Gordon Daman is President of the Red River Group, a real property appraisal firm located in Southern Manitoba. He serves on the Manitoba Municipal Board, and provides consulting services to the Provincial government. In April, Gordon will present an agricultural valuation seminar at the AAOM’s 2013 Great Minds Symposium. We spoke with him about his experience as an appraiser, and his thoughts about what it takes to do a great job.–Rick Sherrin
Gordon, would you briefly describe what has led you through your career path? After having spent ten years in the not for profit sector, where I had the opportunity to interact with real estate on a regular basis, I felt it was time for a change and wanted to pursue a professional certification.
Through the real estate interactions during my not-for-profit management experience, I felt that a professional career in the real estate appraisal field was a good fit.
Combining this with my public policy experience–through serving as an elected local government representative–has made for a good fit and a rewarding career.
Do you have a particular focus, specialty, or area of expertise? I have two areas of focus: the first being agricultural valuation, as this reflects my undergraduate background. My second is consulting with municipal government, which uses my past experience as an elected local government official.
What feature or characteristic defines an excellent appraiser (or assessor)? An excellent appraisal is under-girded by extensive due diligence and research, along with the ability to communicate clearly to ensure the reader is able to understand the scope of the appraisal and the conclusions drawn by the appraiser.
What is the weakest trait of a typical appraiser? In my opinion, it’s forgetting that we are not to agree or disagree with the market– but simply reflect what the market is at a point in time.
What is the single most important idea that you want to communicate to the assessors of Manitoba? My time as a member of the Municipal Board has shown me that assessors roles are paramount to ensure equitable tax treatment of all Manitoban’s who own property.
Equity can only truly be achieved by reflecting realistic market values facilitated by their role in mass valuation based on accurate individual property characteristics gathered through their everyday work.
What are you most passionate about? The profound role that public policy decisions have on influencing economic environments that subsequently assist in assuring stable, equitable and lasting social democracies.
Do you foresee any important changes on the horizon for appraisal (or assessment)? The growing requirement to professional development and education for appraisers as our globalized economy undergoes ever increasing change and complexity.
Do you have any simple advice that would radically improve most appraisal work? A commitment to integrity. The challenge professional practitioners have is to avoid simply approaching valuations as non-descript assignments without integrating a level of professionalism that is focussed on the public good within the appraisal process.
This commitment to integrity would ensure not only a high standard of professional work product but as importantly would build a level of trust with our clients which would benefit all parties involved.
Thank you, Gordon. We look forward to seeing you again in April.