Geographical competency has become a hot topic for real estate appraisers. There have been a lot of complaints about real estate appraisers appraising properties in an area they are unfamiliar with.
The video below shows how you can use Google Maps to show your geographic competency. All you need is a list of property addresses that you have appraised, a spreadsheet like Microsoft Excel, and the website Batchgeo.com.
Cick HERE if you can not see the embedded video above.
I have a database of addresses that I have personally appraised since I started my career as a real estate appraiser. I wanted to graphically show my experience so anyone could easily determine my geographical competence.
One thing that I did not want to do, because of privacy concerns, is publish the exact address of the properties I have appraised. Instead, I just wanted to publish the street, city, state, and zip codes.
In order to strip out the house number from each address I had to use several Excel functions.
- LEN returns the number of characters in a text string.
- LEFT or RIGHT returns the first character or characters in a text string, based on the number of characters you specify.
- FIND locates one text string within a second text string, and return the number of the starting position of the first text string from the first character of the second text string.
- ISNUMBER determines if a character is a number or not. If there is a number in the string, the result is TRUE, otherwise it is FALSE.
This article is an excellent resource if you need to extract numbers from strings.
My data was formatted with the the address, a dash, the city, a comma, the state, and a 5 digit zip code.
100 Main St – Perry, GA 31069
The first thing I wanted to do was remove the zip code and state from the address. This is easy because it is all of the information before the last 10 characters (5 digit zip code, 2 digit state, 1 comma, and 2 spaces = 10 characters).
This is the formulas I used:
The above formula returns “100 Main St – Perry”
I used the function LEN to determine how many characters were in the sting and use LEFT to tell excel to return all of the characters minus 10 characters starting at the left side.
Next, I wanted to determine how many numbers were in the property address. Fortunately for me all of the properties in my markets have only 3 to 5 numbers in the property address.
The above formula returns “4”
This is a lengthy formula. I nested several IF THEN statements and use the ISNUMBER function to determine how many of the first characters were numbers. This formula returns the number 4 telling me there are 4 numbers in the address, the house number plus the blank character. I can use this number to strip out the house number.
The above formula will return “Main St”
Hopefully, you won’t have to go through these formulas to get your data formatted correctly. If you do have to format your data a little, you should be able to use some combination of the functions above.
Would you use Batchgeo to help publish a list of property addresses (minus the house number) that you have appraised? Do you think doing so would help instill trust?