we can assist in maintaining low variation rates for valuations and earlier detection of building issues.

It most certainly will involve even more site visits, testing of comparables and upskilling of the GPS workforce.

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