On this day, July 1, 2024, I am contemplating what to celebrate, and I want to mention community in the context of independence.

 It’s Canada Day! I could celebrate that, and I will, as will many of my Canadian connections.

 It’s July 4th in a few days and many of my American connections will celebrate that!

Both of these holidays have independence at their core. What does it mean to be independent when entire countries celebrate independence?

Adjective

  1. Free from outside control.
  2. Not depending on another for livelihood or subsistence.

Noun

  1. An independent person or body.

As we celebrate independence, we must also recognize that it surely can’t mean 100% “solo.”

We depend on our countries as individuals, groups of citizens or communities. What is it about independence that we celebrate?

The freedom to;

Accept

Advance

Change

Create

Decide

Decline

Express

Improve

etc… the list is long, add to it, you get to decide!

……and this is only a fraction of the things we celebrate and the freedoms we fight for. Certainly, these are all things we could do solo because of the freedoms we are provided, but together as community, we can continue to achieve greater things.

What we are celebrating is choice. As we grow and learn, we are more prepared to make choices. We can choose to go it alone, or we can choose to build community and choose what communities to be a part of and support.

This brings it back to what prompted this post. I was reflecting upon what I had to celebrate and what I looked forward to celebrating.

To do that, I need to look back at what has moved me to where I am today.

 Over the past several years, I began seeking additional resources to increase my skills and knowledge in the real estate appraisal profession. That led to George Dell in 2019, who led to the world of the statistical language of R with a focus on community, the CAA (Community of Asset Analysts), and open-source software tools, like RStudio Inc. which became a Public Benefit Corp in 2020, and in 2022, Posit PBC which encapsulated Python as well as options to implement other languages.

Without rehashing all the issues the appraisal industry has faced over the past decade or more, I will focus on the opportunities I see by embracing communities like Posit and George Dell’s CAA.

Ultimately, what drives me is the search for answers and clarity in support of the public trust and confidence in my own work.

I truly believe there is an entire world of opportunity for embracing technology in the appraisal industry that has been almost entirely untapped.

I do not mean magical technologies that give instant answers; I mean technologies that enhance and simplify or clarify the process and provide greater insight and support for findings and conclusions.

Technologies and tools that bring real estate appraisers to the forefront of the real estate sector.

The appraisal process can seem obscure due to complexities in human nature, changing motivations, market dynamics and efforts required to draw conclusions from these variables.

Understandably, before the power of computing was widely available, it was purely human effort to perform even the simplest of calculations. The process needed to be simplified to suit the data and technology available. Times have changed, but the process has remained largely unchanged in many cases, with only the most basic technology enhancements coming into play.

There is no shortage of opportunity, even for established existing technology companies looking in the face of considerble change. It’s not too late to begin exploring how you can fit into the new community of data analysis and dynamic reporting.

That is what I am here to celebrate. Not what we have done, but what we will do.

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